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History and English are fascinating subjects in their own right, but studying them together is excellent training for analysing and expressing complex ideas generally. In other words, you’ll be developing abilities that will be useful in a vast range of careers and which employers especially value.
First of all, you’ll develop an overview of the subject areas including Introduction to English Literature and Western Civilisation. You’ll then progress to more specialised study, on modules such as Shakespeare and his Contemporaries, Romantic and Victorian Literature and Culture, Modernist Writing, Film and Art, and History Today – before specialising further and studying English, history or a combined subject in-depth for your dissertation.
This course is as much about knowledge as it is about developing important advanced skills. The course has prided itself on its supportive ethos that recognises the challenges inherent in studying two subjects simultaneously and that helps you become an independent, critically alert, competent thinker, writer and speaker.
You will learn primarily through a combination of lectures, seminars and group work. In order to help you get the best from your studies, you will attend Study Skills classes in year one to assist in developing your academic skills and you are also allocated an academic tutor to give more specific help where required. You are also supported through assignment workshops and personal development plans which help you reflect on your studies and plan for future progress.
As a History and English student, you will be able to present independent opinions in arguments, support them effectively by relevant evidence and learn to organise and express these well in writing. Your vocabulary will be sophisticated and your thoughts well-judged. You will have shown the ability to plan and carry out individual and group presentations to deadlines and to handle word-processing and presentation packages. Your IT skills will further involve the ability to extract information from and effectively evaluate electronic resources such as academic online databases, blogs, or wikis. Your research skills will involve the ability to collect and select judiciously from a wide range of written material and evaluate its significance.
A substantial proportion of our graduates have gone on to postgraduate study. Graduates seeking a career in primary and secondary school teaching have very quickly been offered full-time jobs with on-the-job teacher training in either English or History or both subjects. Many of our graduates are now in leadership positions in their respective schools, colleges or local authorities. Others have progressed from teaching into education management and special needs support. Graduates also seek careers in journalism, publishing, marketing and PR, in public administration, social work, the caring professions, and in library or museum work.
Our graduates have gone on to postgraduate study, and many careers including teaching and lecturing, social work, the caring professions, journalism, business and management, and library or museum work.
Modules & Assessment
Year one, core modules
- Crowns and Peoples (Tudor period)
- Introduction to English Literature 1
Introduction to Literary Criticism
- Western Civilisation
Year two, core modules
- Europe in the Nineteenth Century
History Today: Methods and Approaches
- Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
The United States in the 20th Century
Year three, core modules
History Special Subject
- Women’s Writing, Gender and Sexuality
We’ll assess your progress mostly from your coursework (including essays, reviews and your major project), but there’ll be some oral and written exams.
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.