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Get Familiar: Learning Grid University House

University House: the place at the top of campus that hosts an array of meetings, a surprisingly good latte spot and… a Learning Grid. Being a hive of activity during the day, this is a great spot to multi-task while on campus, seeing people at the same time as slotting in time to get some work done. Oh yes, you read right- you’re allowed to talk in this library space! …By Lillie Almond


Where is it? At the top of campus, en route to Milburn House. If you are walking up from the direction of the main campus area (the Library etc), University House is situated at the end of the footpath that joins University Road. Walk into University House (don’t forget your card!) and you can’t miss it… Learning Grid on the left-hand side.

When is it open? Except for Christmas day, this grid is open twenty-four hours, seven days a week. Yep.

Other important tit-bits? Your student card is essential for entry here, so make sure you have it with you. You’re allowed to talk, and to use your phone, because this is a group learning space. This doesn’t mean that you are allowed to be disrespectfully loud, or to watch television programs or use gaming content on the computers though: the facilities are provided for study, not streaming.

Oh, Facilities?

This learning grid has numbered guides to all sorts of biological anatomical treats. It also contains an iMac, Smartboard, Panaboard, document visualiser, plasma screens and reference books. Basically, the place has everything you need, so you might end up wanting to live there. The problem with this, is the fact that you’re not allowed. The rules specify, NO sleeping is allowed in the Learning Grid, nor any hot food or take out! So maybe find another location for those non-work related activities…

The Bookable Rooms

The presentation rooms in this learning grid are in pretty high demand. We’re not kidding. The rules specify that they are now to be booked for no longer than an hour at a time. Presentation Room A contains a computer and projector, and seating for 6 to 7 people. Presentation Room B has the same facilities, but seats 12 to 16 people. Presentation Room C hosts video conferencing, but requires you to provide your own laptop with which to do this, as it does not provide a fixed computer. It seats 5 to 6 people.

The hours on these rooms are flexible, but you’re unable to book them any sooner than 21 days in advance. During term time all presentation rooms are available from 08:00 to 22:00, Monday to Friday, and 11:00-21:00 Saturday to Sunday. During the holidays, presentation rooms are available from 12:00 to 18:00. Unfortunately, because of high demand, staff and postgraduate researchers are unable to book presentation rooms.

Other Sparkly Features

The Learning Grid Studio is exclusive to the Learning Grid at University House, and definitely worth checking out. The space hosts loads of talks about multimedia usage and provides demonstrations on software that could be really helpful to you and your work. These sessions are bookable and more information can be found out about them here. The Studio is only available during those scheduled sessions, so it’s worth checking online next time you plan to go to the grid- and perhaps synchronising timing so that you can check one of these workshops out.

Top Tips

  • Even though we’re right next to a café in this Grid, only hot and cold drinks and cold food are allowed. If you have anything else, eat it outside first. Bin your food-stuff packaging afterwards and leave the space as you would wish to find it – there’s nothing worse than having to clear someone else’s aftermath of grid-time snacking.
  • Don’t leave your belongings alone for longer than 1 hour. This is a really generous amount of time considering how busy this Grid gets, I would definitely say it’s the one in highest demand; if you leave your stuff unattended for any longer than 1 hour max, your computer will be reset, your Grid books returned to trolleys, and belongings removed.
  • I see this as a space for me to work on group projects, ensuring that I am genuinely productive. It’s a great study environment, in which talking is common-place, in the good way!


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