Library Services study seat booking system

This information will help you to understand how our study seat booking system works and what you will need to do when using it.

If you wish to study in a library or study centre, you must book a specific seat in advance. We are unable to offer walk-in access for study space. 

Service eligibility  

This service is only available to University of Bristol Students. Currently we are unable to offer bookable seats to day visitors or Sconul members. 

How to book your study seat 

To book a study seat visit: 

To ensure fair access to all our study spaces you may book up to 4* hours at a study desk per week (Sunday to Saturday). Booking levels will be kept under review and adjusted to ensure that spaces are being fully used and shared fairly. 

The default booking is one hour but this can be changed to a longer or shorter slot to the booking length required. 

Seats can be booked up to two weeks in advance. 

There are different types of study seat available including individual armchairs with laptop tables, desks with PCs, desks with power sockets and some without powerCheck the description of the seat at the time of booking to ensure that it matches what you need. 

Available slots are shown in real time so you can see which seats are available for booking. 

*this is subject to change depending on demand

Available timeslots 

Availability of booking slot timings vary slightly across locations depending on opening hoursDetails are shown below:  


  1. Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Education (from Monday October 12), Medical and Veterinary Sciences: between 9.15 and 16.45 Monday-Friday. 

  1. Physics, Queen’s and Wills Memorial: between 10.15 and 16.45 Monday-Friday. Browsing slot for self-selection of material between 9.00 and 10.00; no seat bookings available. 

  1. Arts and Social Sciences: Monday-Friday 8.15-19.45, Saturday-Sunday 8:15-4:45. 

Study Centres 

  1. Beacon House: Monday-Friday 8.15-19.45; Saturday-Sunday 8.15-17.45 

  1. Grace Reeves: Monday-Friday 9.00-16.45 

  1. Hawthorns (available from Monday October 28): Monday-Friday 8.00-16.45; Saturday-Sunday 8.00-14.45 

  1. Senate House Study Centre: Monday-Friday 9.00-16.45 

On the day of your seat booking 

On arrival you must check into the space by scanning the seat's unique QR code. You must check in to the desk to ‘claim’ the booking. If this step is not completed the study seat may be booked by someone else. At the end of the session you need to check out. This is important as the booking system shows real time availability of spaces. 

Scanning a QR code is really easy on most Apple and Android mobile phones – just point your camera app at the code. Some older mobiles will require you to install an app to do this; simply search ‘QR reader’ on the Google Play or Apple App Store to find an app. 

You must only sit at the desk you've booked; we ask that furniture is not moved as spaces have been laid out to support Covid Secure working. 

If you fail to check in within 15 minutes of your expected arrival time your booking will be cancelled by the system. 

We ask that you cancel your booking if you are unable to make the slot. This will release availability for other students to use it. 

Seats must be vacated promptly at the end of each booking. You are responsible for cleaning the desk you have used prior to check out. Cleaning stations are available in each study area. 

Please observe social distancing during your visit. 

In line with UK Government Advice and University regulations you must wear a face covering in all areas libraries and study centres including whilst seated at a study desk. 

We ask that you do not take up your booking if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms of Covid-19. 


If you have questions about seat booking email 


What to do if you think you have coronavirus

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should:

  • Stay at home: don’t attend classes and avoid socialising with others
  • Get a test if you haven’t already done so – you can find out how here

We’ll then let your school know, as well as your halls (if you live in university residences), to make sure you can get any support you need. If you have any questions you can contact the Information Point.

What to do if you have to self-isolate for other reasons 

You may also need to self-isolate for other reasons. These could include:  

  • Being advised to do so by NHS Test & Trace because you have been in contact with someone who is confirmed to have coronavirus  
  • Travelling to the UK from a country not on the list of exempt countries

In these circumstances you should tell us using the self-reporting form. 

For any other short-term absences you should follow the university’s normal absence processes. If you are going to be studying online for a longer period (for example, because of travel restrictions which mean you can’t come or return to the UK) you can complete the location of study form here

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