Using your own laptop
Having your own laptop and internet access gives you the flexibility to study where and when you want. We recommend the following laptop specification.
- Windows 10
- Intel® i5 or equivalent processor
- RAM: 8 GB / Storage: 256 GB SSD
- full HD screen.
You may also use a Mac of an equivalent specification, but please note that not all software provided or used by the university is available for Mac. A few courses may require a more advanced specification and you can check this on your course outline.
If you have a disability, mental health issue or long-term illness, you may be eligible to receive a laptop and other equipment tailored to your needs through the Disabled Students Allowance.
You’ll also be able to book time on one open-access computers at locations across our campuses (please log-in using your university username and password).
If you are on a course requiring access to specialist equipment and software then high specification workstations are also provided on campus.
We’ll provide you with all of the basic software packages you need free of charge whilst you are studying with us. These include:
- Microsoft Office 365
- University email account
- One Drive file storage
- Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Teams etc…
- EndNote (academic referencing)
- NVivo (qualitative data analysis)
- Mind Genius (mind mapping)
- LinkedIn Learning (online study skills)
- SPSS (statistics).
Other specialist software may also be provided or required depending on your course and information about this will be provided by your school.
You’ll also be able to access the following at a special student discount:
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- MATLAB and Simulink.
Computer accessories and consumables can be purchased at a student discount from our Computer Store.
And you can make an appointment at one of our computer clinics to get help and technical support from our helpdesk team.
The university wants to continue to help students in greatest need who do not have access to their own computer. Phase 1 of the Digital Access Fund is now closed but we are aware that there may be students who did not meet the original criteria who are still digitally challenged and their ability to participate in sessions from home is being disrupted by a lack of access to a core digital infrastructure, such as appropriate hardware and software or reliable access to the internet.
We are moving to an academic school based referral process to continue to try and help those most in need. Students should contact their academic course leader or SSGT if they are still having challenges around digital access. The school will discuss your issues and may be able to refer you to Phase 2 of the Digital Access Fund, where a limited number of long-term laptop loan computers may be available. Please note that this is a referral process only and there is no direct link to the application form.
Who can be referred
All UK based students can apply be referred. This includes full-time, part-time and apprenticeships but not short courses.
What might I receive help with?
If you are referred, complete the application process and are prioritised for support, you may receive (depending on your circumstances):
- a long-term laptop loan
- a contribution towards your internet/broadband costs
- a contribution towards a repair or essential IT equipment or software you need to study remotely
- a contribution towards a higher spec computer, if your course requires one. Find out what spec your course needs on our course finder.
How to find out more
Please contact your course leader or SSGT and make them aware that you have digital access issues. They will discuss your concerns and suggest ideas that may help you. They may consider referring you to the Digital Access Fund Phase 2. Please note though that there are a limited number of laptops available and priority will be given to those deemed most in need. Students will need to evidence this before referral and as part of the application process.
Under the terms of the fund
The terms of the equipment loan will be set out when you are referred to apply. Here’s a summary:
- If you are eligible, we’ll provide a standard laptop that will meet the requirements of most courses, and a case. The loan period is up to 3 years and you’ll have the option to buy the laptop at the end of the loan. The scheme allows for one device per eligible student.
- Equipment will be delivered to your term-time address.
- Equipment will be covered by a three-parts and labour warranty. Repairs will be undertaken at your term-time address.
- Repairs under warranty are free of charge – you will need to pay for loss or damage not covered under the warranty.
- Software provided by the university is available only while you are enrolled on your course.
- If you leave the university for any reason, equipment must be returned in good condition.
- If we have evidence that your computer is being misused, we may ask you to return it.
Digital Access Phase 2 FAQs
Students were sent an email in August which outlined course information for the coming year. Within this document was a link to the recommended computer specification for your course. You can find course information and recommended hardware and software via the ‘Using your own computer’ and the ‘Software’ tab on this web page.
Alternatively, if you did not receive this email, you can also find the IT requirements for you course by searching for your course on our course finder, going to the content tab and clicking on the red bar that reads: Find out what these changes mean for this course.
Remember, you’ll also be able to book time on one of over 500 open access computers at locations across our campuses. If you are on a course requiring access to specialist equipment and software then high specification workstations are also provided on campus.
The university wants to continue to help students in greatest need who do not have access to their own computer. Phase 1 of the Digital Access Fund is now closed but we are aware that there may be students who did not meet the original criteria who are still digitally challenged and their ability to participate in sessions from home is being disrupted by a lack of access to appropriate hardware.
We are moving to an academic school based referral process to continue to try and help those most in need. Students should contact their academic course leader or SSGT if they are still having challenges around digital access. The school will discuss your issues and may be able to refer you to Phase 2 of the Digital Access Fund, where a limited number of long-term laptop loan computers may be available. Please note that this is a referral process only and there is no direct link to the application form. If you are not referred, please look at our normal student hardship funds to see if you can apply for funding.
We are aware of the financial challenges that face all students, even those who receive full funding, and that is why we have a range of student hardship funds that all students can apply to if they are struggling financially. Please see our hardship funding pages for more details.
University accommodation has high speed wifi connection as standard and students who live in shared houses may have this provided by their landlord or should club together to arrange this without this causing individual financial challenge. Where this may be challenging for certain students to fund, the university has set up a Broadband Access Fund which if you meet the criteria, and are successful with your application will provide you with access to four months funding as a contribution towards your connectivity costs.
All students are eligible to apply for the Broadband and Data Access Fund if you need help to pay for this whilst studying remotely.
The university also has a range of hardship funds available to students. Contact the Student Advice team for more information on how we might be able to help you.
You can make an application to one of the hardship funds we offer and as long as you mention this purchase within your application and provide a receipt, this will be considered along with your other circumstances when your application is assessed.
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee every application will be successful.
Please contact your academic school who will fully understand the specific requirements of your specific course requirements.
No, but you will be expected to provide a receipt of proof of purchase. If you do not provide this, we may ask you to repay the award.
Yes, please contact your SSGT for more information.
Broadband Access Fund
Our Broadband and Data Access Fund provides a non-repayable contribution to students who need financial assistance to buy broadband and data to support blended learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second round of this funding will close at midnight on 26 March 2021. It will reopen for the summer term on 19 April 2021.
Who can apply
- All full-time UK (Home, International and EU) students studying on undergraduate/postgraduate/PGCE courses
- All part-time UK (Home, International and EU) students studying on undergraduate/postgraduate/PGCE courses for at least 50% of a full-time equivalent course
- Students in financial hardship who do not have the full funds to cover the cost of broadband/data.
Please note that students living in halls* or living in accommodation where internet provision is included as part of their contract are not eligible to apply. Where four or more students are living in private shared accommodation then we expect internet costs to be shared between the occupants.
* If you have been unable to return to halls due to the COVID-19 pandemic then your application will be considered for your home address)
Where fewer than four students are living in private shared accommodation, we will only accept one application per household, based on the assumption that the internet provision will be shared within the property. We would only consider multiple applications where proof of separate internet providers can be supplied to us.
What can I apply for?
The fund provides grants of up to £80 as a contribution towards broadband/data costs. Only one application per student is allowed per semester, with a maximum award of £80 per student.
How to apply
Applications will remain open while there are funds available and while blended learning with remote delivery remains in place due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Under the terms of the fund
- Awards are not guaranteed and not all applicants may be successful.
- If you are successful, payments will be made to the bank account details held in your Student View profile, accessible via My Brighton. Please ensure your bank details are up to date.
- Awards are not intended to completely cover costs, but as a contribution to support the continuation of learning remotely
- The fund is provided by the Philanthropy and Alumni department from money donated to the university to support students in need.