Page content

We are aware that it is sometimes difficult for part-time students to make full use of our library services.

Heavy commitments outside the University may also make it difficult for you to spend as much time in the Library as you would wish.

We have therefore taken a number of steps to remedy this situation and in this guide you will find some useful information on how to make the best use of our services, together with details of some special arrangements particularly relevant to you.

Accessing the Catalogue and other Library Services

The University Portal is the gateway to the range of online services including the library catalogue, electronic databases, subject guides and a growing number of electronic journals. You use your network username and password to logon to the Portal.

Library resources on the Portal can be found on the Library & ICT tab. Most of these resources are available to registered users either on- or off-campus using any computer with a connection to the Internet.

Library users can reserve borrowed books held at their home campus by accessing the online catalogue; you will need your network username and password.


To check your Network username and password, go to the Kiosk PC in any of the Libraries and login using your student number and date-of-birth.

A  guide to passwords is available.

Borrowing from the Library

Details of Library borrowing, including types of loan and borrowing limits for types of user can be found on the Library Borrowing page.

Please note that a fines policy operates for late return of books. You can check the status of your current loans, renewals or reservations by using the 'My Account' option on the Library catalogue and entering your network username and password.

If you need to return books when the Library is closed, out-of-hours book return slots are available:

  • Belfast library - there is a book return slot at the foyer of Block BD (an interim location until the new Belfast library opens).
  • Coleraine library - the book return area at Coleraine is in the area of the library which is open 24/7.

Renewing Books

You may  renew your books by telephone by ringing your Campus Library during opening hours.

You may also renew your books by using the 'My Account' option on the online catalogue or in person at the Issue Desk.

More details about renewing your loans can be found on the Library Renewals page.

Part-time Loan Collection

Special arrangements have been made for some in-demand material to be borrowed by part-time students only.

The part-time loan collection is located in the Short Loan collection in each of the Libraries.

The library catalogue will indicate if a book is held in this collection.

Books in the part-time loan collection may be borrowed for two weeks and can be renewed twice unless requested by another user..

Document Delivery

This service is available to you for material not held in the Library.

Undergraduates and taught postgraduates may request up to four items in any one week.

Forms are available in the Libraries. You will be notified when the item is received.

Please allow between 2-3 weeks for your request to be fulfilled.

If the book you require is available from another campus library then you may borrow it using the Inter-Campus Loan facility.

Further information on Document Delivery is available.

Subject Librarians

Subject librarians will help you make the best use of your limited time in the Library. As well as giving advice to individual students, library staff can run seminars designed especially for part-time students at times convenient to you.

Details are available from the appropriate subject librarian.

The subject teams have created a range of subject guides to give guidance on the resources available for your subject. Choose the Faculty title relevant to your course of study, e.g. Social Sciences.

A referral form is available in the library, which will allow you to leave details of a complex subject enquiry where specialist help is needed in locating an answer.

The Library Help service is also available for you to check our frequently asked questions or submit a query when you are not on-campus.

Extended Opening Hours

Our opening hours, which include evening and weekend opening during term-time are available here.


There are a number of card-operated photocopiers in each of the Libraries.

Copyright regulations must be observed. Photocopy cards may be purchased from the dispensers next to the photocopiers.

Help for Students with Disabilities

For details of our services and help available, see Library Services for Students with Disabilities.

Using Other Libraries

You may be entitled to use the library at the college or university where you studied for your first degree.  Some universities have an ex-students society (Alumni) which may give members library access.

Many colleges and universities have external membership schemes for students who have no connection with that particular institution.

If you live near a university , it is worth enquiring about this - a charge will usually be made.

Part time students of the University can participate in the SCONUL Access scheme.  This is a reciprocal borrowing scheme which allows academic students to access or borrow books from participating Higher Education Libraries in the UK and Ireland.  Further information about the scheme is available.

Comments on the Library Service

The Library is committed to improving its services to part-time students and we are always keen to hear of practical suggestions on how to do this.

Any comments may be directed to the Comments and Suggestions form .

Alternatively, you may wish to pass the suggestions to your subject librarian.