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Laptop or desktop computer

  • A Windows desktop or laptop running Windows 10 or later operating system      
  • A MacOS desktop or laptop running OSX 10.13 or later operating system.
  • While you can participate in your classes on a tablet or phone we recommend using a computer if possible, particularly for assessments. Devices with small screens may make it difficult to adequately view the material provided. You should have at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 vertically for adequate viewing.  

Internet access 

Wi-Fi speeds vary so we recommend you check your bandwidth online. If you have any problems, please contact The Hub Online.


This is important so you can talk and listen to your online discussions. You may have these built into your device. If not then please make sure you have an external headset/microphone and speakers so you can participate in your classes

Webcam (optional) 

An external USB webcam can be used if you do not have one built into your device. If using an external webcam, it is recommended that you also use headphones to prevent audio feedback.

An up-to-date web browser

We recommend the following browsers:

  • Chrome from Google
  • Firefox from Mozilla
  • Edge from Microsoft
  • Safari from Apple

Please check your browser is up to date as this is important to maximise security when accessing the internet.

Up-to-date software

Please check for any updates to both the operating system, software and your preferred browser, and ensure you have installed and up to date antivirus software. St Mary’s University  provides access to Microsoft Office suite of software. Please follow the link to make sure you have software needed to view and produce various files.

Logging in to St Mary’s Moodle 

Moodle is our virtual learning environment (VLE). When you are registered and up-to-date please confirm that you are able to log in to Moodle and can access  the correct programme and Semester 1 modules on Moodle, as well as accessing Panopto learning video content.

We recommend you do this in advance so we can help if you encounter any issues.

If you anticipate any issues with your set up, please contact The Hub Online immediately.

We hope the below will help to answer some of the frequently asked questions you may have about remote delivery of teaching and assessment.  

What if my broadband won’t run live lectures? 

Online video conferencing tools can be broadband intensive especially when using both video and audio facilities. If you experience issues during a live online lecture, please turn off both your video camera and mute your audio.

If problems persist you may need to ask your lecturer to ask the other students to do the same, in this way all of your available broadband capacity is focused on the lecturer and his/her presentation.    

How do I access these online tools? 

If your lecturer is planning an online lecture, they will let you know the meeting URL through Moodle or an Outlook email/calendar invitation. By clicking on the link you will be able to join in. Depending on the software used it might prompt you to download a tool when you use it for the first time.

If your lecturer wishes to use other collaborative tools such as Padlet they will set this up and invite you to contribute and you will receive an invite for this in your St Mary’s email inbox. If your lecturer wishes to use online polling tools, they will provide you with the URL you need to participate.

Digital equality loan scheme

Since the pandemic, more of your learning will be online, which means you'll need IT equipment and good internet access to be able to undertake your studies. At St Mary's, we are committed to the notion of digital equality: this means that we believe that students should not be excluded from all of the available online resources because of their personal or economic circumstances. So, we are now doing even more to make it easier for you to access technology.

On campus, we offer physically distanced computer labs and study spaces and we have free, fast wi-fi network for everyone to use. We also offer short-term laptop loans from the library and online tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom, Moodle and Panopto lecture recordings so you don't need to miss any of your studies. You can access much of the software you need, free of charge and use free online cloud file storage.

We also offer a range of advice and support for all your IT needs, including information about suitable equipment, advice on the software you might need.

iF you can't afford to buy the IT equipment or internet access you need for your studies, we might be able to help. We have introduced a long-term loan scheme for laptops, noise-cancelling headphones and WiFi dongles.

You can keep the equipment for a term, then apply to renew the loan if you still need it. Hopefully this might even give you time to save or find other ways to pay for the equipment you need.

To make sure the equipment gets to the people who need it most, we've set the following conditions:

  • You will have to demonstrate an economic need such as low household or personal income (we may check declared household income on your registry information)
  • Loans generally run for up to 5 months at a time, following the University's semester dates. You are expected to return the equipment at the end of each semester. You can apply to renew the loan if you need the equipment for longer.
  • Loans will not extend over the summer vacation (equipment needs to be returned so that it can be updated over the vacation). However, if you have exam resits (or there is another exceptional circumstance) you can of course apply to extend your loan accordingly.
  • Loans will not run from one academic year to the next. If you need to borrow equipment for the next academic year you will have to make another application.
  • Only UK undergraduate or PGCE students may borrow equipment. Other postgraduate and international students may not borrow equipment. In exceptional circumstances loans to other students may be considered but only where sufficient equipment is available.
  • You must collect the equipment from the Library at St Mary's within 14 days of being informed that it is ready for collection. You will be required to sign an agreement before you take possession of it.
  • During the period of the loan, you are able to take the equipment off-site and use it as your own. However, the equipment must be returned or the loan renewed on or before the final date of the loan or penalties will apply.
  • If you are also applying for Disabled Students Allowance, the loan will only be for a period until you receive your DSA, enabling you to purchase your own equipment.
  • If you are in receipt of a financial award (scholarship or bursary) from the university, you might not be eligible for this scheme, unless in exceptional circumstances.

You will have to complete an application form with a personal statement explaining your need. You will also need to sign to agree to terms and conditions before you pick up the loan equipment. If you are eligible, but all equipment is out on loan, we will put you on a waiting list for when equipment becomes available and try to help you in other ways. The link to the application form is here.

Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions of device loans before submitting your application.

If you have any queries regarding the loan please contact The Hub Online and

Worried about your financial situation?

If you are not eligible, or you're unsuccessful in your application for the loan scheme, but still have concerns about your financial situation, there may be other support available. Please contact our Student Funding Service at with any concerns about your financial situation.