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Help with signing in to OU systems

How to sign in

To sign in you’ll need your user name, your personal identifier (PI), or your email address.

  1. User name: Usernames are sent to you by email when you register for study. It can be a code that is your initials followed by numbers and is in lowercase. The numbers 1 and 0 (zero) are not used in the user name, so if you think that you see these they will in fact be the letters L or O in lower case. E.g. abc456
  2. Personal Identifier (PI): Your personal identifier will be 8 characters in length and is also commonly on emails we send. E.g.P1234567
  3. Email: If you have not yet registered or you created a free online account before you registered, you can sign in with the email address you used to create the account. If you are a current student, do not try to create a free online account to get access to StudentHome; this will not work.

We are sorry, but current students cannot opt for an email user name; it is only available to people who have created a free account and then registered for the first time since November 2014. 

Your Password

If you forget your password you can reset it via The Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk are not able to see your password for data protection reasons so you need to reset it online.

Phone: +44 (0)1908 653972


Creating a free OU account to access Open Learn

If you are studying a free OpenLearn course or are considering studying with us you can create an account using an email as a username. We can also give you your PI over the phone, contact the Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk on (0)1908 653972. You can create an account by visiting Create a free Open University account.

Trouble signing in

  • Check the URL - Ensure that you are trying to log into an accessible OU page by checking that you have in your web browser’s address bar (this is right at the top where it starts http://). Once on, select ‘Sign in’. Avoid using a search engine like Google to find the page.
Signing in example
  • Check that caps lock is not on
  • If you use numbers and enter them by the number pad check that the number lock is on
  • Clear the box and start again making sure you are not accidently pressing shift or other buttons accidently.


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Signing out

To avoid others being able to view your details, or being able to impersonate you, then sign out when you have finished. To do this click on the Sign out link at the top of the page (see image below) and close the browser when you have finished.

Signing out example

Better password security

To create a password that is stronger and more secure it is better if it contains at least three of the following:

  • English uppercase characters (A - Z)
  • English lowercase characters (a - z)
  • Base 10 digits (0 - 9)
  • Non-alphanumeric (for example: !$%^&*[]@#?+-_ but not | " £ or space or non-standard keyboard characters).

Remember, the longer it is the harder it will be to crack but do not make it so long or complicated that you cannot remember it yourself!

What not to include

  • Your user name, OUCU, or personal identifier
  • Your name or other things that can be easily guessed about you
  • Something that can be found in a dictionary e.g. don’t use password, instead try Pw9wrdx! as this would be more secure
  • If you reset your password don’t keep repeating and just adding incremental numbers.
  • Do not allow your browser to save your password to the page since this is a security risk if others have access to your computer or if your computer is stolen.
  • Don’t use obvious substitutions e.g. 1 (one) for L