Researches sat around table having a discussion

Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society

Masters in Reading for Life

Liverpool Programme

The Masters in Reading for Life is the first course in the UK to study how creative literature and its depiction of human troubles and possibilities resonates with people emotionally and imaginatively; and how reading can contribute to health in its broadest sense.

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Reading in Practice brochure.

London Programme

Taking place at our London Campus, this course is available in seperate modules which count as the first step towards a Masters in Reading for Life.  The first module is entitled 'Bibliotheraphy: Therapy Through Literature' and is an intensive but personally moving reading course designed to show the value of literary thinking through the close exploration of literary language across the ages, in the search for human meaning. There are opportunities for informal writing-practice, with feedback, allowing participants to develop their personal thinking beyond merely conventional essay-exercises.

Course Overview

Course Brochure

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What our students say:


The most powerful feeling I had, was that I was in an atmosphere where I could be honest. I loved the notion that what was required was to be what we really all are – struggling thinkers. And that it was fine for the feeling to come first, and then to work things out from there

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We were encouraged to believe in our own response – in its validity, but also in its leading to something deeper. Not to be satisfied with surface, but to give time and patience to the small things, the difficult things : ‘Difficulty will yield to attention’ according to one tutor, and that’s something I shall not forget.


This course has been one of the most important things that I have done, and the most demanding. Both of these things - the demand, the importance - are linked


I have ended up making a 400 mile round trip every week to get to these seminars and despite the travel sickness I could easily have travelled double. It has been a complete privilege although not always a pleasure to be in that room. What was good: Being taken seriously and being made to take myself seriously. . Having complicated things that go underneath the surface of the skin to think about. Being part of this shared but also very personal, individual, serious undertaking.


I feel that through my reading and writing on the MA I have consolidated some of the thoughts and feelings that have been floating in my head for years, finding the words to understand them.


I’ve found the MA incredible. As I mentioned in my initial interview, I did not enjoy my undergraduate degree at all and left university in 2008 feeling disconnected from literature, the University and the majority of the people I’d met along the way. This course has been the antidote


The course often felt very hard and it should continue to do so. I feel bereft having finished, and wish I could do it over again.


It's like it's the only real education I've ever had.


It's such a personal course, where you must bring so much of yourself


I definitely think in a different way now: less closed off and with more sensitivity to subtle things I probably used to skim over without even noticing. What I'll take away more than anything are moments from the sessions when something came alive