BA English Literature with Foundation
Discover how literature has shaped our view of the world, and develop core academic skills, with our BA English Literature with Foundation course.
This four-year programme includes a foundation year that leads directly into the three-year course.
Literature is characterised by extraordinary richness and diversity. Throughout your studies, you will explore texts from across the globe, across a range of genres and periods. Enter lively debate with others who share your passion for literature; study authors and genres that you may already know, and discover others that may be less familiar to you.
Our BA English Literature with Foundation course will provide you with:
- the creative and critical ability to examine texts in detail, and draw your own conclusions
- knowledge of a variety of literary texts — including poetry, prose, drama and film — from a range of periods
- an awareness of the ways in which literature responds to cultural context, and how texts accrue new meaning.
You will be taught by experts from the Department of English Literature, whose expertise and research spans everything from medieval poetry to contemporary American fiction. Our BA English Literature with Foundation is flexible, and you will be encouraged to develop your own literary enthusiasms and follow your interests through our wide variety of modules.
Your learning structure
The aim of the foundation year is to prepare you for your English literature degree. As you progress, each stage builds on your prior learning:
- Foundation year: gain a thorough grounding in study at degree level. Core modules will develop key skills to support your learning.
The Academic Skills module helps you to acquire successful study skills, including academic writing, research and referencing, critical thinking, teamwork, effective study techniques and time management. The Study for Success module enables you to develop as a successful student in this field, building on your strengths and targeting key skill areas. The Identities module explores ideas of identity under four themes: national/race identity, gender, changing identities and a sense of self. It covers a wide range of texts and objects, including film, novels and novellas, poems and plays and cultural documents.
- First year: engage in lively debate about approaches to the study of literature. You will undertake critical and research exercises, with close study of selected texts from a number of different periods.
- Second year: you will be given the opportunity to explore a breadth of English literature, delving into texts within historical periods and generic traditions.
- Third year: undertake more specialised and independent literary study, choosing your modules from a wide range of options. The dissertation module will develop your skills in research, planning and writing.
Supportive learning environment
At Reading, we believe that the study of English literature is a discursive process, in which we learn by sharing our ideas. To this end, we prioritise small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment. Your learning will take place through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops delivered by our supportive staff.
94% of students in the Department of English Literature said our teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (National Student Survey, 2023).
Enhance your studies
Every year, the Department hosts a Royal Literary Fund Fellow: a professional writer whose role is to advise students on their writing technique. As well as assisting with your essays and coursework, the Fellow can offer feedback on your personal pieces.
Throughout your degree, you will have access to the University's substantial and varied collection of rare books, archives and manuscripts. In your final year, you'll have the opportunity to handle and study these fascinating texts, including the world's largest collection of Samuel Beckett manuscripts.
Placement opportunities with BA English Literature with Foundation
Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take a placement module on languages and literature in heritage, education or the media.
Students on our Literature, Languages and Education module also undertake a short placement to explore the ways in which skills and knowledge gained in their studies have direct application to the workplace.
In your second year, you can spend a semester studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA.
To find out more, visit our Study Abroad site.