What are cookies

Cookies are text files containing small amounts of information that are created when you land on a web page. They are automatically saved on your browser, or hard drive of your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Why we use cookies

Cookies are used to help track visitor behaviour around a website. They help us understand how you interact with our website and how we can make improvements to the website to enhance user experience, eg by improving functionality or delivering personalised or targeted content.


Types of cookies

Session Cookie

A session cookie is stored temporarily in the browsers memory and is erased when you close your web browser or if you stay inactive for a certain period of time. When you restart your browser and go back to the visiting website that created the cookie, the website will not recognise you. Session cookies enable the website to track your behaviour from page to page remembering any information you have entered.

Persistent Cookie

Persistent cookies have expiry dates and are stored on your hard drive until the cookie expires or a user manually deletes the cookie. These cookies are reactivated when you return to the website that created that particular cookie. They remember your password/log in information so you don’t have to re-enter these details every time you load a page.

First party Cookie

A cookie created by the domain that the user is visiting which you can see in the browsers address bar. Once set, it can only be read by the domain it was set up by.

Third party cookie

A cookie by a web site, other than the one you are currently visiting is referred to as a 3rd Party Cookie. These cookies are stored by third party websites such as online advertisers. They gain data about your browsing habits and track across multiple websites.


Cookies used on hca.ac.uk

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics cookies (_ga _gat _gid) to hold information about your visit to our website. This helps us better understand visitor behaviour and allows us to make improvements based on this information.

Local cookies

Used to throttle request rate / Expiry time of 1 minute

Used to distinguish unique users / Expiry time of 2 years

Used to distinguish unique users / Expiry time of 24 hours

Set by PHP. Generic session cookie / Deleted when you close the browser

Third party cookie

Essential site cookie. Set by Google reCAPTCHA
See Google Privacy Policy for further information


How to manage cookies

Some cookies are essential for the functionality of the website so blocking them may impact your experience across our sites. In your browser settings you will find options to manage, disable and delete cookies. For further information on how to do this please visit http://www.aboutcookies.org/.