Explore the extraordinary legacy of the classical world and its enduring influence on modern literature and culture. Study texts written in every era, from ancient Greece to the Renaissance, and contemporary writing from America, the Caribbean and across the globe.
In Classical Studies, you will learn about the literature, history and culture of ancient civilisations. Through the study of translated texts you can explore genres and themes like poetry, tragedy and love in classical literature, and their influence on the modern world. You can also enhance your knowledge of the ancient world through Latin and Greek language modules or gain an understanding of the period through different media, for example through drama and films from Ben-Hur to Gladiator.
In your English Literature modules, you will read more of authors and genres that you already know (from tragedy to Gothic, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Plath and Beckett). But you will also encounter aspects of literary studies that you may not know so well, from children’s literature to publishing studies and the history of the book. Our academics have published research on everything from medieval poetry to contemporary Caribbean and American fiction.
As you progress through your degree, your module choices become more diverse and specialised: you can do archive work on "Studying manuscripts", or look at the politics of literature in "Class matters". Everyone in the English Department, from new lecturers to professors, teaches at every level of the degree: this gives you the benefit of our expertise and makes you part of the conversation about our research and its impact outside the classroom. We place a strong emphasis on small-group learning within a friendly and supportive environment. In your first and second years, you will have a mix of lectures (which can be quite large) and seminars (which will never have more than 16 people).
You will receive careers and employability training in your first and second years and you can also study a modern language as part of your degree.
We encourage all our students to gain direct experience of ancient sites through independent travel, for which scholarships are available. You can also apply to study at the British School at Athens and the British School at Rome, which both offer summer school opportunities to University of Reading students.