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Student Smartcards

Smartcard Distribution for Students and other Smartcard Information

Your Student Smartcard is a vital part of getting started at Northumbria. This page provides information about your Smartcard, how to upload a photograph and details of Smartcard collection and distribution. Current students can find out more information and submit any enquiries through the help and support section of the Student Portal

Smartcard Collection Information

Smartcard Collection for Newcastle City Campus and Coach Lane Campus Taught StudentsFor students starting at our Newcastle City Campus smartcards can be collected from the Ask4Help desk at the City Campus Library.

For Students Studying at our Coach Lane Campus Smartcards can be collected from the Ask4Help desk at Coach Lane Library.

Core hours where Smartcards can be collected at both Campuses are- 09.00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday and 09:00 to 17:00 weekends.

For students studying at our London Campus, cards can be collected from Ask4Help during normal office hours.

Please ensure you are fully enrolled and have appropriate ID with you when you come to collect your Smartcard.Please refer to the relevant section of the student portal for full information on smartcard collection.

About your Smartcard

Your University Smartcard is a credit card sized plastic card that has your first and surname, your student number as well as your photograph, which you upload when you enrol. It is:

  • Your University identification card
  • Your Library card
  • Your pass to free use of the No 1 bus between Campuses (Newcastle Campus Only)
  • Needed for access to buildings as appropriate to the requirements of your course
  • Your Northumbria Students' Union membership card
  • An attendance monitoring card
  • A payment card for printing and photocopying

It will also be your membership card if you choose to join the University's sport facility,Sport Central. 

Your smartcard is non-transferable and may only be used by the person whose name and photograph appears on it. The card is valid for all campuses of Northumbria University and should be carried at all times.  Cards that have been lost or stolen must be reported to an Ask4Help point, a £5 charge is applied if the card has been lost or damaged.  Any changes to a student’s first and /or surname will need to be verified by before a new smartcard can be produced. 

If you change the course that you are studying or if you are progressing from a Foundation course to your destination course a new card will be printed automatically when you enrol.


Students will be prompted to upload a smartcard photograph when they enrol. A photograph can also be uploaded by following the instructions below:

  • Log into your Student Portal and from the left side select My Info.
  • From the Home page, under Useful Links, select Upload Photo

Click here for smartcard photograph requirements.

We can only produce your smartcard if you have both enrolled and uploaded a suitable photograph that has met our requirements (please refer to the How to Upload a Photograph for Your Smartcard and the Requirements information tab).

Once you have uploaded a photograph; please allow 24 working hours for us to review it.

How to Check if You Have Uploaded a Suitable Photograph for your Smartcard

To check to see if we have accepted the photograph you have uploaded, log into your Student Portal and select My Info from the left side. From the Home screen, under the drop down Home menu select My Details. You will see the tab Your Smartcard Photo. If a picture appears here, it will be the picture that will be printed on your Smartcard. If the page is blank, you will need to upload a photograph. If we have rejected your photograph because it does not meet the requirements you will receive an email from the team.

Once you have uploaded a photograph that has been accepted (i.e. it appears within the Student Portal) you will be unable to upload another photograph to replace it. If you wish to change your photograph, Ask4Help can take a new photograph but you may be charged.

If you are experiencing problems uploading a photograph or have a question regarding uploading a photograph; please email the Smartcard Support Team.

In order to collect your smartcard you must bring with you proof of your identification. The documents that we accept are:

  • Passport
  • Photographic Driving License
  • Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) Card

We request this because we need to ensure that the person who collects a smartcard is the person to whom the smartcard belongs. If you do not have a passport or a driving license; you are strongly encouraged to get a Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) Card. This link takes you to the various different types of PASS cards that the university accepts. Alternatively you can also get a Proof of ID version of a TOTUM card (NUS discount card).

If you do not have a passport or photographic driving license, and are unable to apply for a PASS card; please email the Smartcard Support team. Please do not attempt to collect your smartcard until appropriate arrangements have been made to confirm your identity.

We can only produce your smartcard if you have both enrolled and uploaded a photograph.

To check if you have enrolled, log into your Student Portal and select My Info from the left side. If you have enrolled, within the Enrolment / Pre-Registration box you will see the statement; 

You are now an enrolled/registered student with Northumbria University

If you have not enrolled, you will see a button prompting you to do so. You must do this as soon as possible.

This information is for students who are on courses officially defined as being delivered by Distance Learning.

It is not a mandatory requirement for Distance Learners to have a smartcard, a smartcard is not required to access Library online services. For further information click here.

Distance Learning students are entitled to a smartcard but unless they are planning on coming onto campus to use the Library and Sporting facilities or access other University Libraries under the SCONUL Access scheme (applicable to UK universities only) there is no need for them to have a smartcard. Students who wish to use other UK University Libraries to support their studies under the SCONUL scheme will need to be in possession of both a Northumbria Smartcard as well as a Confirmation of Enrolment letter which can be downloaded via the Student Portal.

A smartcard is not required to get a student discount but rather it is the possession of a NUS TOTUM card that will give money off products and services for which you only need a university email account.

  • Distance Learning students who live local to the Newcastle Campus can go to either the City or Coach Lane University Library to request their smartcard and it will be printed there and then.
  • Distance Learning students who live local to the London Campus can request a smartcard from there, however please you must ensure that you have uploaded a photograph for your smartcard as soon as possible and give 48 working hours notice by contacting the Ask4Help London team via the Student Portal.

If you intend to do this; please ensure that you take photographic id with you. Details of what photographic id we accept are provided under the information tab What is Required to Collect a Smartcard?

If you do not live locally but require a smartcard, a smartcard can be posted to your term-time address (UK only) but you must request this via the student e:Vision home page and be in possession of one item of photographic id that we accept.

  1. Log into the Student Portal.
  2. From the left side select My Info.

  3. From the e:Vision home page select the My Courses tab from the top.

  4. Select the link under the heading Request Your Smartcard to be Posted and follow the on screen instructions

The Request Your Smartcard to be Posted link will only be available to UK based Distance Learning students. Only students with a UK term-time address will be eligible to have their smartcard posted to them.

Smartcards are sent out within 28 working days after ID has been verified.

Students on a QA accredited Degree Apprenticeship are entitled to access other University Libraries under the SCONUL Access scheme (applicable to UK universities only). Students who wish to use other UK University Libraries to support their studies under the SCONUL scheme will need to be in possession of both a Northumbria Smartcard as well as a Confirmation of Enrolment letter which can be downloaded via the Student Portal).

A smartcard is not required to get a student discount but rather it is the possession of a NUS TOTUM card that will give money off products and services for which you only need a university email account.

Students on a QA accredited Degree Apprenticeship who live local to the Newcastle Campus can go to either the City or Coach Lane University Library to request their smartcard and it will be printed there and then. If you intend to do this; please ensure that you take photographic id with you. Details of what photographic id we accept are provided under the information tab What is Required is Required to Collect a Smartcard?

If you do not live locally but require a smartcard, a smartcard can be posted to your term-time address (UK only) but you must request this via the student e:Vision home page and be in possession of one item of photographic id that we accept.

  1. Log into the Student Portal.
  2. From the left side select My Info.

  3. From the e:Vision home page select the My Courses tab from the top.

  4. Select the link under the heading Request Your Smartcard to be Posted and follow the on-screen instructions.

Only students with a UK term-time address will be eligible to have their smartcard posted to them.

Smartcards are sent out within 28 working days after ID has been verified.


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