This guide is for students studying on the Access to Nursing and Healthcare Professions course at Banbury and Bicester College. This includes the subjects: Biology, Chemistry, GCSE Maths, Psychology, Sociology, and Study Skills.

How to find books

There is an electronic reading list available for your subject. You can access this either by searching for the subject code on the Activate Learning Library catalogue or by following the hyperlinks below.

Biology  or use subject code ALBIOLOGY
Chemistry  or use subject code ALCHEMISTRY
GCSE Maths  or use subject code BYPMATHS
Psychology  or use subject code ALPSYCHOLOGY
Sociology  or use subject code ALSOCIOLOGY
Study Skills  or use subject code STUDYSKILLS
Nursing & Midwifery  or use subject code BYPACCNURSE

You can also use advanced search to search the catalogue for relevant books using several filters:

  • You can apply your search term to categories such as Title, Author, Location, Keyword, Subject, Publisher, or All Fields using the Search In dropdown menu.
  • You can select the 
  • You can select the media type you would like to see using the Media Type drop down menu.
  • You can use multiple search terms in different categories by clicking the + button and selecting AND, OR, or AND NOT.

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Here the results will include anything that has nursing in the title and mathematics in any field.

If you know the title of the book you are looking for you can use a guided search by selecting that option from the tabs at the top and entering the details.

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For more help using the catalogue you can watch this short clip from the using the libraries section on the website or ask a member of the team in the library for help.

Finding books on the shelves

You may want to browse the shelves, books are organised by subject and given a shelfmark which consists of numbers and letters. Shelfmarks for books are displayed on the catalogue so you can locate the book, books nearby will be similar in subject so may also be useful.

You can start looking for each subject at:

Anatomy and Physiology 612
Biology 570
Chemistry 540
Maths 510
Nursing and Midwifery  610.73
Psychology 150 Sociology 301

Your online Account

Logging into your Heritage account allows you to view the items you have on loan and reserved, you can also renew items and view your loan history. Log in using your student ID number and your date of birth DDMMYY.

You can also view a short clip for help on how to log into your account.

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By logging into your account you can place reservations on items that are on loan, this will stop the current user from renewing the item and you will be contacted by the library when the item is ready for collection.


You can borrow items from any Activate Learning library, if the location of the item you require is not your local library click on the Reserve button in the detailed record. The item will be transferred to your local library and a member of the team will contact you when it is ready for collection. Alternatively speak to a member of the team at the issue desk and they will help you arrange for the item to to transferred.


eBooks are listed on the catalogue and can be recognised by the [E-book] symbol next to the entry. To access an eBook look at the detailed entry for the item and select the link that says Read me…. (click for online eBook). You can access eBooks offsite, the username and password are the same as your college network login details. eBooks are included in the subject reading lists.

You can search for just eBooks by changing the Media type to E-book from the drop down list.

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For more help using eBooks you can watch this short clip from the using the libraries section on the website or ask a member of the team in the library for help.

How to find journals and newspaper articles

Reading journals and magazines allows you to keep up-to-date with developments in the sector; read reviews and news and follow current trends. You can read the journals in the library or photocopy/scan articles to take away.

The following journals that may be useful for your course are available in Banbury Library:

Biological Sciences Review
Chemistry Review
New Scientist
Psychology Review
The Week

BMC Nursing and Nursing Open are both online open access journals containing peer reviewed articles. The full text articles are available online for you to use and cite in your work.

The library offers a selection of newspapers daily. You can also search online using UK Newsstand which provides access to a range of over 300 national and local newspapers, which can be searched by topic as well as browsed by paper. It can be accessed at college or home. If you are asked for login details enter your usual college id number and password. These can be useful for looking at current developments in your field within a wider context.

Google Scholar is a customised search engine and tool specifically designed to help both students and academics find scholarly research, including articles, books and university theses. Unlike a standard search engine it aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. You can sort your results by year to find the newest research or click Cited by or Related articles to find similar work. This means it is easier to find the most relevant and reputable articles for your subject. It will also provide you with references ready to drop straight into your own work.


You can find eResources under that title on the library website, these are online resources you can use to support you on your course. Some are available only whilst in college, others require a username and password but can be accessed from anywhere.

Anatomy TV contains modules for different body systems, cell biology, blood and other items relating to anatomy and physiology. Each module contains text, audio, animation and clinical slides to help you learn about the subject; you can test yourself with an end of module quiz. This resource provides a good visual representation of systems and process that can be tricky to learn from a textbook.

Tutorials and user guides are available to help you make the most of the resource. It can be accessed at college or home. If you are asked for login details enter your usual college id number and password.

Care Knowledge contains up to date news, opinion and information including: case law, legislation, reports, research paper, online journals and magazines. This resources provides information about children and adults from a health and social care perspective.  

Full archive online access to the following journals is provided through the journals resources page:

Journal of Adult Protection
Journal of Children’s Services
Working with Older People
Journal of Integrated Care

Online access to the following magazines is provided through the magazines resources page:

Journal of Family Health
Learning Disabilities Today
Mental Health Today

It can be accessed at college or home, follow these instructions to help you log in at home.

Issues  provides a basic overview for a range of subject areas including Science and Health, Health and Wellbeing.There is an ebook library you can browse in addition to articles, statistics and links to useful websites. It can be accessed at college or home, If you’re asked for login details enter your usual college id number and password.

The resource also includes research tips to help with referencing, critical thinking and website evaluation.

Very Short Introductions is a collection of ebooks that offer a short and insightful introductions into various topics within Psychology and Social Sciences.This resource can only be accessed when you are in college.

Study skills and referencing

Good study skills allow you to get the most out of your time in college, work efficiently and achieve good grades on your course.

Referencing is vital to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to other author’s work and ideas you have used. Check with your tutor which system they would like you to use. The library holds copies of Cite Them Right which provides guidance how to cite your sources in the body of the text and prepare your reference list.

There are a wide range of study skills books available in our libraries, you can find a selection on this list or browse the study skills section in the library.

Using other libraries

As an Activate Learning student you can use the libraries at City of Oxford College, Banbury and Bicester College or Reading College, whichever is most convenient for you.

You may also find useful information at your local public libraries which are free to join.

For more information visit the Oxfordshire county libraries website or Reading Borough Council Website.

Reading Central Library, Oxford Central Library, Banbury Library and Bicester Library  are part of the Access to Research scheme. This enables you to access academic research for free from your public library. You can browse the catalogue and read abstracts from home on the initiative’s website, then read the full text of the publication in your nearest participating library. You can also use the website to discover which publications and which libraries are involved.

Where to get help

You can contact the library team or access information about our services in a number of ways.

Email    Telephone 01865 551701


Twitter @ActivateLibrary

Or in person during library opening hours