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  • Good people, nice place, I enjoyed a lot, thanks for everything.

Bachelor's degree

In Cambridge

Price on request


  • Type

    Bachelor's degree

  • Location


  • Start date

    Different dates available

Overview English at Cambridge Over the centuries, many writers have studied in Cambridge: Spenser, Marlowe, Milton, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Tennyson, Forster, Plath, Hughes, Byatt and Zadie Smith. When established, the Cambridge course was considered daringly innovative and this ethos continues to shape teaching and research. Today’s course balances a strong grounding in the core of English literature with the chance to explore literature from around the world, other art forms, the English language, and related intellectual traditions. Teaching and resources You are taught by some of the most eminent writers and thinkers who, between them, teach and research almost every aspect of literature. We have no set approach beyond instilling the valuable skills of critical thinking, scholarly rigour and good writing. You have access to the vast resources of the University Library, and to the Faculty library, which houses around 80,000 books and provides computer facilities, skills training and welcoming features such as ‘Tea @ 3’. Our modern Faculty building also includes a drama studio and garden. Socially, many English students pursue interests in creative writing, journalism and the performing arts. What we’re looking for English students need an intellectual curiosity which drives them to try new things and ask probing questions. We look for reading beyond the syllabus, and for independent, well-informed critical thinking. Additional course costs There are no compulsory additional course costs for English. Full course details are available on the Faculty of English website and if you have any queries about resources/materials, please contact the Faculty (see fact file, right). After English Our students develop the skills of critical thinking, close reading and effective communication. Many draw directly on their subject and pursue careers in arts management or information management, or go into academia or teaching. Those same...



Start date

Cambridge (Cambridgeshire )
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1 Trumpington Street, CB2 1QA

Start date

Different dates availableEnrolment now open

About this course

Entry Requirements

Typical offers require

A Level: A*AA
IB: 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level

For other qualifications, see our main Entrance requirements pages.

Course requirements

Required by all Colleges: A Level/IB Higher Level English Literature (A Level/IB Higher Level English Literature and Language is/may be accepted as a substitute at some Colleges – see individual College websites for details)


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  • Good people, nice place, I enjoyed a lot, thanks for everything.

Course rating


Centre rating

Jukka Kekkonen

What I would highlight: Good people, nice place, I enjoyed a lot, thanks for everything.
What could be improved: I can't say nothing.
Would you recommend this course?: Yes
*All reviews collected by Emagister & iAgora have been verified


  • IT
  • English
  • Teaching
  • Writing
  • Critical Thinking
  • Skills and Training
  • Drama
  • IT Management
  • Management
  • University

Course programme

Course Outline English Course Outline

Teaching is provided through lectures, seminars, and small-group supervisions and classes.

You typically attend at least six hours of lectures or seminars, and two to three hours of individual, paired or small-group supervision each week. You normally write one or two short essays per week which you then discuss with your supervisor.

As well as unseen exams, there’s a compulsory dissertation and over the three years you can replace three more of the written exams with coursework. Prizes are awarded for the best work.

Years 1 and 2 (Part I) A broad range, a solid grounding

You’re introduced to the full range of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. There are few set texts, so that while you must study widely, you can also focus on topics of interest to you. Over the first two years, you take two compulsory papers:

  • English Literature and its Contexts 1300-1550
  • Shakespeare

And you choose four from the following:

  • Practical Criticism and Critical Practice
  • Early Medieval Literature and its Contexts 1066-1350
  • English Literature and its Contexts 1500-1700
  • English Literature and its Contexts 1660-1870
  • English Literature and its Contexts 1830-1945, or English Literature and its Contexts 1870-Present

One or two of the last three optional papers can be replaced with coursework (one dissertation and one portfolio of essays).

Subject to certain restrictions, you are also able to take papers from the Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; Classics; or Modern and Medieval Languages courses ('shared' papers). Further details of these papers are available on the Faculty website.

Year 3 (Part II) Deeper questions, new areas

You take two compulsory papers:

  • Practical Criticism
  • Tragedy, which ranges from ancient Greek drama to contemporary writing

You also write a compulsory dissertation (of 6,000-7,500 words) and either submit a second dissertation (of 6,000-7,500 words) and take one optional paper, or choose two optional papers. The optional papers change regularly – the following are available in 2015-16:

  • Chaucer
  • Medieval English Literature 1066–1500: The Medieval Supernatural
  • Shakespeare in Performance
  • Material Renaissance
  • Lyric
  • Modernism and the Short Story
  • English Moralists
  • American Literature
  • Postcolonial and Related Literatures
  • History and Theory of Literary Criticism
  • Literature and Visual Culture
  • Contemporary Writing in English
  • Early Modern Drama 1588-1642
  • Special Period of English Literature 1847-72

Subject to certain restrictions, it’s possible to take papers from the Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; Classics; or Modern and Medieval Languages courses. Further details of these papers are available on the Faculty website.

For further information about studying English at the University of Cambridge see the The Faculty of English website.


Price on request