MATLAB licensing for Oxford University
Mathworks licensing of MATLAB is rather complicated.
For Oxford University purposes, there are 4 relevant categories of license:
Student licenses -- these are standalone licenses for undergraduate, MSc and DPhil
students to run MATLAB on their own PCs and laptops under Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.
A number of departments have collectively paid for a university site license
to cover all students. Furthermore, it comes with 16 toolboxes (thanks to additional funding from Engineering Science):
Students can get the software by going
following the link through to the Registration Server where full installation details
are given. In the event of any installation difficulties, some troubleshooting notes
If you get warnings that "Your MATLAB license is about to expire" you can update your license by running MATLAB while connected to the internet, and going to Help -> Licensing -> Update Current License.
Concurrent licenses -- any machine connected to the university network (including
university and college owned machines as well as personal machines / laptops owned
by academics, staff and researchers, connected perhaps through the VPN) can access
the concurrent license server to get a temporary license whenever a user wants to
run MATLAB. The concurrent server has licenses for roughly 400 simultaneous users,
plus a large set of toolboxes. It is funded centrally by the
Divisional Software Licensing Group
and so there is no charge for using this service.
It is administered by OUCS and further details are available
We have only a limited number of licenses, especially for some of the toolboxes.
If you think you may want to use more than one at the same time, please first read these
notes on fair use.
Concurrent teaching licenses -- these are a special case of the above for
computer labs which are used solely for teaching.
Standalone group licenses -- these are ideal for laptops and home PCs which
are not connected to the university network and so cannot use the concurrent
has made a bulk purchase of licenses for resale within the university
at an initial cost of £150 plus an annual maintenance fee of
£25/yr. This is much cheaper than the standard Mathworks cost
of approximately £400 initial cost plus £80/yr maintenance.
Further details are given below, and the scheme is currently managed by
Additional details for the standalone group licenses:
Each license can be used for a designated machine. If the machine is
dual-boot Windows/Linux then the license covers it for both. There
is no restriction at all on transferring licenses from one machine to
another (e.g. when upgrading machines).
It is not possible to withdraw individual licenses from the maintenance
scheme, so if a department chooses not to continue paying for maintenance
then they must hand the license back to OeRC, or sell it on to someone
else within the University. This is the one "catch" of group purchasing.
Toolboxes can be bought and added to the group. We have a small number of
spares of some of the most popular toolboxes, but otherwise it is up to
individual users or departments to try, where possible, to identify other
interested users to coordinate a bulk purchase of new toolboxes from
Toolboxes cost approximately £175 if bought individually,
whereas the cost is reduced to about £130/license if one buys at least
5 copies of the same toolbox. For more details see the
When buying toolboxes, make sure to tell Mathworks that they are to be added
to standalone group license #236342.
The annual maintenance costs are based on the total number of licenses
within the group at the time of the maintenance renewal. Therefore, anyone
who has previously bought individual standalone MATLAB and toolbox licenses
can benefit from adding their licenses into the master group.
Eric Peasley has prepared these
on how to install the latest version of the MATLAB software, using
Mathworks' software download and validation process, and these
using toolboxes from the concurrent server in combination with a standalone
MATLAB license when connected to the university network.
When a user stops using a standalone license, it is important that they
deactivate it so that it may be assigned to a new user. Mathworks provides
instructions for this.
Anyone interested in getting a standalone license should first check the
list below to see if there is a current contact within their department.
If there is not, then they can contact
List of departmental MATLAB contacts
| Department || Contact |
| Biochemistry || Martin Ackland |
| Cardiovascular Medicine || Matthew Robson |
| Chemistry || Pete Biggs |
| Computing Laboratory || Craig Tranfield |
| DPAG || Andrew Parker |
| Earth Sciences || Stephen Usher |
| Economics || David Osborne |
| Engineering Science || Eric Peasley |
| FMRIB || Dave Flitney |
| IMSU || David Newburn |
| LSI DTC || Eoin Malins |
| Materials || Paul Warren |
| Mathematics || Keith Gillow |
| OeRC || Steven Young |
| OUCE || Tom King |
| Pharmacology || Judy Creso |
| Physics || John Macallister |
| Plant Sciences || Jim Heden |
| Psychiatry || Pam Taylor |
| Psychology || Mihaela Duta |
| Said Business School || Simon Johnson |
| Statistics || Susan Hutchinson |
| Weatherall Institute || Matt Brechin |
| Zoology || Simon Ellis |