Finding information for Sociology

  • Your Academic Liaison Librarian, Joanna Cooksey is here to help you find and use library resources for your course, for example finding books and journal articles, using electronic services like databases, and referencing in your written work. Joanna is based on Level 3 of the Library and you can make an appointment by emailing

  • The Headington Library in the JHB is the main library at Oxford Brookes and covers all subject areas, including Sociology. It's open 24 hours a day for most of the week during semester. The Library has 6 floors - for help with finding your way around, pick up a floor plan from the Help Zone on Level 1. You can also ask here 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. Books are on Levels 2, 3 and 4. Most of the books for Sociology are on Level 2 in Zones C and D. Use the nearby self-service machine to borrow books on this floor.

    The Library has 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.

    To get online in the Library, log onto one of the Library PCs with your student number and portal password – these computers will give you access to Internet, Google Mail, Brookes Virtual, Word etc. Printing is available via the Print Anywhere service. The IT Service Desk is located in The Forum and provides IT help.
    To get online with your laptop, tablet or other device, sign up for the University’s Wi-Fi service Eduroam via the IT Services Web pages.

    Using LibrarySearch: collection of quick guides showing you how to find books, journals and databases through LibrarySearch

    If you feel daunted by the prospect of searching for sources for an assignment, it can be helpful to plan what you want to look for and where you could search (databases and other tools you could use). Download a copy of this Literature search plan for Sociology (Word) and use it to add your own notes and plan your literature search.

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

    Useful guides on finding sources:

    Dissertations and independent research in Sociology, Politics & International Relations - includes books and tips on literature searching & doing a literature review

    Social research methods - includes a list of useful books, details of how to get SPSS software, links to online sources, and more.


    Past undergraduate dissertations for Sociology are kept in the Department, rather than the Library. They are held in Gibbs 1.03 (access 9.00-17.00 only). To view these dissertations, you will need to ask in the Programme Administrator’s Office. If you're looking for an undergraduate or Masters dissertation for another subject, check the details in our Dissertation Locations List. The Library does hold all Brookes PhD theses: these are listed on LibrarySearch and can be requested at the JHB Library Help Zone.
    If you are looking for a UK PhD/MPhil thesis, you may be able to obtain a copy online via the British Library's EThOS system. You can search across 250,000+ 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.

    Exam papers

    2015-2016 onwards: These are available for download by Brookes students and staff from RADAR. Check this quick video guide Finding past Oxford Brookes exam papers on RADAR

    Earlier years: Printed copies are available in the Library at Headington (Short Loan area, Level 1).

    When doing research for an in-depth project such as your dissertation you are likely to come across references to publications which are not held at Brookes Library. There are a variety of options for obtaining material that we don't hold:

    • Undergraduate students doing dissertation-level research and postgraduate students are eligible to apply for reference access to the Bodleian Library. You will find the Bodleian Social Science Library particularly useful for Sociology. Use SOLO the Oxford University Libraries' Catalogue to check what is available and where it's held. You will need to get an application form from the Library Help Zone ( Level 1) or download it from our web pages. Please see Library Research Guide 11: Applying for admission to the Bodleian Library for guidance on completing the form and full details of which libraries you can access.
      Researchers and staff should follow the procedures outlined on the Bodleian Library Admissions webpages, using Form A and should apply in person directly to the Bodleian Admissions Office.
    • You can use the Interlibrary Loans service to request books, articles and other publications which aren't in stock. If you are a student each request will cost you £3.00 and articles usually arrive within 3 working days. You can make your requests via LibrarySearch. Charges for requests made by staff and research students are recovered from Faculties / Directorates so you need to include your financial code on each request made.
      Charges for requests made by staff and research students are recovered from Faculties / Directorates. You need to include your financial code on each request made.
    • The SCONUL Access scheme allows Brookes students to use 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.
    • 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.