Whether it’s writing essays or accessing electronic journals, you’ll make extensive use of digital technology. It only takes one username and password to access all the electronic resources you need.
No matter which course you are studying, or for how long, computers play a key role in everyone’s life here at the University, and so our computing facilities provide a valuable resource for you. In particular, we offer:
- 850 PCs, 315 loan laptops and 300 Macs, meaning a computer to student ratio of 1:7 – one of the highest in the country.
- 160 PCs available 24 hours a day.
- Dedicated computer rooms/labs.
- Quiet study areas with access to PCs.
- Assistive workstations and software.
- Technology-rich social and group study areas.
- Over 80 items of software on each computer.
Connecting your own device
We encourage you to bring your own device (or “BYOD” as it’s commonly called) to our campuses and halls. To assist this, we provide wireless coverage for more than 80% of the buildings. This coverage is continuing to grow year on year and includes the installation of higher capacity wireless to allow more users/more students to connect in high demand areas.
The university is also part of the Eduroam network which allows you to connect your phone, tablet or laptop on all our campuses. If you’re travelling to another University or Eduroam participating organisation, you’ll be able to connect there too.
Connecting with other people
No matter what computer, tablet or smartphone device you use, stay in contact with your peers and tutors by using an integrated set of communication and collaboration tools, including email and Skype for Business. These are based on Microsoft’s Office365 suite of products and all are securely available over the Web using your university logon name. This means you can use them from any computer or smartphone on campus, at home or anywhere. They include-
- Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- OneDrive where you can store and share all your files.
- Skype for Business (very similar to the Skype you may already be familiar with).
The University provides assistive technology to help enable anyone who may need assistance to gain more equal access to their learning. This includes: assistive software on all of the student PCs in the libraries and computer rooms, Apple Accessibility software and over 30 assistive technology workstations across the campuses as well as specialised devices for loan. For details see:
The systems you need and your student Hub
Whilst you are a member of the University, IT systems and electronic information will play a huge role in your everyday life. We have made it easier for you to access your most commonly used systems such as your email, your timetable or your library systems, by collecting them together into a single web page, known as the “Student Hub”. This means you only need to sign on once and you are automatically logged in to your other systems for learning and collaboration.
If you need a recording for your course, or you've missed that vital TV programme, we can help. The university has a subscription which allows us to access a number of programmes on certain channels that have already aired. Multimedia recording or editing could be a part of any course - if you need help editing multimedia projects or presentations, IT Services can arrange support sessions.
Printing and Photocopying
There are combined high quality, high volume and rapid printing, photocopying and scanning machines at all campuses. You will be able to print from your own device and collect it from any building at a time that is convenient to you.
We also have an on-site Print Unit at the Lancaster campus to provide a full range of printing, copying and finishing work.
Educational Software Discounts
It’s always easier for you to continue your work if you have access to the same software at home. As a student, you will be entitled to discounts on some of that software and other services:
- Microsoft’s Student Advantage gives you the option to install Office 2016 on up to five personally owned (not university issued) PCs and Macs.
- You can use the full Microsoft Office collaborative suite of Office 365 Professional Plus suite while you are registered with the university.
- Apple provide students (and staff) with educational discounts on most of their products.
- As a student you are entitled to six months’ free Amazon Prime (instead of the standard one month).
Technology to Support Your Learning
We have a number of systems that will be used within your course to support your learning, the main one being our virtual learning environment (VLE), Blackboard. Most courses make use of this system to give you access to learning resources and materials (such as access to lecture slides and handouts, programme and module information, etc.), links to digital reading lists and access to collaborative online learning spaces such as discussion boards. Blackboard is also used to make announcements and to update you on learning opportunities within your course.
Some courses also utilise PebblePad for electronic portfolios. It’s a very flexible system that allows you to store digital assets (documents, photos, videos, etc.) in one place. These assets can be used to develop online eportfolios, support reflective commentaries, personal development planning, recording of progress and many more activities. You can share elements of your PebblePad account with peers, tutors and people outside the University who may be interested in your progress.
Both Blackboard and PebblePad have mobile apps which allow you to access and add to information from your mobile device.
Online Learning Resources
We also have modern library and study environments for social and informal study, silent and individual study, all fully integrated with IT facilities and also with self-service technologies for convenient book loans, laptop loans and online payments.
In addition to its print collections, you have access to thousands of electronic books and electronic journals relevant to your programme of study, whether you are at undergraduate, postgraduate or research level. Each title has been selected by our Learning Advisers working with your tutors. They are all accessed from our specially designed search engine OneSearch and accessed via the Student Hub. Your reading lists are also available electronically, as is research conducted by university academics via the Insight research repository.
You can access our real time, personalised “Ask a Librarian” between 5pm and 9am during the week and round the clock at weekends and bank holidays with all its resources available from any Internet-enabled device. Our electronic skills materials are award-winning and designed to help you throughout your studies. Visit this page for more information.
All students and staff have access to the research and analysis from the world’s leading IT industry analysis company, Gartner.