Trust me Macbooks are a rip off for student unless you do a subject that requires Mac specific software e.g. programming or music or you like the Mac experience since you're are mostly paying for the software since Macbooks start at £1.3k and you get about £700 max worth of hardware as an equivalently spec-ed windows laptop.
If you are looking for a laptop, I would recommend getting something with an Intel i5 or i7 (typically higher performance) or a Ryzen 5 or 7 (longer battery life without compromising too much on performance). Also get something with at least 8GB of RAM and a 500GB SSD (a HDD or hard drive will me much much slower).You can get second hand models but laptop batteries tend to degrade pretty quickly so I wouldn't recommend one more than 2-3 years old.
In terms of a tablet/iPad, I have tried both for notetaking (since you can't really do Maths equations quicly on a PC) but ultimately found it a bit of a faff with trying to move the page everytime you want to write which is why I switched back to paper. My advise would be to try it before you buy.