I've got a place on an Access to Chemistry & Biological Sciences course starting in August. I'm all signed up, just need to hand in my bursary forms today, and barring problems with those (which I don't forsee) I'll be good to go. Thing is, I haven't had a reading list or study guide or anything like that - the tutor who did my admissions interview assures me the course is designed to take students with little prior experience and get them degree-ready in 12 months, but my "prior experience" was 14 years ago at GCSE so I'd like to do a bit of brushing up.
I've done a little poking around on t'internet, dived into some OU stuff my uncle had left lying over from his degree, and I'm working through some stuff at the Khan Academy, but if anyone could suggest some decent textbooks or other resources I could try out I'd be grateful.
for me personally, the books below were a great starter resource/aid. then again, i was on an essay intensive programme and i dunno whether that's gonna be applicable to u but, the second link proved extremely useful as well so i've included it too.
i had a quick read thru these before my course started, so when we began the study skills module (that i believe everyone on Access does) i was already quite familiar with requirements. we were not assigned reading lists as such but, first session of each subject, we were given authors that would prove useful. some went out n bought all the recommended texts, others didn't.
i bought 2 out of the 4 recommended and tbh, i regret spending my money. any good library will have the core texts that u need. so rather than spend cash, spend time in your library. or if u have a uni close by, see if they will let u use theirs. this means u don't need a reading list as such - and if u were to email the lecturer and ask for a 'subjects and units' breakdown, u will know exactly what reading to do. they may also be inclined to include texts they want u to read in said email.
this will sound sad but once u know what areas to read in, and u have access to a decent library, u will be in hog heaven. least, i was - cos then u are able to read around the subject as well.
I am just about the complete my foundation/access year in Chemistry and Biological science. I was given a list of recommended books, however like astoreth I found the library a godsend! I used the library simply because science books are so expensive and the a-level books just dont go into enough detail.....
Books that I bought and have become very useful
The Study Skills handbook (Palgrave)
Cite it rite (essential!!!)
Check your local council library online catalogue to see if they have the book(s) you want. Saves you going round all the libraries to find the one copy of the book you want. Borrow books and see if the style suits you, if not look at the other books on the topic.
If you have to buy books, search on www.bookfinder.com to find cheap copies new or second hand. Also check EBay. I've managed to get some virtually new books for less than £10 delivered, compared with the new book price of £40. Useful if due to demand the most useful book in the library is requested by another user. You can always sell the book when you finish your course.