Reading List

Reading List for New Psychology Students

14269310_10154397359060396_1090971068_nWe know that budgets are often tight for students so we have a set of core text books which we recommend for purchase, designed to last you for your first and second year.  We will also ensure that the library is well stocked with the most recent editions of these essential texts, but it is worth remembering that physical space in the library is limited so having your own copy can be really worth it.  For those for with an eye for a bargain, the Psychology Society has regular second hand books sales. They always hold sales at the beginning of term, so watch out for flyers and social media notices.  Just be aware that books can go out of date quite quickly so make sure you source a recent edition rather than one that is 2 or 3 editions old. You can also use second hand book sellers like Amazon Marketplace to find used books, but again the proviso of making sure the book is not too out-of-date applies.

Our essential texts:


  • Butcher, J., Minneka, S. and Hooley, J. (2016) Abnormal Psychology. 17th Edition.  Harlow, UK: Pearson
  • Hogg, M. and Vaughn, G. (2014) Social Psychology. 7th edition.  Harlow, UK: Pearson
  • Maltby, J., Day, L. and Macaskill, A. (2013) Personality, Individual differences and Intelligence. 3rd Edition. Harlow, UK: Pearson
  • Toates, F. (2010) Biological Psychology. 3rd Edition.  Harlow UK: Prentice Hall, Pearson Education

All of the books listed above are from the same publishing company.  We have organized a discount book pack of these that you can purchase from our campus bookshop.  If you would like to order in advance please see the John Smith’s website or give them a call on 01792 208895.

Slater and Bremner (2011)

Additionally we recommend the following texts (used in Year 1 and 2):

  • Eysenck M and Keane M (2015) Cognitive Psychology: A Student’s Handbook. Abingdon, UK, Psychology Press
  • Slater A and Bremner JG (2011) An introduction to development psychology. 2nd Edition.  Chichester, UK: BPS Blackwell (there is also now a third edition just published)
  • Coolican H (2014) Research methods and statistics for psychology. 6th Edition.  Hove, UK: Psychology Press.


For students who have not studied psychology previously, or feel they need a refresher, we recommend either of these general introductory text books.  These will be available in the library so do not feel you have to purchase them.


  • Hood B, Schacter D, Wegner D, Gilbert D (2016) Psychology: Second European Edition.  PalgraveHood B, Schacter D, Wegner D, Gilbert D (2016) Psychology: Second European Edition.  Palgrave
  • Nolen-Hoeksema S, Fredrickson B, Loftus G, Wagenaar W (2014) Atkinson and Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology. 16th edition. Cengage Learning


You will probably find it useful to find out more about the kinds of skills needed to study psychology at degree level.  You will be taking a study skills module in your first year and we use the books listed below. These books are stocked in the university library but if you want to buy your own copy I recommend the McGee book.  We also recommend that you have a look on Amazon for study skills books more generally – the series published by Palgrave is very good.

  • McGee, S. (2010). Key Research and Study Skills in Psychology. London: Sage Publications
  • McMillian, K. and Weyers, J. (2007). How to write essays and assignments. Harlow: Pearson Prentice Hall
  • Stevenson, A. (2007). Studying Psychology (Palgrave Study Skills).  2nd Edition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.


If you would like to do some psychology-related reading for fun over the next few weeks we recommend a book by Christian Jarrett called Great Myths of the Brain. It is highly readable and takes a scientific view that will lead you very nicely into our research methods module. The full reference is:

  • Jarrett, C. (2015) Great Myths of the Brain. Wiley Blackwell, Chichester, UK.


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.