Guide to services - Off Campus Students - University of Derby

Guide to services

The services we can offer to distance and e-learning students are listed below.

You can check that you're eligible to use these services on our FAQ page.

In all cases, if you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Enquiry service

We act as a focal contact point. If you have any enquiries about the University and do not know who to ask please contact us in the first instance. If we cannot answer ourselves we will refer your query to the most appropriate person. We will try to respond to your query within one working day, either with an answer or for more in-depth queries a progress report.

Assistance accessing/navigating the electronic resources

The Library's electronic resources include ejournals, databases and ebooks.

All of these resources can be accessed via UDo or your student portal. Please see our Electronic resources help page for further information. 

Please get in touch if you have problems finding or accessing a specific item. We can navigate you to it directly either via email or on the 'phone.

Study skills

Study skills development is an integral part of studying. It is particularly important if you are returning to study after a long break. Many students lack confidence at first but help is available.

Please take a look at the Study Skills webpages for full details. Areas covered include:

  • Time management, including coping with pressure
  • Finding information
  • Writing essays and reports
  • Citing and referencing

In addition to the Study Skills webpages, there are a number of audiovisual tutorials available. These are provided by the Study Skills and Mentoring Co-ordinator. You will need your UDo account to open them:

There are also some online tutorials available from outside the University.

IT help


For help with UDo passwords please contact the IT helpdesk at or 01332 591234.

Office software

The Library has produced some guides for beginners to popular software packages and common queries. In addition, if you have a specific query about an office package, you can email the Student IT Training Officer at Please provide as much information as possible. 

Accessing other libraries

If visiting the University of Derby Libraries is an impractical option for you, there may be another library nearer to your home or place of work that you can use. The SCONUL Access scheme is the best way of gaining admission to a large number of participating libraries. Please remember that access is not a right.

SCONUL Access scheme

This scheme enables part-time, distance, and placement students to borrow material from other higher-education libraries in closer proximity to where you live or work. Many of the UK University and HE colleges have joined the arrangement.


To join, you must first have a valid University of Derby ID card. You can then apply to join by completing the online form on the SCONUL Access website.

Access to computers

Some libraries in the SCONUL Access scheme also provide limited access to computing facilities. You will need to be a SCONUL Access member, as detailed above.

To find out what is offered, please get in touch directly with the library you want to visit.

Computing facilities, where offered, usually include access to the Internet and a suite of office applications. Do not expect to access another library's electronic resources - publishers' copyright forbids this.

Public libraries

Your local public library may be able to provide you with a place to work, some books and a request service including limited inter-library loans, and limited access to computers. The limitations and possible charges for these services vary widely from authority to authority. Please bear in mind that their services and bookstock are designed with the general public in mind, not the needs of students. For more information, ask at your local public library. There is a private website with links to all UK public library authority websites.

Links to Library Catalogues

Check which books are available before travelling using the catalogue links below.

  • COPAC (Combined University Research Libraries Catalogue) COPAC is a union catalogue. It provides free access to the merged online catalogues of many of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland and the British Library.
  • British Library Public Online Catalogue This service provides simple searching and ordering of documents from the British Library's extensive collections. Please note that when using the University of Derby's document delivery service, requests for material are automatically sent to the British Library Document Supply Service, if the item is not in stock at Derby.

Postal loan

We post books to students located in the UK and Republic of Ireland only.

We can only post books from our own University of Derby collection. We are unable to post paper copies of books if we hold the title as an e-book. Books requested from the British Library cannot be posted.

Receiving parcels - signature needed

We post books using Recorded Delivery, so that our books don't get lost. All parcels will therefore require a signature on receipt. We will happily post to, e.g. a work address if more convenient, just let us know.

We send books in a padded envelope, which you can re-use to return items.

You should return books by...

All books must be returned by recorded delivery, so that the books don't get lost. Use the address label and padded envelope supplied. You pay for return postage.

Remember that we need to receive books by the due date to avoid fines. If you need more time for study or postage please renew your books.

Our return address is:

Library Enquiry Service
University of Derby
Kedleston Road
DE22 1GB


We pay postage out, but you pay postage return, using recorded delivery. There are no other charges.

How long does it take?

Under normal circumstances we expect to post books from the Kedleston Road Library within 2 working days: books from other sites or that are on loan may take longer. We post items first class.

How to request a postal loan

You can search for, reserve or renew your books using the online Library Catalogue.

If you want to learn how to use the library catalogue, you can look at the following Library tutorials (in recommended order):

  • Basic Search and Reservations using Prism (tutorial)
  • How to reserve a postal loan (tutorial

Cancelling a reservation/ postal loan request

If you place a reservation on a book but then no longer need it you can cancel your reservation. To do this log into My Account in the Library Catalogue. Click on the reservation tab and then click on the cancel button next to each title. Alternatively contact us and we can cancel the reservation for you.

Borrowing information

Please note that these are the rights that apply whilst you are using the Postal Loans service. If you come onto the campus to borrow materials, your borrowing rights will be the same as an on campus student.

Number of books allowed: 15

Standard loans

  • Are issued for three weeks
  • May be renewed for up to 10 times, each time for a further period of 3 weeks unless requested by another borrower
  • Accrue fines if late at 10p per day up to a maximum of £20 per book, by which time the borrower will have been invoiced for a replacement copy and the accumulated fine.
  • If the item has been requested by another borrower after you it will be issued as a one week loan and will not be renewable

One week loans

  • Are issued initially for 2 weeks to allow for postage
  • May be renewed up to 10 times, each time for a further 1 week unless requested by another borrower
  • Accrue fines if late at 50p per week / part week up to a maximum of £20 per book, by which time the borrower will have been invoiced for a replacement copy and the accumulated fine.

No further loans/renewals will be allowed if fines accrue to £5 or more. All books are subject to recall if reserved by another borrower.

Document delivery

This service includes:

  • supplying copies of book chapters held in stock within the University of Derby Libraries
  • supplying copies of journal articles held in stock
  • For items not in stock, we will make a request to obtain the material from another library.

Photocopies can be sent worldwide and do not need to be returned. We can offer electronic delivery for items supplied from the British Library (see below).

Who can use the service?

Any Derby student can request a copy of an item in stock. If you are a first year undergraduate student we may not be able to supply items from other libraries - please contact us direct.

Copyright restrictions

All copying is carried out strictly within the limits of UK Copyright Law. Only one article will be allowed out of any one issue of a journal and no more than one chapter from a book, or no more than 5 % of a given work, whichever is the greater.

How to request

Complete one request form for each item requested. You need your UDo account to access the Online Request form.

We will keep you informed of the progress of your request via email.

How long does it take?

Under normal circumstances we expect to post material from our own stock within four working days. However if items are held at sites other than Kedleston Road or are on loan it may take longer.

Materials from the British Library to addresses in the UK usually arrive within a week: however it can take longer, if for instance they are on loan. You should allow at least 2 - 3 weeks.

Materials sent to addresses overseas will take extra time depending on international and local delivery services. Overseas students may be particularly interested in electronic delivery, where possible.

Electronic delivery

We may be able to arrange electronic delivery, depending on the item you're requesting.  Further information about this can be found on the main Inter Library Loan pages.


Charges vary according to the level of study. They are applied per article or chapter, not per page. Please note that allocations are per academic year.

1st year undergraduates (level 4 or below)

  • Up to 20 items at £2.00 each; material from University of Derby stock only. Please check library catalogue before requesting.

2nd and 3rd year undergraduates (level 5 and 6)

  • Students based in the UK or Republic of Ireland: up to 20 items at £2.00 each.
  • Students based overseas: up to 10 free; a further 10 items at £2.00 each.

Postgraduates (level 7)

  • Up to 20 free; a further 20 items at £2.00 each. Further requests need to be cleared beforehand and will be charged at £2.00 each.

Research students

  • There no charges for researchers.
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