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If they are any current/recently graduated students out there I'm looking for some 'real' insight into what the course is like
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Report 1 year ago
The course doesn't change regardless of which college you attend. The teaching, however, does, and that can have a big effect on what you actually end up studying. For example, you'll have to sit a paper in medieval literature in your first year regardless of which college you go to. You'll have to do a few core texts for this paper, too. But beyond that, your supervisor(s) (which are sorted out by your college) tend to shape what you read - and thus, what you end up writing about in the exam. Different supervisors have different interests and different ideas about what is good (in terms of its literary quality or in terms of its suitability for the exam, which often aren't the same thing) to read, so in this way you can end up studying pretty wildly different things depending on which college you go to. Make sense?

In general, Emma is amongst the top colleges at Cambridge for English. It admits a solid cohort and has some great teaching fellows, and recently has been seeing some results which put it on par with Pembroke, which is traditionally one of the strongest colleges for English. It's a good option!

As for what the course is like more generically, here:

Part I lasts for your first two years. The following is mandatory:
- Medieval literature
- Renaissance literature
- Shakespeare
- Practical Criticism I

There are also a couple of "optional" papers. They're optional in the loose sense that you can choose which ones you want to do, but you must do two of them. You can choose whether or not to sit them as exams, or convert them to coursework (which most people choose to do). If you convert them, they turn into 1x 5000 word dissertation, and 1x essay portfolio (composed of 3x 2000 word essays).

Part II lasts for your final year. The following is mandatory:
- Tragedy (Greek, Shakespearean, "Modern"/Misc)
- Practical Criticism II
- Part II dissertation (7500 words, on anything)

There are also optional papers, which you must select two of. These options change every year.

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