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Digital training and 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 

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 from the library to find out more.

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

Our suggestions for computer purchases

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

  • It is recommended that Chromebooks are avoided as these offer a very limited experience and 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 laptop.
  • For most courses, a computer with an i3 processor, 500GB hard drive and 8GB RAM (memory) is more than adequate (unless you intend to study on a course where you will be regularly using sophisticated software like Adobe Creative Cloud).
  • An i5 or i7 processor will give you more processing power and is useful if you are running design software (Adobe Creative Cloud for example) or video editing software (such as Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects).
  • You may wish to consider a computer with a dedicated graphics card.
  • It is worth getting an in-built camera or webcam as it is useful for collaborative study.
  • If you are considering a laptop but want a bigger screen at home, you can buy a screen and a port replicator separately.
  • If you have money left over, increasing the memory or buying a machine with a hybrid hard drive will increase speed, performance and storage.

Access to Wi-Fi

For the best wireless experience, choose a device that has dual-band Wi-Fi (one that can operate on two frequencies) and meets the 'N' and 'AC' Wi-Fi 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.

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 visit our Office 2019 page (York St John users only).

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

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