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Katie Halley is a second year BA English Language and Linguistics student and a Student Ambassador. She has made the most of placement opportunities and careers advice during her time here at the University.

Choosing Reading and her degree

The University of Reading was the first university that Katie considered for her undergraduate degree. She looked at a few universities before deciding where to study, but the Open Day at Reading helped make up her mind: 

"Reading had the most to offer – the lecturers are really amazing – they are really inspiring on the Open Days – and the course itself – all the modules were interesting and there’s quite a lot of variety in the first year. I did Psychology, Marketing, and Management. "First year at Reading allows you to explore what you want to do, which helps with your career development at the end." 

Katie initially was undecided between English courses at the University:

"It was a debate between English Language and English Literature! I really enjoyed English Language at A level. The English Language course, I felt, had more to offer me in terms of careers and it relates to real life."

Teach First and TEFL opportunities

Katie’s favourite module at Reading is Phonology: 

"The technical side of it is really interesting. It relates to forensics, different accents. It’s a systematic approach – you have evidence, you can analyse the data and take more of a scientific approach to it." 

In the first year at Reading, students are given the opportunity to gain transferable skills for the workplace. Katie decided to enrol on work experience with Teach First: 

"It was a workshop over 2 days and it gave us the knowledge on how to conduct lessons. We even had the chance to teach a small class of around 10 people. That was a really amazing experience because it opened my eyes to teaching." 

Katie also signed-up for an introduction to Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL):

"It was amazing. As part of it we learnt conversations in Nepalese – airport and classroom scenarios. It would be really useful if you were considering a TEFL career."

Career orientated workshops and campus

The English Department and the Careers Team at Reading offer students a wide range of career events.

Katie went along to the Publishing Workshop and the Journalism Workshop where career professionals in both fields came in to the University to talk to the students: 

"It was really helpful as we could ask questions and find out how to get into the industry."

When asked about her favourite thing about the University of Reading, Katie replied:

"There are so many things! I love the campus, buildings and lake. I can have a walk around and take a break from studying."

More stories

Find out more about what our students have to say about our course.


Sabita Burke

Sabita benefited from a wealth of internship opportunities, while enjoying the breadth of modules available on her course.


Hope O'Grady

Hope gained some excellent placement experience working in a prison, where she helped inmates develop their English skills.


Taz Usher

Taz speaks about working at the student union newspaper, The Spark, and the wealth of transferable skills she acquired.