System requirements for study

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Once you are a University of Hertfordshire student, you will be able to access technical support for standard hardware and software.

System requirements

You need access a suitable computer and a good reliable Internet connection to study online.

Most modern PCs and Macs (less than five years old) should be fine. As a guide, you need a minimum of:

ComponentRequirementEstimated costs
Desktop or laptop computerGuidance on buying a computer for University can be found on Ask HertsFrom £400
Display1280 x 720 minimum. Further guidance can be found on Ask HertsStarts at £90 for a desktop display
AudioHeadset with microphone recommended
Built-in speakers and microphone if using a laptop
Starts at £15
VideoA web cam with a minimum 640x480 video pixel resolution (web cams built into laptops or monitors are acceptable)Starts at £10
E-mail AccountRequired - you will be asked to provide an email address upon application£0
Broadband Internet Connection5mbps is the minimum required to experience a variety of internet services at a reasonable level of qualityStarts at £10/month
Web browser


  • Microsoft Edge
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari (Mac)

Adobe Reader will likely be required. Your tutor will advise on any additional software you will need.

SoftwareMicrosoft Office 365, includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint (Provided by the university).

You may be asked to download and use freeware / trail applications depending on your programme of study.

Provided by the University at no cost to students / Free
Additional Requirements for Creative Arts Programmes
HardwareA scanner or digital camera, in order to digitise your handmade workStarts as £50
Video EditingBasic video editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovieFree with most operating systems
Other SoftwareYou will also need whatever software you wish to use to produce your work. This will differ depending on the kind of work you hope to produce during your studies. Almost all students find that they need Adobe Photoshop. Illustration students hoping to produce vector-based work will also need either Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Graphic Designers will likely require Adobe InDesign. 

Adobe offers a variety of Creative Cloud packages, with discounts for students.

Start at £15.49 a month.

For more information please visit the Creative Cloud pricing website.

Office 365 for everyone

Office 365 is a powerful suite of tools which offers familiar applications like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, OneDrive for storing and sharing documents and Microsoft Teams for online meetings, chat and online collaboration.

Office 365 is used by staff and students and will be available to you for the duration of your studies with us. *

Office 365 gives you:

  • Full, installed Office applications - Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, and OneNote on up to 5 PCs or Macs.
  • Microsoft Teams for chat and online meetings.
  • Office on tablets and phones - for the Office experience on up to 15 personal devices.
  • Online versions of Office - including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • File storage and sharing - with 1 TB storage.

*Please note that Office 365 is not available for students on non-credit-bearing short courses.

Further guidance on Office 365 can be found on Ask Herts

What IT skills are required?

Basic IT skills are a requirement for anyone wishing to study online. For example, you will need to be confident using an internet browser, communicating via email and using Microsoft  Office tools (e.g. Word, Excel) or equivalent. An ability to learn and adapt to new technologies is also important, for example, you may be asked to participate in a virtual classroom session, contribute to a discussion forum or complete an online assessment/test (depending on your programme of study).

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