A female student sits on a couch consulting notes during a tutorial.
At Trinity I was taught by world-leading specialists.


We are keen to receive applications from students who enjoy reading widely and thoughtfully, and can demonstrate an ability to engage critically with literature. The Oxford course involves reading extensively across all periods and genres of English literature, and you must be willing and eager to do so for your studies.

English Freshers stand in Trinity's front quad.
Our third-year English students
Two male students and one female student sit talking outside the English Faculty.

Course Details

The syllabus is the same at every College. The course covers literature written in English from the earliest times right up until the present day (including American and World literatures in English). Students may also choose to focus on earlier English and other medieval European languages and literatures (including Old Norse, Medieval Welsh, Medieval French and other options). More information about the academic content of the course is given on the Faculty’s website. By the final year, our students have typically developed a very wide range of specialist interests, with recent examples of dissertation topics including medieval literary theory, poetry and ecphrasis, ecopolitics and the novel, and the literature of 9/11.

The English course is heavily focussed on personal study, which encourages us to develop our own interests and writing style from an early stage.
The front of the Bodleian Library, lit up with light projections reading "books fire up your imagination."

Teaching Structure

The course is taught through a combination of tutorials and classes at Trinity, with lectures held in the English Faculty for the whole year-group across the University. Tutorials, for which you will write an essay on a topic selected in consultation with your tutor, offer you ample opportunity to explore your own interests in an independent way. They are normally held in pairs and each week you will discuss your written work and your ideas with your peer(s) and tutor. College classes allow you to make or respond to oral presentations in a scholarly way, and to engage in group discussions led by a tutor. College tutors play a key role across the three years of your course, and you may also work with specialists from other colleges. The English Faculty organises lectures and seminars where you will be studying alongside students from across the University.

An English lecture as viewed from the back, with a projection screen in front.
Trinity English and its Joint Schools (Classics and English, English and Modern Languages) attract energetic and ambitious students. In recent years, Trinity English undergraduates have regularly been placed in the highest-performing bracket of students (i.e. in the top ten of c. 230) across the University.
A close-up of bicycles parked in Trinity college.
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Trinity and the Faculty of English

Career Prospects

Graduates in English are valued for their ability to write with clarity and cogency, argue persuasively, and read, analyse, and present information quickly and clearly. Recent Trinity graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of fields including teaching, journalism, government, arts and architecture, film and theatre, the heritage/ museum sector, finance, and the law. Many also proceed to further study and research in English and related fields. Several former Trinity undergraduates are now established academics at leading universities in the UK and the US, or are currently engaged in cutting-edge doctoral and post-doctoral work.