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All copyright guidance for staff and students

Course packs

You can find guidance on the Higher Education licence terms and what this means in practice on the CLA’s website.

If you put a course pack together, each individual extract needs to comply with the same licence terms as for scanning or distribution of individual copies.

In brief, for any module you can copy up to:

  • One whole chapter from a book

  • One whole article from a journal issue

  • One short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology

  • One whole scene from a play

  • One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings

  • One whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings

  • Or 10% of the total publication, whichever is the greater

    The item you copy from must be owned by Birmingham Newman University, not a personal copy, and it has to be covered by the Licence. You can check permissions on the CLA website.

    You should only produce sufficient copies of a course pack to supply the students taking the relevant module and yourself.

Alternatively, you may prefer to include individual extracts and articles directly within your Moodle course. You can apply for these through our scanning service.

Take a look what licences Birmingham Newman has...


If the Library subscribes to or owns a digital version of an item, there is normally a licence. For:

  • a specific journal, the licence agreement with the journal publisher is the relevant one.

  • a journal database – such as Education Research Complete or Sport Discus – the license agreement with the database provider is the one to look at.

  • an e-book, it is the license with the platform host or publisher.

Check by clicking the link for ‘Permitted Uses for this Database’ on the Library’s A-Z list of databases for details, or ask your academic service librarian.

We use the Copyright Licensing Agency’s Higher Education Licence for UUK/GuildHE members which largely covers photocopying and scanning of material. It is the relevant licence for most published materials that staff might hand out to their class or include on Moodle.

  • Broadly, you can copy:

    • Up to one chapter of a book

    • Up to one whole article from a single issue of a journal or set of conference proceedings

    • One short story or poem not exceeding 10 pages in length from an anthology

    • Or 10% of the whole publication

  • You may copy these items to distribute to each member of a class, together with the class tutor.

  • You may have a copy scanned to include on Moodle.

  • If a scanned copy is made from a print original, we do this for you in the Library. Check our Scanning service page.

  • The CLA has a list of ‘exclusions’ – items and categories of material that cannot be used under the terms of this license. Some are surprising; for example, you can’t use any of the works by the writer J.D. Salinger or the Simpsons-creator Matt Groening. There's a list of publishers with exclusions and individual authors with exclusions but you should also use the Check Permissions service, available throughout the CLA site, to check permissions for a specific item.

You can create a collection of licensed course materials in a study pack – electronically or in print. Further details are available on creating and using course packs.


  • For occasional copying of newspaper articles

  • We subscribe to the NLA Basic Licence which does not cover systematic copying – such as maintaining a press-cuttings or clippings collection.



  • Allows you to record broadcasts from free-to-air broadcasters for use in teaching, including adding them to Moodle, or adding them to Library collections, and permits the use of catch-up services, such as Channel 4, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, UKTV Play etc.

  • Broadcasts must be recorded appropriately, and the recording must be appropriately labelled – either physically or electronically – with the date of the broadcast, the name of the broadcaster and the title of the programme, together with the words: ‘This recording is to be used only for educational and non-commercial purposes under the terms of the ERA Licence’.

  • The ERA provides FAQ pages and a licence terms summary on its website.


What is a Creative Commons licence?

Creative Commons licences, give explicit permissions for certain actions – such as copying, re-using or sharing. You will always need to credit the rights owner, and various limitations may be required, depending on which version of the licence the rights owner has chosen to use.

More information

For more information about copyright at Birmingham Newman, please contact:

Chris Porter, Director of Library Services.

For more information about copyright in the UK, here are some helpful resources:

Last reviewed

Last reviewed: 8 May 2024

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