IT Services Registration supports current students, staff and official visitors of Oxford University. We create and manage accounts for central computer-based facilities, including email, remote network access and workstation backup. We also manage University/Department and College email addresses for university roles and functions.

We do not handle basic student registration. Information for prospective students is on the Admissions pages.

Register for IT Training Courses or Personal Computer Maintenance direct with the specific service.

1. Registration Services

1.1. Web-based services

You can use these services at any time. The IT Services self-registration page can be used world-wide and allows you to:
  • Set, update or view Nexus mailbox settings
  • create new accounts for particular facilities on IT Services systems
  • change passwords for other accounts using your Oxford account details
  • register workstations for TSM backup and manage existing TSM entries
  • register for and download site licence software such as Sophos or VPN
  • register an alternative email address
  • see a list of your usernames and email addresses, and where your email is routed
  • register to wake up a university computer remotely 'Energy Efficiency and Monitoring'

1.2. Help Centre Services

These services are available during Help Centre opening hours. You must show your University Card (personal callers) or quote the barcode (telephone callers).

Help Centre staff can:
  • correct your IT Services records if your completion date or date of birth is not correct (these errors would prevent you from using self-registration services)
  • reset a forgotten password when self-registration cannot be used. Callers in person will be given new details immediately. Telephone callers will have the details ( rescue code or activation code) sent to their registered College or Departmental address next day or to an email address previously registered with IT Services
  • help you to use the web-based services

1.3. Specialist Registration Services

Specialists will usually be available via the Help Centre between 0830 and 1700 only. If you need to call in person, please telephone in advance if you want to be sure that a specialist will be available. In most cases, requests can be submitted by email (direct or via your IT Officer) and these will usually be processed within one working day. The following services need specialist attention:
  • Change of email name and/or personal name
  • Change of status, department, college, etc
  • Student club registration or renewal
  • Registration of new accounts in person (if it is not convenient for you to receive printed details at your college/dept address).
  • Requests for non-personal IT Services accounts
  • Discretionary extension of expiring accounts for a few days

1.4. Automated Registration Services

Your accounts and email addresses may be affected by changes to your University Card or other centrally held data, and IT Services also runs routine tasks to implement updates requested by Help Desk staff or through the self-registration system.
  • A separate page gives details of how central data sources are used to create new Oxford accounts and to update account details and email addresses. Information is also available on the exact types of University Card relevant to IT Services services. These pages will mainly be relevant to IT Officers and college or departmental administrators.
  • Some processes are performed at routine intervals rather than immediately after a change is requested. This is partly for efficiency and partly to ensure the stability of key systems such as email. These processes affect new accounts, changes to accounts other than the Oxford account, and the issuing of warnings for accounts which are due to expire. A separate page describes the timing of the automated processes.

2. Contacting IT Services Registration

The Help Centre at 13 Banbury Road is normally open from 08:30 to 20:30 Monday to Friday. It is closed on English bank holidays and from midday Christmas Eve until New Year's Day inclusive.

Personal visit:

Please check under Registration Services whether you need to see a specialist.


The Help Centre number is 01865 273200 (73200 from within the University).

via Help Request Form

Email can be sent at any time. Email is the preferred method of contact and will usually get you the most effective response.

3. Types of account at Oxford

3.1. Oxford account

The Oxford account (also called Single Sign-On or SSO) provides a high-security username and password system enabling you to access a variety of University and departmental services using one set of account details. Any new employee or visitor will be sent a letter, immediately after their University Card is created, with the information required to activate this username. Students will be emailed details to the external email address registered with Student Records, a few days after their signed returned University Contract has been processed .

If you do not receive a letter/email, please contact your local IT staff or the OUCS Help Centre via Help Request Form The letter will usually arrive within three working days after your department or college receives your University Card, but this may be a little longer for outlying locations.

If you have a letter but your activation code has expired, please telephone the IT Services Help Centre or fill in Help Request Form quoting the account name and your card barcode number, and we can renew the same code for a further 30 days.

Additional Registration information is available mainly for IT support staff

Facilities available through the Oxford account will be terminated as soon as your University Card expires (except that students can access OSS for a further 6 months).

3.2. Electronic Mail (email)

IT Services provides an email service which is accessible world-wide to entitled members. This is part of the Oxford Nexus service which also provides calendar, address book and other functions. See the Nexus web pages for details of Nexus, including access to email using web browsers or standard email client programs.

At present, a personal email account is set up automatically when a new Oxford Single Sign-On account is created (except in the case of Card Holder and Virtual Access cards who get an SSO account but no mailbox or address), and the email facility will be operational as soon as the Oxford account is activated.

A personal email address is private and redirection arrangements can only be made for a limited period after your University Card expires. See the relevant section below for non-personal email accounts.

3.3. Remote Access

The Remote Access Account provides access to the following services:
  • The VPN service (including OWL VPN)
  • The Eduroam wireless service
  • 802.1x Connections (of interest to IT staff)

3.4. TSM Backup

The TSM (Tivoli Storage Management) service on the HFS (Hierarchical File Server) provides manual and timed backup facilities for desktop computers and for departmental or college servers.

3.5. Web pages

Personal web pages can be published via your SSO account. To switch on this facility, see the Web space & addresses section of the documentation. You can enter your name in an index of users' personal web pages. Please note: Your private URL will cease to work when your University Card expires. See the relevant sections below for non-personal web accounts.

3.6. Unix

An account on a Linux server can be obtained using your SSO account details. Web pages under The GNU/Linux service describe the facilities.

3.7. Help Centre Network

The Help Centre Network in the IT Services building has facilities such as scanning, colour printing, and some specialised software, for direct access by users. You need to self-register inside the Help Centre.

3.8. e-Science Grid

IT Services Registration is a Registration Authority for the UK e-Science Grid. Details are on the e-Science Grid Registration page.

4. Introduction to passwords

4.1. Passwords administered by IT Services

IT Services manages the passwords for the services listed below. Please note that each service is administered separately - changing one password will not change the others: See the separate sections below for help with the passwords for IT Services-administered services.

4.1.1. Password guidelines

Your password should be a mixture of different classes of character (lowercase letters a-z, uppercase letters A-Z, digits 0-9, and punctuation marks) and should not resemble a single word; Oxford account passwords must use at least three different character classes. You are recommended not to use the pound-sterling sign or accented characters - these can cause technical problems in some contexts.

Never include a password in an email message, even when contacting IT Services regarding a problem. Doing so puts your account at risk of misuse and we will change your password if you do this, protecting your account but causing you inconvenience and delay.

Passwords should be changed at least once a year and preferably more often. A good guideline is treat your password like your toothbrush - never share it, and change it frequently. It is essential to change your password promptly if you have any reason to think that someone else may know it.

Do not use the same password for different services, whether or not the username is the same.

See the IT Services password policy for advice on changing passwords and for other important recommendations regarding password security.

4.2. Passwords for services external to IT Services

IT Services does not administer the passwords for logging on to your college or departmental computer network and we do not have any access to this information. Contact your local IT Support Staff if you need help or advice regarding logging in to one of these local networks.

IT Services is also unable to help with passwords for Oracle Financials or passwords used in Libraries. For Oracle Financials, please see the Password Reset information on the Finance website. For Library systems, see Libraries web pages.

In general, you should follow the guidelines given for IT Services passwords, but non-IT Services systems may have differences of detail in their password rules.

For more about protecting yourself online please visit our Unwelcome to IT site.

5. Changing a password if you have forgotten it (or not )

5.1. Oxford (SSO) account

The Oxford (Single Sign-On) account gives access to the central University email system (via web access or email clients such as Outlook), and to WebLearn. It also controls access to various facilities, such as self-registration in IT Services and systems such as conference room booking in other departments. This password has a lifetime of one year from the time you change it.

  • Use the Change Password facility in Webauth to make a routine change when you know your old password.
  • If you have not already done so, you are strongly recommended to Set a Security Question. If you subsequently forget your password, this will allow you to recover the situation yourself without having to contact IT Services. This can save you a lot of trouble if you are regularly away from Oxford.
  • You can Reset a Forgotten Password using Webauth, provided you have already set a security question. You can also use this mechanism if your password has expired, but not if your account has expired. Please note: You have 3 chances to answer your security question correctly before you are locked out of the system. If you cannot answer your security question please contact the Help Centre.
  • If you have forgotten your password and have not set a security question, you will need to obtain a Rescue Code.
  • If you have forgotten your password and the answer to your security question, you will need to obtain a Rescue Code.
  • If you have to use a Rescue Code, you will need to set a Security Question before you can reset your forgotten password.
  • If you have a registration letter but the activation code has expired, contact the Help Centre to have the activation code renewed for a further 30 days.
  • If you do not have your registration letter (for example, if it went astray), you will need a new Activation Code. Obtain this in the same way as for a Rescue Code.

5.2. Other IT Services accounts

5.2.1. Remote Access

The self-registration web page can be used for routine changes to Remote Access passwords. The procedure is the same as for resetting a forgotten password - see below.

5.2.2. TSM backup

Routine changes to your TSM password must be done using the client software on your workstation. If your TSM password has expired, you can use the self-registration web page to set a new one in the same way as for a forgotten password.

5.2.3. Forgotten passwords (for IT Services-administered accounts)

If you have forgotten your password for Remote Access, or TSM , you can use the self-registration web page to set a new one. You will need to give your Oxford username and password to authenticate the process. See Changing password - Oxford account above if you have forgotten your Oxford username or password. This method of authentication is high-security and is safe to use world-wide.

5.3. How to obtain a Rescue Code

To obtain a Rescue Code, contact the IT Services Help Centre or your IT Support Officer. The options are:

  • Registered IT Support Staff are able to set rescue codes for their local users without needing to contact IT Services.
  • IT Services can help as described below. If these options are not suitable (for example, if you are away from Oxford), you must contact IT Support Staff in your college or department.
  • You can visit the IT Services Help Centre in person with your University Card to be given a rescue code immediately.
  • Telephone or, preferably, email the Help Centre and a rescue code will be sent to your registered college or departmental address by University Messenger.
  • If you have a non-IT Services email account registered with IT Services for one of your email addresses (e.g. on a local college or department mail system) a rescue code can be emailed to you there.
  • If you have previously registered an "alternative email address" via the IT Services self-registration pages, a rescue code can be emailed to you there.

6. Colleges and departments

6.1. Software

Some software products can only be purchased by a College or Department. IT Services Registration can issue a numbered virtual Software Card which allows such purchases to be authorised and recorded. More than one card can be issued if the unit has multiple purchasing centres. Physical cards are no longer needed now that all purchasing is online. It is not possible to issue Software Cards to student clubs or common rooms.

6.2. Unit account

Departmental and College IT officers may apply for an Oxford account for WWW pages, mailing list management and general "departmental" use. Faculties and Sub-faculties count as departments for this purpose.

6.3. College officers etc.

Special unit generic email addresses such as can be set up for official correspondence. It is best that a separate a 'mailbox only' account be set up with access authorized by the owner - an additional password is not then needed. The account must still be registered to a named individual.

A generic address can be routed to the post holders personal account, however it may become inaccessible if that person leaves. (OUCS cannot give access to a personal account ). Therefore serious consideration should be given to having non-personal accounts for any sensitive areas such as admissions or development. OUCS uses distinctive usernames (not the standard numeric style) for these accounts and can change the ownership or authorised user list very quickly if necessary, on request from an IT Support Officer.

Registration will be happy to advise, but the best procedure is probably to have an initial discussion with your local IT officer, who can then contact us to work out the details.

6.4. Mailing lists

IT Officers may also apply to have unit mailing lists created.

7. Project accounts for individuals and student clubs

7.1. Student Clubs

Any student club, society or publication approved by the Proctors is allowed an Oxford account to support email and web pages, and, if needed, a Unix account, to administer the society's business. Clubs may also apply to have mailing lists created.

7.2. Long-term Projects

For long-term projects, you are recommended to arrange a non-personal username for email and web pages, to avoid reliance on personal email addresses which cannot be retained when the individual leaves the University. A member of staff (University Card status Congregation, University Staff, Departmental Staff, or College Staff) should contact Registration in the first instance, preferably by email. Web space in excess of the default 15Mb can be provided on request; this can also be done for staff personal accounts where this is strictly for academic purposes (but if a major resource is being set up, consideration should be given to having a separate username - this would allow a tailored username for the web site,, and a separate email address).

7.3. Common Rooms and College Clubs

We cannot provide separate accounts for Common Rooms or College Clubs because there is no central register of the currently valid officers and any OUCS account needs to have a named individual owner. However, we can set up unit generic email addresses such as directed to the office-holder's personal account. Requests to add new generic addresses must be made by a staff IT Officer registered with OUCS, who should email OUCS Registration. Changes to the routing of established generic names can be made direct by local IT officers

Some colleges have areas in their main web site for college club information; updates would be arranged via the College IT Officer. College sports clubs can register their web sites with the Sports Federation - see for contact details.

8. Accounts and web sites for sub-departments and major research groups

A separate account can be provided as for "Long-term Projects" above. We will attempt to provide a name which reflects the project name, but we are restricted to account names between 3 and 8 letters or digits, starting with a letter.

8.1. Web address (URL)

  • The basic URL is available without special formality.
  • Your department/college IT officer can arrange a directory in the main web site, e.g. which can have a link to the basic URL or automatically transfer accesses to it.
  • In certain circumstances, a website may be granted a top-level University subdomain (e.g. | Please see the DNS Naming Policy for further details.
  • If an activity requires a domain (e.g., please consult the DNS Naming Policy in the first instance. IT Services will assist with the purchase and renewal of an external domain. Please check the eligibility criteria and contact information at (the contact point for URLs outside is ).
  • A web site can be supported by a non-www address, such as The local IT Officer can register a server with this sort of address in the normal way.

8.2. Web site (server)

  • A web site using an Oxford single sign-on account will support basic requirements but the functionality is essentially restricted to SafePerl and server-side includes. This is to ensure the security of the public server. If the web site is a collaborative effort, the limit on the number of people allowed to log in to it is the owner plus a maximum of three other users.
  • See for a chargeable OUCS service including advanced web server features such as PHP.
  • If a high-profile web site is required or if the collaboration of a large number of contributors is involved, it is possible to use your own server. This does not need to involve a large financial outlay and a modern desktop with standard specification should be powerful enough to support a reasonably active simple web site. Your IT Officer should be able to give you some idea of what would be involved and how much help he/she could provide.

8.3. Email domain

  • The Oxford system for email domains (the domain is the part after the @ sign in an email address) is linked to the PRAC departmental structure . If you are setting up a completely new department, the 'new unit form' linked from that page allows you to apply for a new email domain.
  • For email domains which are not under, a small number of email addresses, routed via the Oxmail service, may be permitted. It is also permissible to register external (non domains with an external provider for both web and email facilities.

9. Leaving Oxford

9.1. Alumni Email Forwarding Service

Student leavers should note the information about the Alumni Email Forwarding Service. You should consider joining the service even if you are staying on for a further course of study. If you have already joined, and you are currently forwarding to your ordinary University email address, you must obtain an external account and update your alumni forwarding details before your University account is closed.

The email contact point is for all queries. Please do not contact OUCS.

9.2. Computing Facilities

For all leavers, a separate page gives details of what happens to your usernames, email addresses, and access to facilities when you finish at Oxford ( i.e. cease to have any appropriate current status within the University).

10. Returning to a new course next year

We will try to get the new student data from the Student Record system in advance of 30th June and extend all potential returners' accounts to 12 th October (approximately the second week of term). Please check after 30th June to make sure we have extended your account expiry date so that you retain access to your account over the summer, after your University Card expires.

We expect that your application for next year's course will be in the Student Record system even if you have not yet satisfied all requirements. This will be sufficient to ensure your account will be extended. Once you have satisfied all requirements, your account will be further extended automatically to the completion date on your new University Card.

Up-to-date information should be available via Student Self Service. If you think your details are incorrect, please ask your College to check on your behalf.

11. IT Support Staff

If you are involved in IT support in the University, please join the ITSS Register.

Registered IT Support Staff (ITSS), except for student categories, can
  • make requests to OUCS Registration on behalf of their users
  • self-register college/department servers for daily TSM backup
They also have access to IT Support Staff Services for users in their units including
  • rescue accounts ( by generating Activation or Rescue codes)
  • update email routings
and unit-level facilities such as
  • request additional accounts
  • request and manage additional unit email addresses
  • information listings
  • restricted software