When it comes to starting University, as students there is a lot of information coming at you from the very start. Not only are you starting a new program of study, you also have become familiar with the campus, policies, etiquette and our systems. It’s not easy.

Based on that, we would like to help you with that orientation of the Queen’s digital spaces which should help you in those ‘how do I‘ and ‘what if‘ scenarios. But first, let us welcome you to Queen’s University!

Scenario: How do I access:

  • Queen’s Online
  • Canvas
  • O365
  • Teams
  • The library

Scenario: What if I:

  • have IT Issues
  • can’t access my QUB email
  • lose my SMART card
  • need to pay for printing
  • can’t access buildings

Let’s break this down and get started with our main IT services and how to access Queen’s Online.

Queen’s Online (QOL)

You will or should have been told about Queen’s Online. This is essentially your QUB digital super highway which acts as the starting point and gives access to all of our services and digital spaces. Staff and students can access Queen’s Online by going to https://www.qub.ac.uk/qol/. Then just sign in with your staff/student number and password.

Queen's Online interface
Queen’s Online interface

The screen shot of QOL above shows our quick links section (highlighted above). This is the section (i.e., quick links) we will concentrate on for today.

Quick links allows access to many of our digital spaces including:

  • Email
  • Canvas
  • O365
  • Teams
  • OneDrive
  • QSIS
  • IT Support
  • Bookstore, and
  • My Future

So this answers your first question as a new student coming to Queen’s: how do I access Queen’s Online and other digital spaces? Just to point out, the library is not a quick link but it is prominent on the Queen’s Online portal.

So let’s look a brief overviews of the quicklinks.


This is your student QUB email and where you will receive communications regarding your studies, timetable changes, etc. Check it often! Also, if you need to send an email to an academic or the front office, send it from your QUB email account. Emails sent from other services, i.e., hotmail, yahoo, etc., will not be opened or actioned.


This is the Queen’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and where all your learning materials can be accessed by you. You will have a number of modules for your year of study. These can be accessed via the internet or the Canvas App which you can download to your mobile device.

When you progress onto the next year of the programme, you will still be able to access the previous year(s) content until you graduate. Canvas is a space where Assignments will be set and this is where you should upload your submissions too. It’s an interactive space as well. You could be asked to take part in online discussions, quizzes and more.

O365, Teams and OneDrive

When you start at Queen’s, you have access to O365 and can download the O365 suite to up to five devices (i.e., on computer, tablet or mobile devices). If you sign in on each device, this allows you to work synchronously across devices.

Teams is another teaching space where remote teaching sessions may take place and be recorded. Recordings will eventually appear in Canvas in the relevant week of teaching. And, OneDrive is cloud storage for your files/documents. This is advantageous as you can access your files from anywhere but you do need to be online. If you work on files offline, they will sync with OneDrive the next time you are net connected.


The Queen’s Student Information System (QSIS). This will hold your information, the course or modules you are enrolled upon, information about exams and grades. Do check the information and enrollments to modules.

IT Support

For any IT issues, contact IT Support. For example, you cannot access your email account, you have lost your student card, you cannot add money to your SMART card and/or you can’t access buildings, etc., those (believe it or not) are IT Issues. This answers the ‘what if I’ scenario mentioned above.

IT Helpdesk

For any IT issue, the quick answer is to email the IT Helpdesk or pay them a visit in-person at the McClay library on campus. When contacting IT, email from your QUB email address.

If you have an email problem and cannot email IT Helpdesk (i.e., the problem you’re having is email related), they are available to phone: (028) 9097 3760 from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. An answerphone service is not available outside these hours. Or, alternatively visit them in-person at the McClay Library.

Status of Key Services

This is a site we check regularly. It lists which IT Services are working properly and any that may be undergoing maintenance. It doesn’t do any harm to check these out, especially if you’re undergoing assignments and exams. The last thing you want is more stress on top of exam stress as systems may experience a lot of traffic when you go to submit your work online.


You will find the Blackwell’s bookstore on the quick links section and you can purchase books (if required) online.

My Future

This is a careers portal. We know you’re only starting your studies but realistically it’ll feel like no time before you graduate. Along your journey, do consider looking at My Future for help and advice on CVs, interview help and careers fairs.

You can access My Future via the quick link section in QOL or from the web. If you are asked for log in details, it’s your QUB email address and password. Needless to say, if students haven’t completed registration, this service won’t be active. Do remember to complete your student registration to gain access to My Future and all the careers planning and opportunities it offers.

Next time

Next week, we will continue looking at Queen’s Online and some of the other sections it gives us access to, i.e., Intranet options.

Remember, the DigiKnow blog posts are released at noon on a Monday.

Please do join us then to learn more and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter: @MDBSelearn.


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