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Ipswich Library User Guide: Support for Undergraduates

How Learning Services can help

The Learning Services team is here to help you during your time at University of Suffolk. 

Tours and initial introductions to the service will be offered to you as part of your induction, but we can also offer much more including:

  • Help in using & finding library resources
  • Literature searching - including group and one-to-one session. For example, how to choose keywords, select a database and construct a search.
  • Help using RefWorks- a reference management tool
  • Help keeping up-to-date with information in your subject area
  • Help with all aspects of undertaking an assignment, including one-to-one support and group tutorials
  • Workshops

Academic skills support 

Our specialist team of Academic Skills Advisers  provide the following support:

On Placement in Practice

Although you may be away on placement for several weeks or months at a time you will still need to access and use library resources in order to support your research.

Before you go

Renew your Library books - remember to return any items you have finished with and renew those you wish to continue using.


You can continue to borrow from University of Suffolk while you are on placement. You can renew University of Suffolk items up to 9 times (unless they have been reserved by another user).We suggest using e-books, where available, to avoid the worry of returns and overdue charges. Many key texts are available electronically and can be accessed off-campus.


There are no special borrowing terms for placement students. You are liable for fees if books are renewed or returned after the due date. You must return or renew books in person, via a third party or by post. University of Suffolk will take the date posted as the returned date and alter fines accordingly. Books must be returned direct to University of Suffolk library, rather than via a hospital library.

You can join your hospital library while on placement to:

  • Borrow books and browse journals (note: reference only at Cambridge Medical Library and Addenbrookes)
  • Request items via the inter-library loans service (with the exception of Colchester Hospital Library). Note: there may be a charge and the service may only be available if you are on extended placement. Students on placement at Ipswich hospital should use the service at University of Suffolk.
  • Print and photocopy – check for local arrangements (e.g. you may need to provide your own A4 paper or buy a photocopying card)
  • Use study space.
  • Use computers (from which you can access MyUniversity of Suffolk) - you may have to register to do this.
  • Sign up for an NHS Athens login  - hospital librarians can offer help and training in the use of NHS healthcare databases and other resources but are unable to offer a literature search service.

The NHS/NICE provides access to the following healthcare databases (HDAS) for students in practice/ on placement and also for University of Suffolk staff:
• AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine) 1985 – date
• British Nursing Index 1985 – to date
• CINAHL 1981 – to date
• Embase 1980 - date (useful for information on drugs and pharmacology)
• Health Business Elite (useful for health care administration and non-clinical aspects of health care management)
• Health Management Information Consortium (HMIC) (covers UK NHS health services management, policy, standards and social care)
• Medline 1950 – to date
• PyscInfo 1806 - to date
British Nursing Index, Cinahl and Medline are also part of the University of Suffolk collections so there is significant overlap. University of Suffolk resources are sufficient for you to successfully complete your studies but are only available as long as you are a student at University of Suffolk. NHS/NICE resources can be used post-University of Suffolk to help you find the best evidence for clinical decision making in practice so it is useful to sign up for an Athens login while you are a student.

Look here for more information about NHS Athens resources .