Information Services Division


Choosing an acceptable password

Password weak and strong template
If you’ve navigated your way to this page, it’s probably because you’re having difficulty choosing a password that the system will accept. Don’t worry it’s not impossible!

Here are some tips to help you choose an acceptable password.

Get the most from your password

Set a strong password using between 10-30 characters. The stronger the password is, the longer you can keep it. You also need to include 3 out of the following:

  • Lowercase characters
  • Uppercase characters
  • Numbers
  • Symbols, i.e. ! % ^ * ( ) _ + - = " ` ; < > , ? ⁄ $ & [ ] { }

You cannot use the following symbols: ~ : | £ \

Avoid accented characters, characters from non-English scripts, Emoji, etc. 

Your password cannot contain your user ID, forename or surname, and you cannot use a password you have previously used.

Note: If you are using some older UCL systems, your password should additionally NOT use: the @ (at) symbol or start with either a space or " (double quote). 


If you're having trouble thinking of a password, try taking three words and separating them with a number and a symbol (from the acceptable character list above). This will hopefully give you a password that's easy to remember, quick to type and strong enough to give you a reasonable time between password resets.

MyAccount error messages

  • If your existing password doesn’t match, or the new password isn’t typed in exactly the way same both times, you will see an error message. Similarly, if your password isn’t strong enough, you will not be able to submit it. Your password must be at least of 'Medium' strength. 'Weak' password strengths are not accepted.
  • If your password is based on a word that is likely to appear in a dictionary, you will receive an error message, and you will have to choose a different one. Need help choosing a password? Find out how to choose an acceptable password.
  • Sometimes passwords will seem to be accepted but will not work on all systems - this will usually be because of a character in your password that’s not supported by some older systems. If this happens, try resetting your password again making sure that you don’t include accented or unusual characters.