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English Literature – University of Reading

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English Literature

What do an award-winning teacher, a writer for the Talk Politics think tank, the director of an independent film company based at Pinewood Studios, and one of Forbes's 30 Under 30 Europe list of influential media figures have in common?

They all read English at Reading, and they all speak passionately about the importance of their degree in their subsequent success.

I currently work as writer for a political think tank tackling voter apathy in young people. Communication has been key for my career, and I feel my English degree helped me with this hugely! (Oliver Ratcliffe, English and Politics, 2015)

…do not let anyone talk you out of the pure love you have for literature. It opens worlds and minds and philosophies that you never imagined could exist. (Joanna Ford, English and German, 2015; Newly Qualified Teacher of the Year in the Kent and Medway annual teacher award, 2017)

My time studying English Literature at Reading was one of the best times of my life … I got to study a subject I loved in depth, got to grips with skills and ways of learning which I use in my everyday career. I hope that future students who are considering studying English at Reading do so because the department is full of staff who are extremely knowledgeable, supportive and want their students to succeed. (Chayya Syal, English Literature 2013; writer, broadcast journalist and consultant, works for the BBC Asian Network and The Asian Today newspaper, winner of Women of the Future media award, 2016)

The best thing about being a student at Reading was the access to specialists and the support they gave you. Whether it was penning short stories or rummaging around the Samuel Beckett archives - you were guided, it truly felt personal, you could craft your own path, explore the topics that interested you … if you're doing something you feel passionate about - it will show in your work, and you'll have a better time doing it! (Toby Rinkoff, English Literature 2013; founder of independent film production company)

At Reading, we teach not only the literature that you love and want to learn more about, but we also give you the high-level skills of critical analysis, communication, negotiation, adaptability, problem solving, and cultural understanding that are crucial for individual success, and for the prosperity of the UK in coming years.

Reading is a top 20 English Department (Guardian League Tables, 2017, 2018), dedicated to supporting its students with expert teaching and tailored support throughout their University career. For more details about our degrees, click here and to read more about Oliver, Joanna, Chayya, and Toby,  click here.


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