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Help with signing in to OU systems

Changes to the way you sign in to your OU account

We're updating our sign in systems. The original date was to be 10 November 2020, however this has changed and the new date will be confirmed shortly.

When you sign in for the first time from the update you'll be prompted to reset your password. How you reset your password will also change, the new reset link and instructions will be available on this page as well as on the new sign in screen.

There is nothing you need to do before the update, unless you use your OU Microsoft office email address for communications from the OU. If you do, we'll be contacting you closer to the date to let you know what action you need to take.

From the update you’ll no longer be able use your PI (personal identifier) as your username to sign in. Instead you’ll be able to use your email address that we use to communicate with you or if you are a registered student your OUCU (OU computer username).

General signing in to OU systems

To sign in to most OU systems you’ll need a username and password. If you're a registered student your username will be your OUCU (OU Computer Username) or your PI (Personal Identifier). 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 that account.

Your OUCU - OU Computer Username

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 under Contact details on Your profile page in StudentHome.

Personal Identifier

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. It can also be found under Contact details on Your profile.

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 that 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.

Your password

Your new password must be between 8 and 100 characters long, include letters, at least 1 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.

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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 ‘’ 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 with oucu being your OU Computer Username e.g. zx1234.

You access your emails by signing in to Microsoft Office 365. You can find more details about signing in at Your OU email address.

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 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 - not or which is a common mistake.

The password for Microsoft Office 365 will be the password you use to sign in to The Open University.

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 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.

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Problems submitting your TMA

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
  • 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.

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Issues with OpenLearn accounts

We are aware of issues impacting some OpenLearn accounts that have been created since 23 March meaning that you can’t log in to your profile page or collect statements of participation and badges. For more information see OpenLearn IT issues

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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 and your password will be your usual OU password. For example, if your OUCU is abc123, then your username will be 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.

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Signing in to Abintegro

If you are a current OU student, recent graduate or alumni, you can sign in to Abintegro resources using your OU Microsoft Office 365 sign in details.

If you haven’t used your OU Microsoft Office 365 account before see Microsoft Office 365.

If you’re a new student you will need to wait for 5 days after your module has started before accessing Abintegro.

If you completed your studies with the OU after August 2017 and do not have an OU Microsoft Office 365 account, but would like to access Abintegro resources, complete a request a graduate account form. Please allow 5-7 working days for a response.

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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.

The Computing Helpdesk is presently offering a limited service. Please be patient when calling.
Phone: +44 (0) 1908 653972
Mon to Fri 09:00-20:30, Sat 09:00-15:00, Sun 10:00-14:00

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.

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Last updated 3 weeks ago