What is Microsoft SharePoint?

What is it?

Microsoft SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that works in harmony with Microsoft 365 applications. It is primarily used for communication, collaboration, document management and creating intranets. 


What do I use it for?

You can use SharePoint as a secure place to store, organise, share, collaborate and access documents and information from any device. All you need is a web browser, such as Microsoft Edge, Chrome, or Firefox.  

Who is it available to?

Microsoft SharePoint is available to all University staff and students.

What types of SharePoint site can I have?

There are two types of SharePoint site that IT offer. A Team site and a Communication site.  

Team site

Team sites can be used when you want to create a place where the members of a work group or project team can collaborate. On a Team site you may be creating or maintaining documentation and policies or using the site to store documents and information relating to a project, team or your department.  

The members of Team sites will typically have edit access to be able create and edit content and will come with a Microsoft 365 Group. Team sites can be shared externally, which may be useful if you are collaborating with partners who are not based at the University of Leeds. Please note that SharePoint Team sites and Microsoft Teams are two different applications. For Microsoft Teams please see the article in the Related Articles section of this page.

Communication site

Communication sites should be used when you want to share, showcase and communicate information with people. Communication sites will often have a small group of editors maintaining content whilst the majority of people who view the site should have read only access.  

If the primary purpose of your site is to communicate news or showcase services and information such as local policies and procedures then a Communication site would best suit your needs. 

More detailed information on choosing between a Team site and Communication site can be found on Microsoft’s website. If you are still unsure which site may best suit your needs please contact us for further advice. 

How do I access it?

Once a SharePoint site has been created for you, you will be sent an email with instructions on how to access it. You can also view recently viewed sites and saved pages via the SharePoint app tile within Office 365.

How do I get a new SharePoint site created?

If you require a new SharePoint site please use the New Microsoft SharePoint site request form in the Related Requests section.  

An alternative to SharePoint is Microsoft Teams which offers a convenient way to share files while providing the ability to hold conversations via instant messaging and video conferencing. Please check out the related articles section for more information on Teams.  

If you are still unsure which tool you should use please contact IT for more information. 

Further Information and Support

For further information on Microsoft SharePoint and for support see the Microsoft Website.

General SharePoint training is available via LinkedIn Learning and is free for all staff and students. 

You can also express interest in a ‘Getting started with SharePoint’ course created and run by the IT training unit. This course is currently under development.