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Using technology: Home

getting to grips with your IT

If you are used to studying on campus, you may need to get your computer ready for studying at home. This page will cover everything you need to get started.


The University is able to make a wide range of software available for working away from campus. You can find a full list of software and installation instructions from the Software for Students page. Much of the software is available for both Windows and macOS computers.

Microsoft Office - creating a free Microsoft Office 365 account

Office 365 is available to all University of Southampton students.  With an Office 365 account you can install Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint plus new collaboration apps on your own devices (including macOS computers as well as Android and Apple phones or tablets).

To sign up you will need your University of Southampton email address, go to the Microsoft website and follow the instructions. You will need to access your University of Southampton email, as Microsoft will send a verification email to it.   Support and installation instructions can be found on the iSolutions Office 365 website.

Away from campus

When working remotely you can still access most of the software and systems that are available to you on campus.  See the iSolutions website for more information on how to connect to these.

Getting your devices ready

Whenever you are taking part in an online lecture/seminar, it is important you get your device ready beforehand.

Download iconYou may have to download specific software, so check any information you have been sent beforehand. You may have to go to an app store to join with a mobile device.

Link iconDo instructions to join include a link to somewhere you can test your device? If so, this will allow you to check you can hear and see everything OK well before you have to do it for real.

Headphones iconMake sure the device you are using has speakers or that you can attach headphones. Check these are enabled and you have not muted them

Smartphone Tablet iconWhilst it is often possible to follow a teaching session on your phone, you may find it harder to type into chat windows - so see if you can get access to a laptop or a tablet

Calendar iconIf you use an online calendar, add the teaching session in as an event and put the link you are sent into the location or the notes section.

Acknowledgement (click to read more...)

Creative Commons License  'Skills for studying online'. Our pages are a derivative of  Remote learning SkillsGuide available at licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. We thank the generosity of the University of Hull Library for providing a CC BY-NC-SA licence and under the terms provide the same licence for our pages.

Related resources:

Help with using software

IT Skills – resources to help you develop your skills

Online learning courses from LinkedIn Learning

A-Z training resources for key software provided by iSolutions

E-learning - support and resources for online learning

Thesis - guidance for using Word and the University of Southampton thesis template

Dissertation - guidance for using Word and the University of Southampton dissertation template

Endnote -  Further information about support and training on our EndNote pages

Help with using software