This guide is for students studying for a Foundation degree in Health and Social Care at City of Oxford College.

Finding books online

There is an electronic reading list available for your course. You can access this either by searching for FDH&SC in the Activate Learning Library Catalogue or by following this link. This will allow you to see where the items in the reading list are on the shelf and when they are due back if they are on loan.

You can also search the catalogue using filters, applying boolean operators and selecting preferred media types.

For example you can apply your search term to: 
  • Title, Author, Location, Keyword, Subject, Publisher, Location or All fields using the search in filter
  • AND, OR , AND NOT to build your search by clicking + and selecting the appropriate operator
  • Media Type can be selected from the drop down box.

Here the results will include anything that has health in the title or listed as a subject.

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. 

  • Books on Social Welfare and any problems associated with it can be found at shelfmarks 362 - 362.9
  • Books on general Biology can be found at shelfmarks 570 - 579.8
  • Books on Medicine and Health can be found at shelfmarks 610 - 618.9. This includes:
    • Human Anatomy at 611.
    • Human Physiology at 612.
    • Personal Health and Safety and Personal Fitness at 613.
    • Forensic Medicine and Public Health at 614.
    • Pharmacology at 615.
    • Diseases at 616.
    • Surgery at 617.
    • Other branches of Medicine including Gynaecology and Pregnancy at 618.


You can also place a reservation on a book if the item you want is on loan. You can do this by asking at the library helpdesk, or by yourself using the library catalogue. You will need to log into Heritage using your student ID number and your date of birth DDMMYYY and then click the Reserve button underneath the picture of the book you want. You will then be contacted by a member of library staff when the book becomes available.

You can also reserve items from any of the other Activate Learning Libraries in the same way. If the item you require is held at Reading or Banbury Library you can reserve it by logging into the catalogue and clicking Reserve on the detailed record for the item. The item will be transferred to the Oxford 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.

If you only wish to view items available at the site where you attend college, you can do this using the advanced search options. 
Here the results will show all items related to health and social care available at City of Oxford College library.

Your Library 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 DDMMYYY.

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


eBooks are listed on the online catalogue and can be recognised by the [eBook] symbol next to the entry. To access an eBook look at the detailed entry for the item and click on the Read me… button. You can access eBooks offsite - the username and password are the same as your college network login details. Don’t forget, you can filter your search in the online catalogue to show only eBooks. Or click here to browse our eBook collection by category.

For more help, you can watch this short clip about accessing eBooks, or come and talk to one of our staff.

How to find journals and journal articles

The journals and magazines relating to Health and Social Care available at City of Oxford College Library are:
  • Ability Magazine
  • Community Living
  • Nursing Times
These can be found on the shelves with books of the same subject, and the most recent issue of each is in the periodicals section of the library.

We also have electronic access to the following journals and magazines through the Care Knowledge resources section:
  • Journal of Adult Protection
  • Journal of Children’s Services
  • Journal of Integrated Care
  • Working with Older People
  • Journal of Family Health
  • Mental Health Today
  • Learning Disabilities Today

PubMed is a freely available resource which can be useful for finding research to do with Health and Social Care. It is a bibliographic database which also includes a free journal archive, PubMed Central.

The library offers a selection of broadsheet newspapers. We also have access to UK Newsstand which allows you to search a wide range of national and local news articles. These can be useful for looking at current developments in your field within a wider context. Articles from this will be available 30 days after the paper is published.

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.

Using databases

City of Oxford College Library provides the following resources which may be relevant to your course:

Oxford Brookes University provides access to a number of online databases. These include:

A full list of databases provided by Oxford Brookes can be found here.You will need your Oxford Brookes login details to access them.
There are also several publicly available databases which may be useful for your course. These include:

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.

The libraries provide a reading list of books relating to study skills, which can be found either by searching for studyskills on the online catalogue or by following this link. Each library also has a dedicated study skills section where you can browse the shelves.

Oxford Brookes will provide you with access to cite them right online which provides guidance for referencing many different types of sources. You will need your Oxford Brookes log in details in order to access this.

Using other libraries

As an Activate Learning student you can use the libraries at Banbury College and Reading College if that is convenient for you.
You have access to Oxford Brookes resources, both physical and electronic. You will need your Oxford Brookes login details to access the electronic resources. There are links on our website in the Higher Education section that take you to Oxford Brookes library information, subject help and the catalogue. The Health and Social Care resources at Oxford Brookes are mostly based in the Headington library.

You will have access to the library and learning resources provided by the particular NHS trust you are employed by. Subject coverage varies at each library as well as opening hours and access arrangements so you will need to check locally. You will need your NHS trust login details to access the online resources.  

You may also find useful information at your local public libraries. They are free to join and provide online reference material, some of which can be accessed at home.
For more information visit the Oxfordshire County Libraries website.

Where to get help

You can contact the library team or access information using the following links:


Telephone     01865 551961


Twitter           @ActivateLibrary

Or come and see us in person during our opening hours.