How we teach you

Students working in the libraryThe Institute's approach to teaching has always been built on close contract between students and teaching staff. It has a commitment to personal teaching within small seminar groups.

The principal aims of our teaching strategy are to:

  • enable students to engage knowledgeably in the contemporary scholarly debate in their chosen subject
  • develop students' capacity for independent research and critical analysis
  • advance students' ability to present research findings concisely both orally and in writing
  • prepare students for further academic research or careers that require a sound knowledge in their chosen field
  • aid students in developing transferable skills for future professional careers.

Students in discussionTeaching methods vary according to the nature of each module.The vast majority is taught in two hour seminars. The goal is to encourage active participation of students in classroom discussions as well as effective presentation of arguments based on independent research and analysis in formal and informal oral presentations and in writing.In most modules the use of IT resources is an important component of study. Apart from advancing subject knowledge, the various methods aid students in developing transferable skills for the workplace or further academic research, such as analytical capabilities, presentation techniques, concise expression, leadership, group-work and time-management.

All students write a dissertation of 13,000-15,000 words. Its purpose is to allow students to develop in-depth research expertise in a specific topical problem area and to contribute new insights to the current scholarly debate. Students define dissertation topic of their choice and their Director of Studies assists in assessing both the feasibility of the proposed project as well as the availability of a suitable supervisor.

Reading No.1 for Learning

International students at the University of Reading have shown record levels of satisfaction with the learning experience. In a survey conducted in October 2007 by the independent education research company, i-graduate, Reading came first for the learning experience in an international benchmark. Of the students surveyed, 60% of respondents were on taught postgraduate courses.

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