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If you choose to study with us, you’ll be welcomed into a friendly and stimulating environment that encourages you to thrive both academically and personally.

The English Department is home to academics with a wide range of research specialisms across different genres, text styles, and time periods.

We can provide you with a great opportunity to explore and refine your own interests under the support and expertise of a diverse and inclusive department.

Encompassed in a one-year programme, the MA in English offers the opportunity to read alongside friendly and attentive experts who inspire and support your academic interests, with the benefit of small group teaching which is perfect for building close-knit relationships among like-minded peers. The broad range of topics and periods offered on the course accommodated to my personal research interests, allowing me the freedom to structure my writing around the authors and subjects of my choice. Life in the department will always present a supportive and sociable unit to guarantee an amazing year.
Abby Henson

Learning environment

Upon enrolling, you will be allocated a personal tutor and in the second semester you will be allocated a supervisor for your dissertation. Throughout your master's you will have consistent contact with your individual seminar leaders.

Our master's cohorts tend to be small, meaning you will receive attentive guidance from your tutors, supervisors, and lecturers. Our belief in small group teaching not only ensures that you receive individual support during your studies but also enhances your overall experience of being part of a community.

You will have access to various resources and study spaces while working on campus, including a common room, Special Collections reading rooms, the University library, Student Union study area, and a range of cafes and other eateries.

What I enjoyed most about the MA English programme at Reading was having the opportunity to explore and develop my own interests under the guidance of some of the best mentors. The diversity of the modules on offer allowed me to pursue those interests from various angles. Academic modules such as the Materiality and Textuality module enabled me to dive deep into the wonderful and exciting world that is the university’s Special Collections, while the Literary Feminisms module allowed me to work with inspirational, like-minded students on a group project that turned into our own “feminist archive” … I cannot recommend this place highly enough. It has been my home away from home

Nour Baghat, MA Alumni

Social and cultural events

As a master's student, you will be invited to all of our guest lectures and research seminars. This provides you with the opportunity to expand your research networks, and consider yourself and your work in the broader context of the academic community.

Reading boasts a thriving social life for students with literary interests. The Student Union has an English Society - open to all students - which hosts events throughout the year including film nights, formals, and theatre trips, as well as offering general course-related support.

Beyond campus, Reading is filled with local book clubs, writing groups, poetry slams, and other literary events you can explore during your time here.

If you'd like to find out more about what goes on in the Department of English Literature, take a look at our blog.

Special Collections and resources

The University has a wealth of literary treasures and superb resources. Our Library has excellent holdings – papers and manuscripts of several twentieth-century poets, a large collection of historical children’s books, and an impressive rare book collection.

We house the Archive of British Publishing and Printing, which includes records of literary publishers such as Chatto & Windus and the Hogarth Press. We also have the world’s leading Samuel Beckett archive, containing manuscripts, letters, memoranda and book materials.

Major research resources, such as the British Library in London and the Bodleian in Oxford, are within easy reach.

Find out more about our Special Collections and resources


Life on campus

Our main campus is set on 130 hectares of beautiful parkland, so you'll find plenty of places to relax. Our campus is home to a thriving community and features the Students' Union, Library and places to eat.

Read our stories

The staff are great to talk to - they're experts in things you're interested in, plus they're also great examples of what you can do with your degree once you've finished.

Elle Codling, MA English


Life in Reading

Step off campus and you'll find yourself in a bustling town centre offering a variety of shops, restaurants and activities. We're also well-connected – you can reach London Paddington within half an hour by train.