Finding textbooks

This resource will explain how to know what textbooks you need and where to find them.

Essential and recommended textbooks

Some textbooks will be set as essential reading and others may only be recommended. Essential textbooks, as the name implies, means ownership of the textbook or the ability to access it when required is an essential requirement of the subject. Recommended textbooks, however, are only suggested reading that can either complement or amplify your knowledge of the subject.

Your subject outline will inform you as to whether a textbook is essential or recommended.

How do I know what textbooks I need?

Subject outline

You can find the textbook(s) required for your subject in your subject outline usually in the ‘Subject Resources and Materials’ section.

Moodle or SOLS

Your subject coordinator may let you know what textbook you need via the subject’s Moodle page or through SOLS.

Your first lecture

Often your subject coordinator will go through the required readings, including any textbooks, during the first lecture of the session. If you’re still unsure, ask your subject coordinator or tutor.

Where do I find my textbooks


You can find required textbooks for your subject through the UOW UniShop. Search for your subject code on the UniShop website to see if it is in stock or ask in store.

UOW Alumni bookshop

The UOW Alumni bookshop sells a diverse range of used books and textbooks. If you’re lucky, you might be able to find your textbook at a cheaper price. The Alumni bookshop is located in building 15.G17.

UOW Library

You can check if the Library has copies of your textbook available using SEARCH. Textbooks are usually only available to borrow for a short period of time due to high demand.

Things to remember

Check the edition number

It may seem small, but the edition numbers of textbooks make a huge difference. The information in a textbook is updated and kept relevant in each edition. Make sure you double-check you have the correct edition of your textbook as specified by your subject outline before purchasing it.

Consider digital copies

Physical copies of textbooks can be heavy, so before purchasing the physical format you might want to see if there is a digital copy available.