General signing in to OU systems
To sign in to most OU systems you’ll need a username and password. Your username could be your OUCU (OU Computer Username) or your PI (Personal Identifier) if you're a registered student. If you've created a free online account but haven't registered on a qualification yet, you can sign in with the email address you used to create the account.
Your OUCU is your OU Computer Username. It’s usually a combination of letters followed by numbers and is all in lowercase, e.g. zx1234. You can find out what your OUCU is in your Profile page in StudentHome.
Your personal identifier (PI) is 8 characters long and you'll usually find it at the top of emails we send you e.g. K1234567.
Signing in with your email address
You can only sign in to OU systems using your email address if you haven't registered on a qualification yet. If you created a free online account with us, use the email address that you used to create the account.
Once you become a registered student you won't be able to use your email address to sign in - the system will only recognise your OUCU or PI as your username.
This must be between 8 and 100 characters long, include letters, at least one number and at least one capital letter. It can also include any of these special characters: !, $, %, ^, &, *, [, ], @, #, ?, +, -, _
Make sure your password is strong and don't share it with anyone else. You'll find lots of helpful information about password and personal security on the Get Safe Online website.
If you’ve forgotten your password you can reset it via Reset your OU password. For data protection reasons, the Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk can't see your password so you'll need to reset it online.
If there's a problem preventing you from signing in to an OU system or you can't reset your password, contact the Computing Helpdesk for further assistance.
If you're experiencing issues where you're repeatedly being redirected to the login screen, you may need to clear your cookies and temporarily cached files in your web browser. You can find out how to do this in Cookies on the OU website.
Your OU email address
You don’t need to have an academic email address to study with us as we’ll always send emails to your preferred email address that we hold on record for you.
Your OU email address, ending ‘ou.ac.uk’ is useful for getting student discounts. If you're a new or continuing student currently registered on a module, your OU email address already exist in the format email@example.com with oucu being your OU Computer Username e.g. zx1234. You can access your emails by singing in to Office 365.
Microsoft Office 365
As a registered student, you have free access to Microsoft Office 365 for the duration of your studies and for two years after you've finished. Your OU email has been set up in the format firstname.lastname@example.org with oucu being your OU Computer Username e.g. zx1234. You'll need to use this email address as your username to sign in to Office 365. Take care to enter the email address correctly ending with ou.ac.uk - not open.ac.uk or my.open.ac.uk which is a common mistake.
It's important to note that if you already have an Office 365 account through work or a personal subscription and you're currently signed in, you'll need to sign out before signing in again to access your OU account.
For full details of what's included in the Office 365 package and help with signing in, see Microsoft Office 365.
Google Apps for Education
Google Apps for Education has been decommissioned and OU email addresses in the format email@example.com are no longer accessible. We've produced some FAQs to help answer some of the questions you may have which can be viewed at replacing Google Apps with Microsoft Office 365.
Problems submitting assignments
If you’re unable to sign in to StudentHome and submit your TMA in the usual way, you can submit it by email.
- You need to attach your TMA document file(s) to an email and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the subject field you must put your Personal Identifier, your module code, and the tutor-marked assignments (TMA) number, all separated by a slash e.g. P1234567/B999/01.
- You need to wait for confirmation it’s been received - if you haven’t received this within 12 hours you will need to submit it again.
You should only send your TMA by email if you're unable to submit it using the electronic TMA system in StudentHome. Once you’ve sent your TMA, you need to resolve your access problems by contacting the Computing Helpdesk.
Signing in to OpportunityHub
If you are a current student or graduated after August 2018, you can log in to OpportunityHub with your OU Microsoft Office365 details.
Your username will be your OUCU followed by @ou.ac.uk and your password will be your usual OU password. For example, if your OUCU is abc123, then your username will be email@example.com. If you don't remember your OUCU you can find it in your StudentHome profile page in Contact details.
You’ll have the option to log in as “Current Student and Staff” or “Graduate”. Please read the instructions below to choose the right option for you.
Which log in option should you use?
If you’re a new student and waiting for your module to start, your access will begin 5 days after the start of your module.
If you’re a current student, select Current Student and Staff.
If you graduated or completed your study:
- after August 2018, select Current Student and Staff. Your account will be converted into a Graduate account and you'll be prompted to change your password.
- between August 2016 and August 2018 AND previously used OpportunityHub, select Graduate and log on with your OpportunityHub username and password.
- between August 2016 and August 2018 and have NOT used OpportunityHub before, select New user and complete the form. You will need to wait for up to 3 working days for your registration to be approved. We’ll send a confirmation email once completed.
If you're having problems accessing OpportunityHub, please contact the Computing Helpdesk.
The Computing Helpdesk
The Computing Helpdesk assists students and Associate Lecturers with technical queries relating to the OU’s computing resources. We can't help with general IT questions about using packages like Microsoft Word or other components like anti-virus software.
Phone: +44 (0) 1908 653972
(Mon to Fri 09:00-21:30, Sat and Sun 09:00-17:00. Open bank holidays 10:00-16:00. Closed on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter Sunday.)
If you’re experiencing issues with any of our online services outside of our usual OU Computing Helpdesk hours, we would advise you to check our IT systems status page to see if the issue you’re experiencing is known to us. If it isn’t, please email the OU Computing Helpdesk to make us aware of the problem.
If there are technical problems that affect your ability to study or submit assignments please be assured that when we are open we will assess the situation and message affected students with advice.