Prevent students from requesting Moodle courses

Moodle for admins

You have learnt how to allow users to request for courses to be created. However, all users are able to request courses, including students and that can be a problem in some settings. This short tutorial will show you how to prevent some users from being able to request courses.

This tutorial works with Moodle 2.0.x, Moodle 2.1.x, Moodle 2.2.x

Step 1 – Login as an administrator


You know you are logged in as an administrator as the ‘Site administration’ link is availble in the ‘Settings’ block. It is a good idea to have separate accounts for teaching & administration purposes.

Step 2 – Settings > Users > Permissions > Define roles


Find the ‘Authenticated user’ role. To be safe, you could duplicate this role so that you do not lose any ‘core’ settings. I must warn you that you might mess things up a little so you might want to duplicate, just to be on the safe side. You have been warned!

Step 3 – Modify the ‘Authenticated users’ role


Moodle comes with a pre-defined set of actions that certain users can perform. This is the place where you can modify the actions users can perform. Admins are allowed to do everything, teachers a little less, students a little less and ‘authenticated users’ even less. What is funny about this system is the precedence. For example, if an authenticated user is allowed to ‘Request a new course’, then so are students by default, as they take precedence over authenticated users. Confused? Doesn’t matter, just follow the steps below.
Click on ‘Edit’ to be able to modify the presets. If you haven’t yet, please click on ‘Duplicate role’ just to be sure.

Step 4 – Look for the word ‘request’


Using Ctrl F (or Command F on a Mac), find the word ‘request’ on the page. It is somewhere near the top of the page

Step 5 – Untick ‘Allow’


Make sure you untick the ‘Allow’ box for the ‘Request new courses’ capability. As this action is not set for the ‘Student’ role, whatever we have set it to for the ‘Authenticated user’ role will cascade to the student role.

Step 6 – Save changes


Make sure you save the changes and you are good to go. You should login as a student just to make sure that it works as expected (there might be some roles in your system that you have forgotten about and that interfere with this).


Course request for Moodle

Moodle for admins

Teachers often need new courses, may it be at the beginning of the academic year or new semester/term. It is therefore very important that they can request courses as easily as possible, Moodle allows users to request courses but this setting is not enabled by default. This tutorial will show you how to enable this service in 2 simple steps.

This tutorial works for Moodle 2.0.x, Moodle 2.1.x, Moodle 2.2.x

Step 1 – Login as an administrator


You know you are logged in as an administrator as the ‘Site administration’ link is availble in the ‘Settings’ block. It is a good idea to have separate accounts for teaching & administration purposes.

Step 2 – Settings > Site administration > Courses > Course request


A new dialogue box opens – all of the options are self-explanatory. If you want only teachers to be able to request a course (by default all users can request a course), please view this tutorial.


  • Make a link and make it available somewhere on the homepage. Your link will be something like http://yourmoodle/course/request.php
  • Create an extra category named ‘requested courses’
  • Course request notification emails should be sent to the right people. By default, all administrators will be displayed on this list.

Step 3 – Manage your course requests. Settings > Site administration > Courses > Pending requests


If you have setup the notifications you will receive emails whenever someone requests a course. This is the screen where you can approve or reject courses. I would recommend you to educate your users and be as detailed as possible in their requests, so as to make your life easier – remember that by default every user can request courses, so you might end up with some pretty weird course requests.

Step 4 – Approve


If you approve a course, it will take you straight to the course settings page. This is useful as you will probably have to change the course short name and then add an ID etc.
Once the course has been approved, the person who requested the course will be sent an email.

Step 4′ – Reject


If you decide to reject a request, you will be taken to a screen where you have to send an explanation to the person who requested the course. I find this screen very useful, although I wish there was a third option such as ‘approve conditionally’, this would allow a Moodle administrator to ask for more information to the person who requested the course.
As soon as the course is rejected, the person who requested the course is sent an email.

How do I request for a Moodle course to be created for my class?


Your administrator may not have setup a Moodle course for you, and it is possible that you do not have the ability to create a course by yourself. There are a few things you can do to request for a course to be created.

  • If you work in a small organisation and see the Moodle administrator quite often, just ask him/her face to face – we still like human contact 🙂
  • If you would rather not talk to him/her, then send an email, or leave a note on their desk
  • If all else fails, your Moodle administrator should have setup a course request system – keep reading.

Step 1 – Login to Moodle


This sounds silly but you would be surprised as to how many teachers forget their Moodle credentials (or simply the address and end up on the website).
Your Moodle might look different – if it does, then go to the ‘Stop wasting time’ step below.

Step 2 – Waste some time…


Depending on how your Moodle administrator has setup your Moodle, and whether you already have courses in which you are a teacher, it might take you a while to find the coveted ‘Request a course‘ button. If you are like me and very impatient, then just skip to the ‘Stop wasting time’ step below. If you are brave, then click on every category until you find the ‘Request a course‘ button shown in the next step. More often than not the button will be available under the ‘Miscellaneous’ category.

… to find the button, or…


If your administrator has read this tutorial, then he/she would have created a category with a name that makes sense…
If you are already a teacher in a course, you can visit Navigation > Home > My home and the button will be on that page.

… stop wasting time!


OK so you are impatient – here is what to do; Once logged in, you can simply type the address to the course request page in your web browser. I cannot give you the exact address as I don’t know what your Moodle address is but it will be something like

Step 3 – Request your course


You have found the page, well done! All of the options are fairly straightforward but here is a break down anyway.

  1. Course full name: Check if there are any naming conventions in your school/organisation. Don’t worry too much though, the administrator will be able to override this setting later.
  2. Course short name: again, check for any naming conventions.
  3. Summary: you don’t have to fill this one in, but you must know that users will be able to see that so a good description of your course might come in handy. There is a HTML editor so you could make it look pretty by adding images.
  4. Reasons for wanting this course: Only your administrator (or the person who will accept/reject your course) will be able to view it. I would recommend you to be as detailed as possible here. Some ideas of what you could include are: start/end date, groups of users who will take part in the course, purpose for the course, etc.

Problem – Course requests have not been enabled


If you get this screen, you will need to ask your administrator to allow course requests, or simply ask him/her for your course. Either way, it looks as though you’re stuck and you’ll need to talk to him/her.