World class facilities and resources
We admit the most academically able, and motivated students to our courses and provide them with inspiring teaching that’s world class. We’re also confident that we offer the best resources and facilities to support their learning.
You certainly won’t be short of libraries at Cambridge – the collegiate University has more than 100! They fall into three broad categories.
- College libraries – all Colleges have a library which contains the standard texts needed for your undergraduate course, along with other materials relating to your subject.
- Department libraries – the libraries in the faculties and departments offer more specialised collections of books, journals, periodicals and electronic resources for particular subjects.
- The University Library – if you can’t find what you need in your College or department library, you can try the University Library (UL). As one of the country’s six legal deposit libraries, the UL is entitled to a copy of every book published in the UK and Ireland and holds an enormous collection of materials printed overseas. Here you have access to more than eight million books, journals and other documents, written in more than 2,000 languages and ranging in age from 3,000 year-old manuscripts to the latest electronic journals, articles and databases.
To ensure you get the most from the University’s libraries, the UL and many of the College, faculty and department libraries offer practical sessions and one-to-one help. These include introductory tours, sessions to highlight the resources available for particular subjects and disciplines, and information skills workshops giving tips and strategies for research and searching online.
You can use the online Spacefinder tool to find out about libraries and other study spaces across the city.
If you’re looking for a specific title, library staff will be happy to help you locate it, or you can search the online catalogue to browse by title, author or subject.
For further information, visit the University Library website.
Computing and IT
Your College and department, together with the University Information Services (UIS), provide computing facilities to help you with your academic work. This includes a University “Hermes” email account, and access to central file storage for your work and for publishing web pages.
You can use your own computer, if you have one – most student rooms are connected to the University network and internet, and wireless hotspots are available throughout the University and Colleges. However, you don’t need to have (or bring) your own computer. All Colleges and many departments have computer facilities , with both PCs and Macs, offering a range of general and specialist software, as well as printers and scanners.
Further to this, the UIS offers comprehensive support, including:
- a service desk and extensive online help information
- a programme of free training courses, ranging from introductory to advanced levels
- Assistive Technology advice and training for users with specific requirements
For further information, visit the University Information Services website.
The University’s Language Centre provides opportunities for all students, regardless of degree subject, to take up or continue learning a language.
- Taught classes – the Language Programme (CULP) mixes face-to-face and online tuition, with 14 languages currently offered from basic to advanced levels (general and academic language courses are available); and the Academic Development and Training for International Students (ADTIS) programme provides support in academic English for international students.
- Self-study – the Language Centre Advising Team offer one-to-one appointments to discuss learning strategies, formulate a learning plan, and can support you while you learn.
- Conversation hours – these are informal groups for students who wish to maintain and improve their conversation skills.
- Conversation Exchange scheme – language learners and native speakers are paired up in order to practise the new language.
- Resources – the range of static and interactive resources available from the Language Centre includes books, CDs, foreign films and online programmes.
As well as the above, the John Trim Resource Centre houses multimedia self-study resources in more than 170 languages (including English), from beginner to advanced level, and staff are available to help and guide users in their choice of materials.
For further information, visit the Language Centre website.
Museums and collections
Cambridge is extraordinarily fortunate in having nine specialist museums and collections, all of which are open to students and the public. These provide extensive resources for study and research, or simply for enjoyment.
The fascinating exhibits range from dinosaurs to modern art, and rock samples to Rembrandt.Even if none relate directly to your course, a look at the whale skeletons, classical sculpture or thetotem poles from Vancouver has to add something to your time in Cambridge!