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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

3.14: Principles for learning resources


The University’s strategic objective is to ensure that ‘resources available for education and research are appropriate for a world-class university', and that ‘appropriate mechanisms are in place to deliver sustainable improvements’ in respect of such resources. In order to support this objective, the provision of learning resources will operate in accordance with the Principles outlined below.

Learning resources are physical and virtual resources that are needed to enable students to achieve the learning outcomes of their academic programme. These include library services, IT provision and teaching rooms.

The University’s approach to learning resources will recognise the importance of such resources in supporting the University’s research-led approach to education.


1. The provision and development of learning resources by the University will be driven by the need to support the achievement of the strategic objectives set out in the University’s Strategic Plan and its Education and Postgraduate strategies.

2. Learning resources will be managed to ensure that all students are appropriately supported in undertaking their programme of study, and staff are provided with the necessary resources to deliver these programmes.
3. Academic staff and students, through appropriate representation, will be consulted on the management and enhancement of learning resources. Those responsible for managing learning resources will establish suitable mechanisms to support such consultation, and will actively reflect upon and use this feedback, alongside their own professional expertise and judgment, to ensure that the provision of learning resources is appropriate to current pedagogical practices and educational priorities and is responsive to new priorities and pedagogical developments. 

4. The University will foster and disseminate good and innovative practice in the use of learning resources for the purposes of learning and teaching.

5. The provision and enhancement of learning resources will take into account users’ educational needs. The separate needs of undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research students and staff will be taken into consideration.

6. The provision of learning resources, and their future enhancement, will be inclusive, ensuring appropriate access to learning resources for all student groups and anticipating the needs of disabled students.

7. Staff delivering programmes of study will be provided with opportunities for appropriate training and support in the use of the University’s learning resources.

8. The provision of learning resources will take into account the University’s commitment to environmental and financial sustainability.
9. The University will work to improve the extent to which the learning resources it provides to students are utilised. 

10. Academic departments, colleges and professional support services will work in partnership with respect to the provision of learning resources.

11. The quality of the learning resources provided by the University will be regularly monitored. This will include gathering feedback from students and staff in academic departments. The University will reflect on the information gathered in order to enhance learning resources and ensure that the provision of resources is responsive to changes in users’ needs and demand.