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Roles and access in Canvas

Everyone who has been added to a room in Canvas has at least one role in that room. The role decides what access they have and what they can do in the Canvas room. This page explains the differences between the roles.

There are many different roles in Canvas and differentiating between them can be difficult. The roles can roughly be divided into two types: those without editing permissions and those with editing permissions.

If you have multiple roles in the same course room, the role with most permissions will be active. Different roles are added differently to Canvas as well. Read more about how users are added to Canvas  .

Roles without editing permissions

People with the following roles can navigate and interact in the Canvas room, but cannot create or edit material:

  • Student
  • Registered student
  • Admitted not registered student
  • Manually added student
  • Re-reg student
  • Observer.


The "Student" role is one of the basic roles in Canvas and all other student roles are based on it.

All students who are who are registered for an examination will be admitted to the examination room in Canvas with the role "Student.

Those with this role have the permissions which would be expected for a student to have. For example, people with the student role can only access material in the time period that the material has been made available, they can submit assignments and write comments. If it says “Students” in a setting in Canvas, this is the role it refers to.

Note! The role “Student” can have some editing permissions for “Pages” and “Discussions” if someone with editing permissions gives permission for this role.

Registered student

Students who are registered or re-registered in Ladok get the role “Registered student”. For students that are to have access to a course but are not added through Ladok, the role “Manually added student” should be used.

For courses manually created in Canvas, i.e. courses that do not exist in KOPPS and are not linked to Ladok, the Student role is used even if students are manually added.

This role has the same permissions as “Student”.

Admitted not registered student

Students who have been admitted through Ladok get the role “Admitted not registered student”. When they have registered for the course, the instead get the role “Registered student”. Students who only have the “Admitted not registered student” role will be removed from the course room on the forth day after the start of the course, in order to remind them to register for the course.

This role has similar permissions as “Student”, except they cannot see “People” in the course navigation menu and cannot join groups. Although teachers can add students with this role into groups, we do not recommend this as students with this role will be removed from the group if they do not register for the course.

If an admitted not registered student is added to a new, manually created section, the student will only be automatically removed from the main section and not the new section.

Manually added student

Students who are manually added to a course and are linked to Ladok should have the role “Manually added student” to make them easier to distinguish from students added through Ladok. 

This role has the same permissions as “Student”.

Re-reg student

The role “Re-reg student” is used for students who are registered for "OM-tillfälle" in Ladok and need to be able to hand in assignments.

This role has the same permissions as “Student”.


The role “Observer” is given to those who need access to course material without being active in the course. Those with this role can view course material like any other student, but cannot hand in assignments, quizzes or communicate with others in the course room. 

The Observer role can be used for:

  • People who are observing a course, such as teachers or students learning Swedish through SFINX.
  • Students who have taken the course before (in Swedish called OM-tillfälle in Ladok) and need access to course material for an exam/re-exam, but are not going to do assignments or actively participate in the course. 

Roles with editing permissions

4 April 2023

"Course responsible" changed to "Course coordinator"

We have recently changed the name of "Course responsible" to "Course coordinator" to be in accordance with KTH's official translation of the term "Kursansvarig". Our guides are being changed to reflect this. 

People with the following roles can create and edit material in the Canvas room:

  • Teacher
  • Course coordinator
  • Examiner
  • Course admin
  • Course designer
  • Teaching assistant (TA).


All teachers, course coordinators and examiners in a course should have the role “Teacher”, regardless if they are added through KOPPS (those with or if they are manually added to the Canvas room (external teachers).

Users with this role can create course material, view unpublished material, change settings in the Canvas room, publish the course, grade assignments and other things that are included in being a teacher. 

Those with this role can give the “Student” role some editing permissions for Pages and Discussions. 

Course coordinator

The role “Course coordinator” is an optional role for the person responsible for the course. This role can be used to clarify areas of responsibility for the students.

This role has the same permissions as Teacher.


The role “Examiner” is an optional role for those responsible for the examination. This role can be used to clarify areas of responsibility for the students.

This role has the same permissions as Teacher.

Course admin

The role “Course admin” is an optional role for course administrators. This role can be used to clarify areas of responsibility for the students.

This role has the same permissions as Teacher.

Course designer

The role “Course designer” is a standard role in Canvas which sometimes is used by people whose responsibilities include checking and changing content in a course, as teacher support. At KTH, administrator roles are mainly used for this, but in some cases this role is used instead.

This role has the same permissions as Teacher.

Teaching assistant (TA)

The role “TA” has similar, but not as many permissions as the Teacher role. The difference is that Teaching assistants:

  • cannot publish courses
  • cannot create, delete or edit intended learning outcomes
  • cannot set the final grade in moderated grading 

The role can be added through KOPPS or through the personal menu by the course’s teachers.