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Accelerated MFA rollout on University Microsoft accounts began on 19 July 2021

The Information Services Committee (ISC) and UIS have agreed that multi-factor authentication (MFA) must be implemented for all users on the University’s Microsoft tenancy by 1 October 2021. 

UIS began enabling MFA on users’ Microsoft accounts in daily batches from Monday 19 July

Which accounts are affected

MFA will be switched on for all accounts in the University's Microsoft tenancy.

Alumni accounts and Microsoft accounts in other institutions’ tenancies will not be affected. 

If you’re already working with us to roll out MFA in your institution

We’ll continue as planned on the agreed date and your users will be excluded from the accelerated rollout. Please contact us at if you’d like to change these plans. 

How users will be notified 

Users will receive their first notification email four weeks before MFA is enabled on their account, along with guidance on what they need to do. The first batch of users was emailed on Friday 18 June. We'll send out batches of emails Monday–Thursday each week until the process is complete, working alphabetically by CRSid (see table below for details).

Users will then receive a reminder two weeks, one week, and one working day before MFA is enabled.

When MFA will be activated

We have scheduled users in batches alphabetically according to their CRSid (see the table below).

Note that at any point before their assigned activation date, users have the option to either 'go early' – that is, schedule MFA to be activated on their account the next day – or to postpone activation until September if their assigned date is inconvenient. They can do this via the MFA options form.

Activation date CRSid range
19/07/2021 aaa000–af433
20/07/2021 af438–al916
21/07/2021 al918–ar2007
22/07/2021 ar2012–baf39
26/07/2021 baf41–cal66
27/07/2021 cal72–cjt85
28/07/2021 cjt87–cw656
29/07/2021 cw663–dla27
02/08/2021 dlad2–ecl39
03/08/2021 ecl40–ep490
04/08/2021 ep492–fr383
05/08/2021 fr386–gs616
09/08/2021 gs619–hpg22
10/08/2021 hph10–ivs24
11/08/2021 ivva2–jeo33
12/08/2021 jeo35–jm2327
16/08/2021 jm2328–jsg61
17/08/2021 jsg65–kijp2
18/08/2021 kik22–lb741
19/08/2021 lb746–ln314
23/08/2021 ln323–mc778
24/08/2021 mc800–mjt209
25/08/2021 mjt211–ms2461
26/08/2021 ms2463–nhyh2
30/08/2021 nhyt4–osw23
31/08/2021 osw24–ps727
01/09/2021 ps730–rio23
02/09/2021 rir20–rw544
06/09/2021 rw547–sg397
07/09/2021 sg398–sm828
08/09/2021 sm840–sw370
09/09/2021 sw463–tm718
13/09/2021 tm719–vz223
14/09/2021 vz228–yp240
15/09/2021 yp256–zzz999

When users will need to authenticate

After MFA is enabled, users will be prompted to set up a second factor for authentication the next time they try to log in to a Microsoft Office 365 application (such as Outlook or Teams) using these accounts.

Once set up, users will need to use their second factor when they: 

  • log in using a new device 
  • change their password 
  • add their University email account to a new email application.

They may also be asked to authenticate when they access a new SharePoint resource for the first time.

Which authentication methods can be used

The Microsoft Authenticator app on a mobile device is our recommended option, as users in our pilot rollouts have found it to be the easiest and most reliable. 

There are additional methods if a user is unable to use this app: 

  • codes sent by text messages to a mobile phone 
  • calls to a landline or mobile phone
  • Twilio Authy app.

If a user is unable to use any of the approved authentication methods, we can provide a hardware token at no direct cost to the user or their institution. They can request this by contacting the MFA support team at We're finalising the details on how the tokens will be distributed, but we believe this will be via the University Messenger Service to University addresses or Royal Mail to private addresses.

Support for users 

A dedicated support desk is available to assist staff and students with any MFA-related queries.

Please direct users to: rather than our usual Service Desk. 

This MFA help hub features answers to common questions, a live chat function and the option to request a call-back from a member of the support team. The team will be available 24x7 for the duration of the accelerated MFA rollout, thanks to our partnership with Norman Managed Services at Northumbria University.

We recognise that some users will contact their local IT support teams with queries and we’ll do our best to minimise the workload for institutions. We’ll be MFA-enabling accounts in daily batches alphabetically by CRSid, in an effort to spread support requests evenly across the University. 

Early access for IT staff 

You may find it useful to have MFA enabled on your account so that you can familiarise yourself with how it works.

If you would like us to enable your own or your IT team’s accounts, please send a list of CRSids to

Find out more 

We’ll be updating this guidance as the rollout progresses.

If you have any queries, please contact the MFA project team at


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