What to bring

If you’re a new student, find out what IT equipment you’ll need, what you need to bring yourself, and what is likely to be provided by the University.

Do I need a computer of my own?

Many students consider a laptop to be an essential piece of equipment for their studies. If you don't already have one and want some guidance on what to consider, please see our helpful IT equipment guide for students.

You can also check with your college about what they provide. Colleges, departments and libraries often provide computing facilities of some kind but specifications and availability vary. Individual colleges may also lend laptops to students who can’t afford to buy their own.

What do most people bring?

Almost all students bring at least one digital device to Oxford, mainly a laptop and/or a smartphone. Some students use a tablet, but you might find the on-screen keyboard less convenient for writing essays. E-book readers such as Kindle are also a good idea, especially if your course involves extensive reading, as many books are available in digital format free of charge.

There are no restrictions on the make, model, operating system or software of your digital devices, but individual departments may have specific recommendations and should let you know about these. For example, students reading science subjects are more likely to use software that runs on Unix/Linux systems.

If your subject involves specialist applications that need a lot of computing power, your department is likely to have a computer suite where you can use them.

Do I need a mobile device?

Email and other forms of digital communication are central to both academic and social life at Oxford.

Mobile devices are commonly used for multi-factor authentication (MFA) when signing in to University services. You’ll often be notified of changes to rooms or tutorial times by email, and many social events are organised through Facebook. So you will probably want to have a smartphone or other digital device to hand during the day.

Some students take their laptops out and about with them, while others prefer to keep them in their rooms. Most libraries have plugs where mobile devices can be charged and used.

What other accessories are useful?

To participate in online tutorials and lectures you may find it useful to have a webcam, a set of headphones or possibly a combined headset (microphone and headphones). Your laptop may have a webcam and microphone built in, but check our IT equipment guide for students for more information.