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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: in the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, 95% of our leavers are in work and/or study 15 months after the end of their course.*

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.

*Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18; First Degree and other undergraduate responders from English Literature.

Contains HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data.

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.

Find our more about academic placements

"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."

Professional track

Follow on our social media channels and find out about development opportunities. Hear from a wide range of students and staff about the elements that make up the two 'routes' of the Professional Track. This will include information on the RED Award, work placements, academic placements, SLL courses, and more:

Undergraduate research opportunities programme (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