ARL Advanced Reading List

Advanced Reading List: Examination

Instructors in the Department of English have compiled a substantial list of key texts – some “classic”, some cutting edge – that students are expected to have read as part of their BA studies. The goal of this Academic Reading List (ARL) is to promote students’ ability to read and study independently thereby transferring skills and methods acquired in the classroom to their independent exploration of literary and linguistic (i.e. sociolinguistic and discourse-analytic) texts. The main purpose of the ARL exam is to ensure that by the time they have completed their main academic curriculum, students are sufficiently familiar with these representative works.

Inevitably selective, the ARL reading material reflects important concepts and paradigms, landmarks in the development of literary and/or scholarly styles and research practices, and refers to important social settings and cultural contexts where linguistic, communicative and literary practices occur. Thus, while the ARL can only give a small impression of the vast scope and diversity of English studies, it opens up paths for advanced thinking and further research. The ARL comprises two categories, a core list and a specialist list.

Core List

1. Four texts from North American Literature (one novel, one play, one short story, one set of poetry)

2. Four texts from Medieval and Modern English Literature (one novel, one play, one piece of short fiction, one set of poetry)

3. Four texts from Language and Linguistics (four scholarly books).


From one of the three domains above, each student must also choose a specialist list. For Language and Linguistics, students are presented with a wide range of innovative approaches/perspectives in both sociolinguistics and discourse studies. Both the Medieval and Modern English Literature and North American Literature lists include representative poems, short stories, essays and novels from across the ages.

Advanced Reading List.pdf  (for ARL exams from AS 18 onwards)


All students will be expected to sit a short written ARL exam which they must pass before their final registration for their BA thesis. We recommend taking the exam at the end of the fourth term of study.

The ARL exam is offered twice a year in the penultimate week of term. Retakes take place at the beginning of the following semester.

Lasting 30 minutes, the ARL exam comprises seven short-answer questions addressing the core list and the student's elected specialist list. Students are advised to read the texts attentively to prepare for the exam.

An introductory Q&A session led by the ARL coordinator is offered twice a year in the second week of term. All registered students are strongly advised to attend.


--> click here to see the Q&A and exam dates for this semester <--


Students need to register for the exam via KSL by 15 April or 15 November.

If you have questions about the reading list, please contact the ARL Coordinator.