How to Download Microsoft Office for Free

Once you have access to your student email account, you can also download Microsoft Office for free.

Guide to downloading Microsoft Office

To download Microsoft Office, click the button below to read our guide.

Your University account includes access to Word and Excel Online, OneNote, OneDrive and much more. We would recommend you save files to OneDrive cloud storage, so you can access and edit them from any device. 

Microsoft have an online training centre where you can find out the basics, learn quick tops to get started and even master different programmes to suit your needs.

How to get the best from online learning and stay motivated

At university it is common to take learning into your own hands – you will have pre-reading to do for lectures, you may have tasks to complete, and getting your assignments done is up to you. Your learning is your responsibility. 

When you start university, things may be a little different. Being on video call, managing your own study time and leading on your learning is something which has become the norm for students across the country, especially in the last year, and it is likely to continue in our ‘new normal’. 

But how do you get the best from online learning and stay motivated with it? 

Prepare, participate & take notes
Prepare, participate & take notes

Top tips for getting to most out of the year ahead

Here are Beds’ eight top tips to get the most from your exciting year ahead: 

On your online class 

  1. Prepare
    Completing the pre-reading or any tasks from the week before will make you feel confident before any class. Make sure you check your reading lists or look around the topic online so you are as prepared as you can be. 
  2. Participate 
    Be ready to get involved in your online classes – you should ask questions, discuss topics with your peers, and take the opportunity to speak when you can.  
  3. Take notes
    Having a pen and paper to hand when you are taking an online class is handy for you to take notes with – and you can keep your lecture on the screen!
  4. Challenge yourself
    Ask yourself some questions – what do you want to get out of university? What do you want to get out of this year? What do you want to get out of this class? Remember, challenging yourself each day to achieve wider goals is an important part of university. 

    Set yourself a goal to ask a question in a class, or to read up on a particular topic of interest after a lecture – little steps will help you reach your goals. 

Staying motivated

  1. Prioritise 
    Get your order of priorities in check at the start of term. It will help you distinguish between essential activities and items to help you achieve your study goals and non-essential items. 
  2. Get a diary
    Once your priorities are set out, write them down! Having a paper diary or using an app on your phone will help you keep on top of your goals and help you to achieve.
  3. Plan on a weekend 
    Writing in a diary or setting out your week ahead will only take 30 minutes to do. Adding this to your schedule at the weekend means you will be ready for Monday to roll round. Your weeks may be similar, but organising your diary weekly will allow for flexibility!
  4. Don’t forget the little things
    Life will get in the way sometimes (read our advice on how to balance studying with work and responsibilities). The little things are sometimes the most important so be sure to schedule in time for life admin. Being organised will help you to stay motivated. 

5 top tips to balance work, life, and studying at Bedfordshire

Being a student is sometimes a bit of a juggling act, especially if you are balancing working, life, responsibilities, commuting – the list goes on. 

To help you find your centre, we’ve listed our five top tips to balance work, life, and studying whilst at the University of Bedfordshire. 

Creating a calendar with class times, work times, study times and assignment or exam dates, is a great place to start.
Creating a calendar with class times, work times, study times and assignment or exam dates, is a great place to start.

Create a schedule and prioritise 

Writing a schedule is a great way of working out your priorities and the time it will take you to get things done. 

Creating a calendar with class times, work times, study times and assignment or exam dates, is a great place to start. Add them in as soon as you know them. This way, you’ll know exactly when your free time is, so you can schedule in social activities too. 

Be honest with yourself about your priorities and don’t bite off more than you can chew. 

Although making time to exercise is important for your health, you may have to miss a gym session so you can complete a uni task. But once it is finished, you’ll have that time back to use as you please. 

Plan for the unexpected 

As much as we all wish we could create a schedule and be able to follow it word for word, life sometimes gets in the way. Preparing for the unexpected can help you tackle last minute work that crops up. 

Create a buffer in your schedule – if your assignment is due on a Friday, give yourself a deadline of Tuesday so you have time to go through it before handing it in. 

Communicate what you’re doing 

Let the people around you know what you’re up to. There will likely be times where your studies must take a priority, but by communicating what’s coming up, your friends, family or colleagues can help support you.  

Do you want to take a day off for revision before an exam? Let your employer know. Giving them notice means they can support you in your studies as best they can. 

Let your friends and family know too. Not everyone understands the demands of being a student and balancing other things, so be sure to tell them when you can socialise, when your study time is, and when you need help running an errand. 

Create a dedicated space for work
Create a dedicated space for work

Make a positive work environment 

A blended learning approach, like you will be having here at Beds, means you will be learning from home some of the time. This means it’s essential you make sure your study space works for you. Hunching over your laptop in bed might work at the start but it could lead to back and neck problems or affect your motivation. 

Creating a dedicated space for work will help your posture and could help you concentrate. Popping your screen or laptop on a stand so it is in line with your eyes is the ideal height for working. The best position for your posture is with your lower arms perpendicular to your body and your feet on the floor. 

And remember – taking shorter breaks away from your screen is better for you than long breaks. Aim for a five to ten-minute break every hour you’re working at a screen. 

Take care of yourself 

Last but by no means least, make sure you’re looking out for number one. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you won’t be performing to the best of your ability. 

Make time to socialise, keep up with your hobbies, immerse yourself in university life with societies or clubs and connecting with your peers. And remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you need time to relax too.

Contact Student Support

If you have any concerns whilst studying at Beds, we have support available.

Essential IT Skills: Microsoft Office

Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are used for many different purposes, by Universities, businesses and individuals. 

It is essential that you learn the basics, so you can succeed in your assessments and your career beyond University. If you’re not familiar with Microsoft Office apps, we encourage you to click the links below to engage with our free training resources.

If you don’t already have access to Microsoft Office, don’t panic. Once you have registered as a student, you can download the full suite for free!

Get to know Microsoft Office

Use the free training resources below to familiarise yourself with these essential Microsoft Office applications.

We know that the way in which you learn will be different this year and it is essential that you are comfortable using a computer to engage with your learning. We are investing in many of our IT systems this summer to make sure you have the best experience, we looking forward to sharing more on this in the coming weeks.

Ask Your Questions to a Student Ambassador

We expect you will have lots of questions about student life and studying at university and who better to ask than a current student?

For those ‘silly questions’ or small worries, you can send a message to one of our student ambassadors who will aim to respond to you within 24 hours.

Try it out!

Click the button below to go to the ‘Ask a Student’ page.

Study Skills – Our Most Frequently Asked Questions

The StudyHub is your one-stop-shop for any academic, resourcing or general IT assistance to create the best assignments you can.

We help University of Bedfordshire students develop the skills required to succeed in Higher Education and beyond. 

In this article, we’ve collated a series of our most frequently asked questions.

What IT skills do I need to get started? 

Competent computer use is an essential skill in today’s world, and is something that employers seek. 

Regardless of your course you will need to produce assignments using a computer, Our Study Hub team has therefore produced a range of workbooks that you can use to practice using features of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint: 

Use of specific specialist software and hardware will also be required within certain courses. You will be taught how to use this as part of your studies. 

I have other commitments alongside my studies, how am I going to manage my time?

During your time at University you are likely to be juggling academic work with other demands such as paid employment, family commitments and having fun! You can improve your chances of a successful balance if you plan ahead. 

One effective way of managing these demands, whatever your level of study, is to draw up a list of tasks you need to carry out in order to complete your academic work successfully (attending classes, collecting information, reading, note taking, writing and so on). Then, plot these on a weekly timetable working backwards from assignment deadlines (these can be found in the unit sites).

You will need to construct this timetable in such a way as to accommodate the other demands on your time, always allowing extra time to cope with unexpected matters, such as not being able to find the right book or journal when you want it, computer malfunctions, extra shifts at work or family illness.

For more guidance check out the Study Hub guides on time management.

Note taking

Your approach to taking notes will differ depending on what you need them for. When taking notes in class it is important to capture the points that aren’t covered in the slides/handouts. You will need to practice being selective and make sure to write down questions that you need answers to – to help prompt you to fill the gaps in your knowledge at a later time. 

When taking notes for an assignment, you will need to note key information about the source so you can reference this appropriately and avoid plagiarism. You will also need to consider the context that the information was written in and how reliable or useful you judge the source to be.

The Study Hub has created some helpful guides on different approaches to taking notes. Take a look and see which method suits you.

What is independent learning?

This is a crucial part of developing as a learner. You will be required to read, study and prepare work outside the class/lecture contact time and should regard this in the same way as preparation and research towards any assignment. The practice of developing an independent, self-motivated approach to learning and delivery of your work is essential to your success and to achieving good marks.

Successful independent learning involves a range of academic skills (including time management, prioritising, researching and writing). To enhance your skills, check out the A-Z of guides provided by the Study Hub.

Reading Lists

Every unit you will study for your course will have a reading list put together by your lecturers to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of the topics you’ll be covering in lecturers and seminars. You’ll be asked to read from books and journals, society webpages government publications and professional bodies (Law Society, NHS for example), or to watch videos or listen to webinars or radio programmes.

You can find your unit reading lists on your BREO unit or browse the reading list website by your course or unit name or code. 

Academic reading

At university you are expected to read and engage with a wide variety of material, including books, scholarly journal articles, reports, and other resources, some of which may not be already familiar to you. Academic reading involves you reading something in depth to build a clear understanding of subject matter. This requires different strategies compared to reading a newspaper or novel. 

Find out more: Top tips to get the most out of your reading

Planning and writing assignments

You will encounter different types of assessment during your course. Regardless of format is essential that you can effectively communicate your knowledge. Effective writing skills is therefore crucial to success at university.

A range of academic and assignment writing guides are provided by the Study Hub.


Your reading list will get you started on developing knowledge and understanding of topics on your course, but you will be expected to read wider and find additional information. Learning how to research effectively will save you time and find the best quality academic / scholarly information. These skills are known as “information literacy skills”.

Your Academic Liaison Librarian will help you develop these skills as part of your lecture programme and you can use the guides on Study Hub Online.


Referencing is a vital academic skill you will need to learn when writing assignments too avoid plagiarism and demonstrate the scholarly research and theories you are using to support your arguments and opinions in your assignments.

Referencing isn’t hard and you can find out more on the Guide to Referencing pages on Study Hub Online.

Additional Study Skills advice for students coming from overseas (EU and International)

We appreciate that students new to studying in the UK may have to adapt to a completely new style of education. Rest assured that studying at university level is also a lot different to what UK students would have experienced previously!

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has some useful information for international students. Additionally, Prepare for Success has plenty of useful resources and quizzes made specifically for international students that you can interact with before coming to the UK.

Discover more

To find more helpful resources and information of study skills, visit the Study Hub.