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Cookies and cookie policy

What are cookies?

Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information, often including a unique identifier, which are downloaded to your device when you visit a website - if your browser preferences allow it. Cookies are then accessed by the originating website on each subsequent visit. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user’s device.

How are cookies used on this website?

The cookies we use on landing.birmingham.ac.uk and hub.birmingham.ac.uk are there to allow you to perform the services you require and to assist us in providing a better experience for our users.

Why do we use them?

We use cookies for a number of reasons, such as:

  • to learn more about the way you interact with our content;
  • help us improve your experience when visiting our websites;
  • to identify errors and resolve them;
  • to analyze how well our websites are performing.

Types of cookie

Most of the cookies we use are session cookies which are stored only for as long as you stay on a site. When you leave, the cookie is removed from your computer. This type of cookie is usually placed as soon as you arrive on the site and is used to identify you uniquely as you navigate so that we can ensure that any choices you make are correctly applied to you. A session cookie is randomly generated and looks similar to this: A91E999014ECDFDDBB533E9550D2F9D9

First-party cookies are those placed on your computer or device by your browser when you visit a website. This type of cookie is used for security services such as submitting a request for course information, and additional functional services such as personal settings.

Third-party cookies are those placed by other websites or businesses when you visit a site. For example, if you visit website A, businesses B and C who provide services for website A and its users may place a cookie on your computer. This type of cookie is most commonly used for tracking and analysis - for example, to provide data back to the operator of website A about which pages are visited most frequently.  We may also use a third party service to facilitate delivery of video to your browser; to support you in making comments or participating in discussions; or to help us make recommendations to you as you browse our sites. As you navigate you may receive third-party cookies. Analytics cookies are set to give us tracking data so that we can improve the way our websites work, and count the number of visitors or gauge the popularity of a particular feature. These cookies do not collect personal information; they allocate a number to identify each individual user and the user's navigation route through the site is recorded against that number. These cookies expire at the end of a session.

Some social networking and sharing sites may place cookies or web beacons on our sites to collect certain anonymous information when you visit our site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information during your visits to our sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of interest to you.

We use Google technologies to serve advertisements and to track and report on advertising response rates. No personal information is collected or reported.

We encourage you to accept the cookies we serve. However, if you wish to restrict or block the cookies which are set by ours or any other website, you can do this through your browser settings. Please see ‘How to control and delete cookies’ for more information.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics cookies to hold information about your visit to our site. This helps us better identify the use and popularity of our services and how successfully the website is functioning. The types of Google Analytics pixels we use are:

Name Description Cookie Classification Cookie Behaviour
_utma Google Analytics Used by Google Analytics to track user count of visits to a site, when a first visit was, and a last visit. Performance Persistent cookie, lasts for 2 years
_utmb Google Analytics Used by Google Analytics to track exactly when a user visits a site. Performance Persistent cookie, lasts for 30 minutes
_utmc Google Analytics Used by Google Analytics to track exactly when a user leaves a site. Performance Session cookie - disappears when the user closes the browser
_utmz Google Analytics Used by Google Analytics to track how a user got to this site (where from), what link was used, what part of the world. Performance Persistent, lasts for 6 months
Google Remarketing We use Remarketing to advertise online and make ads more relevant (''Remarketing''). Remarketing cookies will be used by third parties (including Google) to show our ads on websites other than our own.

Both us and third parties (including Google) will also use Remarketing cookies – both first party (such as Google Analytics) and third party (such as DoubleClick) – to serve more relevant ads to users based on such users' past visits to our website, whether those users are on our Website or on other websites.

Targeting /Advertising Persistent, lasts for 30 days

If you do not wish us to do this, you can opt out of the Analytics service by installing an add-on for your browser. This can be found at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Google Advertising

We use Google Advertising Features to target advertising to users on our website, specifically the Adwords conversion pixel. See below for more information:

Name Description Cookie Classification Cookie Behaviour
Google AdWords Conversion Pixel Used to help measure how clicks on your ads lead to meaningful actions such as conversions. Performance Persistent, lasts for 30 days

If you do not wish us to do this, you can opt out of this service by installing the same Google Analytics opt-out add-on for your browser (http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout), by visiting Google's Ads Settings or by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt out page

The cookies on this website have additionally been categorised based on the categories found in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) UK Cookie Guide.

Category Description
Performance cookies These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don’t collect information that identify a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous.
Functionality cookies These cookies allow the website to remember choices you make [such as your username, language or the region you are in] and provide enhanced, more personal features. For instance, a website may be able to provide you with local weather reports or traffic news by storing in a cookie the region in which you are currently located. These cookies can also be used to remember changes you have made to text size, fonts and other parts of web pages you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching videos or commenting on a blog. The information these cookies collect may be anonymised and they cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Targeting/advertising cookies These cookies are used to deliver adverts more relevant to you and your interests. They are also used to limit the number of time you see an advertisement as well as help measure the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.

In addition to the cookies listed above, we also use the following on birmingham.ac.uk/online and hub.birmingham.ac.uk:

Name Cookie Description Cookie Classification Cookie Behaviour
Flashtalking This cookie is used determine what advertising has been delivered to the user already - No personal information is stored, this cookie only stores an anonymous IP address number. Performance Persistent, lasts for 18 months.
SharpSpring SharpSpring uses browser cookies to track the behaviour of visitors. Performance Persistent, lasts for 1 year.
Kaltura Used to facilitate streaming video from our site to you and ensure the highest quality experience for your device. Performance, Functionality Persistent, lasts 1 year.
LiveAgent Provides a real-time online chat experience which connects you to one of our live representatives who will answer your questions about our programs. Functionality Persistent. Connects you with prior chats.
Tealium A management application that we use to facilitate placement of our advertising pixels throughout the site. Performance, Targeting/Advertising Session.
AppNexus Assists the marketing and delivery of our online advertising using non-personally identifiable information. Targeting Persistent 30 days to 18 months.
Optimizely A content testing tool which enables us to determine which content servers you best. Performance, Targeting. Persistent.
VisualIQ A dynamic content tool that enables us to personalize your experience. Targeting/Advertising Persistent.
Our Site We personalize your experience as you browse our site. Functionality Session.
3rd Party Pixels Some of our third party advertising and media agencies will use Remarketing to display adverts that are more relevant to you, based on your past visits to our website. Targeting/Advertising Variable.

How to control and delete cookies

You can manage cookie usage through your browser settings. The help function in your preferred browser should provide you with the correct information. Some browsers provide helpful cookie guides:

Alternatively, http://www.allaboutcookies.org provides advice on how to do this, and further information on cookies and how to manage them.

In addition Google Analytics offers its own opt-out options:

In the case of some mobile devices, it may be necessary to consult the device’s instruction manual to manage cookies effectively.

More information

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments about this cookie policy, please contact us by emailing onlineadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)800 032 7101.

For the campus policy, click here.

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