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Distance Learners: Books

University Library Services for distance learners


As a Newcastle University Distance Learner you have access to over 600,000 eBooks.

Use Library Search to find books. Your results will include both print and ebooks. Use the refine options on the left to choose EBooks under Resource Type. To search or browse specific eBook collections go to the eBooks web pages

EBooks - Points to noteSometimes you may find a book in our catalogue which we don't own and we will pay a loan fee to the publisher so you can read it, you just need to follow the links and fill in the form. We will never ask you to pay to read our eBooks.

Some eBook collections will work directly in your browser, just requiring you to login with your Newcastle ID. Others are restricted by IP address; for these collections you need to access the campus network via RAS (see box below)

Although you can't access our print resources from overseas, if you come to Newcastle during your course, you will also be able to borrow books from our print collections.

Connecting to the Newcastle network using RAS



RAS (Remote Application Service) provides a method of using University IT facilities – software, printers, internal web pages, and your own documents – 24/7 from any Internet connection, in particular from your own computer.

Log in at

The system is easy to use, works on all main operating systems and is accessed via your Web browser. We provide the vast majority of ISS Cluster applications through RAS.

When you print a document from RAS, if the default printer connected to your computer is compatible with the system then it should be listed as the first choice.

Since RAS is running applications on the University’s servers, depending on your Internet connection speed and stability the applications on RAS may run more slowly than any applications that you have on your computer.

Print books held by Newcastle University Libraries

We are able to post our print books to students on Distance Learning Programmes in mainland UK and Northern Ireland.

The Library pays for outward postage of printed books. You are responsible for the return postage costs.You can choose on the request form to have the item posted to your home, work or other address.


What to do:

  • Check to see if we have the print book available within our collections by using Library Search
  • If it's in stock, send an email entitled Distance Learning Request with full details of the book (author, title, edition, date, shelfmark) and your contact details including course, smartcard number and full postal address to
  • If the book is on loan to another user, please make a hold (reservation) yourself by logging into LibrarySearch, searching for the book and clicking Locations/Request and Hold.
  • Once you are notified by email that the Hold book has been returned for you, send an email as above, but explaining the book is on hold under your name. Please note that if the item you require is out on loan it may take a few weeks before it is available for you.

You may borrow books for up to 5 weeks, although you will be asked to return items sooner if they are requested by another reader. You will receive an email indicating the new return date.

Inter Library loans for books not in stock at Newcastle

Items not available in Newcastle University Library can be requested for you via the Inter-Library Loan service, however, books and other loanable items CANNOT be posted to you and have to be collected in person.

All loanable items borrowed through this service remain the property of the British Library, you are responsible for the safe return of the items to Newcastle University Library. Please DO NOT return items directly to the British Library, return in person or by  post.

Library Search

First, use Library Search to identify if we have the item within our collections at Newcastle.
If we do not hold the item and you are based within the UK, it may be possible to apply for an Inter Library Loan.

British Library Catalogue

You will need to check the British Library catalogue to see if it is available.

How many Inter Library Loans can you have per academic year?
Undergraduates: 25 ILL's
Postgraduates: 50 ILL's

How much does it cost?
The current charge is £1.50 for each request. The University Library will pay the rest of the costs which is currently around £17.50

How to add money to your Inter Library Loan Account?
You will need to have a minimum of 4 credits (i.e. £6) in your account to make requests.
There are different ways to add money to your Inter Library Loan account, including via telephone with your credit/debit card.

How do I request?
Use the Web based Inter-Library Loans service to request the item(s).

All items borrowed through this service remain the property of the British Library, and must be returned promptly at the end of the loan period.
You are responsible for the safe return of the items to Newcastle University Library.
DO NOT return them to the British Library directly.

Returning items to the Library

Please remember that you are responsible for the return of all materials you receive through this service, and materials must be returned to the library so that they arrive on or before the return date.
We would advise students to package materials securely when posting.
You may wish to use recorded or special delivery.

Use this address for returning items:
Distance Learning,
Customer Services,
The Robinson Library,
The University
Newcastle upon Tyne,