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summer reading list

Sixth Form Wider Reading and Discovery Lists for
A-Level and BTEC subjects

Going Beyond the Classroom: Super-Curricular Learning

One of the best ways you stand out during your Sixth Form studies is through the amount of independent study you undertake outside the classroom. Regardless of your future plans, the ability to extend yourself and research independently into your interests is an invaluable skill – this will support your university applications and/or future job applications and interviews. All universities expect more than just classroom knowledge, which is where super-curricular activities come in; these are academic enrichment tasks that show you are interested in your studies beyond what is on the school syllabus. 

This ‘Discovery List’ has been put together to help you develop your interests not only in your chosen fields of study, but also in the wider world around you.


General Resources 

iTunes U 

  • Free podcasts, video lectures, reading recommendations 
  • A whole range of resources from leading universities (Oxford, Yale) 


  • Has its own educational channel – EDU 

Staircase 12 

  • o A website put together by University College, Oxford (our link college at Oxford) o Contains interviews and book reviews from current students 

Radio 4 

  • Excellent range of archive material
  • Recommended – Week in Westminster / Thinking Allowed / A History of the World / In Our Time 



  • Watch talks from experts from a variety of fields 


Massive Open Online Courses – These online courses provide videos, reading lists and activities – you often don’t need to formally complete the course 

  • FutureLearn – 
  • EdX – 
  • Coursera – 

Websites of Professional organisations e.g. 

  • – Royal Society of Chemistry 
  • – The Historical Association 

Read newspapers! 

  • Some online versions are free 
  • Read more than one to develop your critical skills 

Reading Around