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Laptop advice for civil engineering students

A guide to the computer equipment we recommend you use to give you the best start to your degree.


We use a hybrid approach to learning, involving both in-person and pre-recorded lectures. While on campus, you'll have access to well-equipped computer labs but we still recommend you invest in a laptop to get the most out of your learning experience. Our Department has a site licence for all the academic software you'll need during your degree, most of which you'll be able to download to your PC.

We also provide access to specialist CAD software on a Windows virtual desktop on the Microsoft Azure cloud in case you can't install the software locally or don't have the right laptop specifications. Some pieces of engineering software are Windows only so if you are using a Mac OS, you'll need to budget for a virtual machine (e.g. Parallels) and a copy of Windows (64-bit). Although you can use chromebook or a tablet to access course communications, online learning materials and software through Windows Virtual Desktop, you won't be able to run all the software you need locally.

  • Processor: Intel i5
  • RAM: 8 Gb
  • Display Card: 1 Gb GPU with 29 Gb/s Bandwidth and DirectX 11 compliant
  • Hard Disk: 256 Gb
  • Screen Size: at least 13”, 15”recommended

Having a good battery life is a great benefit.

We also recommend buying a mouse with a central wheel, and an HDMI/DisplayPort adaptor to connect to external monitors.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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