Bored of the Morrell? Here are some of the best alternative places to study in York

The best spots for when you need a change of scenery

It goes without saying that the Uni Library is a great on-campus resource and study site, all thanks to the library staff who keep everything so in check. However, as we approach the middle of term, maybe you’ve found yourself in need of a shake-up? A new setting? Or maybe you can no longer bare how cold it can be in there?

Here is a comprehensive list of the best alternative study spaces, on campus and across York:

Spring Lane Building

Ah, Spring Lane, my personal favourite place to study. For anyone still finding their bearings, its central location makes it really easy to find on campus. Only a few paces from the library, the Spring Lane building has a lot bookable study rooms (particularly useful for group projects), along with LOADS of open study areas, like the Salter Learning Suite on the top floor. There are also a few computers available, which are rarely fully booked.

The foyer areas are also available to use as study spaces for more casual work and conversation. A “Zoom Booth” recently got added to the ground floor, designed specifically for Zoom calls, fitted with sound cancelling materials.

Ron Cooke Hub

The Ron Cooke Hub is a large, modern space on Campus East. The Lakeside pods outside, and both casual and formal discussion rooms inside can all be booked for study, but there are also plenty of open areas that can be used without having to book. It is also home to the Hub Café, so you can grab a snack or a coffee while you work (though it is only open 8:30am-3:30pm, so be sure to check the time before you go).

Piazza Building

Also on campus East, the Piazza building is similar to Spring Lane in that it is a large and informal study area. This is often used by societies, as well as for other group activities, and can be a really useful and resourceful space to complete group work and plan presentations without having to pre-book in advance. Plus it has a Starbucks, so who can really complain?

Church Lane Building

The Church Lane Building sits at the edge of Campus West near Alcuin, and has numerous study spaces ranging from bookable breakout rooms to open informal study areas. There is also an amazing café with indoor and outdoor seating that serves both hot and cold food (shout out to the bao buns and katsu curries). The open areas have large tables for groups, as well as desks and small tables if you are studying alone or with a friend. For those of you that prefer to cycle to university, Church Lane also has its own bike storage.

Subject specific areas

Lots of departments have study spaces scattered throughout them, so it’s worth a bit of exploring both throughout your department and around others.

There are also a few study areas across campus that are subject-specific and require key card entry. For example the Creative Lounge in the Biology Department and the Chemistry Library. Check with your tutor or an academic supervisor within your department to see if there are any subject-specific study areas for your degree.

King’s Manor

Okay, I know this is meant to be about study spaces that are not the library, but I think this counts. King’s Manor is perhaps one of the most beautiful study areas available in York. It is home to collections on the medieval period, archaeology and architecture, so it’s perfect for Archaeology, History, English, or History of Art students. This is not a space for group work and is a designated quiet zone for individual study. It gives major dark academia vibes.

Cafes in York

There are SO many student friendly cafes across the city, for when you need to get off campus. Some of my favourites include Cafe 42, Bison Coffee House and The Fossgate Social.

York Library, Museum Street

If you’re bored of the Morell but still want the studious, dark academia vibes that can only be achieved from a library then the Explore York Libraries and Archives is perfect. Sitting just off Museum Street, this library has multiple different spaces, so you can pick the one that suits you best. If you want to use the archives, they are subject to bookings, so be sure to pre-plan your visit.

If, however, you are just searching for a quiet, calm space to study, away from the buzz of student life (and maybe pretend you’re an actual adult), the Local History Room is open 7 days a week and has both study space and facilities such as scanners and PCs, along with free Wi-Fi and an on-site café. There is also the added bonus that this is located next to the beautiful Museum Gardens.

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