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printKeywords: access, students, enrolment, login, visible, password, automatic access

What is it?

Students, staff and guests (people without a UCL login) can be given access to your Moodle course using a number of different enrolment methods. 

It is important not to confuse Moodle course enrolments, with Portico enrolments, where students are officially enrolled on a programme and modules.

Why use it?

Enrolments allow you to easily grant access to your course automatically based on which students are enrolled on particular modules in Portico, or by bulk uploading users via CSV file or providing students or staff with an enrolment key so they can self-enrol.

Who can use it?

Tutors and Course Administrators can set up enrolments for a Moodle course, which enables students and other staff to access the course.

Before I start...

By default, all new courses are hidden from all other Moodle users except you, the tutor/course administrator. This is so you can spend time designing your course, adding content and designing activities. Once you're ready for others to view your course, you have various options for sharing your course with your students and others, using various enrolment methods. You will also need to make the course visible to students.

IMPORTANT: Do ensure that you have reset your course to remove last year's students!

How do I set up enrolments?

Digital Education recommends using a combination of the Portico enrolments and the enrolment key methods to grant students access to your course. To allow staff to access your courses manual enrolment is the easiest option.

If your Moodle course cohort matches a module, programme or department in Portico then Moodle can read the enrolments from Portico overnight. Portico enrolments are generally a good way of enrolling students on courses, but early in term 1 student data in Portico module lists may be incomplete and/or inaccurate as students take time to make and modify module selections, and departments deal with large numbers of requests. Therefore you may want to use a combination of Portico enrolments and the Enrolment key to ensure that all students who need to can access your course

How to set up Portico enrolments

Self enrolment

When you want students to enrol themselves, you enable Self Enrolment, give students the link to the Moodle space front page (or otherwise let them know how to search for the space on Moodle), and ask them to enrol themselves.

If you also have Guest Access enabled, do emphasise to your students that they should also enrol - otherwise they won't receive correspondence from the space, nor be able to participate in the activities.

How to set up Self Enrolments.

Enrolment key combined with self enrolment (recommended for student access)

The enrolment key in Moodle permits students to enrol themselves onto Moodle courses which have self-enrolment enabled without needing to wait for their Portico enrolments to be confirmed; this is a simple option for both staff and students. Students can self-enrol onto your course if they know the enrolment key - a password made up of any word, number or their combination. When you are ready to make the course available to students you simply issue them with the enrolment key and then the course title, so that they can search for it from the Moodle login page (or email them the URL to the Moodle course page)

How to set up an Enrolment Key

Manual enrolments (recommended for staff access)

When only a small number of people need access to your course (such as Tutors or Course Administrator) the easiest way to add them is manually.

How to set up Manual Enrolments

Bulk enrolments

The bulk enrolments feature is now available from Course Administration > Users > Bulk enrolments (rather than from the Bulk enrolments block, which used to exist).

It allows you to bulk upload users to your course, using just their UCL userid or their email address.  This option also allows you to create groups.

How to set up Bulk Enrolments

Guest access

Guests are anyone who can access your course without enrolling or logging into Moodle first. This can be handy for students deciding which modules to select. Guests are restricted in terms of what they can do, i.e. they can't post into forums, submit assignments or do any kind of grading etc.

It is important to set a password for guest access, otherwise, you are effectively making your course public to anyone. This can cause data protection and copyright problems.

How to set up guest access

Category level access (course administrators)

If access is required to all courses in a department the Head of Department must write (email) to request Digital Education provide access for particular staff. The staff member(s) must also complete the Administering your Moodle course training before category level access can be granted. There are 'no-email' roles available which mean staff enrolled at category level won't be inundated with emails from discussion forums.

How to set up category level access

Non-UCL visitor access

If access is required for an external visitor (e.g an external examiner, your Departmental Administrator or Computer Rep will need to register them and create a temporary account using the Services SystemThis will provide them with a UCL user ID and password, plus a UCL email address. They will need to login to UCL Moodle and accept our T&C's.  Once they have done this, they will appear in the list of potential users and can be manually enroled into any role by a Tutor or Course Administrator.  For external examiners requiring access to student submissions, we recommend enrolling them as a Non-editing tutor.

Further help

Further information on Enrolments is available from moodledocs, however, we recommend you read the UCL guidance first, as we have custom enrolment methods available that are specific to UCL Moodle.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


  • It is important to set a password for guest access, otherwise, you are effectively making your course public to anyone. This can cause data protection and copyright problems.
  • if you have Guest Access enabled as well as Portico enrolments, do emphasise to your students that they should also enrol - otherwise they won't receive correspondence from the space, nor be able to participate in the activities.

Examples and case studies

- None at this time

Questions & Answers

How do I view a summary of the enrolment methods enabled on my Moodle course?

  1. Login to your Moodle course.
  2. In the Administration block, click Users to open a sub-menu
  3. In the sub-menu, click Enrolment methods

The Enrolment methods page will show you a summary of the different methods enabled, and the number of users enrolled currently through each method. If the method is greyed out, it is not active.

How do I download a a list of course participants?

  1. Login to your Moodle course
  2. Navigate to the course for which you would like to download the participants
  3. In the Administration block, click Users to open a sub-menu
  4. In the sub-menu, click Enrolled users
  5. Mark some participants
  6. Activate the "With selected users..." → "Download table data" → "as comma separated values (.csv)"  menu option

Enrolment FAQs are available from moodledocs. Please note that UCL does not currently use cohorts and that Portico enrolments are a custom development specific only to UCL, that will therefore not be described on Moodledocs.

Further information

Also, see: 


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