Declaration of criminal convictions

For some of our programmes we will require applicants to disclose details of criminal convictions or current licence conditions where they are relevant to your studies or time as a student. This is known as the Criminal Declaration by Applicant Policy or CDAP.

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The following information will help you understand if you need to tell us about any convictions and what we do with the information you provide.

Whether you need to tell us about your conviction will depend on the type of programme you have applied for and the status of your convictions:

  • For programmes not requiring a criminal records (DBS) check, such as BA Politics or MA Media and Communications: you will only need to make a disclosure if you are currently on release from prison under licence restrictions which may impact or restrict your studies at Goldsmiths. If you don’t have relevant licence conditions, you do not need to tell us about your convictions.
  • For programmes which require you to submit a DBS as part of the admissions process: all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands not considered protected or filtered need to be disclosed.

A list of our DBS programmes which require an Enhanced DBS check can be found on our Fitness to train requirements page.

We only ask for details of convictions for programmes which include compulsory placements with potentially vulnerable people. This is a requirement when working with certain groups and is something any placement provider will need to know before they agree to offer you a placement. Goldsmiths needs to ensure that we can secure placements for all our students in order to complete their programme of study.

For all other programmes, we ask you to tell us about any relevant licence conditions so we can help ensure you do not break any of your conditions.

Certain old or minor offences may not be included on a DBS certificate. These are known as ‘protected’ offences. Filtering is the term used to describe the process which identifies and removes protected convictions and cautions so that they are no longer disclosed on a criminal records check.

You should not declare convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands which are deemed 'protected' under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (and all amendments).

Whether a conviction can become protected will depend on a number of factors such as your age when convicted and the type of sentence you received.

Find out more information about the filtering process via the links below:

If you are applying for a programme with a DBS check requirement you will be asked as part of your application if you have any convictions. If Goldsmiths makes you an offer on a programme we will send you a form to complete and you must give us full details at that point if you decide to accept the offer. We will not be able to confirm your place until you have been through our Criminal Declaration by Applicant Policy process.

For programmes without a DBS requirement but where you might need to discuss your licence requirements with us, please contact admissionsconfidential ( to begin the CDAP process.

Firstly, you will be given the opportunity to check you haven’t incorrectly indicated you have a conviction.

If you do need to give us details of your conviction you will be asked for factual details such as dates, sentences, which court and it is important you give us as accurate information as possible as we will cross-reference this later with your DBS.

You will also be able to tell us what happened and if there were any mitigating circumstances you would like us to be aware of. We encourage you to give us as much detail as you can with this question as it can be difficult to make a full and fair assessment if not enough information is given. We may need to ask you for more information if you answer too briefly.

The information you provide will be anonymised and an initial assessment will be undertaken by an Admissions Manager.

It will then be sent to the head of your academic department or a representative who will assess the information and will decide whether it is appropriate to admit an applicant with those criminal offences. Where necessary they will consult with internal/external stakeholders. A key part of the decision-making process will be to assess if you will be able to complete the necessary placement modules within your course to complete your programme.

We will let you know the outcome as soon as possible. If your application is not successful you can appeal the decision if you have further information to disclose or have evidence it was not conducted in accordance with the policy.

We will also compare the offences you have disclosed with the information on your DBS certificate which must match up. If there are any discrepancies, you may be required to go through the CDAP process again.

The information you provide will be confidential to those involved in our assessment process. If you enrol at Goldsmiths, details of your disclosure will not be available to any other member of staff without good reason and agreement from you.

For more information please refer to the Criminal Declaration by Applicants (CDAP) Policy (PDF)

All applicants needing a study visa will be asked to declare any convictions when applying for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) in addition to being asked at offer stage. This is a UKVI requirement.

Please contact admissionsconfidential ( to begin the Criminal Declaration by Applicant process. This will follow our standard process and must be completed before you can enrol.

You will be required to inform Goldsmiths under Section 2.4 ‘Student Conduct’ of the Student Regulations you sign up to when you enrol.

Further sources of information and advice   

The Open Book Project at Goldsmiths aims to break down the barriers that discourage people from entering higher education.

The project works to support people from a wide range of non-traditional backgrounds including those with criminal convictions, addiction, and mental health problems, as well as those who have never truly considered further and higher education as any kind of route to enhancing their future career choices and personal development.

Find out more about Open Book including their contact information.

Charities such as Unlock and Nacro provide lots of useful information and guideance. These are external organisations and Goldsmiths is not responsible for their content - this is simply to provide you with further information. 

If you have questions about the process or policy that are not answered below, please contact the admissions team: admissionsconfidential (