In order to fully engage with your studies at the University you may wish to bring your own computer. This could be a laptop (as specified below) or a desktop of similar specification.
We advise the following minimum specification:
|Processor||Intel i3 / AMD Ryzen 3|
|Display size||13" to 15.6"|
|Operating system||Windows 10|
|Weight||If you intend to carry your laptop around campus, a weight of <1.5kg is preferable|
A machine of this specification should cost about £500. If you have a higher budget you will gain more storage, CPU power and RAM, a higher resolution screen or a lighter build. For non-specialist courses you will see no benefit from a higher specification than an i5 processor/16GB RAM/500GB SSD.
You may choose to use an Apple laptop running Mac OS. Any currently supported model should be sufficient. Linux is also fully supported, though not recommended unless you already have suitable expertise. In both cases you may not be able to install some specialist software used on your course, and will need to use the Virtual Desktop Service.
Depending on your course, a Chromebook may be sufficient. These are supported, but you will not be able to install specialist software, and will likely have to make use of the Virtual Desktop Service. You should check with your department before purchasing a Chromebook.
- Prices are subject to change.
- This specification takes into account the activities most students will need to partake in, such as watching online videos, using the VLE, and taking part in group seminars, using Zoom or similar. You should check with your department if you’re taking a subject that requires specialist equipment, such as Music or Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media.
- If you are applying for, or have been accepted onto, an online programme, you will have been provided with a minimum specification. The guidance here is for taught students not studying a specifically online programme, and does not override the guidance you have been given. Students studying for a research degree should contact their department, as requirements differ greatly, and some departments provide equipment so you won’t need your own.
If you will be studying remotely, ie not based on campus, you will require a certain speed of Internet connection to be able to watch videos and engage in online video chats.
You can test the speed of your current Internet connection at https://fast.com/ (select "Show more info" to get your upload speed.)
You will need a minimum of 4Mbps download/1Mbps upload per person.
Bear in mind that if others in your household are also using the Internet your connection is shared, the minimum requirements here are for if nobody else is significantly making use of your connection.
We highly recommend a fibre package (up to 40Mbps down/10Mbps up) if it is available in your area, typically this is an extra £5/month over a non-fibre package, and will ensure you have enough bandwidth for University activities, with plenty left over for the rest of the household.
For reference, see Zoom’s minimum requirements.