Prepare to join our school
We’re looking forward to seeing you in September, but we’d love to meet you right away! Here’s a checklist of things you can do before you arrive.
- Make sure you have completed all the Before you Arrive tasks at the university level
- Come and chat with us on Discord (see below)
- Consider whether to buy a computer in advance (see below)
- Find out about our student societies (see Students' Union)
- Read important information about our courses in Moodle (see Explore Moodle)
- Enjoy watching Computerphile on YouTube, which includes videos from many of your lecturers
Meet your fellow students
Got questions? Want to know what university will be like? As soon as you accept your place at Nottingham you can join your fellow new Computer Science students on one of our Discord servers. These servers are student-led (by our student mentors), rather than formal ways to communicate with staff, but will likely stay with you throughout the degree.
Chat to other new first year students, as well as mentors and some members of staff. The mentors have just completed their first year and were in the same position as you last summer.
Undergraduate Discord server
Meet current and recent MSc and PhD students in our school, as well as other Postgraduate Taught and Research students joining us this year.
Postgraduate Discord server
All members of the Computer Science servers need to follow university code of discipline. Anyone found to go against this code will be removed from the server.
Buying a computer
We are often asked if we can recommend a laptop or equipment for new starters. Typically, you do not need to provide your own computer, as we provide large labs with different types of computers. However, due to COVID-19 it may not always be possible for you to access these machines as often as normal. Many students also prefer to have their own, whether for using it away from our labs, or indeed for personal entertainment.
Things you might want a computer for include taking notes in seminars and meetings, working in the university during gaps in the timetable, and working at home. Some prefer a laptop for both, whilst other students prefer a desktop computer at home, and a tablet on the go.
The most important thing when choosing a machine is making sure it is something you are comfortable using. It is then also more important to have a good set of equipment, than the best spec computer you can afford, as you will have access to cloud resources processing and storage.
- Windows, Mac, or Linux is your choice – you can always access the alternative virtual machines that we provide.
- We recommend at least 8GB of RAM and for storage we recommend SSD with a minimum of about 256GB.
- If buying a laptop, it is better to have a separate screen and additional mouse/trackpad, to avoid long-term injury from poor posture. Otherwise, we recommend at least a 13” screen.
- Purchase a webcam, earphones, and microphone to make video calls, and for producing media during the course. Although a laptop may have these built in, sound is often better if using earphones and an external microphone (which most earphones include).
- If you are going to buy a new computer, but already have one, then you may wish to see what the first semester is like and delay the purchase until e.g. Christmas
Take a virtual tour of the beautiful Jubilee Campus before you arrive.
Take a tour of Jubilee Campus