BA Modern Languages and English Literature
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Study a modern language, and explore a variety of writers from across the globe, with our BA Modern Languages and English Literature degree.
This highly flexible degree enables you to study a modern language – choosing from our core languages of French, German, Italian and Spanish – alongside your studies in English literature.
You'll be taught by experts from the Department of Languages and Cultures and the Department of English Literature, both of which prioritise learning in small seminar groups. This enables you to interact directly with your teachers and fellow students, and to add your own voice to discussions.
Learn a language
At the University of Reading, you’ll join a lively, multilingual community and study alongside students from all over the world.
Learn from internationally recognised researchers whose wide-ranging expertise includes migration, literature, history, cinema, linguistics, publishing, and translation. 98% of our research overall is classed as world leading (Research Excellence Framework 2014 - Modern Languages and Linguistics).
Choose to study one of our four core languages:
These languages are offered at beginner’s, intermediate or advanced level, depending on your experience.
Our flexible, supportive teaching style will enable you to become confident and highly skilled in your chosen core language. You will master the fundamentals of the language – both written and spoken – graduating with near-native command.
Direct access to our staff for help and feedback ensures you develop your language skills to the best of your ability. 89% of our students agreed that staff are good at explaining things in the Department of Languages and Cultures .
The study of language includes cultural modules that develop your understanding of the cultures of the countries in which the language is spoken, from their literary and cinematic traditions to their history, politics and linguistics. As well as complementing your joint studies, this enables you to develop as a specialist with an international, comparative approach.
Optional modules also include introductory study of one of the following languages (subject to approval and availability):
- British Sign Language
- Chinese (Mandarin)
These introductory modules focus on developing your linguistic proficiency. You will reach independent-user competency by the time you graduate.
Study English literature through the ages
Explore a range of literature from across the globe and every period of history, from the middle ages to the present day. Our academics have published research on everything from medieval poetry to contemporary Caribbean and American fiction. You’ll also learn from published, prize-winning authors.
You’ll study genres and authors that you may already know and love, from Shakespeare and Dickens, to Plath and Beckett. We’ll also introduce you to literary topics that may be less familiar to you, including children's literature, publishing studies, and the history of the book.
You can choose from a variety of modules, covering:
- genre and context
- research and criticism
- poetry in English
- creative writing
- persuasive writing
- contemporary fiction
- twentieth-century American literature.
We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment, because we believe that the study of literature is a discursive process where we learn by sharing ideas.
Between your second and final year, you'll spend a year abroad to expand your linguistic skills and intercultural understanding. You can choose to study at a partner university, go on a work placement, or work as a language teaching assistant.
 National Student Survey, 2021.