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IT Help and Support

University Information Services

The University has a Microsoft Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) contract that enables us to create a Microsoft accounts for staff and students.


What’s the difference between a Microsoft account and a Microsoft licence?

All users get a Microsoft account, but only specific groups of users automatically get a Microsoft licence.

A Microsoft account is technically, an account in Microsoft Entra (formerly called Microsoft Azure AD). This account alone does not allow you to access Microsoft software. It does provide authentication, together with your University account, so that you can log in to some University systems.

You will also need a Microsoft licence to access an Exchange online email account and Microsoft 365 software including Teams, Word and OneDrive.


Who gets a Microsoft licence

All students at the University who have an active record in Cambridge Student Information System (CamSIS) will automatically get an A3 Student account.

If you’re a student you’ll be able to install Microsoft 365 on up to 5 desktop or laptop PCs, 5 tablets and 5 smartphones (15 devices in total).

Staff who are listed as active on the Cambridge Human Resources Information System (CHRIS) will automatically get an A1, A3 or A5 licence. This will depend on your role and where you work in the University. Contact your local IT Team if you have any questions about which licence you have. If you do not have local IT staff then you can contact Service Desk.

Staff from Colleges and other affiliated institutions 

If you work at an institution that is affiliated or related to the University you will need to contact your local IT team to get access to your Microsoft account. Some institutions have chosen to join the University’s Microsoft Office 365 environment but others manage licences locally.  

If you move from working in a department to working in a College, you will lose your automatic licence assignment. Your College will need to manually assign you a new license. They may even need to create a new Microsoft account if they don’t use the University Microsoft tenancy.   

Retired staff

If you're a retiring member of staff, you will lose your account unless you’re continuing as an emeritus professor or in a similar role. If you believe you fall into this category, please speak to your local IT staff to arrange continued access with UIS.


Types of Microsoft licence

There are 3 licence levels under our EES agreement: A1, A3 and A5.


Microsoft application A1 A3 A5
Exchange Online licence 50GB mailbox quota  100GB mailbox quota  100GB mailbox quota 
Browser versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint Yes Yes Yes
Microsoft Teams Yes Yes Yes
OneDrive 100GB 1TB 1TB
PC or Mac versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint on up to 5 laptop/desktops, 5 tablets and 5 smartphones (15 installations in total) No Yes Yes
PowerBI Pro No No Yes
Teams Telephony No No Yes


How to log in to your account

Follow our instructions on how to log in to your Microsoft account.

You can also find out more about the Microsoft 365 apps.


Logging into different Microsoft tenancies

Be aware that you may have different licences assigned to you under different Microsoft tenancies. For example, you may have a free A1 licence assigned by UIS for the University-wide tenancy. You may also have an A3 licence assigned by your institution, for its own Microsoft tenancy.

It is important to be aware of which identity you are using to log in to your Microsoft account and which tenancy you are logging in to.


Get help

Contact your local IT team if you’re having issues logging into your Microsoft account. You can also ask them about which type of Microsoft licence you have. If you do not have local IT staff, you can contact the Service Desk.