Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD)
The Azure Virtual Desktop Service (AVD) gives secure access, for students, to popular University software and your files whilst you are away from campus.
You can connect from anywhere, using most devices, including your PC, laptop, tablet or Chromebook. You will need a browser and an internet connection.
All students are eligible for the Azure Virtual Desktop service.
Students should attempt to download and install software locally where possible in the first instance. If not viable or feasible to do so, requests for access need to be submitted via the Course/Module Coordinator and/or Faculty Technical representative to the Service Desk. Requests should include:
- Required Application
- List of student email addresses
The faculty technical representation and/or the Course/Module Coordinator will be the single point of contact for Digital Services in terms of communication and coordination and support for use of the application will be through Faculty technical representatives as normal.
How to access the Azure Virtual Desktop
Connect to AVD via Remote Desktop App
For the best experience in terms of speed and functionality, we recommend you download the Remote Desktop app for your device:
- AVD access for Windows
- AVD access for Mac
- AVD access for iOS
- AVD access for Android (including Chrome Book)
To configure the Windows app:
- Install the Azure Remote Desktop App
- Start the App and click on the "Subscribe" button.
- Sign in with your University email (eg Surname-A2@ulster.ac.uk) and network password
To configure the Mac app:
- Install the Mac Remote Desktop App
- Start the App and click on the '+' icon, then select "Workspace".
- Sign in with your University email address (eg Surname-A2@ulster.ac.uk) and network password
To configure the mobile (iOS/Android) app:
- Start the app and press the '+' icon, then select "Add Workspace" or “Remote Resource Feed”.
- Enter your University email address (eg Surname-A2@ulster.ac.uk), and network password
- If you have the Microsoft Authenticator App on your device setup with your University student account for MFA, you will be redirected to this app. Select your student account and you will be automatically signed in.
- If you have the Microsoft Authenticator App on your device for any other purposes, you will be redirected to this app. Press the ‘+’ icon, then sign in with your University email address (e.g. Surname-A@ulster.ac.uk) and network password.
Connect to AVD via your web browser
For the best experience in terms of speed and functionality, we recommend you download the Remote Desktop app for your device as advised above, however, you can also connect via your web browser, however this will be more restrictive:
- Go to https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/arm/webclient/index.html
- Sign in with your University email address (eg Surname-A2@ulster.ac.uk) and password.
- To learn more about how to use the web client, check out get started with the web client
Use AVD to access applications you can't get on your computer whilst you're away from campus.
There is no need to log in to AVD for the following:
- To check your University email
- To access Microsoft Office Applications (sign in with your University email address and network password)
- Browse the Internet
- To attend a MS Teams event as a guest or a Blackboard Collaborate event
Student AVD Software
Students can access a range of common and faculty specific applications (detailed below), in addition to standard software such as Microsoft Office 365 and various web browsers.
Please note: CAD and specialist software are not available currently via AVD. Some applications may not be available due to licensing restrictions.
- Office 365
- IBM SPSS Statistics
- Google Earth Pro
- ArcGIS Pro
- ArcGIS + Districting
- Quantum GIS
- R Studio
- Blue J
- Max Quant
- Sage 50
Software available for download to your own device
Discounted and no-cost software titles are also available to download and install on own PC and personal devices:
- Adobe Digital Editions 4.5
- Filezilla Client
- Google Chrome for Enterprise
- Java 8
- VideoLan VLC Media Player
- ProQuest RefWorks Write-N-Cite for Word (Library to advise on source)
- Refworks Collection Manager RCM (Microsoft Store)
- GarageBand (MacOS) (App Store)
- iMovie (MacOS) (App Store)
- Blender (MacOS)
- Autodesk Maya 3D (MacOS)
- Krita (MacOS)
- Unreal Engine (MacOS)
- BIOVIA® DRAW (formerly Accelrys Draw)
- Google Earth Pro
- Grid InQuest
- Ocean Data View
- Quantum GIS
- Marine Geospatial Ecology Tools (MGET)
- Octave (GNU)
- Blue J Bundle
- C-TRIC Java Development Toolkit 8U45
- R/R Studio
How to contact the Service Desk
You can also Live Chat with a Service Desk team member. When a team member is available you will see a button on the bottom right of this screen. If the button is not visible, you can still contact us via the methods above.
Service Desk Hours
Semester 1 and 2
Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm
Saturday – Sunday 1pm – 5pm
All other times except extended closure
Monday - Thursday 8am - 5pm
Friday 8am - 4pm