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To read a subject at university

Posted by Pdianek on November 12, 2003

In Reply to: To read a subject at university posted by milena ferrante on November 11, 2003

: What does

: "to read a subject at university"

: exactly mean?

: Does it mean: "to study" or "to teach a subject as a lecturer" or both?

: thanx very much for "reading"

: ciaoooo
: Milena

As I understand it, to "read" a subject at university in the UK means pretty much the same as to "major in" a subject in the US -- it means that whatever subject it is (physics, Spanish, basketweaving), it's a student's primary academic focus for the duration. In the UK, university is usually three years -- in the US, the standard is four years, but some contemporary US students plan on a "five-year degree", often just because their parents can afford it!

At 20, I once took a train from Leeds to Edinburgh, chatted with a young man, asked him what he was reading at university -- "auto mechanics", he said.