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Library and IT services for health students on placement

These services are available to help you whilst you are on placement:


Access to the Cardiff University network for students on placement in NHS Wales

Cardiff University provides terminals in each of the NHS hospital-based libraries which connect to the Cardiff University network – ask library staff for help in locating them and the best way to access the Cardiff portal. You can log on to these terminals and use the Internet and Cardiff University licensed software such as Office applications, statistical, graphical and bibliographic packages and email as well as access electronic resources. For security reasons you cannot download material to a USB device but printing facilities are available. For more information please visit our Access to the network for students on placement web page. 

University intranet

Use the intranet to access the University online resources available to you off-campus:

  • Electronic journals, eBooks and databases
  • Access your shared and personal files
  • Learning Central
  • Email*

*Please note that your Cardiff University Office 365 email account is not available via an NHS PC in the following Health Boards for security reasons: Betsi Cadwaladwr University Health Board and Cwm Taf University Health Board.  Use the Cardiff University terminals located in their libraries whilst on placement in these Health Boards or their public wi-fi services with your own mobile device. 

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Resources to support you in the clinical setting

British National Formulary - NICE BNF App for smartphones

Cardiff University health students have access to the BNF and BNF for Children on their smartphone (iPhone or Android).

You will need to register for an NHS Athens account to get access; to do this please email with your student number, email address and course end date. We will then email you with an Athens username and password.

To use the NICE BNF and NICE BNFC apps for the first time and to activate any content updates, users will need to enter their NHS Athens username and password.

More information about NICE apps for smartphones and tablets is available on the NICE website

The apps can be downloaded from the Apple Appstore and Google Play Store.


UpToDate provides full text information on over "10,000 clinical topics in 21 specialities to help find clinical answers quickly and easily to make the right point of care decisions".  Features include graphics and videos which can also be used in presentations; links from references to Cardiff University full text eJournals; nearly 1,500 patient information topics; and a 'what's new' section.  

You will be able to access UpToDate using Cardiff Portal, where it will be found under the library tab and the A-Z list of databases.

When accessing UpToDate through a mobile device, you will automatically be redirected to the UpToDate mobile website.

To note: drug information in UpToDate is designed for use in the USA.

UpToDate (direct link)

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NHS Wales hospital libraries

NHS Wales hospital libraries locations

If you are on placement in NHS Wales, you will be entitled to join the hospital-based libraries and borrow material. Books from Cardiff University can also be obtained via these libraries as Cardiff University and NHS Wales libraries work in partnership to provide an Inter-Library Loan service (AWHILES). Library staff are happy to assist students on placement and all libraries provide an extensive range of services although IT facilities can vary from site to site. For a list of NHS Wales libraries and contact details please visit the Wales Deanery website.

Placement library cards

Before you go on your first placement a placement library card will be issued to you which will allow you to borrow books whilst on placement at NHS Health Boards/Trust libraries around Wales (except in Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board including University Hospital Llandough or Velindre NHS Trust). You will be notified in the weeks before your placement that your card is ready for you to collect from the enquiry desk on the first floor of the Health Library. You can only use this card in the specific hospital library where you are on placement.

When registering to use the placement card users agree to:

  • only use the card in the library where they are on placement
  • return borrowed material by its due date and respond to the recall of any material on loan
  • users may incur fines for the late return of material or be charged for replacement items
  • renewal of books on the placement card should also be made directly to the placement library (they cannot be renewed online)
  • return all material before leaving a placement
  • clear their account before taking books out at a new placement
  • pay for a replacement copy and a handling/processing charge for any lost items
  • pay £5 for a replacement placement card.

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Access to local university libraries and IT services


The SCONUL Access scheme allows access to other university libraries.  Full details of how to join SCONUL Access, including participating libraries, can be found on the SCONUL website.

eduroam service

The eduroam service allows users visiting participating institutions to access the Internet over their wi-fi networks. The level of network access a visitor has is set by the host university and may vary from one university to the next. Please visit our wireless web pages for further information.  

eduroam service in NHS Wales locations

This service is now also available over the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board hospitals wi-fi networks. Make sure you have registered your device with Cardiff University first before using eduroam at these locations.


List of UK hospitals providing eduroam

List of UK hospitals providing free patient and visitor WiFi


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Purchasing Cardiff University licensed software

Software available for purchase from Cardiff University

Some Cardiff University licensed software is available to purchase from Information Services Reception, 40-41 Park Place. See the Information Services Schedule of Charges (PDF document) for details. Payments may be made by card and software can be posted.


The statistical package SPSS is available for staff and students to download free of charge. Please note that, under the terms of the IBM (SPSS) agreement, SPSS cannot be installed on NHS-owned computers.


EndNote can be purchased at a discounted price from You need to log in with your Cardiff University username and password to access the site. EndNote Web is available as an alternative, and it is free to use for Cardiff University students. Distance Learning students can register for an EndNote Web account by registering for an account with Web of Knowledge. Please see this PDF guide for instructions for registering and using EndNote Web.

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Cardiff University IT help and support

IT Service Desk

The IT Service Desk is the first point of contact for the support of IT services. The IT Service Desk handles all queries, including fault reports, assistance with services, or suggestions for change and enhancements to IT services.

The IT Service Desk can be contacted by telephone +44 (0)29 2087 4487, email, or in person.

Take a look at our advice and tips to help you stay safe online

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Cardiff University library online help

Not sure what you need? Why not Ask a Librarian live?

Our Ask a Librarian live chat service is available 9am - 5pm, Mondays - Fridays. Where we can offer chat beyond these hours, we will. Our status will indicate whether there is someone available to answer your query. You can find alternative ways of contacting us on the contact us page.

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Keeping in touch with the health libraries

Health libraries blog and twitter accounts

Sign up to the Health libraries blog to keep in touch with news of resources, and events. 

We also have Twitter accounts for our individual health libraries:

Archie Cochrane Library, UHL  

Brian Cooke Dental Library, UHW  

Cancer Research Wales, Velindre  

Health Library, UHW