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Terms and Conditions of Use of the University's eLearning Portal (Blackboard)

Users of Northumbria University's eLearning Portal system are required to be:

By logging into the eLearning Portal, you agree to comply with these Terms and Conditions of the eLearning Portal.


Copyright and the use of copyright materials within the United Kingdom (UK) is governed by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) and the subsequent legislation.

It is recommended for both staff and students that they familiarise themselves with the University’s guidelines on copyright procedures. Staff are asked to familiarise themselves with the University’s forms and guidelines to apply for copyright when preparing material for use on the eLearning Portal.

  1. Access and use by you constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions set out in this statement, and take effect from your first use of the eLearning Portal Virtual Learning Environment (eLP).

  2. Unless otherwise indicated, the eLP and its contents are the property of Northumbria University ("the University").

  3. The University maintains the eLP for learning and teaching purposes. You may access those parts ("courses") of the eLP that you are enrolled in and you may download or copy the available learning and teaching material for private study that constitutes as non-commercial use. Without prior approval, copying, distributing or use of the materials contained on the eLP for any commercial purpose is not permitted.

  4. Any copyright in the material contained on this eLP belongs to the copyright holders. English law and international trademark law protect any trademarks.

  5. Staff and students of the University living and working in countries outside the UK should familiarise themselves with the copyright legislation of the country in which they are residing, as the use of copyright material in a country is governed by that country’s legislation.

Conditions of Use

  1. By registering on the eLP each user accepts and agrees to abide by the conditions set out below. The University reserves the right to exclude anyone from the eLP who fails to comply. Use of the eLP is subject to the University's rules relating to the use of computers.

  2. The eLP is provided for education, research and administration. Users are personally responsible for their contributions to the system and shall indemnify the University against any liability incurred by the University (including liability in defamation and for breach of copyright), which arises out of any such contribution.


  1. The University makes no warranty that information contained on the eLP is complete, accurate or up-to-date. The University takes no responsibility for the results of reliance on any such information.

  2. The University reserves the right to vary, change, alter, amend, add to or remove any material on the eLP.

  3. The University makes no warranty that use of the eLP will be uninterrupted, virus-free or error-free; or that use will not affect other software or operating systems used to access the eLP.

  4. The University makes no warranty that use of the eLP will not infringe the rights of any other person or organisation; or that it is of reasonable quality or fit for any particular purpose, even if the University received notice of an intention to use the eLP for that purpose.

  5. The University accepts no liability for any loss or damage suffered by other parties as a direct or indirect result of using the eLP, including loss of profit, loss of opportunity, loss of business, and consequential loss, to the extent permitted in law.

  6. You may contribute to any communication facilities (e.g. discussion boards or chat sessions) that you have access to on the eLP, provided you follow the Code of Conduct for the University's eLearning Portal; your use is only authorised on that basis. Persons submitting material other than members of staff of the University to this eLP are solely responsible for the material and any claims relating to its content, whether made against the University or otherwise. The opinions of such persons are those of the individuals making them, and not of the University. The University accepts no responsibility for such opinions or any claims resulting from them.

  7. While the University does not exercise editorial control over any content posted to the eLP by users, the University reserves the right at its sole discretion to remove any content about which it receives notification that it considers objectionable. The University may remove such content whether or not the objection is sustainable. In addition, the University reserves the right to review, edit or delete any comments posted by users deemed defamatory, unlawful, threatening or otherwise objectionable. The University accepts no responsibility or liability for any material communicated by third parties by means of the eLP, to the extent permitted in law.

  8. Contributions must not consist of, or contain, illegal or offensive material; any material which is considered by the University to be illegal or offensive may be removed from the system. For this purpose the expressions illegal and offensive include (without limitation) material the publication of which is defamatory or would infringe copyright of a third party or which contravenes Data Protection legislation or the Telecommunications Act and material which constitutes incitement to racial hatred or which is offensive or obscene.

  9. Each user of the University's eLP undertakes that he or she will not hold the University liable for any material contributed to a discussion board or synchronous chat by another person, which is defamatory of that eLP user.

  10. Where this Site contains links to other websites that are owned and operated by third parties the University make no representations with regard to the content of those websites and accept no responsibility in respect of the accuracy, legality, decency or relevancy of those websites and we reserve the right in our absolute discretion to terminate the link to any third party websites.

Regulation of Use

  1. Subject to the above, those gaining access to this eLP are authorised to make use of the eLP and of any interactive facilities available through it, for any lawful purposes. The following is a non-exclusive list of uses which are expressly prohibited:

  1. using the eLP to commit or encourage unlawful acts;

  2. misrepresenting the user's identity or authority;

  3. distributing any virus or other device intended to cause nuisance, loss or corruption of any information on the eLP or accessed through it, or of any systems used to operate the eLP or any systems accessed through it;

  4. tampering with communications that are not the user's, or making any alteration to any information on the eLP;

  5. accessing or attempting to access other user accounts;

  6. any misuse, including hacking, or attempting to hack, any part of the eLP, or of any systems used to run it, or of any systems accessed through the eLP;

  7. disrupting the flow of communications in interactive areas;

  8. storing personal data derived from the eLP;

  9. posting material that:

  1. is offensive, obscene or hateful, or which other users are likely to consider offensive, obscene or hateful;

  2. infringes intellectual property rights;

  3. defames or threatens other people or organisations;

  1. Use of the eLP by members of the University is subject to the University’s rules relating to the use of computers.

Code of Conduct for the University's eLearning Portal (Blackboard)

You are requested to read the Code of Conduct set out below, in addition to the University's Privacy Policy and the University's Terms and Conditions of Use of the University's eLearning Portal (Blackboard) (this document).

General Principles

This code of conduct refers specifically to the University's eLearning Portal ("eLP") but the general principles involved apply to all electronic communications systems supplied by the University and apply to staff and students alike.

The University's general rules and regulations, as well as the Regulations for the Use of Computing Services, including the Email Policy, apply to all eLP users.

Using the eLP

  1. The University uses software for the eLP called Blackboard. The eLP does not only contain learning and teaching materials and links to outside resources, it is also a communication system. These communication facilities include email function, discussion boards for asynchronous communication as well as chat for synchronous communication.

  2. All eLP users should be aware that comments made in any of the interactive areas reflect not only on themselves but also on Northumbria University as an institution. The eLP's communication facilities should not be used to bring the University into disrepute.

  3. Virtual communication and discussion "in cyberspace" are talking places in a social environment. Normal rules of social interaction apply and the remoteness of the recipients must not be used as an excuse to behave in an anti-social manner and post unacceptable messages. Examples of such anti-social behaviour are:

  1. Harassment or intimidation of another user.

  2. Person to person aggression in asynchronous or synchronous communication (e.g. discussion boards or chat).

  1. Contributions to discussion boards and synchronous chat are regarded as the intellectual property of the authors. If they are to be quoted by another person in a publication (electronic or printed) acknowledgment must be given. Work undertaken by staff in the course of employment belongs to the institution.

  2. Where the contribution of any eLP user to a discussion board or synchronous chat incorporates material of which that user is not the author, proper acknowledgement to the author of that material shall be given in the contribution.

  3. eLP users should not contribute to a synchronous or asynchronous discourse unless their contribution furthers the aims of that particular discussion forum or chat session and is in the spirit of the discourse.

  4. Personal comments about other users and their views should not be placed in any synchronous or asynchronous communication areas that are viewable by other users.

  5. Copying private messages to another person without the author's explicit permission is a breach of confidentiality.

  6. The eLP's communication facilities are provided by Northumbria University for students and staff to discuss issues of academic and general interest, and to take part in virtual communication within the confines of an eLP programme or module course site.

Code of Conduct

When using the eLP's communication facilities you should:

When using the eLP's communication facilities you should not:


  1. Nothing in these terms of use is intended to, nor shall it, confer any benefit on a third party under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

  2. If the University does not enforce any right against you, this does not constitute the waiver of such a right.


  1. English law governs these terms and conditions, and English courts have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to them.

  2. If a court having competent jurisdiction finds one of these terms illegal or unenforceable, the invalidity of that provision will not affect the validity, legality, and enforceability of the remaining terms.

Comments and Enquiries

The University aims to make the eLP accessible to as many people as possible, including people with special needs. If you have any comments or suggestions as to how we may improve the eLP to make it more accessible to you, please contact us via the IT Services Helpline.