Your first weeks at University
You’re finally here – a student at Leeds! This page will give you the information that you need to help you navigate those first weeks, and ensure that you’ve got all the information to feel in control.
We know those first few days and weeks can be a whilwind of meeting people, finding your way around and getting started on your course. It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit overwhelmed, or that things aren’t quite what you expected.
Joining the University as an estranged student (no parental support)
I want to speak to someone during my first few weeks
If you have a question or need information 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.
Our Helpline Team are on hand Monday to Friday 9-5 pm.
- Call +44 (0)113 343 7000 (from outside of the UK)
- Call 0800 915 0402 (from inside the UK. This is a free phone number, and you won’t be charged for calling this from your mobile or landline).
You can email us at email@example.com
Speak to us, face to face
Our Information Points are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.
- Worsley building campus map link | Google map link
- Marjorie and Arnold Ziff building campus map link | Google map link
- Maurice Keyworth building campus map link | Google maps link
- Bragg building campus map link | Google map link
If you’ve got a question that you need answering before you arrive (and once you’re here!) then here’s a list of where to go for help.
Without doubt, one of the things that you’ll be thinking about in these first few days and weeks is making friends. Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen immediately – it can take a while to find your people. Here’s some ways to get you started.
Join a club or society
There’s over 300 clubs and societies at the University. They are a great way to find people who have similar interests to you.
Check out the Residence Life programme
If you’re living in University accommodation, our Residence Life team organise events for when you first move in and throughout the year to help you settle in, meet new people and enjoy university.
Come to Global Café
Global Café is for everyone from everywhere! A weekly opportunity for students and postgraduate researchers to meet new people, relax with friends, have great conversations, and enjoy free refreshments every Monday (5:30-7:30pm) in Common Ground, Leeds University Union.
Student blogs on making friends
We have even more information on how to meet new people and get involved.
Getting started with your studies
Studying at University will need a new set of skills, and we’ve got lots of useful links for you to get started.
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.
- Preparing to Study at University
- Adapting to University learning
- Life as a Leeds Postgraduate
Your academic personal tutor
You’ve got an academic personal tutor. Have you met them yet? They are someone who is there to work in partnership with you and help you have a successful academic experience. Find out more about your academic personal tutor.
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.
Your first weeks in Leeds as an international student
Our first weeks in Leeds section has everything you’ll need to know for the first few weeks.
Moving to Leeds is a blog written by students from all over the world talking about their experiences of moving to Leeds
Five ways to improve your English – Wing Yan Lui (Cheryl), Fashion Marketing (Industry) shares her tips for improving your English during your time at Leeds.
Get involved as a student
LUU’s what’s on – a huge range of activities, events, fairs and Give it a Go sessions (GIAG), most are free and fully accessible.
Join our Fresh Start Festival in January. Keep an eye on our website which will be updated with details about events and activities you can join.
Join World Unite Festival to celebrate being part of Leeds’ global community from 10th to 12th of November 2022.
Get to know people from over 170 different countries as part of our global community. Why not find an opportunity to learn a language, become an ambassador, take part in groups, festivals, trips or find an exchange partner?
Volunteering is a fantastic way of meeting new people, trying different things, and giving back. It also enhances your CV while you’re doing it. What’s not to like? Improve your wellbeing and skills today with LUU, and also within the city – do good Leeds!
Want to get involved with sustainability at the University of Leeds? Become a Student Sustainability Architect and provide support and get paid!
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 programs 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):
Open Office 365.
Log in using your Minerva log-in details.
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.
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 – the system you’re viewing this guide in – is a new tool for 2021/22 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.
Blackboard Ally lets you download your teaching materials in a range of formats to suit you and how you work. You can find out more about it here.
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
Your life as a student in Leeds
Now you’re studying at Uni, there’s lots to get to know, from shopping, finding your way around, keeping fit and looking after yourself.
Find specific support
- The Counselling and Wellbeing webspages have information about online, drop in and face to face appointments.
- Get in touch with Disability Services if you need support before or when you arrive in Leeds
- Joining us from a different kind of background – for example if you have a family or caring responsibilities? Find out about the support the Plus Programme can offer
- Find out what support is available from Leeds University Union (LUU)
- Check out inclusive societies like LGBTQ, black feminist, bereaved, commuter and social mobility societies at LUU
- Student support and expert advice at Leeds University Union
Living in University accommodation?
If you’re living in University accommodation you should check out:
Accommodation website for key information on what to do when you first move in
Residence Life webpages for details on events and support for students living in halls
Now you’re here, take some time to explore the University of Leeds campus. Set about ten minutes walk from the city centre, it’s a perfect place to learn, but also relax and discover art, wildlife, quirky cafes and hidden spaces.
Managing your money
If you’re an international student, we have a lot of infromation on arranging money for when you arrive and how to open a bank account in the UK.
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 mates, there’s something for everyone at University.
Leeds Sport – the main sports website
The Edge – gym, swimming pool, climbing wall, classes and so much more.
Download these apps onto your phone
- UniLeeds app Android | Apple – check your timetable, library record, sport booking and much, much more
- Duo mobile security app Android | Apple – this is something you’ll definitely need when you want to access University IT systems, like email and Minerva.
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 travel in Leeds. Download their app and get cheaper tickets.
Discovering Leeds and beyond
- Living in Leeds as an international student
- 25 Instagram accounts to follow to discover more of Leeds
- Get outside in Leeds
- The Grey Outdoors
- Celebrating the spirit and diversity of Hyde Park
- Great independent cafes near campus
- Cinemas in Leeds
- 12 must-see shopping spots in Leeds
- Best places in Leeds to go for brunch
- Discover the historic pubs near Uni
- 30 things to do in Leeds on a weekend
- Eight must-see locations in Yorkshire
- Leeds has no shortage of things for you to do — whether that be on campus, in the city centre, or in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside…
- Big Leeds events to get in your diary
- 10 Instagrammable spots in Leeds
- Things to do in Leeds
Find out about the latest Covid safety measures
Our main priority is keeping our students and staff safe, and we’ve put a number of safety measures in place to do this. Read more about our COVID-19 information.