University Mail Service

The University Mail Service (UMS) (formerly known as the Messenger Service) collects and delivers internal mail for the University. UMS also collects outbound external mail for over 40 University departments, which is returned to Wellington Square for franking.

The team runs five bicycle rounds and one scheduled vehicle round.

The UMS operates two electric vehicles which has enabled the team to expand the service and to support our commitment to environmental sustainability.

What can UMS do for you?

  • Arrange quotes for external shipments
  • Book couriers for shipments outside of Oxford
  • Handle mailshots – course booklets, alumni mailings, invitations etc
  • Provide a franking service  

For more information on any of these services please contact the UMS team on 01865 280647 or at

*NEW FOR 2016/17*

UMS is running an internal courier service, bookable by all departments with access to an Oracle cost centre. Print or download our information leaflet here:   


  • To place an order register for an FM Online account and click the button below once you’ve received your username and password.
  • It’s quick to use, we’ll collect and deliver your parcel within three working days.
  • It will save money – the service only costs £5 per shipment.

We can deliver to any location in Oxford provided that the shipment is relevant to University business. There are a few service exceptions:

  • We cannot handle dangerous goods (chemicals, dry ice etc)
  • We cannot handle personal mail.

Our services

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  • Collection and delivery of internal post – provided to all departments within the Oxford ring road, including the Old Road/Park Hospital campus and the hospital sites
  • Collection and delivery of external mail – this is an optional service; departments may opt to use an external provider
  • Booking of couriers for internal and external parcels and post deliveries – for collection by the courier from the department. (This excludes transportation of furniture and equipment, which should be arranged through departments’ facilities or buildings managers.)

The introduction of an internal parcel collection and delivery service is planned.  This will initially cover locations within the ring road, although other locations are being considered as part of a wider freight consolidation strategy. More information about the service will be available in late 2015.

How to address internal mail

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In order to make sure that your mail reaches its destination in a timely manner, all internal post, including internal mail envelopes, should be addressed as follows:

  • Recipient’s full name
  • Department/building
  • Street name
  • Postcode
  • (Optional return address on the rear of the envelope)

If the destination of your mail is unclear, the UMS supervisor will be required to open the mail in order to ascertain where it needs to go or be returned to. If your mail is marked ‘private and confidential’ it will be passed to a member of the management team to be opened and redirected as required.

Sending external mail

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Your external mail should always be accompanied with a UMS pink booking slip, which records your name, date, Oracle cost centre code and the postal service required. The team uses this slip to frank your mail and capture any charges that need to be applied to your cost centre. In some departments, the slips are completed by reception/facilities staff, in others this is the responsibility of individual staff sending the mail.

To request supplies of booking slips or for assistance in how to complete them, please contact the Mail Room on (2)80647. Please note, if your external mail reaches the Mail Room without a slip and the identity of the sender is unclear, the UMS supervisor will need to open the mail.

Sending mail to hospital sites

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The UMS delivers to:

John Radcliffe Hospital (Post Room)

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (Reception)

Churchill Hospital (Post Room)

Warneford Hospital (Reception)

Once your mail has been delivered  it will be subject to the hospital’s own internal sorting and delivery processes, which are outside of the jurisdiction of UMS. 

Departmental delivery points

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Your department will specify a delivery location for UMS – usually a reception desk or security lodge. In the case of buildings or departments without a staffed delivery point, post will normally be left in designated ‘in and out’ trays for staff to collect. Staff should be mindful of the security provision within their own area and should report any concerns or needs to their local facilities/building manager.


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Please make sure your mail items are packed appropriately prior to collection by UMS staff. It is a departmental responsibility to ensure that confidential items are marked as such and that packaging is sufficient to prevent loss or damage. Packaging for items such as biological samples, batteries, alcohol or other chemicals will be subject to specific regulations and departments should take steps to ensure that  staff who are packaging these items have the appropriate training. Please visit the IATA (International Air Transport Association) website for more information on the regulations specific to your shipment.

High value items

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UMS is extremely reliable, however we are currently unable to track and trace individual items of mail and do not offer compensation for loss or damage.  We therefore encourage departments to consider using external supplier products that offer insurances against loss and damage.

Bulk mailing

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If your department is part of a bicycle delivery round there are limitations on the amount of mail that can be collected. If you need support with a large mailing – see size and weight guidelines (PDF) – please contact the Mail Room on (2)80647. The team will be happy to discuss your requirements and will arrange a collection via one of our vehicles if possible. 

Personal mail

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The UMS is a service for University business only and should not be used for sending personal items of mail around the city or externally. The UMS team cannot be held responsible for any items of personal mail and may raise concerns with the relevant department if they suspect that the service is being abused and further investigation is warranted.

Vehicle deliveries/collections

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Vehicle deliveries and collections are carried out according to a planned schedule. To enquire about special arrangements, and for further information about vehicle deliveries/collections, please contact the Mail Room on (2)80647.

To request a collection and delivery by Mail Services click here to go to the online request form.

Reporting lost items/making a complaint

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Please contact us at or phone (2)80647. Please note that if we notice that mail has been damaged in transit we will contact the sender.