Practical information & advice

Colleges and Universities will often ask you to disclose your criminal record as part of the application process, and especially for areas like nursing and teaching. It depends on what course you’re going for as to what you’ll need to disclose, and they should have a clear process that sets out how they will deal with your disclosure.

Taken from our top 10 things to know

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Here you’ll find links to various parts of this site where we have information and useful resources relating to universities, colleges and education.

Will my criminal record stop me from going into education?

Depending on the course you want to study, you may have to disclose your criminal record. The university may wish you to have a separate interview to assess any risk they feel you may present. See the link below.

Is there much training support specifically for people with convictions?

People in prison may have access to specific training and education programmes linked to the prison they are in. Generally there is no training specifically for people with convictions but, the same opportunities should be available to you as to anybody without a conviction. Useful links include:


Here you’ll find some common advice that we give on education. This is based on what we’ve learnt as a charity, as well as the real-life experiences of people with convictions.

  • Generally, Universities are much more welcoming towards people with convictions. However, often issues arise with courses involving work placements. In these situations, it is often worthwhile trying to secure a placement independently to the University, so that you can show them that you already have this in place for when it is needed as part of the course.

Frequently asked questions

Here you’ll find some specific questions that we regularly get about education and the answers we generally provide. More detailed FAQ’s may be included in the information pages above.

There are rarely any rules which legally prevent you from going to University. Often, it will depend on the University, and the type of course that you’re applying for. The type of course in particular will dictate whether you have to disclose spent convictions. There are some personal stories on our online magazine, theRecord about people’s experiences of applying for places at University.
Depending on the course, the college may do a criminal record check, and the level of this will depend on the type of course. However, a college should not require you to provide them with a copy of your police record – this would be known as an enforced subject access.


Here you’ll find links to useful organisations and websites related to education that we refer to in our information and advice. Contact details for the organisations listed below can be found here.


Read personal stories

The personal stories below have been posted on theRecord, our online magazine.


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