Email FAQs

Do I have a central University email account?
Which program should I use to read/send my email?
Does the School have any email conventions?
How do I configure my email program?
Should I use POP or IMAP?
Is there a limit on the amount of mail I can receive?
Are there any restrictions on the attachments I can send?
Can I access my email from outside the School?
I have a number of different email accounts. Can I forward my Computer Science email?
Can I filter my incoming mail for spam?


What is my Computer Science email address?

If you are a member of staff, your email address will based on your initials and surname e.g. A.B.User@cs.bham.ac.uk. Postgraduate research students will have an @cs.bham.ac.uk email address that is based on their University generated ID - though they can apply for an @pgr.bham.ac.uk email address that is based on initials and surname. Staff and research students can also use their three letter usernames but we do not recommend using this form of email address.

Do I have a central University email account?

Taught students will have a central email account. For other users, Information Services (the University's computing division) should have created a central email account for you. More information about central University accounts can be found at the Information Services website.

Which program should I use to read/send my email?
This is a matter of personal preference. Popular email clients include Thunderbird and pine under Linux and Thunderbird or Outlook under Windows.

Does the School have any email conventions?
Yes, we recommend the following when using email in the School:

  • Use your School email account for all correspondence.
  • Only send email messages in plain text. Avoid using HTML.
  • Avoid sending large attachments or information in the form of Word documents, images, PDF, etc...
    Copy these files somewhere accessible by everyone and just email the location where users can find the files.

How do I configure my email program?
For users who wish to configure their own email client, details of the School's mail servers are given below:

Outgoing Mail (SMTP Server)mail-relay
Incoming Mail (IMAP)mailhost

More detailed instructions for configuring Outlook and Mozilla are given here.

Should I use POP or IMAP?
POP is no longer supported by the School's email system - so you must use IMAP.

Is there a limit on the amount of mail I can receive?
Yes, you can check your quota limits at https://mailadmin.cs.bham.ac.uk/quota/

  • The mail systems checks email quota usage nightly
  • If you are nearing your quota, you will be sent a warning and a list of the largest mailboxes you have
  • Once you go over quota, you will be unable to receive email until you delete some messages - mail will be returned undelivered to the sender

Are there any restrictions on the attachments I can send?
Yes, to limit the spread of viruses, the University's mail servers will remove executables (programs), VB scripts and Office documents containing macros. If you need to send these types files, you can attach them as zip archives. However, we discourage sending large attachments since it is more efficient to use ftp or (even better) secure shell for file transfer.

Can I access my email from outside the School?
Yes, our IMAP servers are accessible from outside the School to allow you to read your email. To protect our mail system from abuse, our SMTP server is inaccessible unless you are connected to a machine within the School. This can be achived by setting up a SSH tunnel for SMTP between your machine and the School. Further information about configuring a SSH tunnel can be found here.

If you have a Computer Science email address you can access your email remotely using our Webmail service.
To access your University email use https://mail.bham.ac.uk using your cnetral University username and password.

I have a number of different email accounts. Can I forward my Computer Science email?
Yes, see our forwarding webpages for instructions on how to setup mail forwarding.

Can I filter my incoming mail for spam?
The University operates an "opt-in" spam filtering service. See the mailhub website for more details.