Skip to main content

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Everything you need to know about MFA at UAL.

Get help and support to register your account preferences.

What is MFA?

We're in the process of rolling out Microsoft Multi-Factor Authentication to staff and students across the UAL network.

MFA adds an extra layer of protection to our key systems and helps prevent things like data breaches and online fraud.
You may have used a similar security measure on websites which hold sensitive data, such as online banking.

How does MFA work?

You will occasionally be prompted to provide a second piece of security information when logging into certain UAL systems.

In this instance, you must complete two steps:

  1. Enter your usual UAL network credentials
  2. Verify your identity with your mobile phone

MFA is being rolled out gradually to students. You will be prompted when it's time to set up your account.

Using your phone with MFA

When adding MFA to your UAL account you will choose between 2 verification preferences.


  • Approve a notification using the free Microsoft Authenticator app

  • Receive a code via SMS or automated call to access the site

Set up your backup method

Make sure you select an alternative back-up method when setting up your preferences.
e.g. if your default it to use the app, set up a backup method(s) of either receiving an SMS or a call to a landline.
This will help with potential delays in accessing your account if the app fails.

Update your backups and preferences any time by going to My Sign-ins.

Add MFA to your UAL account

MFA Setup Guide

Follow the video to register your preferences

If you've received a prompt to set up your MFA preferences, the above video helps guide you through the process.
A PDF guide is also available: MFA Student Setup Guide (PDF 1.19MB)

Visit the Multi-Factor Authentication FAQs (PDF 134KB) for more info.

To use the SMS verification method instead of the Microsoft Authenticator app, follow the MFA SMS Student Setup Guide (PDF 1.19MB)

More about MFA

International users

  • If you are overseas it is recommended you use the free Microsoft Authenticator app to ensure no charges.
  • UK users won’t be charged for receiving SMS/calls.

Students in China and Hong Kong

  • If you're in China or Hong Kong and using an Android, you will not be able to use the Microsoft Authenticator app. You should instead choose the SMS or automated call option. You won't be charged for this.

Data usage and privacy

  • No data is collected by UAL from your mobile. The Microsoft Authenticator app collects standard device data only.
  • Your details are not used by Microsoft. The Microsoft Authenticator app will never ask you for your UAL credentials.
  • Contact UAL’s Data Protection Officer at for any questions regarding your personal data.

Why we use MFA at UAL

We work hard to ensure we have robust security measures in place to protect our staff and students, however cyber crime is on the increase across the education sector. MFA is recommended by the Information Commissioner's Office and in use at many Higher Education institutes.

By using MFA, we make the university safer and add another barrier for online criminals.

Check our latest cyber safety tips.


Visit the Multi-Factor Authentication FAQs (PDF 134KB) for more info.

Need IT support?

Contact the UAL IT Service Desk