Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Find out about the recommended BYOD computer requirements for Design students.

Two students working on a laptop

All new students enrolled in the Bachelor of Design (BDes), BDes conjoint programmes, Postgraduate Certificate in Design, or Master of Design should come to the lecture or studio with their own laptop. This is so you will have your core learning tools with you in and outside of the studio, making your study and personal research easier. It also means you can increase your independence and better control your device to stimulate your creativity and simplify your creative practice. Working with your own laptop during your degree will prepare you for the realities of working as a designer after you graduate.

BYOD hardware requirements

The overview for your computer's highly recommended, recommended, and minimum specifications are listed below and with links to regularly updated detailed specifications. If you already have a laptop with the minimum specifications, you can start your Design courses using it and consider your options after a few weeks of classes.

We encourage you to refer to the specifications outlined below when deciding on a laptop. We recommend you arrange personal insurance to cover damage and loss of your device and a warranty that will cover the duration of your study.

Our IT staff will be in the Design studios during the first two weeks of classes to help you get your device set up and connected to the University's network. You can always talk to staff if you require further assistance deciding what type of computer will suit your intended design route.

Read the detailed up-to-date list of recommended specs and learn about some recommended suppliers.

Highly recommended specifications

This specification will enable you to complete every aspect of your Design coursework, including high-performance prototyping and development applications such as Maya for graphical production and Unity for dynamic interactive projects.

Learn more about the highly recommended specifications.

Recommended specifications

This specification will enable you to perform video editing, such as graphical and motion development. Many designers present their ideas and prototypes using visuals, documents and videos. This computer will allow you to do that. However, increasingly, designers are expected to be familiar with more complex production environments such as virtual and gaming environments. If you want to learn how to do this work, this computer may limit your options.

Learn more about the recommended specifications.

Minimum specifications

This specification will enable you to use simple graphics apps such as some basic Adobe products but will limit your ability to contribute comprehensively to your courses. Designers who have a 'minimum specification' laptop to carry around will normally have a desktop computer in their studio with components matching the highly recommended machines listed above to do their more complex design and development work. Desktop computers are often more reasonably priced, and dollar for dollar normally have higher capabilities than laptops.

Learn more about the minimum specifications.

BYOD software requirements

As a Design student, you will need graphical design software such as the Adobe Creative Cloud suite apps or free alternatives, productivity software such as Microsoft Office 365 and up-to-date antivirus software installed on your laptop.

Our IT staff will be in the Design studios during the first two weeks of classes to help you get your laptop set up with the right software.

Learn about free software alternatives and read the descriptions.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is recommended but not necessary for your courses. It includes the main set of apps used by designers worldwide, consisting of a suite of 20+ Adobe Creative Cloud apps. Adobe Creative Cloud is available at a special price for University of Auckland students on an annual subscription basis which can be paid monthly. You will need your University of Auckland student email address to access the discounted subscription. Your email address will be provided to you once you have enrolled in your courses.

Antivirus software

We recommend installing modern, up-to-date antivirus software on your laptop such as Norton, McAfee, AVG or Kaspersky.

Microsoft Office 365

You will be able to install Microsoft Office 365 through the University network when you begin your classes.

Optional software

Other software apps may be useful during your studies, such as Unity, Unreal, Maya, Blender, and Steam. Most of these apps are free to download. Our IT and Design staff will talk more about optional apps during the first few weeks of classes.

City Campus computer labs

There are several computer labs across the city campus that you can use outside of class time. The main all-student study space in the Kate Edger Information Commons is a short walk from the Design studios and Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries computer labs. The Student IT Hub is also located there.

Learn about the Kate Edger Information Commons.

Design facilities

Design has specialised loan out equipment such as VR headsets, DSLR cameras, microphones, tablets etc. and a small lab of high-end PCs for demanding computing work.

Learn more about the Design facilities.

Design Bring Your Own Device Award

An award of up to $2,500 is available to assist students who are enrolling in a Bachelor of Design or Master of Design with the purchase of a course related device.

This award can be used for both hardware and software needed for your courses.