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Reading list for Certificate of Higher Education courses

Essential for pre-course preparation

  • Northedge, A., Lane, A., Peasgood, A. and Thomas, J. (1997). The Sciences Good Study Guide Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Birkbeck library shelfmark: 371.30281 SCI. ISBN: 0749234113
  • Graham, L. and Sargent, D. (1981). Countdown to Mathematics Volume 1 Harlow: Prentice Hall. Birkbeck library shelfmark: 510.76 GRA. ISBN: 0201137305.
  • Graham, L. and Sargent, D. (1981). Countdown to Mathematics Volume 2 Harlow: Prentice Hall. Birkbeck library shelfmark: 510.76 GRA. ISBN: 0201137313.
  • Ramsden, E.N. (2001). Calculations for A-level Chemistry (4th edition) Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes, pages 1-15. Birkbeck library shelfmark: 540.151 RAM. ISBN: 0748758399.
  • Sadler, A.J. and Thorning, D.W.S. (1987). Understanding Pure Mathematic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199142439.

Essential course texts


  • Boyle, Mike and Senior, Kathryn (2008). Biology (3rd edition) London: HarperCollins.  ISBN: 0007267460.


  • Lewis, Rob and Evans, Wynne (2006). Chemistry (3rd edition) Basingstoke: Palgrave. Birkbeck library shelfmark: 540 LEW. ISBN: 0230000118.


  • Johnson, K., Hewett, S., Holt, S. and Miller, J. (2000). Advanced Physics for You Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes. ISBN:074875296X.


  • Bostock, L. and Chandler, S. (2000). Core Maths for Advanced Level (3rd edition) Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes. Birkbeck library shelfmark: 510 BOS. ISBN: 0748755098.

Further Mathematics

  • Stroud, K.A. and Booth, D. (2007). Engineering Mathematics (6th edition) Basingstoke: Palgrave. Birkbeck library shelfmark: tbc. ISBN: 1403942463

Other useful reading

  • Chang, Richard (2009). Chemistry (Tenth Edition) Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. ISBN: 9780070172647.
    This book features a straightforward, clear writing style and proven problem-solving strategies. It provides a firm foundation in chemical concepts and principles while presenting a broad range of topics in a clear, concise manner.
  • Clark, J. (2000). Calculations in AS/A Level Chemistry Harlow: Longman. ISBN: 0582411270.
    An excellent text - good introductory explanations to a topic; well described examples; aware of the mathematical limitations of students; plenty of exercises. Strongly recommended.
  • Gonick, L. and Criddle, C. (2005). The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry London: HarperCollins. ISBN: 0060936770.
    Fun but rigorous - it provides a serious different slant to the subject that could well help students. Strongly recommended.
  • Jones, A., Clemmet, M., Higton, A. and Golding, E. (1999). Access to Chemistry Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN: 9780854045648.
  • Monk, Paul (2006). Maths for Chemistry: A Chemist's Toolkit of Calculations Oxford: OUP. ISBN-10: 0199277419.
    With its modular structure, the book presents material in short, manageable sections to keep the content as accessible and readily digestible as possible. Maths for Chemistry is the perfect introduction to the essential mathematical concepts which all chemistry students should master.