2-factor authentication for students

Information for students taking exams in May and June:

If you’re taking exams off-campus and don’t have access to your Duo authentication device, contact us to request a bypass code. Between Monday 23 May and Friday 10 June, bypass code requests are being fast tracked and we’ll respond quickly.

Between 8am and 5pm BST from Monday to Friday, fill in the “VPN and Duo (2-factor)” self-service form on the IT Support Portal, select “Request a Duo bypass code” and enter your details, ensuring you select “Undergraduate/postgraduate taught” for your user type, and “Yes” when asked if you’re taking an exam. If you see the “Welcome to The Support Portal” screen after clicking the above link, search for duo bypass student.

Outside of these hours, call the 24/7 phone line on 0161 306 5544.

Bear in mind that online exams taking place on Blackboard in PC clusters on campus will not require Duo access.

2-factor authentication is an additional layer of security that prompts you to verify your identity whenever you log in to certain University systems and services.

The University’s 2-factor authentication service is provided by a company called Duo.

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught (masters) students need to use Duo to log in to:

  • Blackboard
  • Microsoft 365, including University email
  • The University's Remote PC service.

Why do I need this?

Compromised passwords are one of the most common ways that people can get at your data, your identity, or your money, and can often be stolen, guessed, or hacked. 2-factor authentication adds a second layer of security, keeping your account secure even if your password is compromised.

If somebody else tries to sign in as you, they may be able to enter your username and password, but get stuck when they get prompted for that second factor. The person trying to break into your account is probably not doing so on your registered device, so they'll have no way of completing the second step to log in.

How does it work?

We recommend using the Duo Mobile app on a smartphone or tablet as the easiest way to verify your identity when logging in. The app will send a simple push notification to your chosen device, allowing you to respond with a single tap. Alternatively, it will generate a passcode – you don’t require a phone signal or internet connection for this option.

Get set up

Start by choosing a device to register on the IT Account Manager. You’ll need this device to authenticate your identity when you log in. As part of the set-up process, you‘ll be asked to download the free Duo Mobile app onto your smartphone. For ease, we advise completing this registration process on a computer rather than a phone as you will likely need to use your phone when registering.

Set-up instructions

Trouble finding the Duo app? Don’t worry! The Duo Mobile app can be downloaded to your device directly from your phone’s app store using the following links.

If you have trouble accessing the Google Play Store, the Duo Mobile app can also be downloaded directly from the Duo website. The app is known as ‘Duo Mobile APK’. You’ll need to set your phone to 'allow apps from unknown sources' before installing the app this way.

Ready to get started?

Visit the IT Account Manager and log in with your University username and password. Select the ‘Duo 2-factor’ tab and follow the set-up instructions.


If you don’t have a smartphone, or have specific needs that require adjustments to enable you to access Duo, please contact the IT Support Centre by calling 0161 306 5544. You can use Relay UK if you cannot hear/speak on the phone. You can also raise a ticket in the IT Support Portal or seek in-person support on campus - details below.

Help and support

Help and support is available from the IT Support Centre by calling 0161 306 5544 or by raising a ticket in the IT Support Portal. Our telephone line is available 24/7 and you’ll always get to speak to a person.

In-person IT support is available from Library Digital Support by visiting the customer services desks in the Main Library and Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, and also at the IT support desk in the Kilburn Building.

Self-service help and support

There’s an extensive range of Knowledge Articles in the IT Support Portal to help you. First, log in to the IT Support Portal with your University username and password and then come back to this page and click the appropriate article to be taken to it directly.

Duo enrolment:

Device management: