Before you start your course

We’re really excited to welcome you to the University of Leeds. This page will provide you with information that you need to help you prepare and make sure you’re in control and ready for your life at Leeds. 

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There’s such a lot to plan and do when you’re preparing for University – whether as a new student, someone who’s returning to Leeds or if you’re visiting for a placement, exchange or doing a shorter course with us. We’ve put together some helpful links of things that we recommend you read before you arrive – the minute you get here, you’ll want to be speaking to people, exploring and making new friends. If you’ve just got here, then find out what to do now you’ve arrived.

I want to speak to someone before I start my course

If you have a question or need information before you arrive and once you’re here, you can contact our friendly colleagues in the Student Information Service. They can help you navigate your studies, find out what you need to know, and put you in touch with the right people if you need more specialist support or advice.

Getting ready to live in Leeds

Whether you are traveling to Leeds, or already live nearby, there’s a number of things that will help you as you begin your student journey. Find out about packing, commuting to campus and helpful tips from students about the things that will make your time in Leeds go smoothly.

Packing for University

Bringing the right things with you can make a big difference to settling in at University, and help you feel at home, and in control. Read our advice on what to bring with you – we’ve also got information from students too about what they bought with them. 

If you’re an international student coming from outside the UK, check what to bring and any additional documents and items you’ll have to take with you to the UK.

Don’t forget you can also chat to our Link to Leeds ambassadors before you get here. Our Link to Leeds ambassadors are current international students that can share more about their experience of preparing, arriving and settling in Leeds. 


Find advice, guidance and top tips if:

Preparing to study

Starting at university is exciting but it can also be a little bit scary so we have created a set of resources to help you settle in to your new life at Leeds.

Getting to know the library

Chances are you’ll be spending some time in one (or more!) of the four libraries on campus. Bookmark the library website for opening hours, booking study spaces, searching online resources, managing your library record and much more. 

Helpful websites and blogs to get started

  • Complete your IT induction – find out about everything (including how to get your IT username and password)
  • Bookmark the IT website for IT help 24/7
  • Taking the step up to studying at University can mean there’s lots of new skills to learn. Skills@library can help you with writing essays, referencing, managing your time and everything else
  • The Flying Start information can help you understand what it will be like studying at University. It’s a great place to understand about how it is different to your previous experiences, what will be expected of you and where to get help
  • Read our blog on preparing to Study at University for top tips from a past undergraduate student
  • The best tips to mentally prepare for University

Find out about your school 

To help you settle in to the start of term, your school has pulled together some specific information you’ll need to know. Check out the School welcome materials

Find out about International Orientation

If you’re an international student, join our International Orientation programme

Don’t miss our main international orientation talk to start connecting with other new students and learn more about ways to take care of yourself as you adapt to culture and lifestyle changes. Sign up for webinars and in-person sessions to find out more about opening a bank account, registering with a doctor, working in the UK and understanding support for international disabled students. Join social events happening during International Orientation week and beyond and explore campus in a fun way.

Complete an online module and prepare to study

  • Complete the ‘Preparing to Learn Online at University’ FutureLearn course. Use this course to develop the skills you need for online learning, like how to make notes that help you with online learning, doing group work online and how to find and use online information that will help you with your learning.
  • Check out Coursera and LinkedIn Learning. Both of these online platforms offer free courses that you can complete at your own pace. Select courses that can help you with your studies, get a head start in your chosen course, or broaden your knowledge of other subjects. There are lots of similar courses available free online to help you with your studies during your first year and beyond. Speak to your academic personal tutor for advice on suitable resources.
  • Log in and have a look around our online learning platforms. There are a number of systems and online learning platforms you’ll use while studying at Leeds. Try logging in to these at least once before your course begins and take a look around them to familiarise yourself with them. Also, take a look at the library’s online learning webpage which provides additional resources to help you become an effective online learner.
  • Find out about The Leeds Partnership. One of the great things about the University of Leeds is 'The Partnership', an agreement between staff and students about how we work with each other to co-create a great Leeds experience. The Leeds Partnership will mean different things for each of us, and ways of contributing are evolving all the time. The Partnership provides ways of getting involved and having your voice heard through things like student representative opportunities via the Leeds University Union, as well as activities in student societies and in your course.
  • Install Office365 on your devices. As a student at Leeds, you can get up to five free downloads of Office 365 Pro Plus for PC or Mac onto your personal computer or laptop. Learn how to do this early, and what you’ll need to log in to make it easier for you once you begin your studies.
  • Complete the Student IT induction. It takes 10-15 minutes and covers things like our computer clusters, what free software you’re entitled to, security tips, campus WiFi and how to reset your password
  • Make sure you’ve got the equipment you need for your studies - check the IT services advice for bringing computers to the University. This includes advice on software, storage and your internet connection as well as whether you need to have a printer and how to stay safe online.

Download these (free) mobile apps

  • UniLeeds mobile app – Android | App Store Everything from your timetable, library record, sports booking and much more.
  • Duo mobile security – Android | App Store You’ll need this when you log into University IT systems like email, Minerva and more. 
  • SafeZone is an app that everyone on campus can use to ask for help. It is there to give you extra peace of mind in addition to the other support offered by the University. It is linked to the University’s Security team who are on call to help you 24/7.
  • First Bus provide much of the bus transport in Leeds. Download the app to get cheaper tickets.

Get to know your IT learning tools


Minerva is the Virtual Learning Environment, or VLE. You’ll be using Minerva for learning in a variety of ways throughout your time at Leeds. You can find out more about how it works here.

Office 365 and OneDrive

As a student at the University of Leeds, you get free access to Microsoft Office programmes such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as the note taking app OneNote and the online file storage area OneDrive.

To use OneDrive and Office 365 on your computer wherever you are, follow this three-step process (also included in the Student IT induction):

  1. Open Office 365.

  2. Log in using your Minerva log-in details.

  3. Select the cloud icon at the right of the screen. This allows you to use OneDrive and Office 365.

You can get more information about using OneDrive and Office 365 from the IT website.

UniLeeds app

Keep up-to-date and manage your time by downloading the UniLeeds app. This will give you quick access to everyday essentials such as your timetable. You can get the app for iPhone or iPad from the App Store, or the Android app on Google Play. Take a few minutes to look at each section of the app and try to get into the habit of using it daily.


PebblePad is a new tool and you’ll be seeing more of it throughout your time at Leeds. PebblePad comes with a range of tools to help you plan, record, reflect on, and evidence your learning and development, and bring it all together in interactive presentations that help you focus on your progress. You can find out more about it here. There's also a portfolio where you can teach yourself the basics of PebblePad plus some examples of how you can use it.

How learning analytics will support your learning journey

We're committed to supporting you to get the most out of your studies and as part of this, are introducing a new system to give you - and us - insights into your learning. StREAM@Leeds is the new University of Leeds Learning Analytics system. By collating data from a variety of Digital Education systems and University services - including Minerva, virtual classrooms and library resources - StREAM@Leeds helps you and University staff get insights into your learning to support you. StREAM@Leeds is yours to take, use and own as part of your studies as well as to enhance your Academic Personal Tutoring meetings within a student-led data-driven context.

You can find out more about StREAM@Leeds by accessing the training materials available on the ‘StREAM@Leeds Guidance for Students’ portfolio by clicking here. 

Register and enrol on your modules

If you haven’t already completed registration, it’s important that you do that as soon as you can. Follow three steps to complete registration and to find out more about module enrolment.

Preparing to be a student in Leeds

Before you start, there’s lots you can do to get an understanding of life in Leeds as a student. We’ve put together useful links, blogs and guides for things you can do before you start your course to empower you, and help you feel up to speed and in control. 

Moving to Leeds as an international student

Moving to a different country can be exciting but also challenging, especially at the start. Here are some recommendations for you from our current international students:

Leeds is an extremely multicultural city and you’ll find plenty of shops selling international food ingredients here. Want to know where you can shop for essentials in Leeds? Check our ambassadors’ blogs to find out more:


Follow us on social media

Get the latest info, updates and inside information from our popular student social media channels. Give them a follow and you’ll be the first to know what’s going on. 

Worried about making friends?

This is usually number one on the list of worries new students have. It’s something we spend a lot of time making sure we can help you with – finding your people, and settling in quickly.

Sport and Exercise

Whether you’re an elite sportsperson, a keen team player, or just someone who likes keeping fit or having fun with your friends, there’s something for everyone at University. 

Managing your money

For some of you, being fully responsible for your money can be quite daunting before you arrive. Check out our resources to help you stay on top of your finances and manage your money.

If you’re an international student from outside the UK, we have a lot of information on arranging money for when you arrive and how to open a bank account in the UK.

What is campus like?

With thousands of trees, green space and hidden places, it’s nice to get a feel of campus before you get here. There will be lots of time to explore during your first few weeks, but we’ve added a list below to give you an idea on what to expect, and help you get a feel of things before you arrive.  

Prepare to discover the city

We’ve put together some inspiring articles and blogs to browse. Although you’re not yet here, these are guaranteed to get you making your Leeds bucket list!