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Resource List Guidance: Getting started


On these pages you will find information that will help you create and maintain the resource lists for the modules that you are teaching.   We will also explain how we manage your resource lists, what we do with them, as well as timescales relating to ordering material for them and any related digitisation.

Creating and Updating a list


There are several occasions where a new reading list is required:

  • You may have been asked to prepare a new module for a course that is going through the validation process.
  • You may be undergoing revalidation, this will give you the opportunity to review and assess your reading lists for currency. 
  • You may be a new member of staff and want to change an existing list.  

In the tools section of this guide you will find advice on where you can find suitable content. Once items have been selected think about which sections of the list they will fit into: 

  • Essential Reading
  • Recommended Reading
  • Further Reading 

Essential reading - This is material that you definitely want students to read

Things to consider when selecting Essential reading

  • How easy is it to obtain?  If an item is out of print, then we may have difficulty obtaining it for you or it might be expensive
  • Do you want students to read the whole book, or just a section?   If it is just a chapter or a few pages then it is worth having the content digitised and made available on Brightspace as this maximises availability
  • It is better not to have a limited number of titles in your essential section (maximum 6), remember this is material that you want your students to read  - if you listed twenty titles would you feel confident that they have read all twenty? 

Recommended and Further Reading

  • The aim of the Recommended reading section is to highlight additional material that develops understanding of a topic.  It might be material that provides context or broadens understanding.
  • As the course progresses the choice of recommended reading may become more specific and focused.   Think about what will help develop knowledge and understanding.  The type of material found in this section will vary depending on the course and subject.

Further reading

  • Further reading is a third section that can be used to highlight material that you think is helpful in terms of following through themes and ideas.   It is used occasionally. 



Creating and Updating a list

Things to think about


Things to think about

What makes a good list?

  • It Is clearly laid out.  We recommend that staff compiling lists follow the same layout and style across the course.
  • It prioritises material in terms of Essential, Recommended and Further Reading.
  • Contains a mixture of material types (books, ebooks, journal articles, streamed content).
  • Contains up-to-date current resources that support the course content.  We recommend that you review your reading lists each year, we can also help you by checking your list for updated newer editions or alternative copies.
  • If students are off-site for large periods of time it might be useful to use a greater number of ebooks to enable greater accessibility.
  • Contain complete references in the relevant referencing style
  • Avoids using abbreviations for organisational names – you might know what it is but would someone new to the discipline.
  • If material is added that’s unavailable in the library - indicate where the student can access the material.

What’s not so good?

  • Incomplete references
  • References not in the right referencing style
  • No essential reading
  • A long essential list (overwhelming the student)
  • Broken URLs
  • A list that contains old editions - where we have newer additions available
  • Including out-of-print that is difficult to source on your list
  • Difficult to source titles that we don’t hold and are expensive to purchase