Information Services

Study Space Restrictions, Guidance and Support - Semester 2, 2021

The Quota for Study Desk bookings has now been temporarily increased to 30 hours per week. However, with this increase in Quota comes an increased responsibility to only make bookings you know you are going to be able to attend - Study Desk facilities are a limited resource. We continue to see issues with people making Study Desk booking and not attending them and not cancelling them. If you do not cancel a booking well in advance, then it prevents another student from being able to reuse that booking slot for that desk.

Update to library services and study spaces after January 22nd

As you are aware the Scottish Government has issued a Stay at Home order to the population, including university students, due to the risk of the Coronavirus. Students must stay at home and not use the library or study centres unless it is for critical purposes. We have made the decision to keep the Main Library and the Outreach Centre open on the central campus to ensure that we have spaces a student can use to get critical study support.  However, the Scottish Government law and regulations state that all study spaces must be pre-booked. We realise that this may be an inconvenience, but hope that you understand we are working under very strict and difficult circumstances to continue to provide you the support you need in a safe and considered way.
In seeking to provide for the needs of students under these difficult circumstances, we keep the management of study spaces under regular review. In order to increase the availability of study desks to individual users the weekly quota of bookings was recently increased from 20 to 30 hours. We are also amending the “1 day in advance” pre-booking to enable students to book up to 4 hours in advance from Monday the 8th of February.
Face coverings are mandatory. Visitors who do not comply with the University's Face Coverings policy and Physical Distancing guidelines will be asked to leave.
Following increasing demand for critical study space on campus the decision has been taken to open 40 George Square from Monday the 8th of March. This space is now bookable on the SeatEd application or via the online webform. Spaces are available between the hours of 10am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

In light of tightened Scottish Government restrictions due to the increasing covid infection rate, ISG has reviewed the opening of libraries, study spaces and associated services across all campuses. The detail below sets out the opening of study spaces and libraries to serve the critical needs of existing on-campus students already in Edinburgh.  Critical needs include temporary loss of internet access or heating, or if you cannot study at home.

We continue to see issues with people making Study Desk bookings and not attending them and not cancelling them:

If you do not cancel a booking well in advance, then it prevents another student from being able to reuse that booking slot for that desk. Currently, Today bookings have been disabled, and so cancelling a booking must be done no later than the day before to enable it to be reused by another Student. It is very important when attending your Study Desk booking, that you remember to check-in and check-out. This can be done easily with both the SeatEd web UI and the SeatEd mobile App. You can only check-in once your booking has started, and must check-out just before your booking ends.

By booking Study Desks responsibly you enable everyone to be able to make best use of this facility.

Key Headlines

The Main Library opening times will change from 08.00-23.59 to 10.00-23.59.

We will be providing 759 study spaces. There are no existing plans to provide additional study spaces through January and February 2021. The current assumption is that we may be able to add more spaces and open more libraries from the start of March 2021. You will only be able to book a study space at a minimum of one day in advance and we ask that you only do so if your booking is to fulfill a critical need. Please note that the browsing or borrowing of books will also no longer be possible, however the scan & deliver service aims to replace these needs.

The following are essential on-site services and will be maintained:

  • Study spaces
  • A scan & deliver service is now available, more information here.
  • EdHelp (both in person and online)
  • Servitors
  • Main Library book returns and other sites where possible
  • Laptop loans, MiFi unit loans, internet cables (through EdHelp)
  • uCreate:  Queue and Collect for 3D printed items and equipment loans only


Availability of study spaces - as of the 22nd of January


The following table shows the list of study centres and the number of study spaces available for seat booking using the SeatEd app and booking system.

Study Centre by area Opening/ days & times Number of Spaces  Opening from 11/01 Opening after  28/02(TBC)
7/8 Chambers Street Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 50 Closed  Open
40 George Square (study spaces only)

Mon. - Thurs. 09.00 - 17.20

Fri. 09.00 - 16.20

Sat. / Sun. 12.00 - 16.20

276 Closed Open
Adam House (study spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 86 Closed Open
Alison House (study spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 6 Closed Open
Appleton Tower (study spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 6 Closed Open
Art & Architecture Library Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 16.50 7 Closed Open
ECA Library

Mon. - Thurs. 09.00 - 21.50

Fri.  09.00 - 16.50

Sat. 12.00 - 16.50

Sun. 12.00 - 16.50

17 Closed Open
Fire Station (Phase 1) (Study Spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 57 Closed Open
Hugh Robson Building basement (Study Spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 61 Closed Open
Law Library

Mon. - Thurs 09.00 - 21.50

Fri. 09.00 - 16.50

Sat. / Sun  09.00 - 16.50

66 Closed Open
Main Library 7 days a week,  10.00 - 23.59 640 Open  
Moray House Library

Mon. - Thurs. 09.00 - 21.50

Fri. 09.00 - 16.50

Sat. / Sun. 12.00 - 16.50

40 Closed Open
40 George Square (New College Library)

Mon. - Thurs. 09.00 - 17.50

Fri . 09.00 - 16.50

Sat. / Sun. 12.00 - 16.50

20 Closed Open
Outreach Centre (study spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 17.00 37 Open  
Kings Buildings        
JCMB Rm 3210  (study spaces only) Mon. - Fri. 09.00-17.00 9 Closed Open
Murchison House (study spaces only)

Mon. - Fri. 08.30 - 23.00 

Sat. 09.00 - 19.00

Sun. 12.00 - 19.00

176 Closed Open
Murray Library

Mon. - Fri. 08.30-23.00

Sat. 09.00 - 19.00

Sun. 12.00 - 19.00

53 Closed Open
Royal Infirmary Library Mon. - Fri. 09.00 -16.50 37 Open  
Easter Bush        
Vet. Library Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 16.50 33 Open  
Western General        
Medical Education Centre (WGH) Mon. - Fri. 09.00 - 16.50 12 Open  
      Open from 11/01 Opening after 28/02 (TBC)
Total Spaces: 1689     759 1689

You told us and we listened - a new version of SeatEd app is out now!

 You will now be able to:

  • Book up to 20 hours per week (Monday to Sunday) in any way you choose
  • Priority 2-week advance booking for certain students
  • Postgraduate Researchers have exclusive access to desks on Floors 11 & 12 at 40 George Square


Booking, Checking in and Checking out in easy steps

1. Book a study space

The first thing you’ll need to do is find an available and convenient study space, then book it. You can use the SeatEd@UoE app to do this, just click below to download the app. 

SeatED@UofE (Apple Store)

SeatED@UofE (Google Play Store)

Alternatively, if you do not have access to a smartphone, you can book, check in and check out of study spaces using the online SeatEd booking system. Just click below. 

SeatEd Booking System

Please Note: The SeatED does not currently work in Internet Explorer - Please use Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Please ensure you have your booking confirmation ready to show to staff on entry or you may not be permitted to access the study space.

2. Find your study space

Your booking confirmation will confirm to you the building, floor and colour code location reference of your study space. Buildings are clearly sign-posted inside and out and study spaces are colour coded to help you find your desk using your individual desk name confirmation.

3. Check in and check out

We have listened to feedback from students, and are making some improvements to study space bookings  as a result. From 25th October, study spaces will be available to book for a variety of durations during the day and evening and will no longer be restricted to two-hour daytime and longer evening-only durations. ​​​When you start using your study space, and when you finish, please check-in and check-out. This is easy to do. Simply open the SeatEd@UofE app and scan the QR code on your desk name label.

Alternatively, if you are using the online SeatED booking system, go into your booking and progress to check-in. Enter the desk name (you don’t need to enter the number, just the name) and then simply click CHECK-IN. Same again when you’re finished, click CHECK-OUT.

  • You can book up to 20 hours per week in any combination that suits you (you are no longer restricted to 2 bookings per day)

Any Questions?

There is a more detailed review of the process that you can access here on our Study Space page, or, contact our EdHelp team either online or if you are at the Main Library and King’s Buildings, visit the onsite team in person - they are more than happy to help. 


Easy steps to booking

In order to access centrally managed study spaces, you must book the space in advance. There will some locally managed study spaces available in schools and colleges. To book a study space you must use our new app SeatEd@UofE, available to download on iOS or Android. Alternatively, if you do not have access to a smartphone, you can use our online SeatEd booking system.

SeatED will allow you to book a time slot for an assigned desk, and will allow you to choose whether you require study space with a computer or just a desk.

You are advised to take and save a screen shot of your study space booking confirmation when it is displayed.  You may be asked to show this when you arrive at the study space to confirm your booking.

Remember you can always contact EdHelp with any queries.

Staff FAQ