Choosing IT equipment for university

Minimum PC and internet specifications for students.

During the next academic year you will need your own computer and IT equipment in order to engage with your studies. If you decide to purchase a laptop, you will also be able to bring this on to campus during timetabled sessions and connect via the wireless network (eduroam).

Here are some recommendations and minimum specification requirements for both IT equipment and internet access. However, these are only recommendations and are at the discretion of the student and their parents.

Advice on choosing a computer

  • The minimum recommended specification for courses with basic IT requirements is a laptop with a recent i3 or Ryzen3 processor, at least 8GB memory and 128GB solid state drive.
  • Check with your faculty, department or course tutor whether your use of IT will require you to have a higher specification than the computer you are thinking of buying (even if the computer is less than three years old). Computer requirements from one department to another may vary considerably. The faculties and its departments are:
  • The recommended browsers for using Blackboard and Collaborate are Chrome or Firefox. For more information visit the UWE BlackBoard Guidance page.
  • Please ensure that your computer has an up-to-date anti-virus software installed and running at all times. You may want to take advantage of the student offers from IT equipment providers and Microsoft. 

Please note: some software is not Mac compatible and IT Services is unable to support dual booting a Mac. Please check with your faculty or course tutor if you have any queries on this.

Advice on your internet connection

  • Following guidance from Ofcom, a broadband connection which provides a download speed of 10 Mbit/s and upload speed of 1 Mbit/s would provide a suitable shared connection for three to four students. Larger households should consider a faster connection.
  • Online gaming, streaming movies, and downloading large files will have an impact on the bandwidth available for learning and teaching activities.
  • For advice on how to improve your broadband speed, we recommend you read this broadband speed guidance from Ofcom.
  • You could also consider using mobile broadband (over 4G networks).
  • Be sure to check network coverage, usage limits, and minimum contract period before taking out any service.