Most college libraries stock the core materials for your course, with multiple copies of the most popular books and titles on tutors' reading lists. College libraries have generous lending arrangements, have long opening hours (in many cases 24 hours) and are quiet places to study. They are also often able to buy books on request. The college librarian can help you to find what you need in college and elsewhere in the University.
For most courses you will also have access to a subject-based library. These provide reading list titles as well as more specialist and advanced materials for your optional topics. Staff in these libraries are specialists in their subject and are able to help you with specific queries. They often run classes to help you to find books, journals and electronic resources.
The research libraries cater for the research community but are also open to undergraduates. Their extensive collections of books and periodicals are especially valuable for extended essays and dissertations in your final year. They include:
Known affectionately as 'The Bod', the UK's second largest library has more than 8,000,000 volumes on 117 miles of shelves. The Bodleian is a legal deposit library, meaning it can claim a copy of any book or periodical published in the UK or Ireland.
Oxford has extensive online collections including databases, electronic books and reference works and more than 45,000 e-journals. The electronic collections are available to members of the University 24 hours a day, 7 days a week both from within the University and from outside using your Oxford password.
Oxford has three key tools for accessing materials:
Oxford has collections of international importance - databanks for research, teaching and study - full of wonderful treasures that anyone can enjoy. Here we highlight the five major museums and the Botanic Garden, but there are other collections in departments and colleges. All welcome volunteers to work with the public or the collection.
The Ashmolean is the world's oldest public museum and the most important museum of art and archaeology in this country outside London, as well as being the greatest university museum in the world. It has a strong collection of European graphic art, with drawings by Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael.
Following a major redevelopment, the Ashmolean Museum now offers 39 new galleries, a purpose-built Education Centre, and three new study centres with hands-on access to reserve collections.
Students of Ancient History, Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Classics or History of Art will certainly use the Museum.
The spectacular neo-Gothic architecture of a Grade I listed building houses the University's zoological, entomological and geological specimens. Among its famous features are a dodo, the first dinosaur to be scientifically identified, and the swifts in the tower. The Archaeology, Biology and Earth Sciences courses make use of the staff expertise and collections at the OUMNH.
The Pitt Rivers is a museum of ethnography and world archaeology, celebrated for its period feel and the density of its displays. Courses that use the museum's resources include Human Sciences, Archaeology and Anthropology, Geography, Classics, History of Art and Fine Art. Recent redevelopment at the Museum has added fresh research and teaching facilities for students and academics, and reinstated the original entrance to the Museum. It takes its name and founding collection from General Pitt Rivers, the distinguished collector and scholar.
The world's oldest purpose-built museum building houses an unrivalled collection of 25,000 scientific instruments, from antiquity to the 20th century, especially astrolabes, sundials, quadrants, mathematical and optical instruments, and apparatus associated with chemistry, natural philosophy and medicine. The staff teach History of Science courses. For more information please see the MHS website.
The Botanic Garden acts as a reference collection of 6,000 types of plant: it is the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the world, and the oldest such garden in Britain. Plants grown here support teaching and research, in the University and elsewhere, and the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The 130 acre Harcourt Arboretum is also part of the Botanic Garden and is the site of a new wildflower meadow restoration project. The Garden contributes to the Biological Sciences and Medicine courses.
The Bate Collection is one of the most magnificent collections of musical instruments in the world. The Bate has more than 2,000 instruments from the renaissance, through the baroque, classical and romantic periods up to modern times. More than a thousand instruments are on display, by all the most important makers and from pre-eminent collectors. Music and History of Art undergraduates make use of the collection.
The University has excellent IT facilities, and most departments and colleges have computer rooms, network access and computing support for their staff and students.
Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS) provides a wide range of IT services, including practical IT courses, covering introductory and specialised uses of computers, common operating systems and popular application software.
OUCS runs WebLearn, the central VLE, where you can find course material and other tools for learning, such as discussion rooms and online quizzes. To view the publicly available content (some is available only to specific students) visit the WebLearn site.
The OUCS Help Centre has a number of public PCs and Macs with a range of popular software, and for use with scanning and printing facilities. They provide general support and advice by email, telephone and in person if your local IT support cannot help. Other facilities include audio and video capture, a PC breakdown service to repair or replace your PC, poster printing, mailing list software and free or lowcost software from the online shop.
OUCS also runs many other University-wide services such as Nexus email, calendaring and task lists, podcasting services, and facilities to enable mobile devices to access information and services.
The Careers Service provides impartial advice and guidance, and works with all students to help you make timely and informed decisions about career choices. The Careers Service website provides detailed information on occupations, lists hundreds of vacancies, and reports on the jobs that Oxford graduates take.
Each year we run 15 careers fairs in Oxford and abroad; deliver CV and interview skills workshops; organise mock interviews with real recruiters; and host more than 150 employer presentations. Throughout the year you can book discussions with a skilled Careers Adviser, and we have over 300 one-to-one sessions available to book or drop in for every week during term time.
We support students and increase their employability by running bespoke activities, including The Student Consultancy - a successful scheme where students work in teams with local organisations to solve real business problems; AbilityWorks - a programme for those with a disability or SpLD; and the Oxford University International Internships Programme - which organises over 200 work placements around the world. The Careers Service also works closely with many Oxford student organisations including OUSU, Oxford Entrepreneurs, Oxford Women in Business, and many international societies.
The Careers Service supports you in contacting former students, allowing you to take advantage of the internships, advice, mentoring and jobs that many alumni provide. We also provide ongoing assistance throughout your career for as long as you may need it.