Information Services Division


Student laptop loan scheme

UCL endeavours to ensure all students can be supported in terms of their technology needs while on campus or while learning remotely.

For the academic year 20/21 we are putting in place additional services to provide laptop loans for students whether they are on campus or working from home.

Coronavirus update: Whilst UCL's library sites are closed, there is a laptop loan scheme in place to assist students that may not have access to their own computer.

Please log a ticket with IT Services, by email to itservices@ucl.ac.uk or by phone +44 (0)20 7679 5000, to ask for a loan laptop. They will just need your name and contact phone number. Please do not include your address at this stage. Your request will be passed on to the Technical Operations team who will contact you to gather further required information.

There is limited availability and we will assign laptops on a first come, first served basis.

Laptop loans on campus

The UCL Library has a laptop loan service available at a number of library sites. The laptops are held in locked cabinets and are provided fully charged.

During this time of remote study many libraries are currently closed. Please check the Library laptop loans page for further details.

Availability of laptops for loan on campus can be checked using the UCL-Go app 

Loan Duration

The laptops may be borrowed from the self-service cabinets at any time when the library site is open. Laptops may be borrowed for 24 hours, with loans on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday running until 10:00 on the Monday.

More details about how to use this service are available on the Library website

Long term laptop loans for UK/EU undergraduate students from low income households

A new service for 2020/21 is the provision of laptop loans for UK/EU undergraduate students whose household income is less than £25,000 (based on SLC assessment). UCL will receive your household data automatically for bursary/support purposes provided you have asked for a means-tested assessment and have not opted-out of sharing this information.

Students in this category may be allocated a loan laptop for the entire duration of their programme of study.

To apply for a laptop students should complete this form [link TBC] Following submission of the form your household income details will be checked by the UCL Student Funding Office. 
Once the Student Funding Office has confirmed eligibility, they will pass the necessary information to ISD for processing and the release and delivery of the laptop.

Specification of the laptops being made available for long term loans under this scheme
Windows laptop with 8th/10th Gen i5 Processor, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD running Desktop@UCL

Laptop loans for other groups of students

Students who do not qualify for the long-term laptop loan can still receive support. There will be a limited supply of laptops available with an initial maximum loan period of 6 months.

Students wanting to borrow a laptop should contact the IT Services Desk by emailing itservices@ucl.ac.uk or by phoning +44 (0)2076795000.

Criteria for laptop allocation

  1. The student should be domiciled in the UK or EU (we will not ship to countries outside of EU)
  2. The student should not have access to a personal laptop at the time of the request
  3. The student will need to explain why they cannot utilise the laptops provided as per the “Student loan lockers” service
  4. The initial loan will be for a duration of 1 month, after which it would need to be renewed.

The maximum period of loan under this scheme is 6 months.

Criteria for extending the laptop loan period

If a student wishes to extend the laptop loan, they will need to meet the following criteria.

  1. The student does not have access to a personal laptop
  2. The student does not have means to buy a personal laptop
  3. The student is not able to use the “Student loan lockers” service
  4. If the loan is required for more than six months, students can apply to the Financial Assistance Fund for an income assessment. Once this assessment is completed a decision will be made on whether a long-term laptop loan can be offered.

Students can request a renewal by emailing the IT Services Desk itservices@ucl.ac.uk or by phoning +44 (0)2076795000 before the end of their current renewal.

Delivery times for laptop loans

We currently estimate that approval for a laptop may take 5 working days and delivery a further 5 days. If stock is not available with our suppliers then delivery may take up to 5 weeks in total.

Buying your own computer - minimum requirements

To be able to fully participate in teaching and learning activities requires a computer with an internet connection which aligns to the following approximation of a minimum requirement to access, and take part in, online elements of courses at UCL.

Recommended system requirements:

  • Computer running a Windows, OS X or Unix/Linux operating system capable of running a modern web browser.
  • Web browser such as Edge, Safari, Chrome or Firefox.
  • Office-type software for word processing, keeping/maintaining data records and presenting ideas - or similar.
  • Storing files safely with a secure, second-location to back-up your files and doing this regularly. We recommend making use of your N: drive, and OneDrive which is part of Office 365. The N: drive is your file storage area on the UCL Desktop service. It is backed up nightly. It can be accessed via Desktop@UCL, Desktop@UCLAnywhere and can be connected to from your own device. More information about the N: drive and how to access it.
  • Required software some plugins such as Java, Flash and a few other 'plugins' for the web may be required. Desktop@UCL provides you with the core software. Your department will advise on any additional software required for your course. Office 365 is a free download for all students Office 365 includes Microsoft Teams for collaborative and remote working.
  • Anti-virus software - antivirus protection is provided within Desktop@UCL however if you are using your own machine outside Desktop@UCL please use an anti-virus product which is a free download from the UCL Software Database

You might want to access some learning resources on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet - software such as Moodle and Lecturecast (for course videos) should be fine with your device. You may find, however, at some stage you still need a keyboard and a screen - most likely when writing or project work.

Process for reporting lost or damaged laptops and Terms of Conditions of the laptop loan service

Process for lost or damaged laptops

If a laptop is lost or damaged beyond repair, students will be liable to pay the cost of the device at £666 inc VAT.
If the student is not able to pay the costs, they need to be referred to the Student Funding Office (Via the Financial Assistance Fund).

Terms and Conditions

The following terms and conditions are in place for the use of the laptop loans service

  1. By accepting the loan laptop, I agree to abide by all the terms and conditions as set out below
  2. The laptop remains the property of UCL
  3. I will return the laptop by the due time/date to ISD, and if necessary report any damage to the Library/Service Desk.
  4. I understand that it is not possible to extend the loan beyond a period of 6 months.
  5. I understand that this laptop is for my personal use only, and I will not borrow it on behalf of a friend or colleague, or use it for work which is not educational or personal in nature.
  6. I will not save files to the local computer and understand that any files saved elsewhere on the laptop could be lost.
  7. I understand that no third party software that is not included in the UCL software catalogue can be downloaded or installed onto this laptop.
  8. UCL is not responsible for any damage to the borrower’s data storage device(s), loss of data caused by software, hardware, battery failure or computer viruses.
  9. I understand that if the laptop is lost, stolen or damaged in my care, I am liable to pay repair/replacement costs up to £666. (UCL recommends that students add the laptop to their home insurance if possible to cover for any loss or damage.)
  10. Any software or hardware based issues should be reported to the ISD Service Desk itservices@ucl.ac.uk or by phoning +44 (0)20 7679 5000
  11. UCL reserves the right to terminate the loan if the student is found to be in breach of any of the conditions above.