At Reading, we believe that the study of English literature provides not only a rewarding challenge and active pleasure, but also the foundation of a critical and cultural awareness that will remain with you for life. Our degrees allow you to explore the extraordinary range of writing in English, from Medieval poetry to contemporary novels. We are a very research-active department with a century-long history of innovation in English Studies, and we continue to extend our curriculum to include contemporary American and Caribbean literature as well as new writing from Britain and Ireland. You will become part of this conversation about the way that English Studies is developing. You will also develop your own writing skills; whether your ambition is to write creatively or in a professional context, you will graduate with the confidence and skill to say exactly what you mean. In your second year, you may be able to spend a term studying abroad at one of our partner institutions in Germany, Spain, the USA, Canada or Australia. This is a great opportunity to continue your study of English literature while immersing yourself in a different culture and enhancing your language skills. This degree enables you to explore authors and genres that you may already know (from Dickens to Plath, from tragedy to Gothic), and introduces you to aspects of literary studies that you may not know so well, including contemporary Caribbean fiction and the history of the book. Our first-year modules ensure that all of our students have the advanced skills in literary analysis necessary for undergraduate work. In your second and third years, your choice of modules becomes wider and more various, allowing you to gain a deeper knowledge of the subjects that interest you most. You can do archive work on ‘Studying Manuscripts’ or look at the politics of literature in ‘Writing Global Justice’. We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment. Our innovative placement scheme gives you the chance to undertake an academic placement in commerce, industry or the arts. You can also take one of our dedicated placement modules on languages and literature in education and in the media. The option to take our Creative Writing pathway allows you to make creative writing a designated part of your degree. Our team of poets, fiction and non-fiction writers will help you to develop your writing skills.