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Welcome to the Library - we are here to help.

You can find out about all our wider services on the Library pages, but these following sections are to help you get started at the university, complete your first assignment(s), pick up some freebies and discover our resources/systems from off campus. 

Get studying and find help when you need it.

  • Getting Started

    You must complete both parts of the Registration/Activation processes in order to enable access to university systems i.e. Blackboard, Student Hub, Student Email, etc.

    1 Online Registration 

    Register fully on ICON (the University's Student Records System).

    You will be sent a username (ie. your student ID number) and password by Data Management as part of online registration process for confirming your registration on your module or course. You will be asked to change the password and to log into ICON to fill in all your details and complete the registration process.

    You won't be added to our IT systems and won't be able to do your account activation until you fully complete this registration process.

    Top tip: have a digital photo of yourself to hand, so you can upload it into your registration, this is added to your student record and is used on your Cumbria Card (student ID).

    2 Account Activation 

    To gain access to the extensive range of IT services that your university offers, you need to activate your network account and then test your activation by logging into the Student Hub. As a Distance Learner student - follow the First Log On ➡ Off campus instructions on the Passwords and Logins page.

    3 Password Reset Register with the online Password Reset Service. The Password Reset Service will enable you to change your password whenever you need to.
    Errors or problems  If you encounter any errors or problems, during the registration or activation steps, please contact the IT Servicedesk for support. 
    Cumbria Card

    Your Cumbria Card is your University of Cumbria student ID. You can use this to withdraw books, if you visit one of our campuses, but also use it as evidence of your student status when visiting other libraries. If you uploaded a photo during your online registration, then a Cumbria Card will be produced for you and will be held at Lancaster. Email, from your student email account, asking for this to be posted out to you.

    If you did not upload a photo, you can email a jpeg format headshot to (from your student email account) and one will be produced and posted to your registered address.

  • First Assignment

    Study skills courses

    We have created a set of introductory study skills courses to help you understand academic skills and begin your assignments.

    • Head Start (Level 3 and 4 undergraduate study)
    • Head Start Plus (Levels 5 and 6 undergraduate study)
    • Preparing for Postgraduate Study (Level 7 postgraduate study)

    These are all available through the Blackboard Open Education MOOC platform. See information, instructions and links here: Head Start.

    Academic Skills

    The following information is from the Skills@Cumbria academic skills site and should help guide you through your first university assignments:

    Finding Information When reading around your subject, it's really important to use academic-level resources and not just websites you've found through Google. All of your reference lists should show that you have drawn information and ideas from a range of sources including books, journal articles and appropriate websites.  
    Reading and Notetaking Academic reading is very different to everyday reading. Whilst studying at University you will have a higher quantity of reading and you will need to be able to grasp the main ideas, theories, key themes and arguments. 
    Writing at University Academic writing is a particular style used in formal essays and other assessments for your course.  It requires formal language, a logical structure and should be supported by evidence. 
    Reflection You are likely to be asked to produce a piece of reflective writing at some point during your course and, depending on your subject area, reflection may be something that you are expected to do regularly. 
    Presentations While you are at University you will probably be asked either individually or as a group, to make a presentation of some kind. These can be quite informal, perhaps to introduce yourself to other members of your class or to give you experience of working and communicating as a group. Sometimes the presentation can be assessed. 
    Referencing Whilst studying at university you will need to refer to information from books, websites, journals and other sources in your assignments. You must acknowledge or ‘cite’ this information in your work and include full details in your list of references. If you don’t do this correctly, you could be accused of stealing other people’s ideas or words and trying to pass them off as your own. This is known as plagiarism. 

    Levels 5, 6 and Postgraduate Study

    Additional resources, for higher levels of study, include: 

    Being Critical Critical writing is not necessarily writing about the topic in a negative way; it is simply making sure that you have considered all sides of the argument. Unless asked to write a reflective account, much of your writing at university will need to be critical. 
    Dissertations and Research Dissertations offer you a great opportunity to investigate a topic of particular interest to you with a view to discovering new knowledge or practice. Don't forget that a dissertation must take a critical stance. 
    Postgraduate Researchers Researching at postgraduate level needs all of the skills of undergraduate courses, but requires a higher level of understanding, greater independence and more specialised knowledge than undergraduate study. Discover the library resources, services and systems available for researchers at the University of Cumbria.
  • Using Libraries


    University of Cumbria Libraries We have a range of library facilities throughout our campuses and some offer 24 hour access. Visit Our Libraries to see library locations, opening hours and contacts. You should also see our 
    Online Access We provide online access to ebooks, journals, eresourcessubject resources (collections of resources that have been collated to support your subject) and the Insight research repository.
    Postal Loans It is not always convenient for distance learning students to get to one of our library locations, so you can register for the postal loans service and we can post books out to you. Do remember that we have over 350,000 ebooks that you can find through OneSearch
    Using Other Libraries The University of Cumbria is a member of the SCONUL Access scheme which allows certain categories of student (including distance learners) to join and borrow from other academic libraries. There are currently 170+ academic libraries that you can use (not all of them will allow you to join as full members) and it's likely that there is one near you.
    Eduroam Wifi As University of Cumbria students, you can use the Eduroam wifi network for free internet access. Eduroam is usually available at universities and colleges (including their libraries), but you can check for participants in your area via the Eduroam Interactive Map.
    The British Library University of Cumbria students living in, working in or visiting London are able to use the Reading Rooms in the British Library at St Pancras. You will need to register for a Reader Pass. There is information on how to do this on the British Library website (How to get a Reader Pass).
    Ask a Librarian Got a question about using library services, finding information, enquiries about referencing and searching information resources even when the library is not staffed? Use the Ask a Librarian service between 5pm and 9am during the week and round the clock at weekends and bank holidays.
  • Quick Links - University Systems

    Student Hub The Student Hub is your starting point for all things University of Cumbria. Log into the Hub for access to all university systems and services. 
    Blackboard Blackboard is your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This is where all of your modules are taught from and includes presentations, resources and assignment submissions. If you have used Moodle, this is very similar. 
    OneSearch OneSearch is your access to our library catalogue. Use OneSearch to search for ebooks, books, journals, eresources and a whole lot more. You can also reserve items, view your library account and change your library PIN. 
    OneList OneList is the university reading list system. Reading lists provide you with your recommended reading for each module your are studying. The lists have been compiled by your tutors and subject librarians and should be used as a starting point for your research. 
    ICON ICON is our student records display system. You can view both your course and personal details at any time via ICON. Module results will appear in ICON when they are released and you can update your personal/contact details here (please keep this up to date). 
    Student Email Your student email account is the university's first point of contact with you and your account also gives you access to your cloud storage account (OneDrive) and Office 365 online (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more). 
  • Student Benefits


    Free Microsoft Office Office 365 Pro is available to all students to download and install on up to 5 personally owned devices. 
    NUS Extra Card Provides lots of benefits, discounts and freebies for a small annual fee. As a university student, you can apply for your card directly from the National Union of Students and start saving on food, travel, fashion and much more. 
    Linkedin Learning Free access to over 10000 online courses in subjects that include IT, business and the arts. Earn a certificate for every short course you complete. 


  • Getting Help - Contact Us

    ServiceQuick Contact
    IT Service Desk for all things related to IT, passwords, logins and access to systems.
    Libraries for all things library; including access to other libraries (SCONUL) and postal loans.
    Study Skills - Skills@Cumbria is here to help you develop your academic skills.
    Programme Administration (PAd) for everything related to your course, progress, attendance and assessments. Contact the PAd at the campus where your course is registered. Contact the PAd
  • University Support Services