Read our checklist of technology and facilities you'll need for studying online.
Since the majority of teaching and learning will be virtual, we would like to make sure that you have everything you need to get started and make the most out of your studies online. We have put together a list of essential software and equipment you will need and where to find out more information. You can read the full list below or download it as a checklist here – please make sure you read through this and check you have all the equipment you need.
Some programmes require you to use additional specialist equipment, hardware and software. Your programme team will let you know what this is and how to access it – if you have any questions on this, please contact your Course Officer.
What you will need for your online studies
Hardware and equipment
- Mobile phones and tablets:
- You can use a mobile phone or tablet to access key information e.g. from emails and websites and to participate in online sessions or events. Before starting your activities, ensure that your devices have the most up-to-date versions of apps and that they are connected to a stable Wi-Fi or 4G network that has enough capacity for online streaming of lectures and seminars.
- Mobile phones may not suitable for extensive reading and written assignments as their screens can be too small. If you need to do more extensive reading, a tablet or laptop, would be more suitable.
- Laptops and/or desktop computers:
- Laptops and/or desktop computers can be used to access online lectures and seminars, as well as for readings and longer written assignments.
- For written assignments (e.g. essays), it is better to use a computer, a laptop with a connected keyboard and mouse or a tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
- Make sure that you have the essential apps and software (below) downloaded and updated.
- Ensure that they are connected to Wi-Fi or a strong connection that is sufficient for streaming online lectures and seminars.
- Webcams, microphones, speakers and headphones:
- To help you take part in interactive online sessions for your course, you should have:
- A webcam (either in your device or as a separate plug-in)
- A microphone and speakers (either in your device or as a separate plug-in) or a headset to improve audio quality and reduce background noise
If you are not able to access any of the hardware mentioned here or don’t have access to WiFi or 4G we may be able to support, you with money or vouchers towards the costs of these items.
Students eligible for support must be able to demonstrate they do not have access to some or all of the items on the check list above. They must also meet the following criteria:
- Be UK home students and have a household income of less than 25k
- Students must apply for all eligible sources of funding before applying, this would include the full entitlement for means tested maintenance loans and grants, NHS Student Bursary, Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, Parents Learning Allowance, Childcare Grant, Council Tax Reduction, Universal Credit.
- Be able to demonstrate a need for financial support
- Priority will be given to student who received support through CityCares (if you are registered with CityCares please highlight this in your application)
Other students (e.g. PG, International students, those with household incomes about £25K) can apply but will need to show exceptional circumstances to receive financial support.
What do we mean by exceptional circumstances?
All students are expected to make realistic provision for their tuition fees and living expenses, this includes the expectation that some expenditure on computer equipment will be necessary. For example, postgraduate students who take out a student loan will still have additional expenses the loan may not cover that they should have made provision for, and international students on a Tier 4 visa who are required to demonstrate they have sufficient funds when applying for their visa. To be considered for financial support through our Digital Inclusion Fund you need to clearly demonstrate and evidence in your application that your personal or financial circumstances have changed significantly and impacted on your ability to access or fund the equipment you need to study your course. (See Digital Inclusion Checklist for more details of equipment required)
If you meet the above criteria please complete this form and we will assess your eligibility for financial support.
Essential software and apps
- Moodle – This is where you can access your learning resources and content from your courses, including lecture slides, reading, notes and lecture recordings where these are provided. There are also other essential functions we would recommend you learn to use including discussion forums and submitting your assignments. Moodle is also accessible on both mobile devices and laptops/desk computers.
- Microsoft Teams – This app can be used for online lectures and meetings with your lecturers, supervisors and classmates. You can also set up meetings using the app. Microsoft Teams is available for both mobile devices and on laptops/desktop computers. Learn more about how to use the software with our peer to peer Microsoft Teams guide.
- Zoom - Along with Microsoft Teams, Zoom is a frequently used programme for video or audio-conferencing calls with your classmates, lecturers and future employers. You can download Zoom on your laptops, mobile phones and tablets. Read the peer to peer guide on how to use Zoom the software.
- Microsoft Office – Office 365 provides you with online access to software including, Word, Excel and OneNote from any web browser. As a City student you can install it for free by visiting office.com, logging in with your email address and password and selecting ‘Install Office Apps’. If you need further support, join our community on Microsoft Teams to ask any questions.
- Microsoft OneDrive - We would recommend moving files stored on your personal computers and laptops over to your OneDrive, City’s online file service, which allows you to access your files on any device at any time. To access OneDrive, go to office.com and login using your City email address and password then select OneDrive from the main menu. You can add files to OneDrive by dragging and dropping them onto the screen showing OneDrive or by selecting ‘upload’ then select the files or folders you wish to upload.
- AppsAnywhere – We also recommend that you download AppsAnywhere, which enables you to access the apps you need from anywhere. Find out more about AppsAnywhere.
If you are having problems accessing any of the above please contact our IT team.
Quiet study space
- Makes sure you have sufficient space for your devices and that you are seated in a quiet study space in a healthy posture while working.
How to make the most out of your studies online:
- Create a schedule and keep to it. Share your schedule with others so they know when you’re studying and need to not be disturbed
- Take breaks and stay healthy – avoid overworking by scheduling and sticking working hours that aren’t overly long or irregular
- Keep taking notes when watching a video or reviewing slides. Pause videos and use timestamps to take note of key points.
- Check emails and notifications regularly on Moodle (at least daily) to check for new activities and messages. Ensure you subscribe to Moodle forums and check your City emails.
- Regularly communicate with your lecturers and tutors and stay connected with your classmates and other students
- Be patient, flexible and considerate of your fellow learners and your lecturers as they deal with an evolving situation and be prepared to be flexible. Keep in mind your lecturers and peers may be getting LOTS of emails, so identify yourself, use email etiquette, etc.
Visit our Studying and Learning Online guide for more tips to improve your online study skills and user guidance.
If you need more support or have any further questions, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’re having issues using any of the systems, you can contact IT Services.