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SCONUL Access Scheme

SCONUL Access is a reciprocal borrowing scheme between participating higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland. Your university or college must be part of the scheme to apply. You are eligible if you are a:

  • Staff member on an open or fixed term contract
  • Postgraduate research student
  • Part-time student
  • Distance learning student
  • Placement student (full time student on a placement of 6 weeks or more)
  • Full-time taught postgraduates

If you are a full-time undergraduate student you may be able to use the resources of other college and university libraries for reference (you are not able to borrow).


Using the University of Plymouth library if you are a member of a different University or College.

  • You must apply online. Make sure you select your University or College.
  • You will receive a SCONUL Access confirmation email.
  • Bring your SCONUL confirmation email, home institution ID/Library card and speak to a member of staff at the reception desk on Level 1.
  • You will be asked to fill out a registration form so that a library card can be made. Please allow up to 5 working days for a card to be processed. You will be emailed when it is ready for collection. 

Depending on your eligibility you may be able to borrow up to 6 books. You will not have any access to our online resources or bookable study rooms.

Please bring your card every time you visit the library as you will be unable to enter without it. Access is between 0800 -2000.


University of Plymouth Student or Staff wanting to use another library in the SCONUL Access scheme

You are only eligible to apply if you are considered a student or member of staff of the University of Plymouth with your course or employment validated with full library privileges here.

Staff and students at partner college institutions on franchised courses are not eligible for access under the terms of the scheme.

  • Your library account must be clear of any overdue books or charges.
  • You will need to apply online
  • You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been approved subject to your eligibility. Print this off and take it, with your University of Plymouth ID card, to the library you wish to visit.


Contact the Information Desk on Level 1 of the Library or email libraryandITenquiries@plymouth.ac.uk with any queries.

Modified 15/11/2021