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IOE Student Blog


A blog on life at UCL Institute of Education and education affairs written for students by students.


Make the most of studying resources across UCL and London

By linda.wystemp.17, on 24 October 2019

At UCL and across London there is a vast array of different study resources available to help you make the most of your time at university. This list will give you with a quick overview of the resources, physical and online, that will hopefully make your learning, research, and study sessions a little easier and a little more productive.

IOE students studying in the Newsam, Library


UCL has 17 libraries across London (and one in Qatar). You can find the total list of UCL libraries, including opening times and the number of available study spaces (updated in real time), on the UCL Library Services website.

Moreover, as a UCL student, you are eligible to access all libraries belonging to the University of London (UoL), including the ones at King’s and Birkbeck, for free. I recommend simply turning up and explaining to a member of staff that you are a visiting UCL student – just remember to take your UCL ID card with you. Senate House Library, the central library of the UoL, also offers free membership to all UCL students (signing up online takes about thirty seconds).

Lastly, the British Library offers free Reader passes that allow you to browse millions of items and access all Reading Rooms for free, which I definitely recommend you check out because the work environment is amazing (the downside: you can only write in pencil when inside, and can’t take any large bags or jackets with you, and all your items need to be placed in clear plastic bags – security is very strict on this!).

Museums and galleries

Many of the museums, exhibitions, and art galleries in London can be visited all year round at absolutely no cost. This includes the British Museum, the Museum of London, the National History Museum, and the National Gallery. But did you know that UCL also has its own museums that you can visit?

There is the Grant Museum of Zoology, which is right across the Main Quad, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology which can be found in Malet Place, and the UCL Art Museum which can be found in the South Cloisters (but don’t forget to check for opening hours before you go).


UCL gives you access to 686 databases which in turn connect you to all kinds of e-journals, articles, websites, documents, datasets, case studies, newsletters, and images. Each database can be filtered by keywords and browsed by subject, title, publisher, etc. I particularly recommend filtering the databases by audio-visual materials which allows you to watch thousands of films, documentaries, and online courses from the comfort of your bed. Click here for a complete list of all databases.

In addition, I recommend you try out JSTOR if you haven’t already – it’s extremely easy to navigate and holds a great number of peer-reviewed resources.

Software programmes

Through UCL services you can access tons of software programmes either for free or at a discounted rate (Adobe products at 65% off, for example). Programmes include statistical, graphic editing, and modelling software; a complete overview is here.

On top of that, you can download the latest Microsoft Office Suite for free (this includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). UCL also gives you access to free anti-virus software that’ll save your laptop from nasty attacks (search for ‘F-Secure’ or ‘Sophos’ in the Software database to download).

Amazon Prime and UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS is a free app that lets you set up an account with your UCL log-in details. Through UNiDAYS you can get 10% off at Waterstones when you shop online, and a 6-month free trial with Amazon Prime, among lots of other discounts. Amazon Prime in turn offers 10% off 1000s of novels, textbooks, comics, study guides, and career-related books so you can truly excel at your studies and beyond.

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