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Reputation and expertise

You'll be taught by experts known for cutting edge research. Their work is regularly published in international journals, and they often speak at major international conferences. Our Department is ranked in the  top 150 worldwide for English Language and Literature (QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2024).

Individual attention

You'll receive considerable individual attention. All students have regular meetings with personal tutors and dissertation supervisors. 

Variety and flexibility

You can pursue a research-focused degree with a dissertation, or a pre-service teaching-experience degree with a portfolio, giving you choice and flexibility.

Our excellence in research

100% of our research in modern languages and linguistics is of international standing (Research Excellence Framework 2021, combining 4*, 3* and 2* submissions – Modern Languages and Linguistics).

As a student on one of our master's courses, you'll be taught by expert researchers, and receive one-to-one supervision on your dissertation/research-as-practice project.

More than any other factor, my experience on the MA program at Reading precipitated my transition from teacher and teacher trainer to fully-fledged ELT professional. My first ELT Journal articles were based on assignments I’d done on the MA; my first IATEFL talk was derived from my dissertation; my first writing contacts came through fellow students. The MA gave me not just the skills and the discourse that enabled professionalization, but also the confidence. It was a turning point and I’m enormously grateful.

Scott Thornbury, former master's student

MA Applied Linguistics

Watch this film to find out why He Liguo chose to study at the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.

Career prospects

Graduates from our postgraduate programmes enter a range of careers worldwide, including education across all sectors (primary, secondary and higher education, public and private), testing and assessment institutions (e.g. The British Council), government, publishing companies, media, public relations, marketing and advertising.


We have one of the best collections of books and journals in TESOL and Applied Linguistics in the United Kingdom, including an excellent electronic collection that allows students to access most books and articles online and off campus.

Resources also include a self-access learning centre, access to language corpus facilities and several computer laboratories.

An international classroom

What Najla loved most about studying at Reading was the international feel of the Department.

Watch this film to find out why Najla chose to study an MA TESOL at the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.


Our research

Our research brings a breadth of applied linguistic expertise to explore the use and learning of English as a first and second language, and into how the multilingual mind works in context.

Life in the Department

The culture in the Department is ideally suited to master's study. You'll be encouraged to collaborate, experiment, and learn from prestigious scholars.

Life in Reading

Step off campus and you'll find yourself in a bustling town centre offering a variety of shops, restaurants and activities. We're also well-connected – you can reach London Paddington within half an hour by train.