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Do uni modules require you to learn the ENTIRE textbook or only selected bits?

Basically I got sent my email for uni and I was able to access textbooks for my modules. This module over 13 weeks is only 1 hour a week but the textbook is 700 pages. Will we have to cover ALL 700 pages in just 13 hrs of instruction or only selected bits?
Original post by Anonymous
Basically I got sent my email for uni and I was able to access textbooks for my modules. This module over 13 weeks is only 1 hour a week but the textbook is 700 pages. Will we have to cover ALL 700 pages in just 13 hrs of instruction or only selected bits?

Hi,

Usually, your lecturers will cover all or most of the topics in the textbooks provided but with the time limit, they can’t include all of the extensive information you might find in there so they condense it quite a lot.

This is why students are expected to do a lot of studying in their own time, going over textbooks and finding studies to broaden their knowledge outside of just what the lecturer has to offer. It is a good habit to get into, especially once you start having to write essays and such. I wouldn’t worry too much about covering EVERY page but just make sure you understand the information and take some notes where you can :smile:

Hope this helps!

Estelle
Second Year Psychology Student
University of Huddersfield
Reply 2
I suppose it depends on the course but for mine (law), we never once finished an entire textbook.

Your lecturers will most likely upload handouts detailing the topics to be covered on the module, and usually you are only expected to read the relevant corresponding chapters. It’s not uncommon for lecturers to only recommend a few chapters (or pages) out of an entire textbook.

I usually advise people to spend less time on textbooks. Don’t try to read textbooks like an actual book, instead only consult the relevant chapters once it has been introduced on the course.
Original post by Anonymous
Basically I got sent my email for uni and I was able to access textbooks for my modules. This module over 13 weeks is only 1 hour a week but the textbook is 700 pages. Will we have to cover ALL 700 pages in just 13 hrs of instruction or only selected bits?

Hiya

You usually do not have to read entire textbooks nor are they covered in such depth. The professors decide for themselves what the relevant material is and provide lecture handouts which you can read in advance. Once you know what the important bits are through those handouts, then proceed to read from the actual textbook. Definitely agreeing with TFEU, I've found reading the textbook later to be more fruitful since I can skim-read and make notes that are actually helpful instead of having to go through every word on every page.

-Himieka
All the content you need to learn will be covered lectures. During these lectures or seminars they may tell you to read certain parts to help further your knowledge and understanding, or give recommendations for books, articles, or journals. You won't be expected to read 700 pages just on your own, so just attend all the lectures and seminars, and do the parts they tell you to do, and this won't be overwhelming for you and you'll learn a lot :smile:

I hope this helps ease your worries.

- Rosie
Most of my law textbooks I did read all of it over the weeks, maybe missing out a few specific sections (didn’t do robbery for criminal or trespass for tort)
But they advise what is needed.
And if you can see upcoming reading you will know of you need to but the textbook or just read one chapter from the library.
Hi

The main information that you will need will be covered in the lectures. They will go through the topics of your course and cover the information that you need. I have just finished my first year in forensic psychology and all the individual topics were covered but we were advised that we could read a certain chapter of the book to further knowledge and information. Whilst they suggested this each week I didn’t read the full book but just went through bits that I was unsure of or wanted to revisit such as before the exam.

I hope this helps

Luke Portsmouth Student Rep
It's very rare for modules to be textbook based in the way you describe. Normally textbooks are part of reading lists with the expectation that you will refer to relevant sections of them as and when necessary, not try and memorise the entire thing.

Something else to remember is that you are expected to do more than just turn up to timetabled hours and do no work otherwise. You are generally expected to spend around 35-40 hours a week on your studies in total while a full time student, including timetabled hours. So while you may only have 1 contact hour for that module, it's likely they would expect you to spend e.g. ~9 hours of study beyond that each week doing readings, preparing coursework, doing revision etc, depending on when assignments and exams come up etc.

Remember uni is not school. The bulk of the learning is done by you, outside of lectures - the timetabled lectures are normally just a starting point and brief overview, or a specific case study to illustrate something. You then need to go away and dive deeper into the material, look for other examples/case studies/etc, and do your own independent study. It's not called "reading for a degree" for nothing!

However as above this does not mean just uncritically go and memorise an entire listed textbook - the idea is that you will use that as one source for some topics, and explore other sources for other topics (or even those same ones, to get differing perspectives), and synthesise that knowledge yourself. Oftentimes textbooks are also just starting points, and you will then go and look more specifically for primary/secondary literature on a given topic to see what the current research in the area is.

For what it's worth I've never learned an entire textbook's worth of material specifically for even combinations of modules and have gotten 1sts in most of my recent study :tongue: The closest to learning an entire textbook's worth of material was for Sanskrit, and that was more through sort of osmosis than studying the textbook directly - we went through probably about half of it (albeit not linearly) in our first year Sanskrit and covered the rest of the grammar in second year (but largely using a range of other resources).
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Anonymous
Basically I got sent my email for uni and I was able to access textbooks for my modules. This module over 13 weeks is only 1 hour a week but the textbook is 700 pages. Will we have to cover ALL 700 pages in just 13 hrs of instruction or only selected bits?


Hi!

I’d guess it may depend on the degree / module / lecturer but, in the whole of my degree I’ve never read a textbook from cover to cover.

Usually lecturers will recommend specific chapters to read to compliment the lectures.

Hope this helps!

- Tineke
Lancaster physics graduate

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