Reading Lists

Who Benefits?

Timely, annotated reading lists benefit all students who wish to engage in timely, focused reading.

The following are case studies of students who may have particular difficulties.
Mature Student Student finds it difficult to engage in prolonged periods of reading due to time constraints caused by family commitments
Student from disadvantaged socio-economic background Student finds it difficult to engage in prolonged periods of reading due to time constraints caused by the necessity of working to pay way through College.
Student with a Disability Student finds it difficult to engage in prolonged periods of reading due to fatigue/chronic pain/concentration difficulties due to medication
Student with a specific learning difficulty Student finds reading can be time consuming and tiring due to learning difficulty.
International student Student finds reading in a second language time consuming and tiring


Open Book Image

Inclusive Guidelines for Reading Lists:

  • Follow accessible guidelines for Word.
  • Provide reading lists to students in advance of term,
    • Avoid adding new material throughout the delivery of the module.
  • Ensure reading lists are available online,
    • Agree a location in which to store reading lists on school / departmental websites, where they will be available both to current and prospective students of the module, and to subject librarians,
    • Include hyperlinks to relevant catalogue pages. The Library catalogue provides persistent urls for every record at the prompt "Bookmark link for this record".
  • When hyperlinking to e-journal articles ensure you use the eLibrary access stem. For Library subscription services, all urls should have the prefix:
  • Include a link to a style manual for referencing.
  • Where appropriate annotate reading lists and indicate key texts.
    • It can also be useful to indicate to students how you wish them to use the reading list (e.g. should they be aiming to read most of the resources or a small selection?)
  • It is useful to indicate texts which correspond with the lecture material each week in advance of term.
  • Ensure reading lists provide the most relevant and recently published texts for a given topic,
  • Update on an annual basis.
  • Where you suggest online resources, ensure reading lists are checked regularly for dead hyperlinks.

Good practice for communicating reading lists to the library:

For Schools / Disciplines:

Student Reading Book in Library

Appoint at least one designated library liaison officer who takes responsibility for liaising with the relevant subject librarian regarding the resource needs of the School / Discipline. Names and contact details of subject librarians can be found on the Library's Subject Guides page.

The liaison officer is responsible for gathering reading lists from teaching staff and forwarding them promptly to the subject librarian. The subject librarian must receive the lists well in advance of the beginning of the teaching term. To ensure material is available for the start of Michaelmas term, final orders should be placed with the subject librarian by mid July.

All new members of staff in the School should be made aware of the role of the library liaison officer.

For all academic staff:

  • Highlight the following in the reading list to be sent to your subject librarian:
    • Additions and deletions to reading lists,
    • New editions of current texts.
  • Clearly mark key texts on copies sent to subject librarians and to students.,
  • Advise subject librarians of the introduction and termination of programmes / modules.
  • When requesting new books from the subject librarian include the following:
    • Purpose (e.g. personal use, suggested reading, module key text)
    • Number and level (undergraduate/postgraduate) of students who will use this book,
    • Semester in which module will be taught,
    • Full publishing details (including cost if known).
  • If using WebCT/Moodle it is useful to allow access by the subject librarian to the VLE.

For programme handbook creators:

  • Put the contact details of subject librarians for your course into your programme handbooks for students.
  • Send a copy of your handbook to your subject librarian/s.

Reading List Guidelines

 A note on provision of print for disabled students who use assistive technology

Resources often have to be adapted, or alternatively formatted, for disabled students using, for example, screen readers, or screen magnifiers.

The lecturer can help ensure the provision of accessible materials to students with print disabilities when preparing lecture handouts and reading lists. If these resources are prepared in accordance with accessible information guidelines, the need for editing and formatting is reduced.

Consider electronic resources when compiling reading lists. Increasingly material published after 2002 (particularly journal articles) is available electronically. 

Sample Reading List:

Sample Reading list from the School of English

Sample Reading List using hyperlinks

(Key text**) Brunner L.S., Smeltzer S. and O'Connell C. (2010) Brunner & Suddarth's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing. Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Online Version - Check out the additional slides and videos available for students at "the Point"!
Dougherty L. and Lister S.E. (2008) The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures. 7th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. Print Version
Dougherty L. and Lister S.E. (2008) Royal Marsden Manual Online. 7th edn. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford. Online version of above

(Chapters 1-3 and 7 are most relevant in Dougherty and Lister).