Studying Online: Your Digital Library

As we find ourselves transitioning to a digital study environment Library and Learning Services are here to help you know what online resources are available for you, how to access them and how to get the most out of them.

Library and Learning Services are no strangers to offering a digital library service and have been supporting students studying online and at distance for many years, so don’t worry if this is a totally new experience for you because we are here to help.

Image of Catalyst silent study room with text: Studying Online: Your Digital Library

A great place to start your digital learning journey is our Digital Library Induction and UniSkills Finding Academic Information webpages. On here we have created a package of online tutorials to guide you through how to access, and make the most of, your key learning resources.

You have access to over 248,900 online resources via the Library Catalogue, Discover More and online specialist subject databases. If you need any help navigating and finding your online resources help is available from the UniSkills team – you can even book a virtual 1-2-1 appointment for support with Information Skills (Search Skills and Finding Resources).

Image of Discover More search bar

Most of the eBooks we currently have are now unlimited access (meaning no limits to numbers accessing at any one time), we are prioritising eBook purchases, looking at further electronic provision moving forward and even have a handy eBooks Guide to help you read online and download at your leisure. Many publishers around the world are also making additional content temporarily available to support teaching and learning where access to physical books and resources may be limited. Details of all these extra resources and how to access them can be found on the additional access to eResources webpage.

Image of Library Catalogue search bar

If you are struggling to get hold of any resources, please use our You Want It, We Get It service and select the electronic option and we will do our best to help.

So, remember even though you cannot see us right now we are still here to support you. If you need any further help or support you can keep up to date on our COVID-19 Keeping You Updated webpages or get in touch with us via email or live chat.

World Book Day 2020 📚

World Book Day

It’s true, the biggest of all book-related days is on the horizon and there’s no better way to join in with the festivities than by discovering something new to read (or add to an ever-expanding list of ‘to-be-read’s if you’re anything like me!).

The theme for this year is ‘Reading is Power,’ which encourages everyone to celebrate the ways in which books promote growth, choice, power and knowledge. With that said, here’s an eclectic list of favourites put together by some of the Student Advisor team to give you some ideas of what to read next!

Student Advisor Lauren has chosen…
The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
the Picture of Dorian Gray Student Advisor Lauren
A brief description: A man named Dorian Gray prays on a portrait to stay young and beautiful forever. It works, but whilst he stays pretty the portrait gradually becomes grotesque because of the increasingly immoral things Dorian does.

Why is it your favourite?: The concept is really cool; the way the portrait measures out Dorian’s moral decline is interesting. Oscar Wilde’s writing always mixes pretty and witty tones, and that style works amazingly here. The characters are awesome; especially Dorian’s friend, Basil. This is the only book that I find myself flipping through to re-read specific passages or end up mentally reciting bits of.

Who would you recommend it to?: Anyone who likes morally ambiguous characters and pretty prose.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Arifa has chosen…
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World, Malala Yousafzai
I am MalalaStudent Advisor Arifa
A brief description: A courageous memoir on a girl who survived a bullet shot by the Taliban (an extremist group) in the city of Mingora. A young education activist, her refusal of silence lead to World Leaders being inspired by her ambitions to fight for the rights of education for girls. The Taliban took control of the area and dictated how women should live their lives. Despite the struggle of commuting to school with her books hidden under her shawl, she strived to study and excel.

Why is it your favourite?: It was a fantastic read and so well illustrated. I enjoyed the book as it was a chronicle on purity and honesty based on the situation in her village in Pakistan.

Who would you recommend it to?: To anyone that is need of motivation and inspiration!

Book cover image source

Student Advisor Dylan has chosen…
Deaf Republic, Ilya Kaminsky
Deaf Republic Student Advisor Dylan
A brief description: In the fictional town of Vasenka, a protest starts after the tragic murder of a deaf child. The town protest in silence and create their own sign language

Why is it your favourite?: The narrative is told through a series of poems, and through several different characters. I find myself checking, and checking again, that Vasenka is fictional; its nature and issues ring too true with the real world. Kaminsky writes like no other poet I’ve read before.

Who would you recommend it to?: I’d recommend it to people who love poetry, people who love fiction, people who love film and those that love everything in between.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Anna has chosen…
Good Vibes, Good Life, Vex King
Student Advisor Anna
A brief description: This book is all about transforming negative emotions into positive ones to reach a high level of happiness. The book incorporates Vex’s own personal life experiences and explains how he has overcome the more challenging stages in his life. He discusses ways to practise self-care, positive lifestyle habits, taking opportunities, reaching life goals, overcoming possible fears and finding what you feel is your purpose in life.

Why is it your favourite?: I liked this book as it teaches you how to be a positive person and creates a feeling of happiness. His real-life experiences give context to advice that he is saying. I found this book a really good read whilst at university as life can become stressful at times, especially when I had quite a few deadlines to meet. It also gave me a good mindset when reading feedback on my work or talking to my tutors as I took the advice as constructive criticism rather than letting it dishearten me.

Who would you recommend it to?: Everyone! I feel as though it is a good book that can be useful to everyone, it helps you remain positive throughout life. This means it could be beneficial in your personal life, work life or throughout your studies.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Maisie has chosen…
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
To Kill a MockingbirdStudent Advisor Maisie
A brief description: A first person narrative from perspective of Jean-Louise Finch that follows Jean-Louise, or Scout as she is more affectionately known, and her brother get to learn some crucial lessons about judging others, tolerance and justice throughout the story which is set in Depression era Alabama. 

Why is it your favourite?: An oldie but goldie- don’t let the fact it was published in 1960 put you off this is a timeless classic. The simple and child-like narrative helps to convey Scout’s raw emotions throughout the novel which helps readers realise the injustice of the actions that occur. Every time I (re)read it, I am always reminded not to judge a book by its cover and although this book may make you cry it will also fill you with joy!

Who would you recommend it to?: As it is quite an easy read I’d say anyone. Don’t let the memories of it being a school read put you off either.

Book cover image source.

Student Advisor Jen has chosen…
Tall Tales and Wee Stories: The Best of Billy Connolly
Tall TalesStudent Advisor Jen
A brief description: A collection of funny / interesting wee stories about life in Scotland, Billy’s childhood, life in Glasgow and his adventures travelling around the world.

Why is it your favourite?: I think my favourite book changes all the time. I finished this book a few days ago. It gave me comfort and reminded me of home at a time where I was feeling quite home sick. His happy wee stories about life in Scotland made me laugh out loud, which is rare when I read books.

Who would you recommend it to?: Everyone and anyone. I think the way he tells stories can bring us all joy and happiness. You can dip in and out of the chapters, you don’t have to read them in order or fully. Making it perfect to fit into our busy lives.

Book cover image source.

Whether you spend all your free-time reading or you haven’t picked up a book since high school, World Book Day is all about creating life-long readers! The charity does great work by providing children across the country with access to books, and we can all join in by sharing the stories we love! To find out how to get involved with the charity directly, click here!

There are as many reasons to love books as there are books themselves, so why not get involved in the World Book Day fun and try something new or re-discover an old favourite? Head over to the library catalogue to see what stories are waiting for you in the Catalyst!

Happy reading everyone!
Student Advisor Lauren
Lauren Gallagher – Student Advisor
MA English

Club Catalyst: the most inclusive exclusive club on campus!

The early bird may catch the worm, but it’s the Cat(alyst) that’s got the cream!

If you’ve been on campus lately you will have spotted, and hopefully visited, Catalyst…but are you making the most of this fantastic facility and its equally fabulous learning and support services that roost inside?


Club Catalyst – you’re already a member!

Catalyst is your central point of access to Library & Learning Services, Student Services and Careers so there is an abundance of help and support available (take a look below if you don’t believe us) and the building itself has lots to offer!

The Catalyst Helpdesk is your one stop access point for all services and support in the building and you can contact the team weekdays 8am-8pm and weekends 10am-6pm in a number of ways:

😊 Visit the Catalyst Helpdesk
☎️ Telephone (01695 650800)
📱 Text (+4401613751608)
💬 Online Chat
📧 Email
And don’t forget our online knowledge base AskUs is available 24/7!

[To the tune of Club Tropicana…]
Club Catalyst the books are free,
Fun and learning, there’s enough for everyone!
All that’s missing is study,
But don’t worry, you can bring that!

You will find your print resources (books and a selection of journals) on the first and second floors and self-issue machines here too…as well as two on the ground floor. You can check PC availability or book a study room before you arrive, and discover your perfect study space across the four main floors:

  • Ground Floor – Social Study
  • 1st Floor – Group Study
  • 2nd Floor – Quiet Study
  • 3rd Floor – Silent Study

It is important to make sure you are also taking effective study breaks – we highly recommend the roof garden (open daily 11am-3pm, weather permitting) for beautiful panoramic views across campus and some mind calming fresh air!

Catalyst itself is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during term time so if you’re an early bird or a night owl there is something for everyone! If you are visiting after hours just remember to bring your UniCard along to swipe access into the building. View current opening hours here…

Making the most of Catalyst support if you’re an Early Bird 🐓

If you’re planning to arrive early on campus, don’t sit in your car until class begins – be green, turn off your engine and come inside cosy Catalyst.

Most important meal: 53.3 Degrees, Catalyst’s fab coffee shop, is open from 7am every weekday so why not take advantage of a hot (or cold) breakfast. Throughout the day you can also grab a range of hot and cold drinks and food, including those all essential study snacks! Tip: their vegan sausage rolls give Greggs a run for their money!

Get a head start: Log in and catch up with your emails, check for any module / tutor updates and prep for your day ahead. You will often be set pre-lesson reading and it is important to complete this to get the most out of your lectures and seminars. Use your mornings to familiarise yourself with topics or even do some wider reading, so you can contribute effectively in your classroom discussions.

Academic Skills Support: If there’s a particular piece of work you’d like some help with, or you need some guidance navigating your reading and research, you can book a UniSkills 1-2-1 appointment weekdays 8am-6pm. Our friendly Academic Skills Advisors are on hand to offer their knowledgeable advice and support on a wide range of academic skills.

Breakfast Club: During key times of the year, you can drop in Tuesday and Thursday mornings 8:15am-8:45am for advice and guidance on all things Careers. Whether you’re looking for a part-time job, interested in volunteering, want to know more about the Student Opportunity Fund, or are unsure where to start with graduate job applications – come along for a chat and a free bite to eat!

Find your calm: The Faith and Reflection Room provides a quiet space for reflection, contemplation and prayer for the exclusive use of staff and students at Edge Hill. Open to people of all faiths and none, it offers the opportunity to explore matters of faith and spirituality, or just simply to find your calm before a busy day. You will find the Faith and Reflection Room in the Magnolia Building, next to the Forest Court Halls of Residence.

Making the most of Catalyst support if you’re a Night Owl 🦉

If you’re more productive as the sun goes down 🧛 then here’s some great tips, activities and support available after hours:

Research, Read and Write: If you find you’re buzzing with ideas after the days classes then why not make a start on your research, reading and assignments. There is lots of academic skills support available 24/7 at

You could start by revisiting your lecture / seminar notes to summarise your key themes, recommended reading or highlight any gaps in your knowledge you’d like to research further. Quieter evenings lend themselves to reading and research (especially on the quiet (2nd) and silent (3rd) floors).

Access the Library Catalogue, Discover More and your specialist subject databases. Your online Reading List is also a must for essential and recommending reading, especially if you are looking for a good place to start!

Make an assignment plan, create your search strategy or simply stop procrastinating and get writing! If you’re nearing submission then complete your final edits, print it out and proofread before you upload to TurnitIn.

If you’re not quite ready to knuckle down with your study, or just need a well-earned break (these are important too!) then there are plenty of great activities hosted by Catalyst support teams:

Chillout Tuesdays: meet your Campus Connectors, every other Tuesday evening 5pm-7pm, in the Catalyst foyer (by the comfy seats!) for chilled-out games, crafts and a chat!

That Thursday Thing: is the informal weekly meet-up of people who want to meet up with other people. Join in, every Thursday 5pm-7pm, to relax, chat, watch films, play games, listen to music or whatever you fancy doing!

Try Something New: If you fancy trying your hand at 3D printing, or would like to give a new sport a go, look out for TechSkills and Pop-in and Play sessions. Visit the Campus Life Facebook events page for latest updates!

Crack that CV: If you’re unable to attend one of the Careers CV workshops during the day you can book a place on a CV Webinar! Delivered by our exceptional Careers Advisers, the Webinars are a great way to receive information and advice, as well as ask questions, without having to be present.

Other support available in Catalyst…

Of course, there is tonnes of other support available throughout the day in Catalyst too, including…

So, regardless of when you visit don’t be owl by yourself, let us take you under our wing, and help you make the most of Catalyst! In fact, you’d be stork raving mad not to pay us a visit!

Catalyst Pin Camera

As a student in Edge Hill back in 2014, I saw a news article on the Edge Hill website about an amazingly ghostly photograph taken with a pinhole camera, over the course of 312 days, documenting the construction of Creative Edge. The simple camera made from a box with a tiny hole in lieu of a lens, loaded with photographic paper, was left in place on a fence post; enduring all weathers and the construction going on around it to capture the image.

Shortly after the Catalyst Roof garden was opened on the new Library and Learning Services, Student Services and Careers building, giving stunning views across campus and across into Snowdonia, I thought it might be a good idea to try and repeat the process with a pinhole camera on the Catalyst roof.

I contacted Neill Cockwill, Media and Performing Arts Technology Development Manager, who had made the original image to see if it would be possible. Neill was really enthusiastic and supportive of the project and he gave me a crash course on pinhole photography!

Neill Cockwill
Neill Cockwill, Media and Performing Arts Technology Development Manager

The camera could be made from almost any kind of sealed container, so for convenience I recycled three coffee cans and drilled a tiny hole, calculated to allow a clear image to be captured on photographic paper inside the can. These were then situated on the rails on the roof garden, to gather images of the garden over a period of several months, from the start of semester in September 2019 to its end in 2020.

Pinhole Camera in situ
Pinhole Camera in situ

After four months, as the Christmas holidays approached, I decided to take one of the cameras down, to see how successful the project had been so far. On Wednesday 18th December 2019, I carefully removed one of the cans from the rail and dashed over to Neill’s office in Creative Edge. On opening the can we found that water had leaked in, carrying a little rust onto the paper. But to my surprise and delight, the photographic paper had recorded an image of the view from the roof across to Scarth Hill. Neill quickly dried the paper and popped it onto the scanner and reversed and adjusted the image to a positive.

Actual image from pinhole camera
Actual image from pinhole camera

Although the water had damaged the image slightly, the ethereal image of the lake and the corner of Creative Edge appeared, but most importantly, the solography effect caught the passage of the sun across the sky, in beautiful streaks and even caught its reflection in the lake below!

Final processed image
Final processed image – comparison shots below

The two other cameras, capturing views across the roof garden itself will remain in place until the end of the academic year in May 2020. We look forward to sharing more images with you in the new year!

Written by Bill Bulloch
Catalyst Helpdesk Advisor

Study Tools: Box of Broadcasts

Whilst Catalyst is home to thousands of books and a multitude of journal articles available online, Box of Broadcasts (BoB) is another great resource to help enhance your assignment writing.

Box of Broadcasts
Image :

BoB contains over 2 million online resources dating back to the 1990s and includes all your favourite channels such as BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4. TV shows, documentaries and other media formats are great ways to access research if you want to give your reading eyes a break.

With programs dating back over 30 years you can easily create playlists of topics to suit your needs and analyse trends and patterns of research to create a wider more informed view that will help in your  assignment writing.

Besides assignment writing BoB can also be used to catch up on the latest TV shows and films as well as live programs. Available on all devices you can watch live; request and record and create your own playlists and it perfect for on the go viewing. It even has an easy to search format that helps with academic referencing.

If you’re unsure of how to used BoB it really is simple (especially when you know how), but these helpful video tutorials provide a bit more information on how to make the most of what BoB has to offer:

So, if you’ve not watched enough festive TV this season why not take a look at what BoB has to offer before you see in the new year!

Student Advisor Maisie
Maisie Masterman – Student Advisor
BSc Primary Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Submitting Your Assignment: Tips from a 4th year…

Once you’ve finished your assignment, closed those 300 tabs you’ve had open for days and tidied up the remains of endless coffees and snacks, all you want to do is to upload your work to Turnitin and never see it again. But… you’re not quite finished. There are things to do BEFORE submitting your assignment. Luckily, I’ve put together some tips and tricks for submitting assignments. Trust me, as a fourth year, these are handy!

Tips and Tricks for submitting your assignment. Tips from a 4th year.

Check to see if your references are complete

Depending on what subject you study depends on what referencing style you use. Each referencing style will have their own sets of rules and if used incorrectly, it could lose you a few marks! Make sure you are checking over your references by using a referencing guide – these are available from your My Library tab on Learning Edge. (If you’re struggling with your referencing, you can even book a peer to peer appointment with one of us Student Advisors!)

Use Microsoft Word’s “Read Aloud” feature

Microsoft Word has a brilliant feature that will read your assignment aloud, helping you to hear where you might’ve made a mistake, or where a sentence is not as clear as you wanted it to be. Make use of this tool! To launch the Read Aloud feature go to Review and locate the Read Aloud feature. Take a look at the Assistive Technology pages for more great support.

Highlight where you have answered the questions / met the learning outcomes

It can be easy, especially in essays, to go off topic and start writing about content that doesn’t answer your topic question. Go through and highlight places where you have answered your assignment title or question and try to think of areas where things could be tightened or strengthened.

Textbook highlighted

Check for incorrect spelling and grammar

Thankfully, Microsoft Word often does this for you without you having to lift a finger. However, if you’re like me, you might make spelling or grammatical mistakes that Word might not pick up. For example, I often use words that are not in the right place, or use an alternative correct spelling (e.g. there, their, they’re). Also, make sure that you are avoiding contractions (can’t, shouldn’t, won’t) and idioms (e.g. at the end of the day).

Check that the format is correct

Does your assignment follow the formatting rules for your course? Usually, courses will outline preferences for the format of assignments, so they look professional. For example, they might specify a font style, font size, spacing etc. Check with your module handbook or tutor if you are not sure.

Take a break

If you have time, leave your assignment for a few days to allow yourself to come back to it with a clear mind. Looking over your assignments with fresh eyes will help you notice where you have made mistakes, or where you think your assignment might need more work.

Look at previous feedback from tutors

Feedback from previous assignments is your best way of achieving a better mark. Looking back over you tutor’s comments and acting upon them will show that you have developed and improved since your last assignment.

Check your originality report

Turnitin will provide you with an originality report that will let you know what percentage of your assignment is matching other materials. The originality report shouldn’t be used as a proofreading tool. However, you might want to have a look through to see if you have referenced all of your quotes and ideas correctly.


Take this advice from an MA student… submitting your assignment at the last minute can go awful if Turnitin goes down or is under scheduled maintenance. Make sure you submit your assignment a few days before the deadline to ensure an easy and smooth submission.

So… that’s a wrap on my tips. Of course, there are many more things you could do before submitting your assignment, but these are the tips I’ve found the most important.

Happy submitting!

Student Advisor Dylan
Dylan Booth – Student Advisor
MA Creative Writing

From Fact to Fiction 📚

I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most
– Margaret Attwood (Nobel Prize of Literature, 2019)

Hi, my name is Georgia and I am a Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services in Catalyst. A great Study Happy tip is taking regular breaks and doing something enjoyable!

As a primary teacher in training, we are always encouraged to promote reading for pleasure in schools, but what about when you get past primary school? I loved to read throughout school, but now that I am in university, I find it hard to even think of reading something other than academic literature.

Open book with view over campus.Stack of reading books.Book.

Firstly, the important question! What is reading for pleasure? Well, this is the idea that anyone should be able to pick up a book, and not only read it but enjoy it! You don’t have to be an avid reader, just somebody who enjoys letting your mind ease into a world made of words, wit and wonders.

Our assignments require us to read journals, books, eBooks and ensure that we complete referencing correctly, but sometimes you need a brain break from studying and what better way to lose the stress of reality by getting lost in an atmosphere of imagination. In fact, reading not only relaxes your mind but also develops vocabulary and writing skills, supporting your academic assignments more than you’d think.

Did you know that there is an amazing range of fictional literature available in Catalyst? A whole section, from the first floor of the library to the second, filled to the brim with stories to expand your reading from ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ to ‘Macbeth’. These resources are accessible to all students to loan and I would recommend having a look around and discovering a book for you. You may be searching for a book for your children, your class or yourself, and you don’t have to be a teaching student to appreciate a good book!

Display of fiction book on Catalyst roof garden.

If you’re interested in sharing your favourite books with others and being introduced to new stories, then make sure you get involved in the Edge Hill Book Hunt. This scheme allows students and staff to leave books around campus for others to find, read and love. All you have to do is hide a book and then find a book! Make sure you post your found book on twitter with #EHUBookHunt.

#EHUBookHunt example.

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisor Georgia 📚

Student Advisor Georgia
Georgia Maestri-Banks
BA Primary English Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Study Happy Student Tips

The cold, dark nights of winter are finally upon us and despite Halloween being over I, like many students, am still feeling a little on edge… Not because of ghosts or ghouls but something more terrifying…assignment season is well and truly upon us.

Even as a third year the dreaded assignment deadlines looming ever closer tend to fill me with dread and panic. Despite having the best intentions, by starting early and doing plenty of reading, I somehow have days until my deadline and I am yet to start writing.  

If you’re like me and seem to get yourself into a bit of a tizz, worry not, as there are a multitude of ways to chase the assignment worries away…

Dark sky lit up by full moon with tree and birds in front.

1. GET YOURSELF A HARVARD REFERENCE GUIDE (shouty caps because it’s important!)

This is arguably one of the easiest ways to improve your academic skills and a great one to have under your belt!  It massively helps the flow of your assignment to have supporting evidence and references fitting in seamlessly with your own writing, rather than inserted randomly at the end. I’d recommend printing off a reference guide…mine never leaves my bag! Grab your Harvard Reference Guide here!

2. Proofread

I know it’s boring and can be long winded, especially after you’ve spent weeks reading and writing on the same subject, all you want to do is submit that assignment and have a well-deserved rest. BUT. Proofreading is a sure way to spot any little mistakes within your writing. I love using a text to voice converter or the read aloud feature in Word. You can also get a friend or family member to read over as a second (fresh!) pair of eyes, this is a good way to help spot those small annoying grammatical errors.

3. Use Google Docs, or a memory stick, not just Word

I discovered this the hard way after a 3500 word assignment deleted itself ☹ BACK UP YOUR WORK! I now use Google Docs to write my assignments as it’s free, can be used anywhere and all changes are automatically saved onto the cloud, meaning I don’t have to worry about deleting Word or losing my pen stick …and I’m not having to hawk my laptop around with me. Google Docs is also super helpful for group projects as it allows everyone in your group to see and edit the work wherever you are making collaborations – 1000x less stressful!

4. Explore your references, references (aka wider reading!)

I find looking at the reference list of the articles and books I am reading, especially of my core texts, a great starting to point to help me delve deeper into the subject area. Not only does this enhance your knowledge with wider reading but it also allows you to boost your references and showing depth of reading allowing you to access those higher grades! Also, when reading a source write your reference in your reference style (e.g. Edge Hill Harvard) right away, so when it comes to creating your reference list it’s a simple copy, paste and quick check over!

5. Ask for help when you need it

Although we’re at university to learn, and tutors can’t write your assignments for you, they are there to help us. If you’re unsure I find emailing the module lead or my personal tutor a great place to start. If you have non-subject specific query, such as how to find the right information, or how to be critical, Catalyst is where you need to be. UniSkills offer a range of workshops and 1-2-1 appointments. Check out our upcoming events and workshops at We also offer more casual drop in support sessions every weekday, 11am-2pm, for any quick queries you have – visit the Catalyst Helpdesk for more information.

I hope these tips have helped you feel a bit less spooked about your upcoming assignments…if you want any more help and support please get in touch via Ask Us, visit the Catalyst Helpdesk or you can find us (Student Advisors) all this week on the ground floor of Catalyst for Study Happy week!

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisor Maisie 😊

Maisie Masterman
BSc Primary Education with QTS – 3rd Year

Discover your study-life balance and be Study Happy!

The first term is well and truly underway and, as deadlines approach, it is a good time to think about how you ensure a healthy balance between study, rest and play. But never fear as Study Happy week is returning Monday 4th – Friday 8th November to offer you help, support, ideas and tips to transform your study-life experience!

Study Happy ☺️
All week our knowledgeable Student Advisors will be available (11am-4pm) on the ground floor event space in Catalyst, so why not take a well-earned study break and join them to discover some of their own great study tips and techniques that can help your studies.

Take One, Leaf One 🍁
Turn over a new leaf this autumn by increasing your healthy study practices. Look out for our inspiration tree where you can pick up a study happy tip, or leaf one of your own. Our Student Advisors will be demonstrating their own techniques for maintaining good study habits throughout  the week.

Student Advisor Study Tips Video 📽️

Mindful Activities 📃
As well as being fun, creativity is a key part of academic study. You can exercise your brain and develop your creative thinking skills by testing out your paperfolding origami skills.

Healthy Body, Happy Mind 🧠
While you are feeding your mind with handy academic study tips, don’t forget to feed your body too! Pick up some free fruit on offer all week to keep you fuelled up and ready to take on the rest of the term.

Motivational Music 🎼
Listen up! Music is one of the most popular ways to increase happiness whilst studying. Our Student Advisors have picked out their favourite tracks to work to and created an EHU Study Happy Spotify playlist. Come along to Catalyst during Study Happy Week to find out more about the motivational mix of music that has been created for you.

Cosy Competition❓
If the lure of free fruit, fun activities, study-friendly playlists, and academic study skills tips is not enough, why not escape from the temperamental autumn weather by coming inside cosy Catalyst and completing our academic study skills competition? Test your knowledge of spelling, grammar and referencing. All correct entries will be entered in our prize draw for a chance to win up to £25 in Amazon vouchers and a UniSkills goodie bag! (T&C apply).

UniSkills Workshops 👥
As always there are lots of UniSkills workshops taking place this week, all of which have been designed to help you develop your academic skills and confidence at University and beyond!

EHU Big Read Student Book Club 📚
We think reading is good for the soul, and with lots of studies championing the benefits it can bring to your general wellbeing we can’t be wrong. If you’ve read this year’s Big Read book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, why not come along to our special book club and let us know what you thought.

Whether you’re still at the beginning, half way through or finished completely, we want to hear what you think of Harold and his journey! Join us Monday 4th November at 12pm in Willow – book your place now and we’ll even provide free pizza 🍕

Wellbeing Workshops 🧘
The Student Wellbeing team are running a series of workshops throughout the semester to support your own mental wellbeing. Whether you want to worry less, learn some mindfulness techniques, manage your stress or just get stuff done – there’s a workshop for you.

Manchester, Aintree & Virtual Support 💻
If you are studying at Manchester or Aintree, you will be able to pick up your free fruit and lots of helpful study tips all week from your Library. Manchester will be offering UniSkills drop ins and workshops, as well as a Study Happy display, and Aintree has a silent study area, a great reading for pleasure selection and will be hosting some educational boardgames and jigsaws throughout Study Happy week.

Don’t forget you can also access lots of help, support and guidance online 24 hours a day – a great place to start is your My Library tab in Learning Edge or our UniSkills Whether you’re just starting your very first assignment and want to learn about planning and structure or are writing your final dissertation and need help with referencing, we can help you to boost your UniSkills!

This term we are also offering UniSkills workshops at Manchester and two virtual UniSkills workshops with unlimited spacesbook now!


With so many amazing autumnal activities taking place during Study Happy week (and beyond!) be sure to join us for lots of tips and techniques to help you conker your study fears, begin to be-leaf in your academic abilities and be Study Happy!

Graphic image of students studying on an autumn day.

Study Happy Competition Terms and Conditions
1. Only EHU Students are eligible to win prizes, EHU staff may enter but are not eligible to win a prize.
2. Eligible competition entries must contain all five errors highlighted correctly and your student number.
3. There is one £25.00 Amazon voucher to win and two runners up UniSkills goodie bags.
4. You may enter the competition as many times as you wish, but only one correct entry will be entered in the final prize draw – entries can be submitted daily 11am-4pm only.
5. The winners will be contacted via their EHU student email.
6. The winners will be picked at random from a prize draw on Monday 11th November 2019.
7. The prizes are non-transferable.
8. All winners must be able to collect the prize from the Catalyst Helpdesk and be able to provide evidence/ID that they have won before we will award the prize.
9. Prizes must be collected by 4pm on Friday 22nd November 2019.
10. If anyone cannot be contacted or prizes are not collected by Friday 22nd November 2019 the entry will become null and void and a re-draw may take place.

A celebration of Maya Angelou

In honour of Black History Month, I have written a blog about my favourite female author – Maya Angelou!

Image of Maya Angelou looking happy!

I have loved Maya Angelou ever since I was a little girl. I think her kind face brings me comfort and reminds me of my gran. Her writing gave me hope and inspired me to push through adversity and never give up; when giving up felt like the only option.

Maya’s life

Maya was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. After her mum’s marriage ended, when Maya was four, her and her brother were sent on the train to rural Arkansas to live with the grandmother. After a traumatic event at age eight, she stopped speaking for five years. However, Maya rediscovered her voice through wonderful books, and went on to become one of the world’s most beloved writers and speakers.

Maya has written seven autobiographies, I highly recommend reading a few to gain more insight into her incredible life. Starting with I know why the cage bird sings; available at Ormskirk Public Library.

Why I love Maya

Maya was courageous and awe-inspiring. She was her authentic self, unapologetically. She pushed through the prejudice society has set for women at that time. She sang, she danced, she stood up for what she believed; she was a civil rights activist, an incredible writer, speaker and poet! It was rare to see a woman combine all those things and do it with sass, beauty, passion and kindness.

The thing that sticks out to me throughout Maya’s work is that she is honest and real about the challenges and hardships she faced. Life is tough for everyone and she did not shy away from sharing her adversity, but also sharing how she pushed through and got to the other side.

My favorite quote

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”

My favorite books

Letter to my daughter
A beautiful book highlighting some of the lessons Maya has learned from her life. Each chapter breaks down a specific topic, Maya describes a time in her life where she has experienced something and shares the lessons she learned. 

Me, Mom and Me
Maya shares memories of her relationship with her mother. The challenges and changes of their time together as she aged, and how her life changed.   

My favorite poem

Phenomenal women
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

If you have enjoyed this excerpt, you can read the full poem here

Her work in present day

Her work is used in many different ways throughout the world. One that sticks out for me is Sport England This Girl Can campaign.

Their promotional video uses Maya’s Phenomenal Women poem to highlight how women can be empowered by sport and physical activity. I remember when I first seen it the video, I didn’t expect to hear Maya’s voice or her poem. My full body covered in goose bumps!

The video was released a year after Maya died – what a lovely way to keep her memory and her incredible work alive!


If you want to listen to more of Maya’s beautiful voice check out these podcasts:
Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations – Best Advice She Ever Recieved
Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – When You Know Better, You Do Better

Books avaialble from the EHU University Library

I shall not be moved
I Shall Not Be Moved
Gather together in my name
Gather Together In My Name
Maya Angelou. Little People, Big Dreams
Maya Angelou: Little People, Big Dreams

If you have enjoyed reading my blog, don’t forget to check out the Black History Month fiction book display on the ground floor of Catalyst available until the end of October 2019. After this the books will still be available to loan and you can access this handy guide anytime or online book list to find out more.

Thank you for reading my blog – Student Advisors Jen 📚

Student Advisor Jen
Jen Murray
MSc Sport, Physical Activity & Mental Health