Lucy Nicholson writes:
A short synopsis of Academic placements
The English department at Reading provides an excellent range of academic placements through a wide selection of modules. The ‘academic’ part means that you complete a placement through one of your English modules, and the written report at the end replaces the accessed essay. To advise students on this, Dr Cindy Becker hosts drop in sessions which offers practical advice on how you can mould your ideas from your module choice into a placement. For example a student undertaking a Shakespeare module could complete a placement in a local theatre showing a Shakespeare production.
Recently I completed an academic placement in the spring term of this year. Mine was an archival based placement at the University’s Special Collections which I completed on the module, ‘Women’s writing and feminist theory’. Here, I decided to look at the portrayal of women in the children’s classics, the Ladybird books. This was valuable since Special Collections has one of the largest selections of Ladybird books in the UK and thus led to a fantastic research project. Academic placements are not only incredibly satisfying, but also provide something extra to put on your CV which stands out to employers. I therefore highly recommend it.