Student Resource Centre

Our Student Resource Centre offers an academic and personal support service to all Sociology students, which is unique to our Department.

Supported by a team of student volunteers, the Centre offers you informal advice and support in all areas of study. It's home to an extensive range of study aids and support services and runs a programme of academic skills workshops throughout the year, from essay writing to getting to grips with lectures.

What we offer you

Student collections

We house a growing body of work by former undergraduate, masters and doctoral students. These collections, which are available to you to borrow, are recorded on database, accessible via the tree icons on the Resource Centre computer desktops and searchable by multiple criteria (author's name, year, subject or methodology keyword). If you have any problems locating or using the databases, please ask.

The collections are very precious to the Department. We want to continue to make them freely available to you to borrow, so please return them safely.

Undergraduate and Masters dissertations

We house work by former students, including copies of all undergraduate dissertations graded 2.1 or above and all Masters dissertations that have been completed in the department since the 1960s when the University first opened.

These are kept in the filing cabinets along the window wall of the Centre (note, those dating from 1965-1990 are kept in storage but can be accessed on request).

Up to three dissertations may be borrowed for up to a fortnight and must be signed out in the Red Book. They should be returned to the plastic box underneath the TV/video unit and must be signed back in the Red Book. Please do not return them directly to the filing cabinets yourself.

PhDs

We have a collection of over 250 PhDs completed in the Department since 1964. One PhD can be borrowed for up to one month and must be signed out in the Red Book.

Video library

Before the advent of digital media, we recorded films and documentaries directly from the television each week covering a wide range of issues in the fields of sociology, criminology, anthropology and the environment.

This archive material is still available to you. Videos may either be borrowed or you can watch them in the Centre (a TV and video unit is available), providing the volume is kept low and other users are not being disturbed.

A maximum of three videos may be borrowed at any one time for up to a fortnight, and must be signed out at the back of the Red Book (dissertations at the front). They should be returned to the plastic box underneath the TV/video unit and signed back in the Red Book. Please do not return them directly to the filing cabinets.

Reference library

Although the Albert Sloman library is the main University resource for your study-related research, the Resource Centre has a small but wide-ranging collection of donated books and journals, such as The Feminist Review and Sociology Today, that are a useful starting place, particularly if you are a first-year student. Books and journals may not be removed from the Resource Centre.

Module boxes

Some members of staff keep module boxes in the Resource Centre as a means of ensuring that specific study materials are available to you between classes, such as photocopied texts that are recommended or required reading, at times when demands on library books are high.

Materials kept in the module boxes must not be removed from the Resource Centre, unless the relevant lecturer or tutor has specified so, and then only provided there are a sufficient number of copies (one copy should always remain). Module box material may however be photocopied in the centre and those copies taken away.

Computers

Three computers are available in the Centre for you to use. These provide access via desktop icons to the Centre databases, and also to referencing software (Reference Manager and Endnote), in addition to the usual word-processing, Access, Excel, Internet and email facilities.

We run academic skills workshops throughout the year covering a wide range of topics including essay writing, citation and referencing, presentation skills, exam preparation, and support for international students.

Where possible, workshops aimed at first-year students are organised to support the particular stage of term and your coursework needs.

We are also happy to respond to your requests for workshops on other skills areas, or for repeat workshops - many workshops are repeated over the annual cycle in any event.

You can drop in or make an appointment for one-to-one skills advice and support at any time.

Volunteers are the life force of the centre. As students themselves, volunteers are valuable intermediaries between teaching staff and the student body. With the benefit of personal experience their advice can often be the most useful.

Why volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the life of the Department. Your familiarity with the reference facilities and academic support services offered gives you a head start in your own studies. When you graduate, your work in the Centre will give you many transferable skills, making you attractive to employers.

Get involved

Two hours a week is all it takes. It helps if you are able to keep to a regular weekly slot so that the Centre's opening hours are as consistent as possible.

Your role is principally to keep the Centre open and to be available to guide and advise other centre users, both about the centre’s facilities and on any other issues, as they arise. Occasionally there are also tasks and projects to be completed. When things are quiet, you are welcome to bring your own work and make use of the room's facilities whilst you are here.

If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering with us, contact Rowena Macaulay, at rowena@essex.ac.uk.

Opening times

Our opening hours can vary according to the availability of our volunteers but the Centre will always be open on:

  • Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 12.30pm - 5.30pm.

Contact us

Our Centre is located in room 5A.307/315, directly beneath the Common Room. It's run jointly by our Student Support Services Officer, Rowena Macaualay together with the student volunteer team.

If you have any other questions, or you'd like to arrange an individual appointment, please email rowena@essex.ac.uk.