School of GeoSciences

Working from Home

As the country is being advised to work from home, many students and staff need access to specific software packages which are not available for the home environment. These pages will help you navigate the complexities of remote working.

University-Wide Information

Preparing for offsite working

Health & Safety guidance

Information Security pages, normally for working abroad

Remote Desktop 

If you have an allocated Windows PC, you can remotely connect to it. The school Linux envirnoment (XRDP) is also accessible via Remote Desktop.

See instructions here for connecting from Windows, MacOS and Linux devices:


If you are not working on University servers, please take some time to consider your backup regime; you must have an off site backup of critical work on a cloud service, or University server. Code is best stored in version control service, such as Github or Gitlab (you can also store other file types such as MS Office documents in Git).


I appreciate it is harder to ask questions of computing officers now that you can't knock on our door but do please continue to get in touch initially via All students and staff have Microsoft Teams available for chats, calls, and video conferencing.

It works well in a web browser.


Some commercial software licensed to the University allows you to install it on your own machines. I've also included some open source gems. If there's something I've not covered here that you are curious about do please ask.

Windows 10

If you wish to upgrade from a previous version of the Windows Operating System this is available for you free - please contact us to find out how.

MS Office (MacOS and Windows)

This is free to download from your University Office 365 account for Macs and Windows:

ENVI (Windows only)

You may install ENVI and use the School's license via a VPN connection.

Please contact us to find out how.

ESRI ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Pro (Windows only)

This needs powerful machine to make it work well.

You fall into the category "Staff or students from schools with school wide licenses" on this page:

QGIS (Windows, MacOS, Linux)

A free and open source GIS. In many ways superior to ArcGIS. It performs well on less powerful machines.

PostgreSQL/PostGIS - (Windows, MacOS, Linux)

A free and open source spatial database. We can provide you with Postgres/PostGIS on our Linux servers, and/or you may explore installing it on your own machines.

Visual Studio Code (Windows, MacOS, Linux)

My current favourite text editor. It's free and open source and made by Microsoft. There are lots of text editors available and it's a divisive topic; you'll find one that works for you.