System requirements

These are the minimum IT requirements necessary to participate in the Department’s award-bearing and online courses; using better hardware and software may improve your study experience. Some courses have additional requirements, so please consult the IT requirements section listed in the course description of any course you plan to study.


  • An Internet connection (preferably broadband).
  • A computer fulfilling the software requirements outlined below. Any typical computer produced within the last five years should be adequate.

Other hardware

Many award-bearing courses, the Weekly Online Worldwide courses and some other courses use Microsoft Teams or similar online collaboration tools. To use these, you will need a device with speakers, a microphone and a camera (optional). Standard laptop camera, microphone and speakers should be adequate. Headphones with a built-in microphone are recommended. See Hardware requirements for Microsoft Teams for further details of optimal hardware requirements for a range of devices.


The Department’s courses are designed to work in any modern web browser, with those we officially support listed below.

It is possible to use other browsers, but – due to the sheer number of different configurations possible – if you encounter any problems whilst using a system we don’t support, we will ask you to try a supported browser.

Supported web browsers

We endeavour to support the following four web browsers. Students who choose to use a different browser may experience problems.

For the best experience and optimum security, we recommend that you keep your browser up to date. Check at

Other software

  • A PDF reader such as Adobe Reader (latest version) or Foxit Reader (latest version)
  • A .docx file compatible office suite, such as LibreOffice or Microsoft Office
  • For courses using Microsoft Teams, the desktop app is recommended. If the app doesn’t work, try the web-based version of Teams using Google Chrome as your web browser.

All the hardware and software outlined above must be correctly installed and maintained. We strongly recommend that you take steps to protect your computer/device(s), including backing up data, installing up to date anti-virus software and keeping the operating system and other vulnerable software up to date.

If you are participating in a course that lasts for two or more years, you must ensure that you keep your hardware and software up to date with the minimum requirements for each academic year.

Using a Mac

Most of our online courses only require a web browser and some commonly available plug-ins. You should not experience any problems as a Mac user; however, there are some exceptions. Always check the course promotional website for any specific software requirements that may not be available for the Mac.

Students studying the Advanced Diploma in Local History require the Microsoft Office Professional edition which includes the Access database application. Mac users studying this course will also require PC emulation software, such as Parallels, so they can run the Windows version of the software (as Access is not available for Mac).

Some other courses also require additional browser plug-ins. Please check the promotional website of the course you intend to study for its specific IT requirements.

If you have any queries about pursuing an online course with a Mac – please contact us.