Pathways programmes

  • Headington Library homepage image
  • Guides and resources for students doing Pathways courses - University English, International Foundation and Pre-Master's diploma, and Academic English modules

  • If you are a new student at Brookes, check this guide Welcome to Oxford Brookes University Library: a guide for new international students (PDF). It gives tips on getting to know the Library, getting online and details of support available from the Library and the University. 

    Visiting the Library

    • 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 – just check the Library home page for details of the times.
    • 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.

    Need help? Contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for Pathways Programmes. If you're an international student doing a different course, find your Librarian through these Subject Help pages.

    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:

    Aspire online reading list system:

    Aspire is the online reading list system used at Brookes. Academics can create Aspire lists for their modules which students can access via the 'Reading lists' link on the  Library Web site and through Moodle. 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

    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:

  • Many Pathways courses give you the opportunity to choose a topic to research and find your own sources to support your writing. This includes the International Foundation Project (U70509), Pre-Master's Extended Writing Project (U70362) and University English Research Report. For these assignments you will need to find relevant, authoritative information sources such as books and journal articles - this process is called a literature search.

    You will find literature searching a lot easier if you approach it in an organised, systematic way. This project search plan has been designed to help you do this. Download a copy and use it to note down your ideas about:

    • What you want to search for - your topic and the keywords you could use to search for it.
    • Where you want to search - databases and other tools you could use.
    • Useful Subject Help pages where you could find subject-specific resources.

    For help with filling in the keyword section of your project search plan, take a look at this Google slideshow Compiling a keyword list (login when prompted with your Google @Brookes account).

    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.

    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. 

    To find a print book in the library you will need to get the 'call number' which is listed on LibrarySearch, for example 327 HEY. 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.
    Find out more about locating and borrowing books from A guide to finding books and e-books in Brookes Library (PDF). This includes information on borrowing and returning books, and a section on finding books on the Library shelves with a step-by-step guide to understanding call numbers.

    To access an e-book follow the 'View e-book' link next to the item on LibrarySearch to connect to it. Log in when prompted with your Brookes student number and password. 

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

    Check Journal articles and databases for links to some useful databases and help with searching for journals and articles.

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

    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:

    Our Statistics page provides links to UK and international statistical sources.

    News sources

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

    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

    TV programmes and films

    • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is a service which gives you access to thousands of recorded TV and radio programmes from an online archive. The collection includes recordings of hundreds of films, so is a great resource if you're doing International Foundation module U70517 Modern British Cinema and Society. 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. 
    • 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) 

    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?

    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