Written by Hannah Smith, 3rd year Film and Television.
There are a number of places on and around the main campus where you can stop and study if you just fancy a change of scenery from your room. Here are some of Hannah’s picks for the best places on and off campus to settle down with a good library book, your laptop and some peace and quiet.
On campus study areas
The university itself has a number of great places to study either on your own or in a group. The obvious point of call is the library. It’s a good place to start, gather your reading material and focus on a plan for your study time. Across the three floors, the library should hold everything you’ll need to succeed, with computers on every floor, group rooms that you can book for more private meetings with your project groups and if you’re a quiet learner, the third floor is a silent zone where you can really focus on your studies.
If you prefer a more mobile platform, you bring your own or you can borrow a laptop from the self-service desk as well, giving you the option to chill out while you study on some of the sofas on the ground floor.
Also good to note is the Costa card on your way in for if you need a quick coffee to get you through the day, and there’s a Spar just across the road for those last minute study snacks too!
The Minerva building is another great place to study, especially if you find you have a 9 am lecture and a seminar at 11 am, leaving you nothing to do for a full hour between them. Sure, if you’re living on-campus you could go home for a half hour but when you’re this close to your destination, it’s great to stay put and get prepared for your seminar.
The ground floor has a number of sofas where you can relax while you study, close by the canteen if you need a boost. My preference, however, is the top floor. Up at the top floor of Minerva Building, not only do you have a relaxing view of the Brayford Pool, there are a number of computers that you can use. I got a lot done in this space between my lectures.
Another place to study on campus is The Swan, which is great not just to socialise and get some food but to meet up with your project groups and go through some notes. They have two floors if you want to get away from the bar area downstairs. I’ve even had some lecturers wanting to meet here for tutorials so if that’s not a stellar recommendation of this space, I don’t know what is. Plus it has just been newly refurbished, so that’s an extra bonus!
I should also note that my experience here is with my own course, which took place primarily in the media building. This building has a number of spaces to stop and study, such as the newly refurbished second-floor sofa space. You’ll also have access to a number of computers here.
However, every building will have similar spaces suited to you and your course and these are usually a great place to find as they’re often far quieter than more public spaces such as the library.
Off campus study areas
If you want to get off-campus for a while then the obvious answer is to take a rest in a local café or coffee shop. A lot of independent places really don’t mind you spending a lot of time there as long as you’re polite enough to at least grab yourself a drink during your stay. All you need then is WiFi and you’re good to go.
My personal favourite here is the Costa on the Brayford Pool – located within the ODEON. Not only do they have a lot of comfortable spaces, you might also be lucky enough to find yourself seated next to a plug socket, giving your devices that little extra boost to keep you online and studying longer.
The Drill Hall Café is just ten minutes from campus is also really welcoming to student studying, so you can stop by there for food and drink while you study.
Finally, if you’re sick of being indoors and looking to get outside while you bury your head in books and notes, you can take the short walk to the Arboretum. Providing the weather is pleasant, it’s well worth the twenty-minute walk from campus.