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English Language and Literature is a three-year undergraduate course. Oxford English covers the entire range of literature from the 8th century to the present time, and enables specialised work in a very wide range of subjects including, for example, Old and Middle English, Shakespeare, the English language, film studies, manuscript studies, literature and gender, post-colonial and queer studies, and global writing in English. The course offers you the challenge and opportunity to approach literature in a historically and theoretically informed way; you will learn to read texts in analytic detail, and to write cogently and lucidly while constructing a convincing argument.
Trinity also welcomes applications to study English for the following combined undergraduate degrees:
We also welcome applications for Masters courses and the DPhil in English. Our graduate students are a key part of our English community at Trinity, and over the years a number have been appointed to academic posts.
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.
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 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.
Trinity is able to offer financial support to students undertaking looking to undertake travel or research that relates to their degree work. It is therefore possible to apply for vacation travel grants if, for example, you want to go and look at a particular place, or work of art, or set of documents that will contribute to your studies.
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.