Around town: Our pick of study venues around Melbourne

PULLING an all-night cramming session or just looking for a place to work in peace? Juliana Mare gets out of her house and visits the city’s best study venues.


Image: Charlie Brewer, flickr.

Endless study space at the State Library. Photo: Charlie Brewer via Flickr.

With free internet, shelves upon shelves of books and experts to help you, a library is the smart choice for some knuckle-down studying.

The State Library of Victoria is one of the most extensive research centres in Victoria and features quiet reading rooms, online databases, wheelchair access, storage lockers and free Wi-Fi. It’s open until 9pm Monday to Thursday and 6pm Friday to Sunday. It’s also easily accessible and located in the heart of the CBD on Swanston St.

If you live further out of the city, most local council libraries are set up in a pretty similar way with plenty of quiet work space available and several research methods at your disposal.

Coffee Shops

study_nerissa ring

Study with coffee close by for that all important pick-me up. Photo: Nerissa Ring

If you work best during a caffeine-fueled study session, pack up your laptop and course notes, find a nice little nook and hunker down with a large skinny cappuccino.

For a breath of fresh air, the Time Out cafe and bar at Federation Square has lovely outdoor tables and umbrellas – perfect to spread those study notes out on.

For those who can’t study without the internet, the McDonalds on Bourke Street offers free Wi-Fi and is open 24 hours, seven days a week. If you can manage to focus amid the hustle-bustle and crowds of a fast food restaurant then why not take advantage of free internet?

Alternatively, most universities around town will have a decent little cafe where the wireless signal can be reached. For Monash Caulfield students, Mamaduke’s is tucked away in the basement of Building H and has a cozy indoor area or a reasonably quiet courtyard for students to study and grab a quick bite to eat.

Emily’s Café in RMIT’s Emily McPherson Building on Russell Street is another comfy student lounge with study booths, work space and couches. If you’re going to study you might as well be comfy. Access to RMIT’s internet is available for students only. Emily’s Cafe is open until 8pm Monday to Thursday.


With warmer weather, you don't have to be stuck indoors - head outside to Flagstaff Gardens for some fresh air. Photo: Freddy Rhodes via Flickr

With warmer weather, you don’t have to be stuck indoors – head outside to Flagstaff Gardens for some fresh air. Photo: Freddy Rhodes via Flickr

Studying doesn’t require being cooped up inside for hours on end, so whether it’s in the backyard or in a public park, a spot of outdoor studying will no doubt help you relax and focus. And of course, being public spaces, you can stay as late as you like or as late as the sunlight will allow.

Flagstaff Gardens is excellently located in West Melbourne. For something slightly further away, check out the Carlton Gardens. These beautiful parks are a change of scenery from the computer screens and office furniture, but be sure to organise your study notes, cue cards and highlighted documents beforehand so you don’t have to lug your laptop around.


When the library won't do, find another quiet spot at uni. Photo: Mike Cogh

When the library won’t do, find another quiet spot at uni. Photo: Mike Cogh

If the uni library isn’t really your cup of tea, try finding a more secluded area like a hallway, empty tute room or outdoor bench to get stuck into studying.

Building H, level 2 at Monash Caulfield has a great setup with rows of couches and tables with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Dandenong Road. Small areas like this are great because all the university facilities from Wi-Fi to online databases and lecture slides are still accessible, but you’re not confined to the library.

Otherwise have a poke around campus and you’re sure to find a private alcove somewhere. Most buildings will stay open until 9pm or 10pm, but check at the student information centre if you’re unsure.

Your best friend’s house

If you prefer peer interaction, why not organise a series of study dates with friends? This can be a great way to bounce ideas off other people, get feedback on drafts or essay plans, problem-solve and share the workload if you’re drowning in assignments.

With no closing time, your friend’s house is the perfect place to pull an all-nighter, as long as they’re keen too!

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