UCL Department of Geography


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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Undergraduate  /  Current Students  /  Student Facilities

Student Facilities


UCL Library

The UCL Library has collections across multiple sites and has its own set of web pages at:  These are a very useful source of information on all aspects of library services.  Details of library books, articles and online resources can be found using the Explore service from the home page of the Library site.

The UCL main library Geography collection is located on the first floor of the Science Library (DMS Watson Building). You may also wish to use books from the Anthropology, Biology and Geological Sciences collections which are also held in this building. The Main Library (in the Wilkins Building) houses arts and humanities subject collections – the Economics and History collections are both held here. The History collection has a London History Room which is important for London work. The Bartlett Library in Wates House holds UCL’s planning and architecture collections, essential for planning topics, and many ‘applied’ aspects of human geography.  The Departmental Reading Room (LG13 26 Bedford Way) also has a selection of core Geography text which is reference only.

Maps showing the locations of UCL Library sites are available from the Library Enquiry Desks and details about the locations of library sites and their opening hours are available online:

Opening Hours

Library opening hours do change at different times of the year. To check on the current opening times, visit

The Geography Librarian, Polly Geater is based in Room 109, on the first floor of the Science Library, next to the Geography Reading Room. She is available from Wednesdays to Fridays and her email is, tel 32791 (or externally 020 7679 2791). Please get in touch with her if you have any queries. There is also an enquiry desk on the ground floor of the Science Library.


Details of books, journals and other online resources can be found using UCL Explore. This search facility is available from:

Simple searches for books can be carried out using one or two keywords (the author’s surname is useful). Use the drop-down menu to select ‘library catalogue’ so that you narrow the search to books and material in our libraries.  Click on the ‘Locations’ tab when you find a book record - a classmark for a book will be given, enabling you to find it on the shelves. Records for material available electronically (ebooks, ejournals, etc) will have a ‘view online’ button. You can also check your own library borrowing record and renew your books by going to ‘My Account’ in the top right hand corner of the Explore screen. You need the barcode on the back of your UCL ID card and a PIN to log in. The PIN is generally set as the day and month of your birthday – dd/mm (e.g. if your birthday is 1 February your PIN would be 0102). You can change your PIN in your library account.

Undergraduates can borrow up to ten books at a time and you can borrow material using the self-service machines on the ground floor. You will need your UCL ID card and PIN to use these machines.  See

Electronic Journals

The majority of the journals UCL subscribes to are available electronically. You can access these either by searching Explore for the journal title (e.g. Journal of development studies) or via the webpage Off site, you will need your UCL username and password to access a journal article. Earlier issues of journals and lesser-used books are kept in store off-site but can be requested – for more information, please see

Short Loan Collection

We also have short loan books available to borrow for three hours or two days.  These are held in the Short Loan Collection (or SLC) on the ground floor of the Science Library – you borrow these books using the self-service machines within the SLC.


UCL staff and students also have access to a large number of bibliographic databases. See  These are very useful to use alongside Explore, helping you to find details of journal articles, book chapters and conference papers on specific topics to research your essay questions.  The Web of Science, Geobase, Scopus and the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences are all databases you may find useful.   Also, Nexis UK contains the full text of national and international newspapers.

More general information about accessing electronic resources is available at

Online Reading Lists

The library web pages host an online reading lists service and some of your reading lists will be available here. To search for a specific list, go to There are links to Explore, links to electronic resources and in some cases digitised articles and book chapters.

Geography Resources Webpage

Information about the geography resources at UCL can be found at  This web page lists useful information about book locations, journals, databases, other libraries and internet resources for geographers.


Other Libraries

You may wish to visit other libraries, such as those at Senate House (University of London), the London School of Economics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the School of Oriental and African Studies.  Links to other university library webpages and catalogues are given at: and information about accessing those libraries is given at

As a UCL student, you can register to borrow books from Senate House Library. Information about Senate House is at:

Generally, other University of London libraries will not allow undergraduates from other colleges to borrow books but in many cases you can apply for reference access. See the above pages for more details.

Map Library & Reading Room

The Departmental Map Library (Oxenham Room, LG13, 26 Bedford Way) and the Reading Room (LG16) are available for use by students from 9.00am-5.00pm Monday to Friday & 9.00am-3.30pm Wednesdays during term time.

The Department has developed the Oxenham Room to provide access to On-line Teaching and Learning Resources via Moodle. Geography students can use the twenty three dedicated PCs to access these online resources and supporting course material (reading lists, course practicals, hand outs, etc.). The room also has printing, scanning and photocopying facilities for students to use.

Nick Mann, the Teaching and Learning Resources Co-ordinator maintains the collection of maps that cover most parts of the world, with detailed coverage of the UK.  In the Oxenham Room you can also get support with Digimap, an online service that delivers Ordnance Survey Map Data to UK Higher Education institutes. Mapping data is available for download to use with appropriate software such as GIS or CAD.

The Reading Room was upgraded in summer 2012 with more electrical sockets installed and ten ISD UCL computers for Geography students to use.  Feedback from students requested better Wireless connectivity for the room, this has now been provided.  The Reading Room is a quiet study area for geography students and holds a range of core geography text for many of the courses.  The book catalogue can be accessed online here (UCL login required). When requesting books from Nick Mann, you will need to quote the catalogue number.

The Reading Room is reference only. All books, atlases, maps and course materials are for reference only and may not be taken out on loan. But this does mean that popular references may be available in the Reading Room when they are out on loan from the main library.


All students at UCL who have a user ID and password are able to use the computer cluster rooms. These clusters run Desktop@UCL, the new Desktop Service which is now available in all Learning and Teaching spaces, including Cluster Rooms, Lecture Theatres and Halls of Residence. In the Geography Department, cluster rooms are found in the North-West Wing Basement B01 and in 26 Bedford Way rooms G11 and 316 and Departmental Reading Room. Details of all UCL clusters rooms are available here. Students can connect to Desktop@UCL using their own computers - details are available here.

Multi-functional devices (MFDs) allow UCL staff and students to scan (to a UCL email), photocopy and print (including mobile printing) with their UCL ID cards. Full details can be found here:

Some modules make use of the Department's own specialist computer facilities located in the North-West Wing. These provide software for GIS, remote sensing and environmental modelling and require separate accounts (i.e. not UCL IDs) which will be provided to those students using these facilities.


UCL’s Student System is known as PORTICO – The UCL Student Information Service. Portico is UCL’s main student portal ( In Portico, you will be able to access and edit your personal information, register for your chosen modules and view your examination results. Portico is accessed by entering your UCL user ID and password which are issued to you when you first enrol at UCL. Passwords need to be changed every five months.

Access to PORTICO is available to everyone across UCL – both staff and students alike –. You will need to logon using your UCL userid and password, which are issued to you once you have enrolled. These are the same as the ones used for accessing UCL restricted web pages and UCL email If you do not know them, you should contact the IS Helpdesk as soon as possible ( Please remember that passwords automatically expire after 150 days, unless they have been changed. Warnings are sent to your UCL email address during a 30 day period, prior to your password being reset.

You can read your UCL email on the web at and can change your password on the web, at any time, at

Passwords cannot be issued over the phone unless you are registered for the User Authentication Service, see We strongly advise that you register for this service. If you have not registered for the User Authentication Service you will need to visit the IS Helpdesk in person or ask them to post a new password to your registered home or term-time address. More information can be found at

As a student you can take ownership of your own personal data by logging on to PORTICO. In PORTICO you can:

  1. edit your own personal data e.g. update your home and term addresses, contact numbers and other elements of your personal details;
  2. complete online module registration – i.e. select the modules you would like to study, in accordance with the rules for your programme of study (subject to formal approval and sign off by the relevant teaching department and your parent department);
  3. view data about courses/modules - i.e. information on courses/modules available either in your home department or elsewhere to help you choose your optional modules / electives;
  4. maintain a record of your skills development online;
  5. view your own examination results online.


Online Timetable

When you complete your departmental registration in Geography you will be able to access your personal online timetable, this will tell you exactly when all your  modules are scheduled.

The UCL Online Timetable ( displays your personal timetable week by week (once you have selected your modules on Portico), and lets you find out what is being taught, when, where and by whom across UCL.  You must check this regularly as any time or room changes to lectures will be updated here.

Use it to select course units which will fit in your timetable. Your personal timetable will display all the course units you are registered to attend including lectures, seminars, tutorials, labs, film screenings, computer training and more. Check it regularly for changes to dates, times or locations.

Login with your standard UCL username and password to display your personal timetable, or select a department or subject area, a degree programme, or individual modules and create a custom timetable, to find out when things are scheduled to be taught. There will be four types of timetable available to view:

  • Personal timetables for students and teaching staff with a UCL username and password.
  • Department or Subject Area timetables by year of study.
  • Degree programme timetables by year of study.
  • Custom timetable lets you choose modules to create a timetable.


  • Display a week, term or year
  • Click back and forth through weeks or select a week
  • Three sizes of event display to choose from
  • Click on an event to open pop-up box and see all details
  • Link to UCL maps route finder by clicking on the room
  • Students can display all groups timetabled for their modules, by default only groups they are assigned to are displayed
  • Students and lecturers see all their teaching for all departments in one view


    Your personal timetables

    Your personal timetable displays the modules you are registered to attend in Portico. Students are automatically registered for compulsory modules so they immediately appear in your timetable. Use the Department, Degree Programme or Custom timetables to find options that fit in your timetable. Once you select your options in Portico, they will appear in your timetable the next day. If a module selection is rejected or deleted in Portico, it will be removed from your timetable the following day.

    Groups such as course tutorials, labs and seminars are added to your timetable when you are assigned to a group by the teaching department. You can choose to display all groups for your modules.

    Timetables are subject to change. Any change to the timetable from any department at UCL should be reflected immediately in the online timetable and your personal timetable will be updated automatically. Remember to check it regularly.

    The Online Timetable will also offer a calendar subscription service, allowing you to get a feed of your personal timetable directly to your live@UCL account, or to your smartphone or personal calendaring service (e.g. Google Calendar, Apple iCal).