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IT support

IT hardware guidance

Find out more about IT hardware, what we recommend, and the support available to help you get the most from your studies.

Student working on laptop with study notes

Access to computers on campus

There are PCs and Apple Macs and specialist hardware available in various locations across our York campus. Some PCs are bookable, and you can see what’s available and pre-book a slot using our study space booking tool.

There are also limited numbers of laptops available through our laptop loan lockers in various locations on the York and London Campus. On the York Campus there are iPads available to book on our Media Loans booking system. Please visit our page on borrowing equipment to find out more.

Advice for computer purchases

You may wish to buy a computer or laptop to give you the flexibility to work from home or your student accommodation.

There are some things you may want to consider when thinking about which laptop or desktop to purchase.

We recommend avoiding Chromebooks as these offer a very limited experience. You may not be able to use the software you need on these sorts of devices. Most tablets should also be avoided as they do not have the functionality of a PC or a laptop.


For most courses, a computer with the following specifications will be adequate:

  • i3 processor
  • 500GB hard drive
  • 8GB RAM (memory)

If you are on a design course, or a course where you will be regularly using sophisticated software like Adobe Creative Cloud, you will need a more powerful device. An i5 or i7 processor will give you more processing power. You may also wish to consider a computer with a dedicated graphics card.

Other things to consider

You may also want to think about:

  • An in-built camera or webcam. This can be useful for collaborative study.
  • Screen size. If you want a bigger screen at home, you can buy a screen and a port replicator separately.
  • Access to WiFi. For the best wireless experience, choose a device that has dual-band WiFi (one that can operate on 2 frequencies) and meets the 'N' and 'AC' WiFi standards.
  • Operating systems. Consider what software you will be using in your studies and the operating system that is most appropriate. For the majority of students, the Microsoft operating system is recommended.

If you have money left over, increasing the memory or buying a machine with a hybrid hard drive will increase speed, performance and storage.

Support for buying a computer

Discounts for personal purchase

Current students who are registered with us are eligible for discount schemes when buying a computer. These include:

Financial support for buying a computer or additional hardware

If you are facing financial difficulties you may be able to get support from the Student Support Fund.

Software for your device

Microsoft Office 365 is available for free to install on up to 5 personally owned devices. This will give you access to the full version of Office, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote and OneDrive for Business. We also recommend that you download Microsoft Teams.

To find out more please Download Free Microsoft 365 apps (York St John users only).

SPSS is available for both Windows and Mac for use on personal devices. Email to obtain a licence key.