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This course will bring the great authors and works to life, from Anglo-Saxon times to the present, on an imaginatively taught course that will prepare you for a range of careers.
Studying a diverse range of texts, genres and movements from English literary history, you’ll explore the way in which forms and traditions have evolved, along with the practical and theoretical aspects of writing, reading and criticism.
The course examines how writers have written profoundly about, and been influenced by, their experiences, societies and times, and how their works have contributed to human culture and understanding.
We draw on aspects of history, philosophy, linguistics, theology and cultural studies – and we’ll help you develop skills that are particularly attractive to employers. These skills include:
- communication skills: developed through assessments (essays, portfolios, journals) and seminar presentations and discussions.
- critical and analytical skills: gained from close reading of critical and literary texts, and by applying literary and critical theories to a wide range of texts.
- problem-solving skills: you’ll learn to respond with agility and imagination to critical problems.
- research skills: you’ll work with a broad range of print and electronic learning resources and learn how to sift through, interpret, and respond to difficult material.
- planning and development: you’ll develop and hone your skills preparing for seminars, organising your reading, and meeting assignment deadlines.
- interpersonal skills: you’ll work collectively and collaboratively in seminars and group presentations.
Our students run their own Literature Society and organise guest lectures, workshops and cultural or social events. You can also join us on theatre trips and other ‘away days’ such as the popular tour of Elizabethan and Victorian London.
Our graduates go on to careers in teaching, journalism, TV and radio, the music industry, arts administration, gallery work, fundraising, HR, publishing, library management, marketing and PR, public services, tourism and IT.
We work with many cultural organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and the John Clare Trust. There’ll be work experience and special placement opportunities with some of these, as well as the chance to network with future employers.
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
- Introduction to English Literature 1
- Introduction to English Literature 2
Introduction to Literary Criticism
- Western Civilisation
Year two, core modules
- Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama
The Victorian Experience: Texts and Contexts
- American Literature
News and Feature Writing
Year three, core modules
- Major Project
- After the Deluge: Writing, Film, Culture and Society Since 1945
Modern Science Fiction
- Women’s Writing, Gender and Sexuality
Working in English and Media
We’ll assess your progress through essays, exams, professional development portfolios, individual and group projects, and your dissertation.
Where you’ll study
In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.