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
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).
1.3. Specialist Registration Services
1.4. Automated Registration Services
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.
Please check under Registration Services whether you need to see a specialist.
The Help Centre number is 01865 273200 (73200 from within the University).
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
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.
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
4.1.1. Password guidelines
Your password should be a mixture of different classes of character (lowercase
a-z, uppercase letters
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
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.
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:
6. Colleges and departments
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
email@example.com 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,
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~thisproj/, and a separate email
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
firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://www.sport.ox.ac.uk/sports-federation/college-sports/college-clubs for the current listing and 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)
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~thisproj/is available without special formality.
http://www.thisdept.ox.ac.uk/thisproj/which can have a link to the basic URL or automatically transfer accesses to it.
http://jcr.thiscollege.ox.ac.uk/. The local IT Officer can register a server with this sort of address in the normal way.
8.2. Web site (server)
8.3. Email domain
ox.ac.uk, the only email facility we offer is routing of the whole domain to an email server provided and maintained by the relevant project. If this restriction is unacceptable then you should register the domain with an external provider who can supply 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 email@example.com 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 https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/user_info 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.