UCL Department of Computer Science


Section 12: Learning resources and key facilities

12.Learning resources and key facilities

12.1.UCL library and learning resources

Information on university-wide learning resources and key contacts for support (Centrally Provided.)

12.1.1.UCL Library Services

UCL has 19 libraries and a mixture of quiet study spaces, bookable study rooms and group work areas. Each library has staff that students can ask for help. The UCL Library Services page has information for students about using the library, services available, electronic resources and training and support.

Further information:

12.1.2.UCL Information Services Division (ISD)

The UCL Information Services Division (ISD), the primary provider of IT services to UCL, offers IT learning opportunities for students and staff in the form of ‘How to’ guides which provide step-by-step guidance to all of ISD’s key services, including email and calendar services, user IDs and passwords, print, copy and scanning, wifi and networks. There are also opportunities for digital skills development (www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/learning-teaching/it-training) through face-to-face training in areas such as data analysis, programming, desktop applications and more, along with individual support through drop-ins and via the ISD Service Desk. UCL also has a licence for Lynda.com (www.ucl.ac.uk/lynda) which provides thousands of high quality video-based courses from programming to presentation skills.

Learning on Screen (www.learningonscreen.ac.uk) provides students with access to an archive of 65 free-to-air channel programming for educational usage. In addition, Kanopy (www.kanopystreaming.com) is available to UCL students, and offers a wide range of movies.

E-learning services (www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/learning-teaching/elearning-students) available to students include Moodle, Turnitin and Lecturecast and allow students to access online course materials or take part in online activities such as group work, discussions and assessment. Students can re-watch some lectures using the Lecturecast service and may also use interactive tools in the classroom.

ISD provides desktop computers and laptops for use or loan in a number of learning spaces (www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/learning-teaching/spaces.) A map of computer workrooms is available on the ISD website. The Desktop@UCL sevice provides access to hundreds of software applications to support students. It is also possible to access a large range of applications remotely, from any computer, using the Desktop@UCL Anywhere Remote Access Service (www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/computers/remote-access.) Students also have access to a range of free and discounted software via ISD Software for Students (www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/software-hardware/student-software).

All students are encouraged to download the UCL-Go app, available for iOS and Android devices. The app gives access to Moodle and timetabling and shows where desktop computers are available on campus.

12.1.3.UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE)

The UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) offers courses in over 17 foreign languages (including English), along with teacher training courses, across a range of academic levels to support UCL students and staff and London’s wider academic and professional community. CLIE provides degree preparation courses for international students, courses satisfying UCL’s Modern Foreign Language requirements and a range of UCL summer school courses. Students can also access a database of language-learning resources online through the CLIE Self-Access Centre, including film and documentary recommendations and books for self-study.

Further information:

12.2.Departmental and other library and learning resources

Information on departmental and faculty library spaces and resources, IT provision/ support, social spaces etc.

12.2.1.Library resources for Computer Science

UCL has a number of libraries and learning spaces that students can use in order to access library and other information services, computing facilities, and for quiet or group study (www.ucl.ac.uk/library/ sites.) The Science Library and the Main Library are in close proximity to the Malet Place Engineering Building and Gower Street and are

UCL Science Library

The Science Library (www.ucl.ac.uk/library/sites/science) houses collections relating to a range of scientific disciplines, including Engineering and Computer Science, and provides access to quite study spaces, bookable group study rooms, the Learning Laboratory (the largest computer cluster at UCL), a postgraduate cluster room, printing and photocopying facilities, and technical support via the ISD Service Desk.

The Science Library is located in the DMS Watson Building on Malet Place (adjacent to the Malet Place Engineering Building.) The easiest way to access it is to enter Malet Place via Torrington Place and walk down towards the archway visible in the distance. The building is located on the left hand side just before the archway is reached.

Many library services are available online, including access to e-books that are widely used in module reading lists.

Science Reference Libraries

Students will need access to a variety of specialised texts, journals and other publications through their coursework and projects/ dissertations. Their Project Supervisor can often give the best advice on where to find these but, in general, if what students require is not available via UCL, they should make use of Science Reference Libraries. UCL library staff can tell you more about these facilities.

The British Library

The British Library, Science, Technology and Business section (previously Science Reference and Information Service) hosts a large reference collection on science, technology, commerce, patents, trademarks and design. Students can register for a free Reader Pass (www.bl.uk) to make use of the Library’s reading rooms. The Library is located near St Pancras station on Euston Road.

The Science Museum

The Science Museum Library hosts a large collection of books and periodicals focusing on the history and social aspects of science, technology and medicine at its Wroughton site (near Swindon.) A smaller collection is available via the Dana Research Centre and Library in South Kensington.

Further information:

12.2.2.IT facilities for Computer Science

UCL facilities

UCL has a number of computer workrooms and quick login kiosks across campus, and these are available for use by all UCL students (www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/learning-teaching/spaces). These machines run the Windows 7 Desktop@UCL service and have a range of software applications available (swdb.ucl.ac.uk.) Students should discuss any additional software requirements with their Programme Leader.

There is also a dedicated IT workroom that provides improved access for disabled students, which is called the Student Enabling Information Technology (SENIT) suite. This has a range of specific hardware and software designed to assist disabled students to study independently. The SENIT suite is located at ground floor level, in room B10 of the Wilkins building, Gower Street, near the Print Room Café.

Further information:

Computer Science facilities

There are a number of computer labs in the Malet Place Engineering Building (rooms 1.05, 1.21 and 4.06), which are exclusively available for use by Computer Science students. Since these labs are also used for teaching, a weekly timetable will be posted on the door for students to determine when the lab is available.

In general students are free to use any machine in any of the labs, but some will be marked for special use and certain groups of students have priority use of these machines.

The labs are a quiet study zone, and students should be considerate of other users. There is no eating or drinking allowed in any of the labs, which may be monitored by CCTV for security reasons.

The Computer Science Technical Support Group (TSG) Helpdesk offers a range of services, and provides advice, information and technical assistance, including in relation to software, hardware, networking and licencing issues.

The Helpdesk is available Monday to Friday, 09.30 – 17:00 (term), 11:00 – 15:00 (out of term) and can be contacted via email (request@cs.ucl.ac.uk), telephoning +44 (0)20 7679 7280, on in person (MPEB 4th floor.)

Further information:

12.2.3.Meeting and social spaces

Undergraduate Student Hub

The Engineering Faculty provides an Undergraduate Student Hub in the Henry Morley Building. This space is for private-study, social, educational and extra-curricular activities. Student societies take a lead in the control, use and management of the facility.

Postgraduate social spaces

There is a dedicated social space for taught postgraduate students on the ground floor of the Faculty of Engineering Building at 66-72 Gower Street.

The Engineering Student Hub, based in the Henry Morley Building on Gower Street, is also available to postgraduate students over the summer period so they can work on their projects.

12.3.Moodle (virtual learning environment)

Information on how to access Moodle and support contacts (Centrally Provided.)

12.3.1.About Moodle

Moodle is UCL's online learning space (also called a Virtual Learning Environment.) It includes a wide range of tools which can be used to support learning and teaching. Moodle is used to supplement taught modules, in some cases just by providing essential information and materials, but it can also be integrated more fully, becoming an essential component of a module. Some modules may use Moodle to provide access to readings, videos, activities, collaboration tools and assessments, an assessment outline, learning resources, and reading lists.

12.3.2.Moodle at Computer Science

All taught modules at Computer Science have a Moodle page. Depending on the approach taken by the Module Leader, the Moodle page may be used more or less intensively.

At a minimum, the Moodle page will include: the module’s syllabus and intended learning outcomes; staff contact details; a news forum; learning resources; a reading list; and an outline of the module’s assessments. The assessment outline will describe the assessment and any of its parts, and will specify how each assessment is weighted, and whether these are non-condonable or have any additional requirements.

Additionally, detailed assessment instructions and marking criteria will be published for each assessment at the point it is set. This will include, where relevant, guidance on appropriate styles of referencing, and any parameters such as word counts, and an indication of when and how feedback will be provided. To avoid unnecessary duplication, these items may be in the form of links to external resources.

Students should note that accessing teaching materials published via Moodle is not a substitute for attending teaching sessions. All students are expected to meet the minimum attendance requirements and to fully engage with their programme of study.


ReadingLists@UCL is an online reading list service that ensures students have easy access to materials on their reading lists wherever they are and gives academic staff the freedom to create and update their lists whenever they need.

All Computer Science’s reading lists for taught modules are hosted by the ReadingLists@UCL service. These are linked from the relevant module’s Moodle page and are continuously updated.

Further information:

12.5.LectureCast and recorded lectures

Information on the use of LectureCast (Echo360) and other systems to record and publish lectures, seminars etc. within the department.

12.5.1.About LecutreCast

LectureCast is a system for recording lectures and publishing them to students via the web (typically via Moodle.) The system can capture material displayed via the projector or visualizer, audio is captured from the room's microphone system, and video of the presentation area (i.e. the lecturer or presenter.)

Currently this system is available in approximately 50 teaching spaces across the UCL estate, therefore this is not available for all lectures.

The availability of recorded sessions is not guaranteed and is not a substitute for attendance.

12.5.2.LectureCast at Computer Science

Computer Science operates an ‘opt out’ LectureCast policy; we record and publish all teaching that takes place in LectureCast-enabled spaces unless the speaker has chosen not to have their lectures recorded or where intellectual property rights prevent this (as is often the case for guest/ industry speakers, who cannot give the necessary legal consent relating to intellectual property rights.)


Information on Portico – what it is, why it is important and who to contact for support (Centrally Provided.)

Portico is the main UCL student information system which is used by all students for:

  • Updating personal data such as addresses or contact numbers
  • Completing online module registration
  • Viewing information about programmes/ modules
  • Viewing examination timetables and results
  • Pre-enrolment and re-enrolment
  • Applying for graduation ceremonies

It is essential that students keep their contact details up to date on Portico to ensure they receive important information from the university.

Further information:

12.7.Research Student Log (MRes only)

Information on the Research Student Log, which applies for MRes students (Centrally Provided.)

To fulfil UCL’s commitment to the quality of its research programmes, the Doctoral School provides the Research Student Log for the use of all research students at UCL. The Log is a mandatory component of all UCL research degree programmes and has been prepared to assist students throughout their degree programme at UCL. It provides a framework for recording details related to the student’s graduate research programme, scheduled supervisory meetings and activities concerning the development of academic and key skills. The Log will also help students to assess their progress and to plan and chart evidence of the development of academic and discipline-specific skills and key skills.

Further information:

Updated: 29-09-2017