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A quick guide to IT services for students

Your computer account

Your computer account number is the same as your student number (the 6-digit number on your student ID card). Your temporary password is your date of birth in a ‘dd-Mmm-yy’ format, where the first letter of the month is in upper case. For example: 09-Aug-76.

You should change your password as soon as possible.

There is a change password link at Change Password. You’ll also have to set up some challenge questions to help you log in in case you forget your password.

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Your account number is also your email address (for example, 123456@soas.ac.uk).

Go to SOAS Mail to log in.

Creating an alias

You can create a friendly address or alias that uses your name and is easier to remember, like ‘jo.smith@soas.ac.uk’. 

Log on, click on ‘Make a yourself a friendly email address’ and follow the instructions to make this alias your sending address.

We always use your SOAS email to communicate with you, so it’s important you check it regularly, or forward emails to another address you use regularly. Otherwise you might miss important messages.

School mailing lists

As a SOAS student you’re automatically put on some Listserv mailing lists based on your registration information. For degree students, this means membership of Year, Course and Programme of Study Lists. The Year lists will also result in inheriting membership of related Faculty-wide and School-wide lists.

Log on to SOAS iNet services:

  • View your memberships
  • Browse all available student lists
  • View and adjust your subscribed address (if you've created an alias)

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Internet access

Our Wifi at SOAS page has instructions on how to get online with your laptop, phone or tablet. And you can get online in all the computer labs.

There are also network sockets for laptops on the Library's North Terrace (D and C Floors).

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File storage

Every student gets 2GB file storage space on the network. When you log on to a computer in the labs, the ‘My Documents’ folder becomes your file store on the network. You’ll be able to access them even if you log on to a different computer.

Accessing your files over the internet

You can also transfer files to and from your file store over the Internet.

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Backing up your files

You should always back up your files onto removal storage devices e.g. flash drives (memory sticks) or DVDs.

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Computer Labs

Open Access Labs
LabLocationOpening Hours
RB01 Basement, East Block College Building/Library opening hours
Library Library L82 (floor F), floor D & E and Reading Room (floor D) Library opening hours
Computer Lab/ Teaching Room G50 Ground Floor, Main Building Outside teaching hours; check timetable on the door
V123 1st Floor, Vernon Square Vernon Square Building opening hours
Research and other labs
Research lab R301 First Floor, East Block Research students
Research lab 4th floor, 21, Russell Square (access via 22 Russell Square) Research students
Research lab 4430 Room 4430, College Building CISD students
Music post-graduate lab Room 511, College Building Music Research students
IFCELS student lab Room FB17, Faber Building IFCELS students
Multi-media computer lab L54, College Building Students taking media related courses. Contact your dept/tutor.
Special Needs Computer Lab
Students Assisted Technology Room Room D15, Library Contact the Reader Services Librarian, (readerservices@soas.ac.uk)
Students Assisted Technology Room Room 482; VG21 Contact Student Services, (student.services@soas.ac.uk)

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You can use laser printers in most labs as long as you have enough print credits on your account.

Every student gets a yearly print allowance for coursework: 

  • 150 pages @ 5p a page for undergraduates
  • 250 for taught postgraduates
  • 400 pages for full-time research students.

Once you’ve used up your allowance, you can top up using one of the Netprint stations. Make sure you only top up what you need – we won’t be able to refund anything left on your account at the end of your course.

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We have scanners in the Library Reading Room and Library Floor E.

You can also scan on most of the new printer/photocopying machines in the Library and other parts of the School.

Once you’ve logged in to the machine, choose the scan option. Your scanned document will go straight to your SOAS e-mail address. (NOTE: you can't scan to USB keys on these machines.)

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You can receive copies of SPSS and Nvivo for your personal use. Request the software by emailing itservicedesk@soas.ac.uk or by visiting the IT Service Desk on the ground floor of the Library. You can also download Office365.

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Training and support


You can get training on basic computing and MS Office software in the autumn term. There are also online training courses available through Moodle, IT Training. Use the contact details below to find out what's available.


The IT Support Desk is in the Library Reception (Floor E). The team’s there to help with computer support and general queries. But they don’t give any extensive training or support personal computer equipment.

Opening times

Monday to Friday
9:00am to 5:00pm

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