This guide is for students on the Foundation Degree in Policing programme studying at City of Oxford College.

How to find books

Follow this link to view an electronic reading list for your course or you can type fdpolicing into the Activate Learning Library Catalogue search bar. This is a live link to the library catalogue which allows you to see if items are available on the shelf or 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.

Results from this search will include items that have policing either in the title or listed as a subject.

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.

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.


eBooks are listed on the 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 select the link that says Read me…. (click for online e-book). You can access eBooks offsite, the username and password are the same as your college network login details.

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

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.

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.

  • Law books start at 340
  • Policing is at 363.2  
  • Criminology is at 364


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.

For more help using your Heritage account, 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.


By logging in to 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 also reserve items from any of the  Activate Learning Libraries in the same way. If the item you require is held at Banbury or Reading 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 City of Oxford College 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.


How to find journals and journal articles

UK Newsstand allows you to search through a large range of major national newspapers and local news publications, you’ll need your college network login details to access it.

Journals recommended by your tutor include:

  • Police Professional - held at Oxford library

The below journals are also recommended and are available electronically through the Oxford Brookes library, you can access them by searching for e-journals by title, you will need your Oxford Brookes login details:

  • The British Journal of Criminology
  • The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
  • Punishment and Society: The International Journal of Penology

Using databases

elawStudent offers a series of articles that explain the UK legal system, legal concepts, and criminal, contract and tort law. Designed to support level 3 qualifications this resource is easy to use and can provide an initial starting point for legal information.

You can access recommended databases through the Oxford Brookes library website and search for them by title here, you will need your Oxford Brookes login details to do this.

Recommended databases include:

  • Academic Search Complete - multi-disciplinary database
  • ASSIA - Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts -  includes social and family law
  • Westlaw - legal research database including cases, legislation, journals, news and EU materials

Looking for information about…...


  • Legislation  gives access to full-text legislation, from 1988 onwards. Partial datasets are available between 1801 and 1987.
  • UK Parliament Website provides up to date information on current Bills, secondary legislation and information about both Houses. 

Human Rights and Civil Liberties:

  • EUROPA is the official European Union website where you can find information about EU justice and fundamental rights.
  • UK Government
  • The Home Office provides access to a range of information, such as crime, police, and domestic violence, as well as an A-Z index and links to publications.


  • Office for National Statistics is the largest independent producer of official statistics, including crime and justice. This guide provides further information on crime statistics and methodology.
  • Data.Police.UK provides monthly reports about crime and policing published by the Home Office
  • POLICE.UK is published by the Home Office and provides news articles and data for local police forces on performance,ethnicity and gender.

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 other libraries

You can use the library facilities at any of the Activate Learning libraries, it may be more convenient for you to work in the Banbury or Reading library outside your timetabled lessons.

You also 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 information, subject help and the catalogue.

The College of Policing is the professional body for policing and sets standards for policing and leads on ethics and integrity.

The National Police Library is located at the College of Policing site at Sunningdale Park, Berkshire. Free membership is available for all current serving UK police staff and police officers. Once registered you can access the online library catalogue and eresources.

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 Oxfordshire County Libraries

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.


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. You can also find advice about study skills and referencing on the Study Skills website.

Cite them right online provides guidance for referencing many different sources, you will need your Oxford Brookes login details to access it. 

Where to get help

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

 Email  library-oxford@activatelearning.ac.uk
 Telephone  01865 551961
 Website  library.activatelearning.ac.uk
 Twitter  @ActivateLibrary

Or in person during library opening hours.