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Roles and their function in Moodle

This guide explains the different roles e.g. student, editing teacher, manager, that are available, the permissions that these grant, and explains how to see how a Moodle space looks to users with different roles.

What is a role?

A role is a collection of permissions that is assigned to course participants and define a user's ability to do something on any Moodle space.

Roles are assigned automatically to some participants on a Moodle space - students are enrolled from SITS with a Student role; module leaders will be assigned the Course Leader role. Additional users can be enrolled manually and assigned other roles via the Participants tab.

Roles summary

Permissions in Moodle are complex and there are more individual differences between roles than can be covered in this guide. When allocating roles manually, we recommend using the role with the lowest level of permissions required to perform the tasks.

Role / Permission Enrol users with role(s) below Edit course settings, access logs Add / Edit course content Grade students View grades View course
Course Leader
Editing Teacher

Non-editing Teacher

Course and Gradebook Viewer
Course Browser
Personal grades only


  • An administrative role with full management and editing rights.
  • Usually reserved for departmental Academic Technologists to support management of department categories and courses.
  • Manager permissions are not required at course level.

Course Leader

  • Can do almost anything within a course, including editing course settings, adding or changing the activities and grading students.
  • The module leader recorded in SITS will be added as a Course Leader.
  • There must be a Course Leader in order to setup Moodle-Teams sync. Course leader(s) are added as owners to the Team.

Editing teacher

  • Can do almost anything within a course, including editing course settings, including adding or changing the activities and grading students.
  • Editing teachers are able to edit Lecture Capture recordings via the Echo360 block.

Non-editing teacher

  • Able to support students work in forums and other activities, view and grade submitted work.
  • Cannot add, edit or remove existing activities.


  • A limited role that can be used for staff who need to grade student work.
  • Cannot see hidden sections and content.

Course and Gradebook viewer

  • Users who require access to courses (including hidden courses) but without editing privileges.
  • This role has permission to view all grades and hidden grades.

Course Browser

  • Gives read-only access.
  • Unable to participate in any activities.


  • Can participate in course activities and view resources but not alter them or see the class gradebook. They can see their own grades if the teacher has allowed this.
  • Students are automatically enrolled onto Moodle module spaces according to their SITS status and module enrolments.
  • Staff can be added with the Student role e.g. on training and professional development courses.

Switching role

Manager, Course Leader and Editing Teacher roles see a different version of their Moodle spaces from students; for example, options to edit, move and add content are visible and the layout will be affected.

Use switch role to in order to check that what you have created works logically and as you expect for a student.

  1. Click on your name in the top right-hand corner. This will open a menu which gives access to your profile and preferences.
  2. Select Switch role to... at the bottom of the menu.
  3. Click on Student in the main area of the page.
  4. The Moodle space will now appear as a student would see it (with some slight caveats due to permissions and the disabling of scripts).

Returning to normal role

  1. Click on your name in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Select Return to my normal role at the bottom of the menu.

You will need to turn editing back on once you return to your normal role.

More information on rolesLink opens in a new window and switching rolesLink opens in a new window is available at Moodle Docs.

The information on this page relates to Moodle v4.1 and was last updated September 2023.


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