Prescribed = essential

A prescribed text is considered essential, as the subject is planned around it. You should either purchase the prescribed text or have permanent access to it.

Recommended = not essential

A recommended text is exactly that, recommended but not considered essential.

Do I need to buy a textbook?

Not necessarily – you might be able to borrow one from the library instead.

The library purchases at least one copy of every prescribed textbook and aims to hold every 'recommended reading' book. We purchase eBooks where possible but some have restrictions on the number of students that can access them at the same time.

Remember, you may need the textbook through the session and at exam time, as will other students in your class. If you're not sure if you should buy a textbook, check with your lecturer.

Where to buy new textbooks

One of the easiest ways to get textbooks is to buy them online. There are great textbook comparison sites where you can find the best deal. Try searching by the textbook name and edition. Publisher websites may also offer textbooks for sale, often in eBook form.

Second-hand or used textbooks

You can buy second-hand textbooks at a discounted price, and sell them on once you're finished with them. Buy and sell used textbooks on bulletin boards around campus or online.

Remember, always check with your lecturer first if you find a second-hand text from a previous edition. You may need the latest edition to get the most up-to-date information.