Roles and permissions

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Roles and permissions.

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Roles are groups of permissions. Users are assigned roles in specific contexts. The combination of roles and context define a specific user's capability on any page. The most common example are the roles of student and teacher in the context of a course.

Note: In many instances "capabilities" and "permissions" are used interchangeably, but they are actually a pair. Capabilities are editable variables, whereas permissions are the value give to a capability.


An identifier of the user's status within each Context. The status depends upon permissions given for one or more capabilities in any given context. A role can often change within different contexts.
For example Teacher and Student are standard user roles. These roles probably have different capabilities in some contexts but may share permissions in the other.
When Moodle is first installed, a number of Standard roles are created automatically.
A description of a particular Moodle feature. A list of many capabilities can be seen in the capability category index page.
For example moodle/blog:create(writing blog entries) or "Backup course" are two capabilities. Note the "mod/blog:create" notation is a common to identify a capability.
A setting for a capability. Can be any one of four: not set/inherit, allow, prevent or prohibit.
A "space" in Moodle.
Each context can have a different role assigned to a User
For example: a course, activity module or block can each be a context.
Some contexts can contain multiple contexts in their space, For example, a course can contain a lesson, assignment, forum and quiz modules, plus blocks.
A "course" in Moodle.
Each context can have a different role assigned to a User

See also