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printKeywords: enrolment, category, department, undergraduate, postgraduate, access, editor, edit, editing

What is it?

Category level enrolments enable departmental administrators and other staff who have oversight of a department access to all the Moodle courses for that department. Moodle categories are based on the data structure described in Portico/SITS, namely Faculty > School/Institutes/Departments > Academic Entities (ANAT, COMP, HIST etc) prescribed by the Academic Model Project. Staff can be enrolled as UCL Support Staff, Course Administrators or Tutors, or MyFeedback Departmental Administrator.

Why use it?

Category level enrolments means that staff who require access to all Moodle courses within a department do not need to be manually added to every course individually. They can be added once to the department's category and then have access to every Moodle course within that category. There is also a 'no-email' role option for Course Administrators, so these staff aren't inundated with email alerts from discussion forums, but can still edit the courses within the category. 

MyFeedback Departmental Administrator access must also be granted at category level. 

Who can assign category level access?

If someone in your Department has category level access they will be able to enrol you (see below for how to find them). However, approval from Head of Department should be sought for any new enrolments at a category level as this grants access to a large number of courses. 

If no-one in your department has category level editing access, you will need to follow the steps below:

  • Read-only role: Written(email) confirmation from the Head of Department will need to be sent to Digital Education (digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk) to request access for particular staff.  

  • Editing roles: In order for any UCL member of staff to gain category level editing rights in Moodle, in addition to a confirmation email from the Head of Department as above, requesting staff will need to complete the Administering your Moodle Course training before category level access can be granted. 

Before I start...

If you do not know who has category level course administrator access for your department's Moodle courses, go to one of your Moodle courses and follow these steps:

  1. In the Settings block, click Users and then Enrolled Users
  2. Filter the Enrolment methods to show only those with Category enrolments. Click Filter.
  3. You will need to contact one of the people listed here and ask them to assign you with Course Administrator, Tutor or MyFeedback Departmental Administrator access.

If no-one in your department has category level course admin access yet, the appropriate person will need to follow the process listed above.

How do I set one up?

A category level Moodle Course Administrator can add other staff or assign the MyFeedback Departmental Administrator role by following these steps:

  1. First of all, ensure you have the approval of the relevant Head of Department (or similar) before granting anyone this access.
  2. Login to Moodle.
  3. Click on the 'All courses...' link under the Search box in the block on the right. 
  4. This will bring up a menu of all UCL Moodle categories. Find the category that contains the Moodle courses for which to grant a colleague a category level role. 
    • NB: This might involve clicking through to sub categories. You should aim to give access to the smallest number of courses if possible, i.e. choose the most low level category you can.  
  5. Once you have found the category, if you scroll down on the right hand side you should see an Administration block, locate and click Assign roles.
  6. Find the role you wish to add and click on this, so you can assign colleagues. 
  7. User the Potential users box to search for those you wish to add and then add them by clicking on their name and then clicking Add
  8. Repeat this as many time as needed. There is no save button.

Further help

Further guidance on Category enrolments is available from moodledocs.

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.


Note that if you are enrolled at category level you may need to search for a course and enrol yourself on it for it to show in your Course Overview when you log in. 

Enrolling someone with a course administrator role means they will receive email alerts every time someone posts to an announcements forum that is set to 'force subscribe' (the default setting). They can disable all their alerts, but this means if that person is actually teaching or supporting a few of these Moodle courses, they will miss important information. A better option is to enrol them at category level with the 'no-email' role to stop discussion forum emails from all courses, and then enrol the staff member as the standard course administrator on the courses they are actively teaching / supporting to ensure they still receive these communications.

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