Help with signing in to OU systems
Signing into your OU account
You can sign into your OU account with your password and one of the following credentials as your username:
- the email address we use to communicate with you
- OUCU (OU Computer Username) e.g., zx123456
If you are having problems signing in with your contact email address, try your OUCU instead.
Your OUCU is your OU Computer Username. It will be a combination of at least two lowercase letters followed by numbers, e.g., zx123456. If you're trying to login using a username that is only one single letter followed by numbers, this is your PI and it won't work.
You can no longer use your personal identifier (PI) (a single letter followed by numbers e.g. K1234567) as your username.
Finding your OUCU
If you use your OU Microsoft 365 account (and completed registration on your first OU module before 16 December 2020) then your OUCU is the first part of your email address e.g. email@example.com.
You'll also have been sent your OUCU in one of the emails you got from the OU confirming your registration on your first OU module.
When you're signed in you can find your OUCU in your Contact details on StudentHome.
If you can't find your OUCU you will need to contact the Computing Helpdesk to be able to sign in.
How we use your email addresses
Your Contact details on your OU account lists three email addresses.
- Contact email - we use this email address for all email correspondence we send to you.
- Reset password email address - for when you need to reset your password.
- OU email address (ending @ou.ac.uk) - this is your OU Microsoft 365 email address.
Your contact email and your Reset password email can be the same email address, unless you use your OU Microsoft 365 email address as your contact email. Then you will need to provide an alternative Reset password email address in your Contact details to be able to reset your password.Back to top
Resetting your password
It's important you enter the correct email address to reset your password. If you've still got access to your OU account before resetting your password, you can check what your Reset password address is in your Contact details on StudentHome.
- Use the reset password email address in your contact details on StudentHome.
- If you haven't added a reset password email address to your contact details on StudentHome, use the email address you created your OU account with or the email address the OU uses to communicate with you.
To reset your password:
- Click on the Reset your password link.
- On the reset password page enter your reset password email, see above.
- Click on submit and an email will be sent to you.
- Open the email and click on the Reset my password link.
- Follow the instructions on the Reset Password page to create your new password.
- Press submit and you'll see a message on screen to say your password has been reset with a link to return to the sign in page.
- You'll also receive a confirmation email.
- Once you have reset your password, remember to update any saved usernames and passwords in your browser(s).
- Follow the instructions above to sign in.
If you get locked out while trying to reset your password, wait 30 minutes and your account will unlock and you can try again.
Your password must be at least 8 characters long and be a combination of 3 of the following:
- uppercase letter
- lowercase letter
- special character: ! $ % ^ & * [ ] @ # ? + - _
Please note you cannot use a space as a character when creating a new password.
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.Back to top
Not able to reset your password using the reset link?
If you’re unable to reset your password using the Reset your password link or if you didn't receive the reset password email, you can email the Computing Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To speed up how quickly we can respond to your email, include any three of the six options of information listed below in your email message.
- OU Computer Username (OUCU)
- Personal identifier (PI)
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Home address including postcode
If you have already emailed us and received an acknowledgement don’t send another email, as we are dealing with all emails as quickly as possible and will be in touch as soon as we can.
You can also call the Computing Helpdesk on the number below and choose the option for ‘problems resetting your password’.
Phone: +44 (0)1908 653972
Opening hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week, including UK bank holidays.
Creating a strong password
Use a strong, unique password for each of your online accounts.
To create a strong password combine three or four random words that mean something to you. This creates a password that is easy for you to remember but hard to crack. For example, LeafBreezeSwift.
Don’t use words that would be easily guessed, such as your pet’s name.
Like the OU, most websites will ask that you create a password with a combination of upper-case and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. As an example, Leaf4BreezeSwift!
Don’t use the following as passwords
- Your username, actual name, or business name.
- Family members’ or pets’ names.
- Your or family birthdays.
- Favourite football or F1 team or other words easy to work out with a little background knowledge.
- The word ‘password’.
- Numerical sequences.
- A single commonplace dictionary word, which could be cracked by common hacking programs.
- When choosing numerical passcodes or PINs, do not use ascending or descending numbers (for example 4321 or 12345), duplicated numbers (such as 1111) or easily recognisable keypad patterns (such as 14789 or 2580).
Looking after your passwords
- Never disclose your passwords to anyone else.
- If you think that someone else knows your password, change it immediately.
- Don't enter your password when others can see what you are typing.
- The routine changing of passwords is not recommended, unless the accounts to which they apply have been hacked, in which case they should be changed immediately.
- Use a different password for every website, as if you use only one password, a criminal simply has to break that one to gain access to everything.
- Don’t recycle passwords (for example password2, password3).
- If you must write passwords down to remember them, encrypt them in a way that is familiar to you but makes them indecipherable by others.
- An alternative to writing down passwords is to use an online password vault or safe.
- Do not send your password by email. The OU will never ask you to do this.
TMAs - if you can't submit online
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 email@example.com.
- 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.Back to top
Your OU email address
When you completed registration on your first module with the OU you’ll have been sent an email about general study resources, which included your OU email address.
You can also find your OU email address in your Contact details on StudentHome.
You’ll need your OU email address, ending @ou.ac.uk and your OU password to sign in to your free Microsoft 365 account to access your emails. Once signed in, click on Outlook to open your inbox in your browser and see your emails.
You can find more details about your OU email address and signing in at Your OU email address.
As a registered student, you have free access to Microsoft 365 for the duration of your studies and for two years after you've finished.
To sign in you'll need your OU email address (ending @ou.ac.uk) as your username and your OU password. You can find what your OU email address is on your Contact details on StudentHome.
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 Microsoft 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 Microsoft 365 package and help with signing in, see Microsoft 365.Back to top
Signing in from outside of the UK
You may find problems in signing into OU websites from some locations. The locations we are aware of are:
- Crimea Region / Sevastopol
- the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) / Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR)
- North Korea
If you’re travelling to one of these locations, or anywhere where your internet connection might not be reliable, you can download your module materials in advance by going to the ‘Resources’ tab on your module website.
In some of these locations students use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to sign in to OU websites. If you're planning to study via a VPN, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of any legal requirements or restrictions in that location.
The OU can't provide VPN technical support. You should contact your VPN provider or a tech support service if you have issues with the VPN when trying to access OU websites.
If you're resident in one of these locations and are unable to sign in to OU websites because the use of a VPN is prohibited or restricted by law, please contact your Student Support Team.
Please be aware that in a very few cases, some students have not been able to sign in to OU websites from other countries not listed above, including Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. This is currently being investigated. If this applies to you, contact your Student Support Team.
Signing into OpportunityHub
If you’re currently studying with the Open University or have completed your study within the last three years, you have access to OpportunityHub with your OU account. If you’re a new student and waiting for your module to start, your access will begin five days after the start of your module.
For help with signing in to your OU account see Signing into your OU account.
On the OpportunityHub log in screen select ‘Current Student, Graduate or Staff’ and you'll be taken into the platform. If you’ve not used OpportunityHub before you’ll be asked to set your preferences and communication settings. These can be updated at any time.
If you're having problems signing in or using OpportunityHub, contact the Computing Helpdesk.
If you completed your study over three years ago, you are not eligible to access OpportunityHub. You can, however, access a range of information and advice on career planning, job seeking and the recruitment process in Careers and Employability. You can also find out more About the Careers and Employability Services as well as links to services for OU alumni and other careers services.Back to top
Signing into Careers and Employability Services tools (Abintegro)
The careers tools: CV360, CV Builder, Interview360, Aptitude Tests, Industry Reports, Video Hub, Career Readiness Pulse, and Career E-Learning Resources are provided by Access UK Limited trading as Abintegro.
If you’re currently studying with the Open University or have completed your study within the last three years, you can access these careers tools using your OU account.
When signing in you’ll be asked to enter your username, which is either your OU computer username (OUCU) or the email address we use to communicate with you, and your usual OU password. You can find your contact email address and your OUCU in your Contact details on StudentHome.
If you meet the criteria above but find you're having problems accessing Abintegro careers tools, 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.
The Computing Helpdesk can't help with study related queries, like registering on a module or qualification, or other general enquiries. If you have this kind of query and it's out of hours for Student Recruitment or your Student Support Team you can send them an email using the webform on Contact the OU.
Phone: +44 (0)1908 653972
Opening hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week, including UK bank holidays.
If you’re experiencing issues with any of our online services, you can also check our IT systems status page to see if we're aware of the issue you’re experiencing. If it isn’t on our IT systems status page, 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.Back to top