The best places to study instead of the IC

Stop making yourself suffer, it doesn’t have to be this way


Revision season has kicked in and everyone is cramming themselves into the human cesspit that is the IC, or the diamond, or Western Bank, or really any uni study space possible. But it doesn’t need to be this way. Liberate yourself from the sterile, yellowing lighting of the silent study section, and treat yourself to a little luxury of a nice coffee and a table that isn’t taken up by a computer science student’s empty crisp packets. The city is full of places to set up for the day that are ten times more aesthetically pleasing, calmer and comfier than uni libraries; here’s a guide to the best.


The creative co-op on Glossop Road provides the perfect study vibes. With a chill playlist, good food menu and plenty of tables both inside and on the roof, spending hours here would be easy. It’s a big space so there’s no need to wake up at an obscene hour to enter The Hunger Games to get a seat. Literally seconds away from the SU, it’s in the perfect position for dashing to the library for a book or to cry to your tutor. The café also doubles as a bar so you can get something a little stronger than a coffee, if it all gets too much.

The Cavendish

Hear me out. Pub during the day at exam time may seem like a pipe-dream, but that’s what makes it genius. While most people will flood to cafes or libraries, the Cavendish is as roomy and cheap as ever. Offering 99p filter coffee with free refills, it’s a cheap option to set up for the day and let the caffeine drive you. The same applies for Wetherspoons, and really most pubs. Make use of their quiet hours during the day.


It’s impossible to be stressed in Marmadukes. It’s pale, minimalist interior is like a soft cushion, blocking out the panic about the state of your degree. It’s pricier, so maybe save this one for a really tough day, but their halloumi sandwich will bring joy back to your life. On Norfolk Row, Marmadukes is just far enough away from uni that you can’t hear the cries, ideal for a calm study session with a couple of friends.

Nam Song

Recently opened on Broomhill and offering Vietnamese coffee, Nam Song is ideal for reading and essay writing in a cosy environment. With one room of tables, and a cushioned room for the world comfiest study setting, it feels like working in bed but more productive. The food is cheap and amazing, and during May, any coffee is only £1 between 7:30am and 10:30am. Get an early start with a traditional Vietnamese filter coffee served with condensed milk, slip your shoes off and ease yourself into work.

The Curators House

Often forgotten but always delightful. The café at the botanical gardens is a personal favourite of mine. Just out of the rush of uni, you don’t have to worry about loud talking or annoying music and I doubt you’ll get any beef for taking up a table for the afternoon. Sit in the conservatory for added views to help you get that perfect ‘look I’m revising’ snapchat, and treat yourself to a coffee and homemade cake that will remind you of your Grandmas house during this trying time. It’s also scientifically proven that seeing greenery helps reduce stress levels, so studying here is good for your health.

You don’t have to suffer. Go find yourself somewhere cute to work.