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Become part of our lively academic community. We we use a wide range of teaching and assessment methods to ensure you have the opportunity to fulfil your potential.

You'll learn through small-group teaching, lectures, tutorials and self-directed study, and enjoy access to superb resources and literary treasures.

We will support your personal and professional development enabling you to thrive during your time with us and in the world beyond university. 


Karín Lesnik-Oberstein inspired me from my first year, when she ran a lecture on 'Little House in the Big Woods' and spoke about the influence on the writing of childhood when writing as an adult. She encouraged me to think completely outside the box in a way I had never done before, and it allowed me to explore new topics and analysis and be less restricted in my writing.

Amy Davey, BA English Literature

Teaching methods

We believe learning is not simply a case of listening - here, we debate, discuss, and collaborate to generate new ideas about the texts that we study. Small-group teaching is at the heart of what we do: your lecturers will know you by name and you will become part of a supportive community of learners.

Every student at Reading is assigned an Academic Tutor, who meets with you regularly throughout your degree to offer advice about your academic progress. Personal feedback will help you to achieve your goals and improve your own literary skills.

Find out more about what you will learn.


Lectures are hour-long talks delivered by our expert academics.


Seminars are round-table discussions that involve about 15 students and a member of academic staff. These small groups allow you to exchange ideas about the topic at hand.

Essay tutorials

At Reading, we believe in the importance of one-to-one feedback as part of a bespoke learning experience.

For each of the modules in your second and third year you will have one-to-one meetings with an academic to discuss your progress and ways in which you can improve your assessed work.


Supported, self-directed study

We make sure that you have plenty of time to read the texts that we ask you to study. We review our curriculum regularly to help you to manage your workload.

Your Academic Tutor will offer one-to-one advice on how to get the most out of your reading and how to prepare effectively for seminars and lectures.

Learning resources

You will have access to superb learning resources. The academic library on campus has recently undergone a multi-million pound upgrade.

Our extensive digital resources mean that you can carry out research in your halls of residence, in the Department of English Literature dedicated study space - or even in one of the many coffee shops on campus!

Assessment methods

Your learning will be assessed regularly and you will get plenty of feedback to help you develop your ideas, arguments, and writing style.

You won't just write essays and take exams: we use a wide variety of assessment methods, including learning journals, presentations, placement reports, and special projects.

Our assessments encourage you to learn new skills and give you the opportunity to play to your strengths.

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.

  • Our first-year module, Research and Criticism, develops your writing skills in a range of contexts and introduces you to different critical perspectives.
  • In your 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 such as Literature, Languages and Education involve placements in relevant professional settings.
  • Many of our third year modules offer you access to our special collections - including our world-renowned Samuel Beckett archive - offering you an introduction to working in the heritage sector.

Study Abroad

Depending on your course, you could spend two weeks, a term, or an academic year abroad. This can be part of a standard three-year degree, an extended four-year degree, or a shorter length of time such as a summer school.

We’ll help you decide where to go and for how long, guide you through the application process, and support you when you’re abroad.

To find out more about the benefits of studying abroad, and discover where you could go, visit the Study Abroad website.

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

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.

Find out more about UROP


Academic placement opportunities

Most of our programmes include the option for you to take a Professional Placement Year in the third year of our degree. You will be assisted by our Placement Team who will support you to secure a placement and prepare for the year. 

Placements give you a fantastic opportunity to explore potential future careers and to put your academic learning to work in a professional context.


Why study with us?

Learn from expert academics in small supportive groups in a department that has a century-long history of innovation in English studies.


Special Collections and resources

Access unique original manuscript collections, journals, the Museum of English Rural Life and its archives, a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, rare collections of books, and much more.

Meet our experts

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