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. 

A group of students are sitting at a picnic table


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.

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.

Call us

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).

Email us

You can email us at

Speak to us, face to face

Our Information Points are open from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. 

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.

Making friends

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.

Apply for a University buddy

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

It’s never too late to make friends

Making friends at uni

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.

The library

 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

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.

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!

  • Support and represent other students by becoming a student rep. Check out how you can get involved through LUU (and find a rep to help you)

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):

  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 – 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

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

If you haven’t already completed registration, it’s important that you do that as soon as you can. Click here to register and here to find out more about module enrolment.

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

Living in University accommodation?

If you’re living in University accommodation you should check out:

Discover campus

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. 


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.

  • Leeds Union Events - if you’re into gigs, live music or club nights, here’s where you can get all your tickets Android | Apple

  • First Bus provide much of the bus travel in Leeds. Download their app and get cheaper tickets.

Discovering Leeds and beyond

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.