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A Quick Guide to IT Services for Students

Your Computer Account

Your student number (the 6-digit number on your student ID card) is also your computer account number. The temporary password for your account is your date of birth (format: dd-Mmm-yy e.g. 09-Aug-76; the first letter of the month is in uppercase). You should change your password as soon as possible. 

Changing your password

There is a change password link at Change Password You will be asked to set up some challenge questions so that you can log in when you forget your password.


Your account number is also your email address (e.g. 123456@soas.ac.uk). You can access your email at SOAS Mail.

Creating an alias

You can customise your email address by creating a friendly address (or alias e.g. jo_smith@soas.ac.uk). 

Your SOAS e-mail address is a very important means of communication between you and the school. You should check your mail regularly, or forward your SOAS e-mail to an address that you use regularly, otherwise you may miss some important messages relating to your study.

School Mailing Lists

As a SOAS student you are automatically placed on some Listserv mailing lists based on information we hold about your registration. For degree students, this will mean 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.

Internet Access

Internet access is available in all the computer labs. You can connect your laptop, tablet or mobile devices to the wireless network in many locations in the school. Please refer to our Wifi at SOAS page for instructions on how to hook up to the Internet. There are also network sockets available on the Library's North Terrace (D and C Floors) for laptops.

File Storage

Every student is provided with 2GB of file storage space on the network. When you log on to a computer in the labs, the “My Documents” folder becomes your file store, which is on the network. Documents saved in the file store will be available the next time you log on (even to a different computer). 

Accessing your files over the Internet

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

Backing up your files

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

Computer Labs

Open Access Labs
LabLocationOpening Hours
RB01Basement, East BlockCollege Building/Library opening hours
LibraryLibrary L82 (floor F), floor D & E and Reading Room (floor D)Library opening hours
Computer Lab/ Teaching Room G50Ground Floor, Main BuildingOutside teaching hours; check timetable on the door
V1231st Floor, Vernon SquareVernon Square Building opening hours
Research and other labs
Research lab R301First Floor, East BlockResearch students
Research lab4th floor, 21, Russell Square (access via 22 Russell Square)Research students
Research lab 4430Room 4430, College BuildingCISD students
Music post-graduate labRoom 511, College BuildingMusic Research students
IFCELS student labRoom FB17, Faber BuildingIFCELS students
Multi-media computer labL54, College BuildingStudents taking media related courses. Contact your dept/tutor.
Special Needs Computer Lab
Students Assisted Technology RoomRoom D15, LibraryContact the Reader Services Librarian, (readerservices@soas.ac.uk)
Students Assisted Technology RoomRoom 482; VG21Contact Student Services, (student.services@soas.ac.uk)


Laser printing is available in most labs provided you have enough print credits on your account. All students are given an annual printing allowance for their course work: 150 pages @ 5p per page for undergraduate students, 250 pages for taught postgraduate students, and 400 pages for full-time research students. Initial printing credits are not transferable or refundable. Once this is used up you can top up your account using one of the Netprint stations (Outside the Library; Library Floor E; Vernon Square foyer). It is important to note that you should only top-up to the amount required, as any remaining balance is not refundable when you finish your course.


Scanners are available 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. After you have logged-in to the machine, select the scan option. Your scanned document will be sent to your SOAS e-mail address. NOTE:  you can't scan to USB keys on these machines.


IT offers training courses on basic computing and MS Office software in the autumn term. There are also online training courses available through the Intranet. Course Details.


The IT Support Desk is now located in Library Reception (Floor E).

Opening times

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Monday to Friday 

The Support Desk provides computer support and answers general queries. However the Desk does not provide extensive training nor support personal computer equipment.

Contacts: Tel: x4950 (020 7898 4950) 
Email: helpdesk@soas.ac.uk

Conditions of Use

The use of the computer system in the school is governed by the "SOAS IT Policy" Violation of the code of practice is subject to disciplinary actions (including withdrawal of services).

Further information

This is only a quick guide. More information on all LIS services.

Comments and Suggestions

If you have any comments or suggestions on the School’s IT services, don’t hesitate to contact us at: helpdesk@soas.ac.uk.