Get to know your reading list

If you’re a new student and haven’t read our post ‘Reading lists: what you need to know’ we recommend heading there first.

Read on for a more in depth look at how you can get the most out of your reading list.

Get to know your list

Whilst it’s not a good idea to rush out and buy books, we definitely recommend getting used to the reading list system and familiarising yourself with all the ways it can help you. Reading lists have recently been updated and there are lots of great features which can help you find and interact with resources!

Because each list is put together by your lecturers, they won’t all look the same and may be used slightly differently depending on your module. They are sometimes sorted into the readings needed for each week, divided up by topic, or may just be a list of any resources you’ll need throughout the year. You’ll receive more guidance in the first few weeks of term but don’t worry if your list is set up slightly different to your friends.

How to find your list

All lists can be accessed through the module page on Moodle. You can also search for lists by module or topic at

Using your list to find resources

When you look at a reading list you can see:

  • how many copies of a book are available for you to borrow
  • which library they are held at
  • where to find it in the library (its classmark)

We often provide options of where to buy the book too if you’re looking to get your own copy!

Many resources on your list will also be available to look at online. For electronic resources you’ll see a view online button which will take you directly to the e-book.

Personalising your reading list

There are plenty of ways to make your reading list your own.

If there’s a book you definitely want to read (or one you’d rather not) you can set your personal reading intention which only you can see. Do this using the circle on the right hand side of the resource entry.

Another option is to add a note. They can be a useful reminder to read specific pages, recommend to a friend or ask a question at your next seminar.

Filtering your list

There are 4 different ways to filter your list:

  • resource type
  • reading intention
  • must read, should read, could read
  • notes

This is particularly useful for long lists which can sometimes seem overwhelming!

Categories selected by your lecturer

Your lecturer creates your reading list and uses the following categories to let you know which books are the most important for your module. In the library we use these categories to work out how many copies of each book we should aim to buy. This means there should always be enough essential readings for you to borrow!

suggested for student purchase: your lecturer recommends having your own personal copy. We will still have copies in the library.

core (must read): this will include essential text books, seminar readings and documents that are required for you to progress in your studies.

recommended (should read): these items will be useful for further depth in your studies. They will support your learning and may be particularly useful for essays and assignments.

background (could read): these will be items that are not essential to passing your module but will give you a further, wider view of your subject and may be useful for essays and assignments.

Need help with your list?

Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian if you’d like help about using your reading list effectively or if you have any problems.

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