Information for University of Bristol staff and students

General information

As a student or member of staff of the University of Bristol, you will have full and appropriate access to our libraries and library resources, printed and electronic, in accordance with the General Regulations for the use of the Library.

Please remember to carry your UCard, which also acts as your library card, at all times. The UCard is the property of the University of Bristol and you can only hold one UCard.

For information about obtaining your UCard when you first arrive, and to report and obtain replacements for lost or damaged cards, and other card-related queries, please refer to the guidance from Card Services, now based at Royal Fort Lodge, Tyndall Avenue.

For any queries about your library registration or membership, including any as a result of a change in your status at the University, please contact Membership Services.

Dual status: if you are both staff and student, systems may not choose the longer end-date for your library borrowing - please contact Membership Services to get this rectified.

Library borrowing and UCard end-dates for postgraduate students

Your library borrowing end-date is shorter than your UCard end-date.
This is because it is set for your expected period of study i.e. generally 12 months for Taught Postgraduates and 4 years (including writing-up year) for Research Postgraduates, as per the University Ordinances and Regulations.
The end-date printed on your UCard includes an extra 3 months for Taught PGs and an extra 6 months for Research PGs, which is a buffer to allow continued building access after your initial "submission end-date".
Your access to online resources and buildings (including all libraries) will only end when you officially finish your course but your library borrowing for printed material will stop during the buffer period.
Please note that extended borrowing rights can be granted on request within the 3 / 6 months buffer period - please ask your School office or supervisor to email Membership Services on
The library is here to help and facilitate your access to resources - please come and discuss your needs with us.

For extensions beyond your UCard end-date there is a formal application process - please ask your School or Departmental office in good time about this procedure.

Additional information about using the University of Bristol Library

Additional information is available for disabled users and, for others who have additional support requirements or particular problems getting to and using our libraries (including part-time and distance users), we offer additional library support through our AddLibS service.

Using other university libraries

Staff and students are able to use other academic libraries within the UK via a scheme called SCONUL Access. SCONUL Access is a reciprocal scheme which allows many university library users to borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. The scheme covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland and the University of Bristol is a member.

If you are:

  • an academic on an open or fixed term contract
  • a postgraduate research student registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification
  • a part-time, distance learning and placement student, or
  • a full-time postgraduate

you may be able to borrow from other college or university libraries.

If you are:

  • a full-time undergraduate student, or
  • staff of a small number of higher education libraries not participating in the scheme

you may be able to use the resources of other college and university libraries for reference.

Using the British Library

You can apply for access to the British Library using their online application form.