Answered By: Hayley Hughes
Last Updated: Mar 13, 2019     Views: 2703

eBooks are books in an electronic format; you view them on the screen of a PC or other compatible device.

Students on the MBA (starting from November 2010 onwards) and MPH programmes (starting from September 2013 onwards) have their textbooks supplied in eBook, the cost of which is included in their student fees.

  • The textbook will normally be available in the online classroom of the module. You will still need to download the software as described below to use the eBook when you are not in the online classroom.
  • For other modules, the textbooks will be supplied as eBooks that you download using the software described below. If this is the case, you will receive an email one to two days before the start of your module with instructions and the access code for your eBook. 
  • To check what method applies to your next module, go to Programme Information, navigate to your programme, and click on Module 1.


Students on other programmes may elect to purchase the eBook version of the textbooks for their modules instead of a printed version. 

How to use eBooks

Please follow the steps listed below to get ready to use eBooks before your programme starts. The access code you need to get the textbook for your first module will be sent to you via email a few days before your programme starts.

Step 1: Download and install the required software

To use eBooks, the first thing you need to do is to install the required software on your computer. Please make sure that you do this well in advance of the start of the first module in which you will be using eBooks  

Your eBooks can be accessed using software called VitalSource Bookshelf. This is available in different versions, depending on your device's operating system. All versions are available for download on Bookshelf's website here:

Download Bookshelf

If your computer does not allow you to install the software, you probably do not have the required Administrator rights on your computer. Log-in to your computer using the Administrator account and repeat the process. If you would like to install Bookshelf on a computer at work, you will probably need to contact your company’s System Administrator. If you encounter problems during the installation, you can start a Chat session with a support representative by clicking here and selecting the "? Help" icon located in the bottom-right corner of the screen (Chat support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year).

Step 2: Create a VitalSource account

After installing VitalSource Bookshelf, open the software and create a VitalSource account here. Please note, you will not have a Redemption Code for your textbooks until the Monday before the start of your module, but you should go ahead and create your VitalSource account now.

Step 3: Redeem your eBook code

Once you have installed VitalSource Bookshelf and created an account, you are ready to redeem your ebook using the code provided in our email. For a guide on how to redeem your eBook code, please click here.

Please allow plenty of time to download eBooks. It can take up to 20 minutes on a fast internet connection. If you are downloading on a slower connection, it can take several hours. If the download is interrupted for any reason, it will resume from the point it stopped when you resume the download. This will save you from having to start downloading from the beginning.

Other ways to access your eBooks

To use eBooks you must first go through the steps described above so that you have a user account. However, once you have done this you can also access VitalSource Bookshelf online using any compatible Internet browser, even if the software is not installed on that computer. This is useful if you are using a different computer to do work on than your normal study computer. Students with iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad can also access VitalSource Bookshelf online (click here) or download an App in the iTunes Store that allows them to use VitalSource Bookshelf.

Support using VitalSource Bookshelf

If you need support using VitalSource Bookshelf you have a number of different options.

  • Access the VitalSource library of support articles, tutorials and downloads
  • Contact a VitalSource support representative using Chat by clicking here and selecting the "? Help" icon located in the bottom-right corner of the screen (Chat support is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year).
  • Call VitalSource on +1-800-610-5382. This number is a Free Phone/Toll Free number in some countries/with some phone companies; if the call is NOT free you will hear a recorded message informing you that you will be charged for the call. Please note this phone number provides customer service in English and Spanish.

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