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Careers and placements – University of Reading

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Careers and placements

Students graduating from the School of English and American LiteratureA degree in English Literature opens many doors. As a University of Reading graduate you will enter the job market with well-developed skills in oral communication, research and writing, together with a high level of cultural literacy and critical sophistication. This profile is extremely attractive to employers and our students regularly move on to successful careers in such fields as publishing, TV and film production, journalism, public relations, law, marketing, and education. Another open door, of course, is postgraduate study.

By the time of graduation, you will have received a lot of support and guidance in deciding on your career paths. 

Academic Placement Opportunities

All of our students at Parts Two and Three have the option to convert one of their modules to a 'placement module'. They go along to seminars with the other students on the module, but have the chance to arrange a two-week placement, structured with the support of the module convenor, on which they write a placement report in place of the assessed essay for the module. This gives our students a fantastic opportunity to put their learning into practice in a professional setting.

"Doing a placement was a really challenging but rewarding experience, which I really believe helped improve my employability. Studying Communications at Work was a really innovative way of branching out and getting industry experience in a traditional course and it is an experience I would highly recommend."

THE professional track

The Professional Track turns your career hopes into real plans, getting you ready to thrive after graduation. By offering a mixture of  training courses, placements and masterclasses, the scheme develops your professional confidence, and your CV, right from the moment you arrive to study.

"I think it gives you the opportunity to do something beyond just a degree, and it sets you up really well for jobs in the future."

Rosa Mitchell, BA English Literature and Film & Theatre

"It teaches you how to be more professional because you have to introduce yourself to the workplace and be a bit more than your average student"

Heather Evans, BA English Literature

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

UROP placements are undertaken over the summer vacation, and are open to students who have completed their Second Year. The placement involves helping a member of staff with a research project. The UROP scheme provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about a topic, explore the processes of academic research, and potentially be involved in some form of publication.

Our most recent departmental UROP placement involved Professor KarĂ­n Lesnik-Oberstein and undergraduate student Ian Mulholland. Both worked together on a project called 'Re-reading Robinson Crusoe: Changing Ideas of Child Readers'. The research questioned how and why Robinson Crusoe has been moderated for children over time, and how this reflects the changing attitudes to the appropriateness of children's literature. Ian utilized material from the University's little-studied Crusoe collection, which contains over 100 versions of Defoe's text, dating from the eighteenth century to the present.

Ian has subsequently given a seminar on the project to staff and postgraduate students in the department, as well as to other Universities. The research was so successful that Professor Lesnik-Oberstein and Ian are hoping to publish it as an article in the prestigious academic journal, Educational Philosophy and Theory.

Ian graduated in 2011 with a First Class degree, and has since undertaken postgraduate studies.

Undertaking the UROP scheme gave me the opportunity to collaborate with a senior academic, and to work in the Special Collections archives. Throughout the process I was able to develop my research and writing techniques, skills which became essential in my final year of study. In addition, the UROP experience has helped with my application for AHRC funding for my MA. - Ian Mulholland.

For more information about UROP, and this particular project see

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