Software Policy IT and Library Services

The objective of this policy is to ensure that the university meets its legal and contractual obligations, obtains good value for money, and operates effectively and securely in the licensing, purchasing and management of software.

This policy applies to all university software, whether purchased, leased, obtained under 'shareware' or 'freeware' arrangements, acquired under suppliers' educational support agreements, or developed in-house, and whether installed on-campus or off-campus.

Infringements of this policy will lead to disciplinary action against individuals under the University's procedures, and may result in legal action and criminal proceedings against the university and/or individuals.

The ILS Service Asset and Supplier Manager is the responsible officer for the operational management of the Software Policy.

Software purchase and acquisition

University software must be purchased in accordance with the university's financial regulations and with the rules and procedures for purchasing and acquiring software. These include prior approval of proposed software purchases and acquisitions by ILS via the IT Service Desk so that technical, licensing, support, and value for money issues can be considered.

ILS will maintain an inventory of all university software including the licences, installations, licensing keys, agreements, media, permitted uses, and the source of funding.

Software installations

Software must only be installed on university computers or networks if there are the appropriate licences, and if its use is in accordance with its licensing rules. By default end users are prohibited from installing software on university computers - requests for installation must be placed via the IT Service Desk.

Where a Faculty runs its own computer network, or where local software installation rights have been granted to individuals in Faculties and Offices, the same software installation and use rules apply, and installations must be notified to ILS, and monitored and controlled appropriately. The list of individuals with local software installation rights will be regularly reviewed by ILS in conjunction with the Faculties and Offices concerned.

Academic or administrative software applications which will require installation on, or distribution via the university's servers and networks, must not be purchased or acquired without prior technical discussion, evaluation and agreement with ILS under its Application Management Process.

Software metering

The use of all software installed on the university's networks (including those managed by Faculties) must be controlled and monitored to ensure compliance with licensing agreements (e.g. the number of concurrent users, the users' location and/or Faculty, etc), and to inform decisions on re-licensing and/or value for money.

In-house software applications

Development of software applications which may require central support and/or installation on the university's networks, or which may perform a core administrative or academic function, must not be undertaken without discussion and agreement with the Head of Information Systems or the Head of Information Services ILS via the Application Management Process.

Copying of software, media and manuals

Software must not be copied from one computer to another, or copies made of software media or manuals, without explicit confirmation from ILS that this is in accordance with the appropriate licensing agreements and with copyright law.

Software audits

ILS will operate software asset discovery tools to regularly audit software installations on the university's networked computers and servers, so that these can be compared against the licences owned by the university. Faculties with local networks must allow the audit tools to access their servers and computers at the request of ILS. Employees with university laptops or computers which are normally located off-campus must produce them for software audit at the request of ILS.

Storage of software media, licensing keys and licence agreements

All media, licensing keys and agreements for university software will be securely stored by ILS in locked repositories, and their location and use recorded by ILS. Media, licensing keys and agreements for software purchased by Faculties and Offices must be passed to ILS for secure storage, unless appropriate local storage arrangements exist and have been approved by ILS.

Permitted use of University software

Unless explicitly authorised, all university software is only for academic or research use, or for the purposes of the university's business and administration, and not for consultancy work. Before using university software for consultancy or other external work, users must contact ILS to check whether such use is permitted and, if so, what acknowledgements must be included. Similarly university software must not be used by placement students for the benefit of their employers.

Versions of software

Normally only the current version of a software application and its immediate predecessor will be implemented and supported. In some cases technical, support or licensing issues may preclude more than one version being available.

Disposals of software

University software licences must not be given away or sold for use outside the university. All software on university computers which are being disposed of must be securely destroyed or uninstalled. The media and licensing keys for software which is being permanently withdrawn from use must be destroyed.

Departing staff and students

Staff and students who leave the university and who have had university software (and/or data) installed on computers owned by them, must remove all such software and data immediately.


The university's contractors, suppliers, consultants and temporary staff are covered by the terms of this policy, and must not introduce unlicensed or inappropriate software to the university's computers, networks or premises. Contractors working on the university's computers or networks must give a formal undertaking to this effect.

Last Updated: 27 Mar 2018