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Biological Sciences Libraries

Core Skills

Cambridge University Libraries support for your degree

With lots of different libraries and services to choose from, it would be helpful to get the lowdown on what you might want to use to support your studies. We have a range of dedicated online short courses covering the Natural Sciences Tripos, the Medical and Veterinary Sciences Tripos, and the Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Tripos. You will also have live introductory sessions with members of the Team as part of your timetabled lectures.

How to get the most from your lectures

This online self-guided course will help you get prepared for your first lectures at university. Covering topics such as effective note-taking, writing essays, and time management, we hope this course will get you off to a good start.

Getting started with critical reading in Biological Sciences

Being able to critically evaluate the science that you are reading about as part of your studies is a key skill to develop, and this live introductory session will help get you started. You can find out more information about the session and booking your place on the University Training Booking System (UTBS).

For our session for Part II students, check out our Advanced Skills section. 

Finding and managing your references with Zotero

Finding and managing any reading that you need to do is another useful skill to develop. In our live introductory session we will introduce you to reference management tools, with a focused look at Zotero, to get you off to a good start. You can find further information on UTBS.

Many of our libraries offer specialised training in managing your references, such as the Psychology Library's online guide to APA Citations

Literature searching for your dissertation or project

Finding scientific literature for your dissertation or project work during your Part II year can be a new experience for many. To help get you started we have our self-guided online literature searching course that will take you through the fundamentals of planning, carrying out, and evaluating your searching so you can get the best results for your needs. We also run regular literature searching workshops to go through some of these topics in more detail with live demonstrations of key databases, troubleshooting common issues, and lots of time for questions and discussion so you can get the most out of the session.


If you have any questions about anything covered in these courses, or just want to have a quick supervision with a member of the Team to chat about your work, feel free to send us an email: