Information Services

University card functions

Your University card performs various functions, including identification, library membership, printing and photocopying, cashless catering and access to controlled areas.


Why you should carry your card at all times:

  • The University card provides evidence of being a student or staff member at the University.
  • If you are a student it contains your name, student number, examination number and indication of student status.
  • If you are a member of staff your card displays your name and staff number.
  • When applying for staff or student membership of the Centre for Sport and Exercise, your card will be required as proof of eligibility.

You will be asked to produce your University card:

  • During all transactions with Student Administration and the Library.
  • When requested by a University official whilst on University property.
  • During examinations.

Library access

Library membership is available to both staff and students. This membership is automatically added to student cards. Staff members may have to validate their new University card at a library site.

Visitors automatically have access to library buildings but access to library services, such as borrowing, is determined by the visitor category under which you have been registered on the Visitor Registration System (VRS).

Visitor Registration System

Your card is printed with your library membership number in barcode format. This barcode is used both by library Helpdesks and when using self-issue machines available within individual libraries.

Access to controlled areas

All University cards are pre-accredited to permit access to the Main Library, George Square and other 'open access' areas.

Student default area access

All student cards additionally are pre-accredited for 'after hours' entry to central computing labs which have access controlled doors, currently:

  • King's Buildings Centre
  • Hugh Robson Building (lower ground floor Open-Access Lab) in George Square
  • The Geography Department in High School Yards.

If you are a student and need access to doors in your School, please initially speak to your School administration team or supervisor to arrange this.

Staff/Visitor default area access

By default, staff and visitor cards are not pre-accredited with access to any area other than the Main Library and other 'open access' areas.

If you are a staff member or visitor and need access to doors in your School, please initially speak to your School administration team or contact the IS Helpline.

Access to other areas

Access to unaccredited areas is at the discretion of the department concerned. Your department can advise whether the use of your University card applies to doors under its control and give authorisation for such accreditation, if applicable.

Any access to areas other than 'open access' areas can only be requested from the Door Manager located within the specific school, college or support unit, so please speak to the administrative team of that area or contact the IS Helpline.

PIN access

You may be required to enter your PIN to access some controlled areas.

Cloud printing

Cloud printing is a system whereby rather than printing to one specific printer that many other users may also be trying to use, you can print to one of two print queues, either from a lab computer or your own machine. Using your University card, touch the card reader of any of the corresponding Xerox MFP printers displaying the cloud printing icon, and release your print job there and then for up to a period of 24 hours after sending it.

Cashless catering (UpayChilli)

UpayChilli, the University of Edinburgh's cashless catering system, is an exclusive service for all staff and students that allows you to pay for a range of catering in University-managed outlets with your University card or your mobile.

Related Links

Replacement cards