Where to Study on Campus

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As a second year who has just about dodged her way through nearly four semesters in Leeds, I would like to think I’ve become acquainted with the many different places to study on campus. It can be difficult to find the ideal place to study on campus, but there is so much on offer at Leeds. Only recently has the Edward Boyle library undergone a major refurbishment and emerged looking like what can only be described as the new Facebook headquarters and the recently refurbished union building has a lot of workspace on offer. Here’s my pick of the bunch:


This is where you will find the next generation of entrepreneurs, future MI5 agents, and breakthrough research scientists. Laidlaw silent study is home to the very elite among the student population, bag yourself a seat here and consider yourself among Leeds royalty. Be prepared though, to get a coveted seat here you will be awake at 7am and in the library no later than 9am. You need to be ready to go with that pre-packed quinoa salad, snacks aplenty and supplied with an endless stream of caffeinated beverages from Caffe Nero to be productive. If you can find a seat in this library that isn’t taken by people or books you will be in the best company. The silence is second to none and the quality of work produced in an hour here will be unlike anything you will ever produce in a full day.


Much of its appeal lies in the fact Edward Boyle is a short 5-minute commute indoors from Roger Stevens via the red route. This is the best characteristic of all who choose to frequent Edward Boyle, but even more so when you choose to sit directly by the red route, laziness or not you decide? This is the perfect place to really balance your social life and work, with comfy sofas for the hungover students who make this their desired study spot to catch up and be productive. A shortage of plug sockets does make essay writing more difficult but who cares? Sink into a sofa and put up your tired flares after a night of ‘dropping solid moves’ [direct quote] while you gossip away. Don’t worry the students here don’t mind, in fact, they love distraction, which is why they choose to sit by the window and people watch. The sofas are comfy here though, and the library is definitely the most modern and plush after its recent refurbishment. So why not indulge yourself with that short sweet commute to Roger Stevens.


An endless supply of the best cake on campus and plenty of bean bags and squishy sofas for when you really need self-care in your study schedule. Need I say more.


The waterside café is known across campus for its dramatic landscape views of the beautiful lake we have. Did you know they hold swimming trials here? (Gasp). Perhaps taking it a step too far, but there is something nice about studying here and the café is flooded with light from its many windows. Light is an unexpected surprise when you’ve spent the day in the lecture halls of Roger Stevens. The coffee here isn’t too bad and neither is the company, you can expect to find a good mix of freshers, undergrads and postgrads. Popular with gym goers for its proximity to The Edge if you really want to fit in kit yourself out in some of those cool Asics trainers, leggings and a puffer jacket, but really it’s one of the rare places on campus where anyone and everyone fits in, the more puffy eyed and weary from lectures the better.


Bring your mates and get some serious studying done in Brotherton West Building. One of the few places where you can have a chat without fear, West building is quiet enough that you can get some work done without being silent. The chairs and tables have wheels on so you can customise your own workspace and it’s also surprisingly warm and cosy. If you can accustom yourself to the noisy clatter of the printer rumbling away constantly this is an ideal workspace to be productive, comfortable and social when you want to be.


Cara Bintcliffe

Image: RIBA Journal