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Cambridge or Oxford: English Literature

I'm interested in applying for Cambridge or Oxford an on an academic level (through reading the course spec etc.) both are very similar and there are interesting aspects for both
Are there any benefits from each one on other factors other than academics? My predicted grades are English Lit A* History A* RS A* Drama A.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm interested in applying for Cambridge or Oxford an on an academic level (through reading the course spec etc.) both are very similar and there are interesting aspects for both
Are there any benefits from each one on other factors other than academics? My predicted grades are English Lit A* History A* RS A* Drama A.


Oxford and Cambridge are very similar in their course styles, but I think it all comes down to personal preference.

I think it depends on the kind of area you want to live in, as Cambridge is much smaller and cosier as a town, whilst Oxford is much bigger and bustling as a city. I've heard the weather can be a bit different for each, with one having more rain etc. But on academics, see how they're tested during the course. Maybe Cambridge does more regular exams at the end of each year, or it does all of it in the 3rd year, so this is a key factor as well.

And if you want to be closer to family, that might help you choose a University. Both are different, but similar in ways, so maybe explore some blogs outlining the differences and try visiting both to get a feel if you haven't already. Hope this helps ☺️
What specific periods/areas of literature are you interested in?

Oxford requires you do both Old and Middle English from first year, and allows you to specialist in these and English philology and medieval literature from second year specifically (although Cambridge has a different course which allows you to focus on medieval England, ASNAC). Cambridge only requires Middle English as a compulsory element and only from second year. So if you don't want to do that then Cambridge may be preferable! Otherwise there are some differences in the kinds of options available for second/final year I believe at each, and Cambridge also allows you to "borrow" papers from other triposes I believe. I have heard Cambridge emphasises practical criticism a lot as well, for whatever it's worth?

Also they're examined very differently - at Oxford after your first year exams, you don't have any until the end of third year and these along with the dissertation and a portfolio paper are what your entire degree classification is based on. Cambridge classes each part of the tripos separately and you take exams at the end of each year as I understand it. So it's a bit less "everything comes down to a few weeks at the end of your degree".

I wouldn't say they're that similar as a result - while there are similarities there are some significant differences :smile:
(edited 2 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm interested in applying for Cambridge or Oxford an on an academic level (through reading the course spec etc.) both are very similar and there are interesting aspects for both
Are there any benefits from each one on other factors other than academics? My predicted grades are English Lit A* History A* RS A* Drama A.
Best thing to do is visit, if you can. I went to Oxford but really didn't know which of Ox or Camb I'd apply to until having visited both.

They're both brilliant universities at which students have a great time. After visiting, Oxford felt like the right choice for me, but it might be - validly - different for you.

If you don't have the opportunity to visit / as well as visiting, it could be useful to take a look at the respective course details and see which one grabs you most.

Good luck!
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm interested in applying for Cambridge or Oxford an on an academic level (through reading the course spec etc.) both are very similar and there are interesting aspects for both
Are there any benefits from each one on other factors other than academics? My predicted grades are English Lit A* History A* RS A* Drama A.
What are your GCSE scores.Echo what others say go to open days in June and Sept and then decide.Look at entrance tests too.
Reply 5
Original post by Scotney
What are your GCSE scores.Echo what others say go to open days in June and Sept and then decide.Look at entrance tests too.
Eng Lit 9
Eng Lan 9
History 9
Drama 9
Maths 8
RS 8
Physics 8
Biology 7
Chemistry 7
Chinese 7
Reply 6
Original post by Anonymous #1
Eng Lit 9
Eng Lan 9
History 9
Drama 9
Maths 8
RS 8
Physics 8
Biology 7
Chemistry 7
Chinese 7
How did your gcse's rank in your school cohort?
Reply 7
Original post by Scotney
How did your gcse's rank in your school cohort?
Top 15% ish give or take

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