Services to Distance Learners

 Definition of distance learner | distance learners | Library Catalogue | Contacts

Definition of distance learner

The term “distance learner” is defined as someone who is enrolled on a course where Birmingham City University has designated the mode of study as “distance learning”.  This does not apply to students who live away from campus, and are following full-time or part-time courses at Birmingham City University. Students studying on the following distance learning courses are entitled to use the Distance Learning Service.

Business School
BA (Hons) Management

MSc Audit Management and Consultancy

MSc Risk Management

Performance, Media and English
PGDip/MA English Linguistics

MA Social Media

MA Music Industries

MA Creative Industries & Cultural Policy

MA Online Journalism

Although not designated as distance learning courses it has been agreed that the Distance Learning Service is also available to students on the following courses:


Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Advanced Certificate

Business School
Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Diploma

Dip in Social Work/DipHE Rehabilitation Studies
CertHE Visual Impairment/DipHE Rehabilitation Work

MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
MSc in Project Management


Birmingham City University Library Services to Distance Learners

If you are a Distance Learning student at Birmingham City University, you are entitled to full Library and Learning Resources provided you register at one of the University’s libraries. We regret that we are not able to loan books to students based outside the UK or Ireland. However we may be able to photocopy a relevant chapter of the book required instead (within current UK copyright law).

Borrowing books :

  • All students may borrow up to 20 items from any Birmingham City University Library, either in person or by asking us to post books to you. If you want us to post you a book, please complete this form. Books can be requested whether they are on the shelves or on loan.
  • For distance learners, two week loans are extended to four weeks in the first instance but renewals are for two weeks only. It is impractical to post out week loan items, but you may borrow these items on a personal visit.

Renewing books :

  • You may renew items as many times as you like, providing nobody else has reserved them.

You can renew books in the following ways:

  • Online through ‘My Library Record’  via the library catalogue.
    You will need your library barcode number and your library PIN.
  • By phone. Telephone renewals are available 24 hours a day. Ring 0121 331 5278.
    You will need your library number and your library PIN.

Renewals cannot be made in the following circumstances

  • When the item you wish to renew is reserved for another borrower
  • When your borrowing rights have been withdrawn
  • If the item is not renewable
  • When you have a large outstanding charge
  • When you have any outstanding charges and you are requesting a renewal in person


Reserving and Requesting books :

You can ask us to send you photocopies of journal articles from journals held at Birmingham City University libraries, providing your requests are accompanied by a completed and signed copyright declaration.  Normal photocopying charges will apply and there is a non-refundable administrative charge for each journal article you request. These charges will be added to your library account.

  • You can place reservations on books when all copies are out on loan.
  • You can request books on the shelves to be posted out to you using this form.
  • You can download the form and either post it to us using the contact details below. 
  • We will notify you about the progress of your requests via post or email.

Inter Library Loans :

  • You may ask us to obtain articles from other libraries.
    Further details are available from the Inter Library Loans page.

Please let us know if you change your address.  This way we can keep you informed about any developments.

Your Liaison Librarian (see below) is also available to help you with subject queries.  You can ring, e-mail or fax the appropriate person:

ATHENS Administrator :

John Farren 0121 331 6647

Distance Learning Enquiries :

Graham Dix 0121 331 5295

Subject Specialist Librarians :


Carol Price 0121 202 4606
Keith Brisland 0121 331 5627


Carol Price 0121 202 4606
Janet Fox 0121 331 5298


Christiana Titahmboh 0121 331 7030


Carol Price 0121 202 4606
Nitaya Bion 0121 331 5298


James Dean 0121 331 7480


James Dean 0121 331 7480



PIN request form

Library Catalogue

The library catalogue is available both in the library and on any machine with internet access. It is accessible 24 hours per day via the internet, but it may not be possible to access it if system maintenance work needs to take place.
Access to the catalogue allows you to:
•    search the catalogue to see what materials we have available to help you with your studies.
•    see if a book has been borrowed, and if there are reservations for it
•    check journal titles and holdings

In addition, through 'My Library Record', you can:
•    look at your borrowing record to check on the return dates of books,
•    check on the progress of any reservations or inter library loan requests you may have made.
•    reserve a book if all copies from all sites are out on loan

To access ‘My Library Record’ you will need your library barcode and your Personal Identification Number (or PIN), which you will be given when you register with the library.

Registration Card Online / Electronic Resources

LIBRARY WEB PAGES These are freely available over the Internet.


To access most Electronic Services on-campus (from a Birmingham City University networked computer) you will not need a username or password, once you have logged onto the University's networkHowever to access many of these services from off-campus, you will need to use a password system called Athens.  

If you are a new student and you have already received your Birmingham City University network username and password, you can use it to access these services once you have activated it. View our help page first, then click on the Athens link. 

Digital Library Digital Library
You also have access to Digital Library, the digital library of Birmingham City University. The Digital Library system provides a means of integrating text, image, audio and video resources. These resources can then be delivered across a network to authorised users wherever they are located, whenever they need them. At present the active collection of Digital Library contains past exam papers, journal articles, books (and sections of them) and student projects. Future collections under development will contain digital video and digital audio resources. You will need to log on to Digital Library through the library web page in order to access some of its collections. Your Digital Library user name is your Library Barcode Number and your password is your Library Personal Identification Number (PIN). However you can browse through some of the information on Digital Library without logging in.

This page last updated by John McMullan