Skip to content ↓

Reading lists

We use a wide range of resources - from traditional textbooks to videos and online materials. Click on subjects below to discover a range of useful material that may help in your studies.

Art / Photography 

Because Photography is part of AQA Art and Design, these books would be appropriate for either subject:

  • AQA Art & Design Student Handbook published by Nelson Thornes
  • Phaidon Press The Art Book (pocket size edition)
  • Phaidon Press The Photography Book (pocket size edition)
  • Phaidon Press The Fashion Book (pocket sized edition)
  • Taschen Books: Art Now! Vol 4
  • Phaidon Press The Art Book
  • Art of the 20th Century by Karl Ruhrberg
  • Pictures by Tim Walker
  • Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing by Mick Maslen


Books to read:

  • The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins
  • Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
  • Genome:The Autobiography of a Species in 23 chapters by Matt Ridley

Useful website: 

Business studies 

Books to read:

  • Joseph Stiglitz:  Globalization and Its Discontents
  • Naomi Klein:  No Logo
  • J. Bradley: Cadbury’s Purple Reign
  • T. Harford: The Undercover Economist
  • P. Kotler: FAQs on Marketing
  • D. Lester: How They Started
  • D. Bannatyne: Anyone Can Do It
  • K. Bilimoria: Bottled For Business
  • Sir R.Branson: Business Stripped Bare
  • T.Khanna: Billions of Entrepreneurs: How India and China are reshaping their futures and yours
  • W.D.Cohen: House of Cards : How Wall Street’s gamblers broke capitalism
  • J.Liker: The Toyota Way : 14 Management principles from the world’s greatest manufacturer

Helpful websites:


  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph
  • The Times
  • The Economist
  • The Business Review Magazine


Revise GCSE maths (any good GCSE book should cover these fundamentals) focusing on rearranging equations, scientific notation, ratios, significant figures and interpreting data. 

Using any good GCSE chemistry book review; GCSE analytical techniques and various ions tests, common reactions eg: neutralisation, oxidation and reduction, how to calculate relative atomic masses, ionic and covalent bonding.  This information is available on GCSE bitesize and kerboodle or Chemistry for you books.


It goes without saying that the more you read, the better an English Literature A level student you will be!  Our theme is Love through the Ages, so below are some great works of literature, in random order, that share that common theme, or at least feature different aspects of love. 

Try to read at least 3 of these texts this summer, preferably more.  Reading should be a delight, not a chore.  Lose yourself in words and develop a life-long love of literature.  In your A2 coursework you will be expected to link the set texts you study with your own private reading of 2 reputable, high quality literary works.  Any of the texts below would be ideal.

Although there is no substitute for reading the novel itself, watching a film adaptation is a good way in to a more challenging text.  Many of the titles below have been adapted into films.

  • A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
  • Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Atonement by Ian McKewan
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • The Collector by John Fowles
  • On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  • Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  • The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe
  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • The Collector by John Fowles
  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  • A Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  • A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Pact by Jodi Picoult
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  • The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
  • The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  • Porphyria’s Lover by Robert Browning
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Deep Blue Sea by Terrence Rattigan
  • Endless Love by Scott Spencer

Film studies 

  • A2 Film Studies: The Essential Introduction (Essentials)978-0415454360
  • AS Film Studies - 978-0415454339

There is also a GCSE book for Film if you want to start your understanding from the beginning:

  • WJEC GCSE Film Studies: Study and Revision Guide978-1908682208

Government and politics 


  • Andrew Heywood, Essentials of UK Politics
  • Andrew Heywood, Political Ideologies
  • Hoffman and Graham, Introduction to Political Ideologies
  • B Jones, UK Politics


As the political landscape is continuously changing it is important to keep up to date with all the recent events.  Therefore, I strongly suggest you visit these websites every day.  The most comprehensive are:

TV Programmes

All of the following are essential viewing to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of politics.

  • Question Time (BBC1, Thursday at 10.35pm)
  • The Daily Politics (BBC2 and BBC Parliament)
  • Sunday Politics (BBC1 and BBC Parliament)
  • This Week (most Thursdays BBC1 after Question Time)

All of these are also available on BBC iplayer.


Recommended reading list:

  • A Monarchy Transformed, Britain 1603-1714 by Mark Kishlansky, Penguin (1996)
  • Cromwell, Our Chief of Men by Antonia Fraser, W&N (2008)
  • A People's Tragedy by Orlando Figes, Pimlico (1996)
  • Civil Rights in the USA by Vivienne Sanders, Hodder (2005)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wordsworth (1999)


How Computers Work • 8 Dec 2014 by Ron White  (Author), Timothy Edward Downs (Author) – can be picked up cheaply on Amazon (used)

Computer Active Magazine

Click (BBC weekly programme - via iplayer)

Follow @timberners_Lee - twitter feed

IT Programming 


Anything that can keep your GCSE knowledge on point over the summer holidays.

If you want a slightly more interesting read, with a story that maths happens to be the beautiful backdrop to, then try one of these books;

  • Fermats Last Theorem - Simon Singh
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
  • Murderous Maths - Kjartan Poskitt
  • Does God Play Dice? - Ian Stewart.

If you are also doing Physics, then a wonderful book that touches on both subjects is 'Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman! by Richard Feynman, an eccentric mathematician and physicist.

Media studies 

  • WJEC AS Media Studies: Study and Revision Guide 978-1908682000
  • WJEC A2 Media Studies: Study and Revision Guide 978-1908682017

There is also a GCSE book for Media if you want to start your understanding from the beginning:

  • WJEC GCSE Media Studies: Study and Revision Guide 978-1908682215

Performing arts 

Most titles available as e-books. Prices vary according to format and supplier. Keyword search of any of the practitioners will lead you to a range of links. You can create your own digital portfolio of research, please keep a log of any sites, journals, articles read.   Please try to avoid wikipedia.

Please take some time to watch performances online and to see live theatre. Norwich and Bury have a range of events on at the Theatre Royal and at other venues across the city.

Book list

  • The Complete Brecht Toolkit - Stephen Unwin, Nick Hern Books, ISBN: 9781854595508
  • The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit - Bella Merlin, ISBN: 9781848424067
  • The Frantic Assembly Book of Devising Theatre - Scott Graham & Steven Hoggett, ISBN:978-1138777019
  • Theatre in Practice - Nick O’Brien, ISBN: 978-0415508537

Also books in the Library and J070 on Stanislavsky, Brecht, Grotowski, Berkoff, Lecoq, Artaud

Theatre Companies

There are two course books which will be ordered for you as soon as they become available. (Publication due September 2017) These are students guide books published by Pearson to support you on your BTEC Level 3 Performing Arts Course.


Books to read:

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • J.S. Mill - 'On Liberty' (For some genuine philosophy that is exciting and stimulating)
  • Logicomix
  • RIchard Dawkins - The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion
  • Jostein Gaarder - Sophie's World
  • Baggini The Philosopher's Toolkit
  • BlackBurn - Think
  • Warburton N. Philosophy: The Basics
  • Blackburn - Being Good



Course book: 

  • OCR AS/A Level Physics A 2015: Student Book 1
  • OCR AS/A Level Physics A 2015: Student Book 2

General reading books:

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • Cartoon Guide to Physics by Larry Gonick & Art Huffman
  • Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman by Richard Feynman


Simply psychology is a great website to read up on different studies and articles.  In our first few weeks of the course we focus on the experiments of Asch, Zimbardo and Milgram.

Desired wider reading:

Relevant websites:

  • BBC Science- human body and mind
  • British Psychological Society

Relevant magazines:

  • Psychology Today
  • The Psychologist
  • APA Monitor on Psychology  
  • APS Observer



  • The Sociology Book - Big Ideas
  • Sociology in Pictures - Theories and concepts
  • A Level Sociology: Education with Research Methods  
  • A Level Sociology: Complete Revision Guide

Watch a variety of TED talks on the following topics:

  • Changing face of education and educational policy
  • The history of the family and changes over time

BBC Panorama programmes

  • Focus on the changing face of community life
  • Crime and Punishment (UK and World wide)
  • Religion and its impact in the 21st century


These are based on the assignments you are likely to cover over the duration of the course.


A range of videos involving elite sports competition are suggested for this assignment

  • Advanced Badminton (DVD) (NTSC) – United States National Champion, Kevin Han, demonstrates how to become a top-level badminton player.
  • Basketball Power Forward Skills and Drills – Optimize Your Skills – Become a Better Player – Techniques and skills to achieve high-level basketball performance.
  • Cilene Drewnick: Building an All-Around Volleyball Athlete with Brazilian Training Methods (DVD) – Training techniques to be successful in volleyball.
  • FA Cup Final: 2006 – The Gerrard Final (DVD) – Features the classic 2006 FA Cup final between Liverpool and West Ham United.
  • London 2012: Gymnastics – Going for the Gold (DVD) – Features performances from the 2012 London Olympics.
  • Rugby World Cup 2015: The Final (DVD) – Coverage of the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand.
  • The Australian Open Tennis Championships 2012: Men's Final (Novak Djokovic V Rafael Nadal) (DVD) – Features the classic men’s final from 2012.
  • The Greatest moments in track and field – Sprint and Field Events (DVD) – Features a range of world-class performances in track and field athletics.