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Reading Lists @ UCL

A guide for UCL teaching and academic staff.

On this page

Here we provide best practices for creating, maintaining and reviewing your reading lists, along with examples of reading lists that follow some or all of these practices.

  • The Basics: a check-list to guide you through getting started with a reading list, to help ensure items are available and accessible for your students.
  • Intermediate : some other things to consider to further develop your module list, and utilise the reading list to its' full capacity.
  • Reading list examples: we've picked out reading lists from a variety of disciplines at UCL to give you ideas for your own list

The Basics

Use the Basics check list to ensure your list meets best practices.

  • Add yourself as ‘List Owner’ so students and the library know who to contact.
  • Organise your list by week, seminar or topic using ‘Sections’.
  • Flag readings as ‘Essential, ‘Recommended' or Optional’ using the tags provided.
  • Does your list include all readings needed for the student to pass the module?
  • Is your list short enough to navigate easily? If you would like to include a fuller bibliography of non-essential readings, consider creating this as a separate document, outside of ReadingLists@UCL.
  • Liaise with Library Services to source online versions of readings, digitise readings using the CLA licence or find out more about databases and other resources in your subject area.
  • Complete the list 8 weeks before the module starts. This gives the library time to source readings and liaise with you about alternatives if needed.
  • Currency: has your list been updated this academic year? Make updates and publish to give students confidence in the currency of the list.
  • Check there are no broken links. Alternatively, you can request a ‘Review’ for the library to check all links work.
  • Link your list to Moodle.  


To further develop your module, and utilise the reading list to its full capacity, use our Advanced checklist.

  • Include a variety of resources.  Chose from UCL's subscribed resources of broadcast TV, image databases, newspapers and more.
  • Future-proof your list by using Open Access or UCL-subscribed e-resources. These will have durable links whereas resources infringing copyright may be removed and are not a good example of academic practice for students
  • Add your own annotations to each reading using the ‘Student notes’ field.