The Oxford English Faculty is the largest English department in Britain. All Oxford colleges have at least two tutors in English who are responsible for tutorial teaching in their own college. Many also give lectures to all students in the English Faculty. You therefore have the opportunity to learn from a wide range of specialist teachers.
Library provision for English at Oxford is exceptionally good. All students have access to the Bodleian Library, the English Faculty Library, other faculty libraries and their own college libraries. The English Faculty has long pioneered the use of electronic resources in teaching, and has a wide range of resources and facilities. The faculty building has its own computer room and all colleges have computing facilities for undergraduates to use.
In your first year you 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, you will be doing tutorial work on early medieval literature, Victorian literature and modern literature up to the present day.
In your second and third years you will extend your 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 your third year. You will also produce a portfolio of work on Shakespeare; an essay relating to a Special options paper with topics based on faculty research expertise; and an 8,000-word dissertation on a subject of your choice. Submitted work therefore constitutes almost half of your final assessment.
Alternatively, in the second and third years, you can choose to follow our 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. You will also take a Special options paper and submit a dissertation on a topic of your choice. For more information on this course please visit ox.ac.uk/ugenglish.
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There are so many great things to say about Oxford, from its incredibly generous bursaries, to the world-renowned tutorial system, to the plethora of libraries. The city is picturesque and beautiful, whether it is snowy or sunny weather, and full of discounts for students eager for a cheap lunch or a good bargain. The collegiate system is an intimate, personalised learning experience. Best thought of as dorms, colleges are where you eat, sleep and socialise! They all have their own balls and quirks, which are great fun. It is a practically unrivaled life and educational experience.
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