Information skills for postgraduate students

Welcome back to Birmingham City University Library.

We strongly encourage returning students to review the starter guide and library news as the services and support offered by BCU Library can change year-over-year. 

This page contains resources that will help you build the information skills required to meet the information literacy learning outcomes for postgraduate or levels 7 to 8 courses.

During postgraduate courses, students are expected to be able to construct complex search strategies, bringing together conceptual and theoretical frameworks and perspectives from multiple disciplines in the generation and dissemination of new understandings within the discipline.

Click on the headings below to reveal related resources.

Discover Library services and support.

Starter guide

Welcome! The Library and Learning Resource team gathered what you need to know to take advantage of the services offered by the library all in one place.


A short session where we welcome you to the University and introduce library services and staff who can help you along your academic journey.

Interactive induction video

If you cannot attend the live induction session, watch the video and practice new skills with guided online activities.

Discover your digital skills

To be digitally literate is hugely important in the modern world. BCU encourages all students to continually improve their Digital Literacy. In order to help each individual assess and improve their skills we have joined with JISC to provide the JISC Discovery Tool. Learn about yourself and get useful recommendations in 10 minutes.

Understand references and cite using the appropriate referencing style.

Referencing guide

Most BCU faculties use the BCU Harvard style while some disciplines use OSCOLA, APA 7th edn., MHRA, Chicago or Vancouver.

It is never too early to learn how to read references and cite using the appropriate referencing format.

Construct complex search strategies.

Library Search help

BCU Library gives you access to millions of physical and online resources. Discover how the powerful features of the BCU Library Search can help you navigate this world of knowledge.

Bring together conceptual and theoretical frameworks and perspectives from multiple disciplines to generate and disseminate new understandings within the discipline.

Literature review guide

This LibGuide focuses on the conceptualisation, identification, appraisal, synthesis and dissemination of the literature search element of your higher degree research study.

Guidance for researchers

This guide seeks to provide basic guidance and sources of best practice. It does not constitute legal advice.

Company information guide

During your course you will probably need to find out information about a company or industry sector. The aim of this guide is to where you might find this type of information, both from library and free web resources.

Research workshop programme

This workshop provides you with practical advice about multiple aspects needed during your research project including: Managing your literature search, managing your references, commercialising your research and using MS Word for thesis creation.

Get personalised support


With access to millions of resources, sometimes the library can seem like an intimidating place. Our specialist Librarians are here to help you make sense of it all by providing in-depth guidance and support in your chosen subject area. Tutorials are currently available online. They will take place via MS Teams, Skype, or our online chat service. There may be some limited appointments available on campus.