Your 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 and research and writing, together with a high level of cultural literacy and critical sophistication.
This profile is extremely attractive to employers: 97% of our students who graduated in 2017 were in work or study six months after graduation (DLHE survey 2018).
Our students move on to successful careers in fields including publishing, TV and film production, journalism, public relations, law, marketing, and education. Some go on to further study in English Literature, while others undertake vocational training for careers including law, teaching, and psychology. We offer support and guidance throughout your time at Reading to help you decide on your career path and to develop your CV.
Literary modules for career success
Studying English literature at Reading offers you a rigorous academic education and it also forms the foundation of your future career. Many of our modules are vocational as well as academic. They offer you a preview of different career paths, and they develop skills that will be crucial to your success after university. For instance:
- Our first year module, Persuasive Writing, develops your professional writing skills. It involves you in debates about the role of literature and language in democracy.
- In the second year, The Business of Books introduces the history of publishing and gives you access to historical machinery used in book production.
- Our second-year modules Communications at Work, Literature, Languages and Education, and Literature, Languages and Media involve placements in relevant professional settings.
- Many of our third year modules offer students access to our special collections - including our world-renowned Samuel Beckett archive - offering you an introduction to working in the heritage sector.
ACADEMIC PLACEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
You have the option to do an academic placement on any of the modules that you study in the second or third year of our degree, thanks to our pioneering Academic Placement scheme. This scheme gives you the opportunity to complete a two-week professional placement connected to one of your modules, on which you'll write a placement report. This report becomes part of your assessed work, usually taking the place of one of your coursework essays. Placements give you a fantastic opportunity to explore potential future careers and to put your academic learning to work in a professional context.
"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 allows you to explore different career areas before you graduate, and provides you with essential skills to equip you for career success. The programme is specifically tailored to the needs and interests of students of literature and languages. It offers a mixture of training courses, placements and practical masterclasses from professionals in a range of popular career areas, including marketing and communication, publishing, and journalism. The Professional Track develops your confidence and your CV right from the moment you arrive. It turns your career hopes into real plans, and helps you get ready to thrive after graduation.
"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 available to you in the summer after you complete your Second Year. The placement involves helping a member of staff with a research project. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about a specialist topic, explore the processes of academic research, and potentially be involved in some form of publication.
"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