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IT essentials for new students

Welcome to UCL. This is your student guide to central IT services.
The essentials

The essentials

Work through our essentials list first. This will get you up and running - and save time later.

Your UCL user ID

Your user ID is your key to accessing your computer account (such as your email) and other UCL systems and resources.

Your user ID is made up of seven characters. For example: ucaaxxx.

Can I change my user ID?

Your user ID is unique to you and cannot be changed.

I can't remember my user ID

If you’re not sure what your user ID is, go to MyAccount (make sure you've got your UCL ID card to hand).

Enter the required information on the MyAccount page, and your user ID will be displayed.

Find out more on our User IDs and Passwords page.

Your UCL password

Along with your user ID, you will also need your UCL password to access UCL systems. You should have set a password yourself, as part of your pre-enrolment.  

How to change your password

If you can’t remember your password, or need to change it, go to MyAccount (you're going to need your mobile, so make sure that you have it to hand). 

How to manage your password using MyAccount

Create a strong password. The stronger it is, the longer you can keep it before having to change it.

Find out more on our User IDs and Passwords page.

Connect to Wi-Fi

UCL's Wi-Fi service is called eduroam.

To connect:

1. Go to the Configuration Assistant Tool (CAT).

2. Download the eduroam installer for your device.

2) Use the CAT and follow the on screen instructions to get your device ready for eduroam 

If you need further assistance, view our how-to guide on connecting to eduroam.

Connect to email 

The easiest and quickest way to check your email and calendar is via Outlook Web Access (OWA).

How to log in

You log in with your UCL user ID and password.

Your user ID needs to be entered in the following format: userID@ucl.ac.uk

You must add: @ucl.ac.uk after your user ID. E.g. ucaaxxx@ucl.ac.uk

What’s my email address?

You have a friendly email alias, usually in a format such as: firstname.surname.20@ucl.ac.uk. An email from postmaster@ucl.ac.uk will be sent to your UCL email with details of your alias. This is what you should use for sending and receiving email. But don’t worry if someone does send an email to your ‘userID@ucl.ac.uk’ address, it will end up in your Inbox too!   

Find out more on our Email and Calendar page.

Connect to printers

UCL's print, copy and scan service is called Print@UCL

You receive free credit

You receive £12 free credit to get you started. After that you will need to top up online.  

Note: we cannot issue refunds, so don’t buy too much credit!

How to use the printers

To print from one of the following computer services, simply select the print-ucl queue.

  • Desktop@UCL
  • Desktop@UCL Anywhere 

If you are using your own computer, you will need to add the print queue to your machine.  

Find out more on our Getting Started with Print@UCL page.

Stay secure online

Never give your password to anyone else. Guard it as you would your bank PIN.

UCL will never ask you for your password. Please ignore such requests and report them to the IT Services Desk.  

Beware of phishing emails

Do not respond to emails asking you to enter your user ID and password! This is a form of internet fraud known as phishing.

If you’ve received a suspicious email, report it to the UCL Information Security Group at isg@ucl.ac.uk or call 0207 679 7338 (internal 37338).

Information Security Awareness course

Do you know your ransomware from your spyware? Your firewall from your phishing? Learn more about how to stay secure online: take our free online security course

Find out more on our Stay Secure web page.


Using your own computer

Using your own computer

Find out how to connect to IT services, using your own device.

Technical requirements for studying at UCL

There are a few standard technical things that we would recommend so you are able to access IT and digital resources at UCL.

It is also important, especially at this time of remote working, to make sure that your workspace is set up in the best possible way.

Find out more on our Technical requirements web page. 

Connect to UCL systems and resources using your own computer

Do you need access to software that you are using on your course? Use Desktop@UCL Anywhere

This service gives you free access to software and resources that you would normally use in the student computer workrooms and in your lessons. You can use Desktop@UCL Anywhere - anywhere! Whether you’re in a cafe, on campus, or back at home in your Halls. Also, there’s no need to download the software you want to use on your own computer, saving you space.

How to access Desktop@UCL Anywhere

For full features, you will need to install a piece of software called Citrix Workspace on your computer before you can access Desktop@UCL Anywhere.

There is also a ‘light’ version is accessible via a browser, but for the best experience, we recommend that you download Citrix Workspace.  

Find out more on our Desktop@UCL Anywhere page.

Note: if you don't need to access software, you don't need to connect to Desktop@UCL Anywhere

For everything else such as surfing the internet, checking your email, or using Office 365 (including Teams), these activities can be done using your standard internet connection.

Where to save your work/how to access files 

You have your own personal storage space on UCL’s file storage service called Filestore@UCL.

Filestore@UCL is the best place for you to save your all-important work. Your personal and secure storage space is called your N: drive and comes with 100GB of space. To add your N: drive your own computer takes two steps:

1. You need to connect to UCL’s Virtual Private Network (VPN).

2. Add (or map) your N: drive to your computer.

Why should I use the N: drive?

The N: drive is backed up hourly and daily. We recommend you use your N: drive for general work and study files that do not need to be shared. 

What if I need to share files?

You also have access to Microsoft’s OneDrive (part of Office 365). OneDrive is useful if you want to collaborate on documents or to share files too large to send by email. See the 'Access Software' section (below) for details on how to access Office 365 and OneDrive.

Find out more on our Filestore@UCL and Virtual Private Network (VPN) pages.

Note: if you don't need to access your N: drive you don't need to connect to VPN

For everything else such as surfing the internet, checking your email, or using Office 365 (including Teams), these activities can be done using your standard internet connection.

Download software

Download teaching and learning software

From UCL’s Software Database, you can download, free of charge, software such as SPSS and Matlab, ArcGIS, on your own computer.

Download free anti-virus software

It is very important that you keep your device secure and up-to-date. To help with this, UCL also provides free anti-virus software from the Software Database.

What is the software database?

Software that is available for home use can be downloaded from UCL’s Software Database and installed on your personal devices.

Office 365

You can also download Office 365 at no cost. Office includes the latest version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more. See the 'Access Software' section (below) for more details.

Find out more on our Software for Students page.

China Connect

If you are studying in China and have difficulty reaching resources when engaging in teaching and learning activities, you should use China Connect.

To use the China Connect service all you need to do is download and install a piece of software on your computer called FortiClient. This creates a connection between your computer and London, via Shanghai, that provides reliable and consistent bandwidth.

To find out more and for full instructions please see China Connect.


Computers on campus

Computers on campus

Learn how to access the computers and how to borrow a laptop.
Using computers in the workrooms

The computers in the workrooms are called Desktop@UCL.

When using these computers, you should save your work on Filestore@UCL - your N: drive. (Open File Explorer to see your N: drive.)

If you save your work on the N: drive, you’ll be able to access your files when you’re off campus, using a remote service called: Virtual Private Network (VPN).  (See the 'Using your own computer' section (above) for more details.)

When you use Desktop@UCL, you have access to a vast range of teaching, learning and research software and resources.

Find our more on our Computers on Campus page.

How do I log in to the computers?

You log in with your UCL user ID only.  Do not add @ucl.ac.uk after your user ID.

Borrow a laptop

Laptop loans is a service that provides you with a short term loan of a laptop, free of charge.

Where to borrow a laptop?

Laptops can be borrowed from some Library sites on a short term basis.

Saving your work on a loaned laptop

The laptops reset themselves when the lid is closed or shut down. It’s important that you save your work on the N: drive or other external storage. Once the laptop has been turned off, unfortunately it is not possible to retrieve anything from the previous session.

Find out more on our Laptop Loan page.


Access software

Access software

Find out about the UCL Go! app and how you can access Office 365.

Download the UCL Go! mobile app

UCL Go! is a mobile app for students, to get useful information on the move, such as:

  • Campus maps
  • Your timetable
  • Available study space locations
  • Staff contact details
  • Library loans
  • Laptop loans
  • News and much more.

How to access the UCL Go! app

Download via your mobile app store.

Find out more on our UCL Go! web page.

Access Office 365

Office 365 has a suite of apps that you can use for free. The apps are accessible from your email account (Outlook Web Access). These include:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint etc.
  • OneDrive
  • Teams (see below)
  • OneNote and much more

You can also download these apps on to your own computer and up to five devices.  

How do I log in to Office 365

Use the same credentials as you would to access your UCL email. You log in with your UCL user ID and password. Don’t forget to add   @ucl.ac.uk after your user ID.

Find out more on our Office 365 page.

Access Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a platform that allows you to have ongoing chat based conversations, video meetings and voice calls. You can also share files, edit documents, manage projects and much more.

Why might I need to use Teams?

Your course supervisor may schedule meetings and calls via Teams. You might also use Teams to work collaboratively with others, on a group project for example. 

How do I access Teams?

Teams is available through Office 365. You will need to log in using your UCL user ID and password.   

Find out more on our Microsoft Teams Page.

Access Zoom Enterprise

Zoom Enterprise is a platform that allows you to host and join video meetings and webinars.

Why might I need to use Zoom Enterprise?

Your lecturer may schedule lectures or seminars using Zoom. You can access these online if you are not on campus.

How do I access Zoom Enterprise?

Zoom is available through a browser at ucl.zoom.us. You can also download the application for your laptop, tablet or mobile. You will need to log in using your UCL user ID and password.  

Find out more on our Zoom support page.


Study support

Study support

Learn how you can use IT to support your studies. Develop your IT skills with free a vast range of online learning materials.

Connected learning

Moodle

Moodle provides access to online resources and activities for all your UCL modules.  

To learn more, watch the Connected Learning at UCL Moodle course.

Lecturecast

Lecturecast is used to record and distribute lecture videos. The recordings are available through Moodle.

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is UCL’s web conferencing or online classroom platform. Staff and students can communicate using video and participate in polls and other activities.

Find out more on our E-Learning Services page.

Online assessment

Moodle assignments and feedback

Students will often be asked to submit assignments on Moodle. Feedback is commonly returned on Moodle, on the same page you submitted from.

MyFeedback

MyFeedback enables you to view grades and feedback from all your modules in one place. It is accessible through Moodle.

Turnitin

Turnitin scans a student’s assignment and compares it against other student assignments and a database of academic papers and websites. It helps students check they have referenced correctly and is used by staff to check for plagiarism.

Find out more on our E-Learning Services page.

Digital skills development

IT training

Visit our training pages to view our range of courses and learning materials. We also run a drop-in service for individual help with IT skills.

LinkedIn Learning

A vast library of over 8,000 video tutorials. Courses cover a wide range of topics and can help you with study skills, learning new software, personal development and much more.  

Watch a video guide on Gaining Skills with LinkedIn Learning:

LinkedIn Learning - Gaining skills video screenshot

Find out more on our Digital Skills Development page.

DigiLearn Online video library

A library of online videos covering UCL IT essentials. Topics including remote connectivity, data storage essentials, Microsoft Office 365 applications, and much more.


Get help

Get help

Need some support? No problem. Find out the different ways to get in touch with us.

Get help

Contact the IT Services Desk

Due to current circumstances, face-to-face support from the IT Services Desk is not possible. But, we're still here to help! There are alternative ways to contact us. View our Help & Support pages.

Try our how-to guides

Search from the help categories or use the search bar to find what you're looking for.

Get help from the Digital Accessibility Hub

The Digital Accessibility Hub is equipped with an up-to-date range of software and technology, designed for students with disabilities. Face-to-face support will be dependant on government guidance and staff availability. See Digital Accessibility Hub page for more information.

Download this IT Essentials guide

is also available.

 

Keep up-to-date!