The Learning Lab comprises several teams who design and deliver activities, resources and workshops to support the academic and professional development of all HE students.
The Learning Lab's work is synergistic with programmes to enable students to develop the necessary graduate attributes, literacies and skills essential for future success.
Comprising Academics and Professional Service staff, each team is made of subject-experts who are available for students to engage with via one-to-one appointments, drops-ins, online resources and extracurricular workshops. As part of their flexible delivery model, the Learning Lab runs sessions online and on-campus. These outstanding provisions are available to all students across undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to allow students to autonomously develop their knowledge and skills in line with their individual aspirations and needs.
The Learning Lab includes:
- The Library, Information Professionals & PCA Collections
- Academic Skills
- Learning Technologies & IT Support
- Student Experience & Retention
Our library is an enviable resource, with over 25,000 items comprising physical and digital resources including books and journals (both print and online), DVDs, computer games, a digital video collection and subscriptions to over 130 renowned print publications. The collection spans the breadth and depth of our provision, ensuring that you have the necessary contextual resources no matter your subject area.
An extensive website also provides access to research databases, ebook providers and online journals, and the library has areas for silent study and group work. Our comprehensive online catalogue system can be accessed from home or the university, as well as many other online databases such as JSTOR, Art & Architectural Source and Vogue Magazine's archives.
You’ll gain support and guidance from the library team, including online and in-person advice on researching, referencing, digital literacy and academic practice.
In addition to this, the library has a collection of books to support students' success at university, with topics ranging from mental health and wellbeing to making the most of university and essay writing.
Paperpile is our Harvard Referencing manager, and all staff and students have an account which will allow them to store and organise online research papers and content. You sign in securely using Google, and using a Chrome extension to gather your references, Paperpile allows you to easily reference your work in Google Docs. Click here for more information on all the features that Paperpile provides.
Our friendly and experienced Academic Skills team delivers a range of advice, guidance and skills development to support you with your studies. We deliver workshops and/or drop-ins on a weekly basis that are open to all current students and students are able to book one-to-one or small group sessions with an Academic Skills Advisor to suit their individual needs and schedules.
There are also many online resources that can be accessed via the Academic Skills pages on the Student Portal, such as downloadable guides, videos and handouts.
Topics that our Academic Skills team frequently address include:
- Academic writing
- Reflective thinking & writing
- Time management & organisation
- Essays & dissertations
- Critical thinking & analysis
- Presentation and public speaking skills
- Critical reading
The Academic Skills Team strives to operate a full student service with minimal disruption throughout the summer. Both online and on-campus support to students is available, subject to government restrictions and students can continue to book one-to-one or small-group appointments via the Student Portal.
If you are looking for support relating to one of the topics mentioned above or would like to discuss something else relating to your studies, please visit the Student Portal and arrange a meeting via the university's e-booking system Smart Hub.
The university has an emerging study collection that includes books, prints, and original work by abstract artist Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, surrealist Ithell Colquhoun and painter Robert Lenkiewicz. A number of pieces are on display around the university for educational and research purposes. The library also holds the Robert Lenziewicz Collecion — his personal library of art history books.
Additionally, our Principal’s Collection continues to grow, and includes renowned artists, alumni, staff and students. Some notable pieces include Big Colour (2003), Anthony Frost; Christ’s Hospital (2010), Martin Parr; Gilbert & George (2015), Tom Oldham; and Paradise Lost: Kikau Street and Forty Ships (2017), Mohini Chandra.
Geoffrey Bertram give's a free public lecture at our undergraduate campus, to celebrate the donation of a selection of original prints from Wilhelmina Barns-Graham,
Being a traditionally smaller university, we are proud of the community we cultivate on campus and beyond. Part of our community growth plan involves creating bespoke sessions and events for our students that aim to enrich their experience.
Our dedicated student experience and retention officer works with technical and academic staff on our Workshop Wednesdays initiative. This is a weekly series of sessions run by staff and offers students a chance to switch up their creative practice and learn something new. From pot throwing to animation, through to photography and more, the Workshop Wednesday program is something on the must-try list for our students.
Alongside these workshops, we also run an ever-changing program of events under the guise of Enrichment Weeks. There are 4 of these weeks throughout each academic year and themes include employability, technical skills, digital literacy and more. We see it as a bigger, slightly more intense version of the Workshop Wednesday program, it’s good for students who want a deeper understanding of a chosen topic or to be used as a break after a deadline.
The Student Experience is something we focus on strongly at the university and we are actively looking for new ways to collaborate and communicate with our students, the voice of the student does not go unheard and our staff do what we can to raise our students up and celebrate their successes.