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Sunday 21 July
My.Anglia > Student services > Booksplus > What is Books Plus?

Books Plus 2018/19

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£400 a year to spend on books, study materials and much more...

What is Books Plus?

It’s a £400 allowance for books or learning related materials* that ARU gives to you at the beginning of every year of study. Please note that postgraduates on a Masters course will receive 1 award of £400 for the duration of the course (postgraduate diplomas/ certificates will receive a pro rata amount)

We want our students to succeed. Your time at university is a big investment and we want to help you make the most of it. It’s important that you can access the study resources that you need, and take opportunities to engage in student life. To help you, Anglia Ruskin University has teamed up with higher education specialists John Smith’s to offer you Books Plus, a scheme that supports most students with the cost of study resources.

Eligible full time undergraduate students receive £400 per year to spend at John Smith’s online or in their campus bookshops. You can spend all of your £400 at John Smith’s, or up to £100 on Team ARU memberships and up to £100 at your Students’ Union on a range of services and goods. Part time undergraduate students will receive a yearly pro-rata rate. Postgraduates will receive £400 spread over the duration of their course (this amount will be pro-rata if on a course lower than a masters degree).

Each year any unspent money rolls over into your next year’s allowance, but each year the amount you can spend with Team ARU and the Students’ Union remains at £100 each. So, if you had £50 left from your first year, in your second year you’d have a total of £450 and could spend all of this at John Smith’s or up to £100 on Team ARU memberships and/or up to £100 with the Students’ Union.

When you finish your course, you can spend any money left on your card up to the end of October of the year you graduate. Any money you haven’t used is then put into our Student Hardship Fund to help students who need it most.

Our Books Plus Scheme is designed to help you buy the things we know will help you while you study. Please make the most of it.

Pro rata for PT students
Continuing students who started prior to 2016/17 may also be eligible for Books Plus – please see below to check what your entitlement is.

*Some courses may have other arrangements in place - please ask for details.

Who is eligible?

All students studying on a course that started in, or before, 2018/19 can get a Books Plus account. It can be topped up by family, sponsors or even yourselves to spend in the book shop - in store or online.

To be eligible for ARU funded Books Plus you must:

  • Be a Home/EU student
  • Be on a undergraduate or postgraduate taught course*
  • Be on a course which is not being sponsored by an employer
  • Be a HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council) countable student paying the full tuition fee for your course, pro-rata for part-time students
  • Be studying at our core campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford or Peterborough (Guild House)

*If you’re studying part time your funds will be pro rata.

Who can’t receive the ARU funded Books Plus account?

Full time undergraduate students whose fees are lower than £9,250 and students who are sponsored (i.e. have their fees paid by an employer) are not eligible. Different arrangements will be in place for students starting a course in 2019/20. Find out more here.

Books Plus is a scheme that we offer as part of our agreement with the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) who regulate most university undergraduate fees. You can see our Access Agreements and find out more about how fee regulation works by visiting the Office for Fair Access website.

Any student can have a Books Plus card from our on campus book shop. If you’re not eligible for the ARU funded Books Plus then you can top the card up yourself when you receive your funding to help you budget your study costs throughout the year. Your family, friends or sponsors can also add money to this card to help you with the cost of your study. This can be a really good way to help manage your study costs.

What funds will I receive?

Eligible full time undergraduate students will receive £400 a year credit on a Books Plus card that can be used at John Smith’s on campus or online.

Part time undergraduate students will receive a yearly amount based on the intensity of their course. For example, a student studying a 50% intensity course will receive £200 a year and a student studying a 75% intensity course will receive £300 a year.

Postgraduates will receive £400 spread over the duration of their course (this amount will be pro-rata if on a course lower than a masters degree).

You’ll only receive Books Plus in years of study where you pay the full rate of tuition fees so you won’t receive it during a placement year, repeat study or if you have a break from studies.

Most undergraduate students study on three year courses but a few study on two year courses or four year courses. If you’re eligible for Books Plus and on one of these courses, you’ll receive Books Plus for two or four years respectively.

What can I spend the money on?

You can spend your Books Plus money on:

  • books (hard copy and digital)
  • stationery
  • art supplies
  • laptops and tablets
  • tech products like earphones and accessories
  • bikes
  • specialist equipment for your course, like sewing machines or hi-vis vests
  • lots of other learning materials that are available in the shop and online
  • through John Smith’s we offer a scheme to help you buy smart interview clothes through high street retailers.

Plus up to £100 of the award can also be spent on Team ARU memberships and up to £100 at the Students’ Union to:

  • join clubs and societies
  • buy an NUS Extra card – this gives you discounts at hundreds of outlets
  • buy “Give it a go” tickets
  • buy tickets for the Summer Ball and SU Awards events
  • buy Anglia Ruskin Hoodies and clothing.

Cambridge School of Art Students

Our students in the Cambridge School of Art need to produce a lot of their assessments in hard copy because of the nature of their discipline. As a consequence their printing costs are higher than other students and so as part of Books Plus Cambridge School of Art students can use some of their funds for assessment related printing via ARU’s Digital Copy Services.

If you are a Cambridge School of Art student with fully funded Books Plus you can spend all of your £400 at John Smiths, or up to £100 on assessment related printing via Digital Copy Services, and/or up to £100 via the Students' Union, and/or up to £100 via Sports and Active Anglia. So, for example, you could spend £90 via ARU's Digital Copy Services, £60 via the Students' Union and the remaining £250 on artists materials etc. at John Smith’s, on campus or online. At the end of each year, unspent funds roll forward, but unspent balances have to then be used at John Smith’s.

Once you graduate, any unspent funds go into the Student Hardship Fund.

How do I register for Books Plus when I first start at ARU?

You need to have registered on e:Vision and then once you receive your Anglia Ruskin student ID card and collected your Books Plus wallet, visit the John Smith’s stand during welcome week on the Cambridge or Chelmsford campuses or visit one of the on-campus stores to pick up your Books Plus card. If you’re based at Peterborough Guild House, you can do this on the John Smith’s website.

What do I receive if I started before 2016/17

Students who originally started their course before 2016/17 may still be eligible, please contact us for information.

How can I find out more?

You can visit the John Smith's website or email us at to get more information on Books Plus.