Degree Subject Reading

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Degree subject reading refers to extended reading of university 1st, 2nd year textbook or journals within the student’s applying subject. University does not officially request degree subject readings as part of an entry requirement. But the university publishes subject specific recommended readings lists for prospective applicants and does take this degree subject readings into admissions consideration. For this reason, degree subject readings is a university application area prepared by all competitive applicants.

  • Develop specific subject interest areas with understanding beyond high school standard

  • Prove passion in the subject by discussing specific topics of interest in personal statement

*Journals applicable to sciences
Oxford University suggested readings list for prospective applicants


Following the Oxbridge tutorial system, the student reads the book chapter/journal article set for the week and writes an essay on a title/topic set by the mentor. Given the difficulty level of the readings, it takes time to read a page in comparison to prior readings and to look up any unfamiliar concepts. As a result, degree subject readings is a class with a low number of hours but a broad and vast amount of readings.

Book Selection

Identify the student’s particular topics of interests within the subject for the mentor list suitable options amongst which the student can pick one

Read & Write

Read a chapter or half a chapter and write a short essay on the key concept from the reading


Discuss on the chapter in Oxbridge tutorial style that challenges the student to explain and back up his/her opinions and with reference to the essay write up

PS Line

Formulate a line or short paragraph on the topic of interest with reference to the reading that will be used in the personal statement

Readings List

Below are some of the suggested readings for different courses by Oxford and Cambridge universities.