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Student Life

Self-help books on Student life


There are so many popular psychology texts in the shops that it can be difficult to know where to begin. This set of book-lists was compiled by staff of the University Counselling Service to respond to those students who have asked us what they might read on this topic.

Our selection is not intended to be the 'final word' - we are sure that there are many other good and helpful books out there; in any case we recognise that what is helpful is very subjective and depends on personal circumstances.

Books are listed in alphabetical order by author. Copies of some of these books are available to borrow on a weekly basis from the University Counselling Service.


The descriptions given are intended to provide a summary of the contents but should not be taken to imply that the Counselling Service endorses the opinions expressed.

Student life

Date of information: Jan 2006

How to Survive at College
David Acres, How To Books, 1987

A practical and readable guide.

The Academic Career Handbook
Loraine Blaxter, Christina Hughes & Malcolm Tight, Open University Press, 1998

Intended for those who are just starting or seeking to start an academic career, it offers guidance on performing 5 key tasks: networking, teaching, researching, writing and managing.

Use Your Head
Tony Buzan, BBC Consumer Publishing, 2003

Presents a range of techniques that are intended to teach the reader how to think effectively.

Gael Lindenfield, Harper Collins, 2000

A self-help guide attempting to reveal what it is, how exactly it can help us and why it is so often elusive. Aimed at encouraging the reader not to procrastinate.

A Guide to Learning Independently (3rd Edition)
Lorraine Marshall & Frances Rowland. Open University Press, 1998

Intended to enable the reader to develop the necessary skills needed by students. Topics covered include: evaluating research material; improving writing; and confidence in discussion groups.

Fresher Pressure
Aiden McFarlane et al, Oxford Paperbacks, 1994

Intended to help first year students cope with college and survive fresher pressure. It contains personal experiences from various students and tips on a range of topics including sex, drugs, friendship, managing money, organising work, finding a place to live and coping with stress.

How to Get a PhD, A Handbook for Students and their Supervisors (2nd Ed'n)
Estelle M. Phillips and Derek S. Pugh, Open University Press, 2005

A handbook for PhD students seeking to provide an understanding of the processes of doing research for a doctorate. Includes time management and communication with supervisors.

How to Get a Good Degree, Making the Most of your Time at University
Phil Race, Open University Press, 1998

Intended to help students capitalise on their time studying for a degree, including advice on teaching-learning situations, putting resources to work, aiming high in revision and exams and looking after yourself.

Learn How to Study
David Rowntree, Warner, 1998

This text helps students to work out appropriate ways of studying. It includes chapters on organisation, writing essays, tackling textbooks, and also the unofficial demands of the 'hidden curriculum'.