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Join an English Literature department with wide interests and world-leading archives, which is ranked in the top 150 worldwide for English Language and Literature. (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2024.)

We deploy our varied research strengths and our literary collections to produce a degree that embodies the best of current critical, theoretical and archival work.

In the Department of English Literature, our research is organised through three themes: Diversity & Inclusion; History, Historicism and Heritage; and Environment & Community. Additionally, much of our research is aligned with Interdisciplinary Research Centres, as follows: Book Cultures and Publishing, Health Humanities, Samuel Beckett Studies. We also have particular strengths in Children's Literature and Creative Writing.

You will also have the opportunity to publish your work - and gain experience in editing and publishing - participating in The Canvas Magazine, our online creative writing magazine.

Courses for 2023/24

We offer a distinctive range of master's programmes, each of which has taught components, followed by dissertation supervision.

MA English Literature

Create your MA programme and select from topics such as the early modern period, the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, modern literary feminism, and contemporary literature and ethnicity.

You'll have access to our unique archives including the Archive of British Publishing and Printing and the world’s leading Samuel Beckett collection.

MRes Children's Literature

Explore the history of children’s literature with Britain’s oldest master’s degree on children’s literature from a literary perspective. The MRes is a fully-taught programme.

You can examine nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first-century children’s literature and criticism, and gain in-depth knowledge of approaches to the subject.

The MRes is part of the Graduate Centre for International Research in Children's Literature: Literature, Culture, Media (CIRCL), which runs our world-famous and cutting-edge research on children's literature, culture, and media.

MA Creative Writing

Advance your creative writing abilities through the conception, development, revision, and completion of a project. 

Draw upon Reading’s expertise in areas such as archival research, the history of publishing, cultural criticism, and persuasive writing through our range of optional modules.

Fees and funding

There is a variety of funding support available to our master’s students.

UK students can receive government loans to help towards tuition fees and living costs. You may also be eligible for other grants and bursaries.

Both UK and International students can apply for a range of scholarships. Our scholarships are awarded based on previous academic achievement.

Postgraduate fees and funding


All students interested in studying one of our master's courses are eligible to apply for postgraduate funding. Both UK and international students can apply for a range of scholarships.

Find out more about our Scholarships


How you'll study

Postgraduate teaching at Reading is highly rated for its friendliness and expertise. You will be taught in small groups, with lecturers and professors leading discussion and giving lectures.


Meet our experts

Our talented and internationally-diverse team are actively involved in research, contributing directly to your teaching and supervision.

Our research

The English Literature Department pursues internationally recognised research across the historical spectrum.