Specialist hardware and software is sometimes required for many courses offered at university. For example, students on website design courses may use software like Adobe Dreamweaver.
Usually students will use specialist hardware and software whilst on campus, where most of it is provided by the university. In some cases however you may want to have specialist hardware available at home or specialist software on your own computer/laptop.
Specialist hardware and software can often be very expensive. However, a number of companies offer student discounts on their products which can help make them available on a student budget.
You can view a number of offers for students on shuspace. The list isn’t exhaustive, so if something isn’t listed that doesn’t mean it’s not available. Search on the manufactures website to find out if they have student discounts available.
Sometimes discounts are available via third parties. For example, Software4Students sells (unsurprisingly) software for students at a discounted price. Many high street retailers will offer discounts on presentation of a valid NUS/NUS extra card.
Students on some computing courses may also have access to the MSDNAA, better known as the “Academic Alliance”. This is a special service which allows you to (legally) download copies of many Microsoft products for personal usage.
If you do order hardware/software from one of these sites you should always ensure that the license is suitable for what you want to use it for. Many products will come with only an academic license which may, for example, prohibit usage for commercial purposes.