English Language and Literature Program By University of Oxford |Top Universities

English Language and Literature

English Language and Literature

University of Oxford

Wellington Square, Oxford, GB, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • QS World University Rankings
  • Degree BA
  • Study Level Bachelors
  • Duration 36 months

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The English Language and Literature course focuses on the study of writing in English from its origins in Anglo-Saxon England to the literature of the 20th and early 21st centuries. As well as British literature, students can study works written in English from other parts of the world. Studying literature at Oxford involves the development of sophisticated reading skills and of an ability to place literary texts in their wider intellectual and historical contexts. It also requires students to consider the critical processes by which they analyse and judge, to learn about literary form and technique, and to study the development of the English language. In the first year, students will be introduced to the conceptual and technical tools used in the study of language and literature, and to a wide range of different critical assumptions and approaches. At the same time, tutorial work will commence on early medieval literature, Victorian literature and modern literature up to the present day. In the second and third years, students will extend their study of English literary history in four more period papers ranging from late medieval literature to the Romantic age. These papers are assessed by three-hour written examinations at the end of the third year. Students will also produce a portfolio of work on Shakespeare; an essay (or occasionally an examination) relating to a Special options paper with topics based on faculty research expertise; and an 8,000-word dissertation on a subject of choice. Submitted work will constitute almost half of the final assessment for most students. Alternatively, in the second and third years, students can choose to follow their specialist course in Medieval Literature and Language, whose papers cover literature in English from 650–1550 along with the history of the English language up to 1800, with a further paper either on Shakespeare or on manuscript and print culture. Students will also take a Special options paper and submit a dissertation on a topic of their choice.