Email Service

Upon arrival at MU, staff and students are provisioned with an email account.

MU  staff who are entitled to an email account have a email address.


Students have a first two letters of firstname+sirname+academic  email address.

eg. For student with full name as Juma Hassani Mwinyi  who enrolled in academic year 2018,his email account will be as

Accessing Email at MU

  1. G o to
  2. Enter your email acount and click next
  3. Enter your password
  4. Follow instructions up to finish.

Guide for writing effective email messages

This guide is designed to give you some quick pointers on how to write effective email messages.

Send an email 

The correct usage of To, Cc and Bcc

The use of the ToCc and Bcc fields has different meanings in an email message. They indicate who should take action on the email. However, they are often incorrectly used and this can cause confusion about who is supposed to be doing something – or not.

Used effectively, they can be likened to a RACI chart, indicating who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed.

Use this option… to indicate Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed
To R A the person(s) who will action any requests in the email
Cc (carbon copy or more commonly referred to as the courtesy copy) C I for information purposes only

no action required from the recipient(s)

Bcc (blind carbon copy) C I protects the privacy of recipients who don’t know each other and who don’t want their email addresses distributed to unknown audiences
The subject line 

Use a short, strong subject line that indicates the content of the message and possibly any action that is required. This will help your reader to prioritise his/her time in terms of reading and responding to your message.

Commonly used subject line abbreviations

RR Reply requested
AR Action Required
AB Action By (date)
NRR No Reply Required
FYI For Your Information
NWR Not Work Related (Personal emails)
Y/N Yes or No (All the writer requires is a Yes or No)

Build your subject line in such a way that it summarises your message content and what you want back from the reader

Subject line Translation
RR 30 April Design plan Reply required by 30 April about the Design plan
NRR FYI Molecular structure of glucose No Reply Required, For your information, Molecular structure of glucose
Y/N Kirstenbosch Gardens Outing 12 March A Yes or No reply is all that is required regarding this outing to Kirstenbosch Gardens
Basic email structure

Your email message should be structured as follows:

  • Greeting
  • Body of the email
    • Introduction – briefly explain the reason for the message (one sentence)
    • Main point – what is your purpose, explain what action is required by the recipient (one paragraph)
    • Supporting information – details, supporting information (one paragraph)
    • Next steps – explain what, if anything, happens next (one paragraph)
    • Conclusion – one closing sentence
  • Salutation
  • Signature
The greeting

Your greeting will depend on the formality of the email content and on your relationship with the person to whom you are writing. It is good practice to start off more formally and then to adapt your level of formality in subsequent exchanges.

If it is a first contact, then use a more formal greeting and ensure that you use the correct form of address, including the use of their title, e.g. Associate Professor Jones and not Mr Jones. If you are unsure of the correct title, ensure that you find out what it is before proceeding.

If you are corresponding with a colleague with whom you have an established relationship, be guided by their preferred style of communication and form of address. Some people prefer to keep all business communications formal, whilst others may quickly adopt more informal tone and address. Match your writing style to your correspondent’s – not the other way around.

Structure the body of the email for speed and ease of reading
  • Be concise
    A generally accepted length is 3 short paragraphs per email message. Anything longer and people won’t read the whole message.
  • Use headings
    If you must exceed 3 paragraphs, use meaningful headings to break the content into sections and use them to reinforce your message.
  • Communicate action steps first, not last
    This helps to ensure that your request is seen and actioned. People rarely read the whole message, often stopping after the first paragraph. Ensure that your main point is not buried in the last paragraph.
  • Number your points/questions
    This makes it easier for the reader to see all your points and facilitates their response.
Say goodbye

Don’t forget to end off your email message with the correct salutation. It is not sufficient to simply append your signature to an email message; you should always include the appropriate salutation.

The same principle applies to salutations as to greetings; match the level of formality to the tone of your message and to your relationship with your correspondent. For example, it would not be wise to end a formal email message with a chatty, informal “Cheers” or “See you”, instead use the more formal and accepted “Regards” or “Kind regards”. However, once you are on more familiar terms with your correspondent, you may feel comfortable relaxing your salutation.

Create a good signature
  • Always include a signature. The recipient should not have to search for contact details if they want to pick up the phone and talk to you.
  • Create more than one signature: a formal UCT signature for initial contact with colleagues and for external use; and an informal one for internal use once you have established a working relationship with a colleague.
  • Do not use emoticons in your UCT signature.
  • Do not append any quotes (famous, personal, inspirational or religious) to your UCT signature.
  • If your department has not standardised on a signature format, ensure that your signature has this information as a minimum:
    • Full name
    • Title
    • Department name
    • Division/Faculty name
    • University name
    • University address
    • Your phone number
    • Your fax number
    • Your Skype name/Instant Messenger name (optional)
    • Website address (optional)
    • Email address (optional)
  • Do not use your UCT signature on personal email messages. Instead, consider using a separate email account for all personal email using a service such as Hotmail, Gmail and the like.

Reply to an email

What action to take as a recipient
  • To:
    If you are in the “To” field, the expectation is that you are the person (or one of the people) responsible for actioning the request and replying to the email.
  • Cc:
    If you are in the “Cc” field, you are being copied as a courtesy for information purposes only.
    You are not expected to action the request – or even to reply – unless you have something valuable to add. In which case, do not use the “Reply All” option; reply only to the person who sent you the email.
  • Bcc:
    If you are in the “Bcc” field, you may have been included as a means of protecting the identity of all the recipients and can therefore “Reply” to the sender. You may also have been included so that the sender could inform you of something without alerting the other recipients. This “cover your back” use of Bcc is generally frowned on.

Legislation affecting electronic communications

Stay informed
  • Stay up-to-date with legislation
    The Cybercrime Act,2015  applies to personal information that is collected, stored or disseminated by automated or non-automated processes. This would include information that you share via email and other electronic methods.
  • Protection of personal information
    Keep personal information about individuals in an email to a minimum, restrict your list of recipients to only those who need the information and don’t forward emails containing personal information without first considering whether this is necessary.
  • Emails are public records
    What you write in an email may become public. Be mindful about its contents.
  • Email is not a secure technology
    Be careful about sending confidential or sensitive information in an email. You don’t know if it could be intercepted.