Beyond the classroom
‘It is important to us that our students have the opportunity to grow and develop beyond the classroom during their time at Reading. Alongside the transferable skills that we foster through structured academic work, the aptitudes that are cultivated through placements, a year abroad, the RED Award and our Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme feed directly into employability and life confidence.
‘We pride ourselves on offering our students all kinds of opportunities to prepare for the challenges ahead but we also know that a university education nurtures an assurance and self-reliance that is equally important to future success. This extract from a poem by one of our graduating students expresses this combined benefit of our degrees beautifully.’
An extract by Rebecca Thomas – a Creative Writing Student
'Amongst the multitude of things I have learned, academic and otherwise, the lesson that stands out most clearly is that things, people, are rarely ever as they seem. Poised on the end of a diving board I am no longer afraid. The rest of the year is visible, given form by the events that I am certain will take place; but after this, there is a comforting dark nothingness that resides contentedly with the knowledge that I have been prepared for that which you cannot prepare for.'
academic Placements and studying abroad
We actively encourage our students to undertake placements. These vary from a term or year abroad, during which you can become immersed the culture and language of your chosen location, to academic placements carried out in one of your modules, to linked placements, allowing you to explore issues which connect to your seminar-room learning. We also work with our Careers Service to help you find paid internships, including our new 'creative professional internships', designed to give you a head start in a career in the creative sector.
‘I will look back on my placement as an extremely positive experience as I have made friends and contacts now for the future that may help after my graduation in July. I have discovered another beautiful part of the country and I am currently writing up a report that includes all my combined experiences and reflects my enthusiasm for the academic placement I went on. I would recommend this opportunity to any student: it is not often you get this chance.’
‘Both of my placements gave me a clear picture of the working world and the media industry. I have understood the routes I need to go down to get to my chosen career. Alongside this, I have evidence of skills in so many different areas of work and the ability to write a professional report, all which I have obtained before leaving university!’
The RED Award
The Reading Experience and Development award helps you to stand out from the crowd when you graduate. By recognizing any volunteering or paid work you do, alongside training opportunities and employability workshops, you can place yourself in the best possible position in the career market.
‘The RED Award has really helped me because I used it for work experience for a potential career. It also became an interesting talking point in some of my job interviews.’
‘Doing the RED Award has made me think a lot more about what I want to do after my degree and the development sessions have given me some really good advice on how to get things like placements and internships that will improve my CV.’
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme
UROP placements provide exciting opportunities for undergraduates to work with staff on research projects across the University, contributing directly to the creation of knowledge and strengthening the link between teaching and research. These paid placements last six weeks over the summer break, or can be part-time over a longer period.
‘I had never been to MERL and the Special Collections, never worked with archives, and never carried out research of this kind. I came to this project hoping to discern whether or not I would be interested in postgraduate research. Working alongside scholars and archivists provides a completely different experience to that of undergraduate research, and it is an experience that I would highly recommend.’
‘The best thing about my UROP placement was being able to get involved with an area of study that I was very interested in, but which didn't feature in my degree programme. Being able to work alongside professors and researchers on a professional level is a real confidence boost, and it gave me a lot of ideas about the kind of work and study I would like to do in the future. When the placement finished I was surprised by how much I had learned in such a short space of time. These new skills are really helping me now with the research for my dissertation, so in a way the UROP experience has actually fed back into my degree.’
The Professional Track
The Professional Track is an exciting professional development scheme. We offer a huge range of courses, placements and professional networking opportunities which provide you with skills and experiences.
The Professional Track will help you to build up your CV and skillset throughout your degree, allowing you to be fully ready for the world of work by the time you graduate.
Uniquely, it works on a hop-on hop-off basis. You can choose the opportunities which appeal to you, all of which are CV-worthy, without being committed to completing the whole award.
If you complete, however, you will receive an additional certificate that will run alongside your degree and list all the amazing things you've done. This opportunity is open to all students in the School of Literature and Languages (including non-owned joint honours students).