Pathways programmes

  • Student working in Headington Library
  • Guides and resources for students doing Pathways programmes - University English, Foundation and Pre-Master's courses, and Academic English modules

  • Welcome to Oxford Brookes University Library: a guide for new international students (PDF) »
    This guide may be useful for any student who is new to Brookes, but includes specific help and support for international students. It gives tips on getting to know the Library and details of support available to you as a Brookes student.

    Visiting the Library for the first time

    • The Headington Library is open to all so you don't need to have enrolled and got your student card in order to have a look around.
    • Check the information you are given by your Department about the induction programme. You may have a library tour organised specifically for your course as part of this programme.
    • If not, or if you enrol late, we strongly recommend that you join one of the general library tours offered in Week 0 and at the beginning of semester. Tours last 30 minutes and will show you the library layout and key services. There’s no need to book. 
    • If you have missed the library tours, you can take a virtual tour of Headington Library or pick up a Headington Library floor plan from the Library Help Zone on Level 1 of the Library.

    Headington Library

    This is the main library at Oxford Brookes and covers all subject areas. It's located in the JHB Building.

    • Headington Library opening hours The Library is open 24 hours a day during semesters 1 & 2.
    • Headington Library floor plan - this leaflet will help you find your way around. You can also pick up a copy from the Help Zone on Level 1 of the Library. Don't be afraid to ask Library staff if you need any help when using the Library. Near the Help Zone you’ll find the Welcome Desk, book returns slots, reservations collection point and Short Loan.
      The Library has 6 floors and books are on Levels 2, 3 and 4. Use the self-service machines on these floors to borrow books.
      There are different zones for quiet and silent study. If you want to do group work and/or chat, head to The Platform (Level 3) or The Forum (Ground Floor). You can also  book one of our Student Presentation Rooms online.

     

    Library help throughout your course

    Students doing Pathways courses are welcome to contact their Academic Liaison Librarian, Joanna Cooksey. If you're an international student doing a different course, find your Librarian through these Subject Help pages.

    If English is not your first language, the Library holds books and other resources that can help you improve your English language skills. Resources are shelved on Level 2 of the Library, in Zone E (silent study area). Here are some key sections:
    420 English language
    423 English dictionaries
    423.1 Thesauri and dictionaries of English synonyms
    425 English grammar
    428 English language usage
    428.24 Learning English as a foreign language, including IELTS
    428.64 Collection of readers – simplified versions of English novels

    Use LibrarySearch » to look for other language dictionaries available in the library.

    Online dictionaries:

    • OED online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
    • Oxford Reference Online This is a collection of Oxford University Press reference books including English and bilingual dictionaries.
    • Oxford dictionaries is a collection of fully searchable bilingual dictionaries in French, Chinese, Spanish, and Italian. The database also includes a wide range of language learning resources and study materials.

    Check this Study skills resources page for details of useful books, support and online guides covering:

    • Managing yourself & your time
    • Lectures & note-taking
    • Finding, reading & using information sources
    • Academic writing, critical thinking & constructing arguments - writing academic essays, reports and business plans
    • Group work & presentations
    • Exam preparation & technique

    Please contact your  Academic Liaison Librarian Joanna Cooksey for advice on Library resources and services to support your students, teaching and research. 

    Useful guides:

    Providing resources for your students:

    Talis Aspire online reading list system:

    Talis Aspire is the online reading list system used at Brookes. Academics can create Aspire lists for their modules which students can access through Moodle and via the 'Reading lists' link on the Library Web site. Aspire lists can contain links to books on LibrarySearch and web-based resources such as articles, web pages and even programmes on the BoB (Box of Broadcasts) database. If you would like to start using Aspire, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian Joanna Cooksey who can set up your account & help you get started. 

    Set of Aspire quick guides for academic staff on RADAR

    Useful e-resources:

    Sketch Engine is a corpus tool that analyses authentic texts of billions of words (text corpora) to identify instantly what is typical in language and what is rare, unusual or emerging usage. It is also designed for text analysis or text mining applications. When you access the website, click on Login and then choose Institutional login. You'll be prompted to type in Oxford Brookes and will then get the Brookes login screen. 

    For databases you can use to trace published research, see Journal articles and databases

    Accessing other libraries:

    • Researchers and staff can apply for access to the  Bodleian Library. You will need to follow the procedures outlined on the Bodleian Library Admissions webpages, using Form A and should apply in person directly to the Bodleian Admissions Office. Use SOLO the Oxford University Libraries' Catalogue to check what is available and where it's held. 
    • You can use the Interlibrary Loans service to request books, articles and other publications which aren't in stock. Charges for requests made by staff and research students are recovered from Faculties / Directorates. You can make your requests via LibrarySearch and you need to include your financial code on each request made.
    • The SCONUL Access scheme allows Brookes users to access many university libraries across the UK. You may find this useful if you live at some distance from Oxford and would like to use an academic library in your local area. To apply, go to the SCONUL website and check first whether the library you wish to visit is a member of the scheme, then complete the online application form. Once your application has been authorized by Brookes Library, you will be sent a confirmation email from SCONUL access and will need to take this along when you first visit the member library.
    • Staff and students may also apply for a British Library Readers Pass. Further information is available from the British Library
    • The British Library's EThOS system allows you to search across 250,000+ UK PhD/MPhil theses for free and download / order full text where available. You will need to register and log in if you want to download a thesis or to order digitisation of a thesis.
    • Access to research is a scheme run through public libraries, where academic publishers have made many of their journals freely accessible to the general public. Access to these e-journals is only available through computers in one of the participating libraries. These include Oxfordshire County Library. Check the Access to research website to see which libraries are participating and use the search option to see whether a specific journal title/issue is available through the scheme.
  • Finding and using sources for your assignments:

  • What is a literature search?

    A literature search is a systematic and thorough search for relevant and reliable sources on a topic. You will need to do a literature search for many modules, especially when you have chosen your own topic to research, so there's no existing reading list - for example the Foundation Project (INFO3004), Pre-Master's Extended Writing Project (PREM6002) and University English Research Report. 
    Your tutors will expect you to :

    • Find a mixture of sources - books, journal articles, web sources. You may have to find a minimum number of sources.
    • Focus mainly on academic sources - books and journal articles. They don't want you to just look on Google!
    • Reference all the sources you've used in the Brookes Harvard style. See the section below 'Learn how to reference your sources'.

    It's a good idea to plan what you want to look for and where you could search. To help you do this, download a copy of this search plan template and use it to note down your ideas:

    Download your own project search plan (Word doc) »

    Start your search

    The sections below step you through finding books, journal articles and other sources such as statistics, news articles, market research and country reports.

    If you need help with searching for sources, contact your Academic Liaison Librarian to make a 1-to-1 appointment.

    If you have to research a topic for an assignment, books can be a good place to start as they may offer an overview of a subject - definitions, theories, dates, key people etc. They may also give you in-depth information and ideas about issues related to the topic.

    Search for books

    To search for a book use the Books & e-books search on the Library home page and type in the author, title or subject that you are interested in. Alternatively you can use LibrarySearch and then limit your search results to books.

    To find a print book in the library you will need to get the 'call number' which is listed on LibrarySearch, for example 808.042 BAI. Most of your books will be located in Headington Library. If the book is on loan to another user or at one of our other libraries, you can put a hold on it. If it's on the shelves, it's quicker for you to go and get it yourself.

    If it’s an e-book, follow the 'View e-book' link to connect to it. Log in when prompted with your Brookes student number and password. Find out more about accessing and downloading e-books

    Further help is available from this guide: A guide to finding books and e-books in Brookes Library (PDF) » 
    It tells you how to borrow & return books, how to understand call numbers and find books on the Library shelves 

    Reading lists

    Most reading lists are available online via the relevant Moodle course. You can also search the full collection of reading lists by module name and/or number.

    Reference books

    • OED online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
    • Oxford Reference Online This is a collection of Oxford University Press reference books on a variety of subjects. Individual titles from the collection are also listed on  LibrarySearch.

    How to reference books in your written work

    Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to correctly reference books and book chapters in the Harvard style used at Brookes.

    News sources

    • LexisLibrary  is a law database which includes articles from UK national and regional news sources.
      How to use LexisLibrary - see the section 'How to search newspapers'
    • Factiva is an international news database. It covers national newspapers, local newspapers, web sources, trade and professional journals and company financial details. 
      How to use Factiva - short videos and written guides.

    For more help with tracking down news sources and how to identify fake news, see our News and current affairs guide.

    TV programmes and films

    • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is a service which gives you access to thousands of recorded TV, radio programmes and films from an online archive. Note that you will need to sign in with your Brookes login details each time you access BoB and the first time you access it you will be prompted to create an account. This allows you to create your own playlists and clips, and ask for programmes to be added to the collection. 
      Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference BoB programmes in the Harvard style used at Brookes.
    • DVD copies of feature films are available on Level 4 of the library in Zone D. The section for British cinema is at 791.430941. We also have a collection of documentary films at 070.18 on Level 2 (Zone C, mobile shelving) 

    Your tutors will expect you to concentrate on finding academic sources for your assignments and this usually means books and peer-reviewed journal articles, but you may also need to find other types of sources:

    Statistics

    Our Statistics page provides links to UK and international statistical sources

    Country reports

    Annual country reports can be useful sources of information about the economic, political and social situation of individual countries. Use the database Business Source Complete : search for a country plus 'country report' (e.g. New Zealand country report) to find useful information on particular countries. For further help, check this video guide produced by the Brookes Business Librarians

    Market research reports

    We have 2 key databases containing market research information:

    • Mintel contains industry, leisure, retail, travel and tourism reports for the UK, as well as information about  UK consumers' lifestyles. How to use Mintel
    • Passport (Euromonitor) contains information about International markets, consumer lifestyles, country, and economic reports from Euromonitor International. How to use Passport

    How to reference reports from Mintel and Euromonitor
    Check Cite Them Right Online for guidance on how to reference these online market research reports in the Harvard style used at Brookes.

    Images and graphs for presentations

    • Books on the topic might include tables & graphs which could help to support the arguments you are making in your presentation. Try looking for recent books (last 5 or 10 years) on LibrarySearch. Sometimes books will have a listing of images/graphs/charts at the beginning.
    • Articles on the topic may also contain graphs or charts, though this may involve quite a lot of research work to track down. To look for articles, use LibrarySearch or a database.
    • Statistical data may be presented in the form of graphs or charts - check the Library’s Statistics web page which has sections on different topics.
    • The online publication The Conversation contains articles written by academics for a general audience on topics currently in the news which include links to freely available resources, including statistics and infographics.
    • For high quality photographs & other images, try the digital image databases Bridgeman Education and ARTstor
    • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) mentioned above is a service which gives you access to thousands of recorded TV and radio programmes from an online archive. You can create your own clips from programmes and include them in presentations. 

    Web sites

    When searching for Web sources, remember that you need reliable scholarly sources for your university research.

    Need help with searching for sources? Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian to make a 1-to-1 appointment.

    Citing your sources, also called referencing, is an essential part of your academic work. Assignments for Pathways programmes need to be referenced in the Brookes Harvard style.

    How do I reference sources in the Brookes Harvard style?

    Cite Them Right Online (CiTRO)» this online resource shows you how to reference a wide range of sources using exactly the same Harvard style used at Brookes.

    Citing your references using the Harvard (author-date) system (PDF))» Library quick guide based on CiTRO. Copies are also available at the Library Help Zone on Level 1.

    Tip: Get into the habit of recording details of each source you use, when you use it. It will make referencing much easier in the long run!

    Need help with referencing? Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

    Why does referencing matter?

    By referencing your sources correctly you are demonstrating that:

    • You’ve properly acknowledged others’ work. Failure to do this could be regarded as plagiarism
    • You're providing evidence to show that the facts and arguments you present are supported by your reading.
    • You've provided your tutors will all the information they need to trace the source you have used.
    • You have read widely and used a variety of sources.

    Do all Brookes courses use the Harvard style of referencing?

    Most departments at Brookes do use Harvard, but there are some courses which require a different referencing style. Always check with your module leader about which style you need to use. Guides to these different referencing styles are available from the relevant Subject Help pages:

    Are there any tools I can use to help me reference correctly?

    Make sure you check Cite Them Right Online (CiTRO) for instructions and examples of referencing a wide range of sources in the Harvard style.

    There are many online tools, apps and software packages that can help with referencing, but these will not necessarily format your references in the correct Harvard style used at Brookes. One tool that can be useful is Endnote:

    • EndNote Web allows you to collect, store and manage your own collection of references and create bibliographies in your written work.
    • It's free, you just need to register for an account. You can then create an online collection or 'Library' of your references, accessible anywhere.
    • It will also work with Word to create a fully formatted bibliography from your reference library. We have created a 'Brookes Harvard' referencing style for EndNote Web which matches the guidance given in Cite Them Right Online.
  • Library news

    Quick links