IT Strategy

Department of Materials IT policy and strategy

This document is a one-page summary of the policy and strategy for dealing with matters related to computing and information technology (IT) within the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford. IT is used throughout the Department, and is critical to effective operation of the Department’s teaching, research and administration.

  • Teaching: Teaching is coordinated by the Associate Head of Teaching, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Director of Graduate Studies. The university provides many online systems in support of teaching. The Department provides teaching facilities including lecture theatres, meeting rooms, library and teaching lab. Teaching staff provide their own computing resources.
  • Research: Research is coordinated by the academic staff leading research groups. The Department provides research facilities including electron microscopy, characterisation services, stores and workshops. Research groups and individual researchers provide their own equipment and computing resources.
  • Administration: Administration is coordinated by the Head of Administration and Finance. The university provides many online systems in support of administration. The Department provides local support for many administrative functions. The Department provides personal computing resources for administrative staff.

The Department is responsible for IT provision within Department buildings, therefore departmental IT support staff (ITSS) manage the whole life-cycle of purchasing, installation, deployment, support, replacement, decommissioning and disposal of all computing resources and systems, both at Department and at Group/Individual level. The IT support team manage requests both via email and in person via an IT support help desk located in the Hume-Rothery Building Reception Area, which is open during office hours.

The Department provides a range of services necessary to support the day-to-day operation of the Department. Guidance is available online at

  • Network Connectivity: The Department aims to provide a fast, secure wired network infrastructure to allow transfer of information within the Department and to the outside world. The Department aims to provide the University's wireless network infrastructure within all buildings, with strong signal strength provided in communal areas. All systems connected to the wired network require registration by IT staff to check security.
  • Software: The Department provides systems for deployment of software onto, and overall management of software on, all Departmental devices. The Department aims to maximize the cost benefits of shared licenses by using department-wide and university-wide software licenses, including running floating network license servers where appropriate. The Department aims to monitor compliance with software licensing terms and conditions. The Department aims to ensure software is kept up to date and secure.
  • Files & Storage: The Department provides a fast, secure, resilient central file storage for all authorized users to store and share files and data, within the constraints of funding. The Department aims to provide support for research group file servers used to provide additional capacity within certain research groups.
  • Backup & Archive: The Department promotes the use of the University's backup system to prevent data loss in the event of a failure. Backup and archive are the responsibility of individuals. The Department does not provide a Departmental backup or archive service.
  • Printing & Photocopying: The Department aims to provide centralized colour photocopying and printing facilities in each building, accessed via an authenticated and accounted print server. The Department aims to provide support for additional local printing facilities for groups and individuals.
  • Communications (Email, Telephone, Web & Social Media): The Department provides support for the University email and telephony systems. In addition to the University's web server provision, the Department provides webservers for publishing the main Department website and numerous research group and research project websites. The Department coordinates the use of all web and social media publicity.
  • Security: The Department adopts the University's policy on security and privacy and the rules for computer use set out within, together with the University’s published rules on computer use and misuse The Department adopts the University's policy on information security The Department requires all staff to complete the annual online information security awareness module
  • Training: The Department promotes the use of training courses provided by the IT Learning Centre and the Oxford Learning Institute. The Department provides induction to new students and staff. IT staff provide advice and guidance on request. The Department supports training and professional development for IT staff.
  • Management: The IT Manager manages provision of IT within the Department, manages the IT support team and reports to the Head of Administration and Finance. The Information Technology Committee (ITC) reports to the Department Committee (DC) and advises the Head of Department upon all IT matters.

This IT policy and strategy is reviewed annually by ITC.(2023-10-26)

Any comments relating to this document should be directed to the IT Manager.