As well as scientific and library facilities, the Museum offers sports and leisure facilities, a welfare officer, employment opportunities, departmental seminars and training.
Students undertaking the MSc in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity or the MRes in Biosystematics have exclusive use of the Upper Bridge Room which is located within the Earth Galleries of the Museum. The majority of lectures are given here, for which the following facilities are provided: whiteboards, overhead projector, slide projector and powerpoint projector. The room also contains a number of Macintosh and IBM compatible computers, installed with the software needed throughout the courses, and reserved for the exclusive use of the MSc and MRes students. Adjacent to the Upper Bridge Room is a small library containing books and journal articles, a kitchenette and a toilet and shower room. All students are issued with a Museum email account and photocopy PIN.
The Department of Information and Library Services (DILS) of the Natural History Museum is a reference library for the biological and earth sciences. Subjects covered include
The collections are of international importance with extensive holdings of early works, periodicals and current literature; including over 800,000 books, 20,000 periodical titles (about half of them current) and the third largest collection of original watercolour drawings in the United Kingdom, as well as maps (especially geological maps) manuscripts and the archives of the Natural History Museum.
The online catalogue contains all library material acquired since 1989 and about 80% of earlier items. Access is available via telnet login as uniweb (no password) and the Internet. A retrospective conversion team is currently upgrading records for items converted from earlier card catalogues. The database includes records for selected articles within serials, as well as books, serial titles, manuscripts, drawings and other holdings. Library staff can help in locating items not yet included in the online catalogue.
A tour of the Museum's libraries will be given during the first week of the course. There are five libraries: Botany, Earth Sciences, Entomology, General and Zoology Library.
The Museum offers many opportunites for those interested in sports and leisure. First you must join the Civil Service Sports Council. Once you are a full member of the CSSC call the Museum's Sports and Social Club representative for the appropriate forms. Clubs within the Natural History Museum include tennis, climbing, games, fencing, football, fitness, aerobics and many more. The Museum has an onsite gym and games room. Imperial College also has extensive sports facilities on campus, including a gym and a swimming pool.
The Welfare Officer is located on the 5th Floor of the Geological Museum. Services are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. An answerphone service is provided for messages to be left when the Welfare Officer is not in attendance. Members of staff and students should not hesitate, therefore, in seeking early help or counselling on any personal difficulties. Any welfare matter is treated in the strictest confidence.
The Welfare Officer also has information about a wide range of organisations that can provide answers to all sorts of personal problems, such as health, financial matters, accommodation, convalescent homes, etc.
Each science department has a seminar programme which is available through the Museum Intranet.
Doctoral students will take part in two mandatory courses within the first month of registration.