University of Cambridge logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: n/a
  • Foreign: $ 25.1k / 1 year
  • Deadline:
  • 15 10월 2017
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 137pts.
  • Duration:
  • 3 years

    Photos of university

    If you have a passion for literature, we have a challenging course that will inspire you in your reading, and develop your critical and imaginative abilities.

    English at Cambridge

    Over the centuries, many writers have studied in Cambridge: Spenser, Marlowe, Milton, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Tennyson, Forster, Plath, Hughes, Byatt and Zadie Smith. When established, the Cambridge course was considered daringly innovative and this ethos continues to shape teaching and research.

    Today’s course balances a strong grounding in the core of English literature with the chance to explore literature from around the world, other art forms, the English language, and related intellectual traditions.

    Teaching and resources

    You are taught by some of the most eminent writers and thinkers who, between them, teach and research almost every aspect of literature. We have no set approach beyond instilling the valuable skills of critical thinking, scholarly rigour and good writing.

    You have access to the vast resources of the University Library, and to the Faculty library, which houses around 80,000 books and provides computer facilities, skills training and welcoming features such as ‘Tea @ 3’. Our modern Faculty building also includes a drama studio and garden.

    Socially, many English students pursue interests in creative writing, journalism and the performing arts.

    What we’re looking for

    English students need an intellectual curiosity which drives them to try new things and ask probing questions. We look for reading beyond the syllabus, and for independent, well-informed critical thinking.

    After English

    Our students develop the skills of critical thinking, close reading and effective communication. Many draw directly on their subject and pursue careers in arts management or information management, or go into academia or teaching.

    Those same skills are valued by employers in many other professions too, such as the Law, the Civil Service, industry, accountancy and social work. And, unsurprisingly, many graduates go on to work in the media, theatre and film – such as Jeremy Paxman, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry and Sam Mendes – or become poets, novelists and playwrights.

    Teaching is provided through lectures, seminars, and small-group supervisions and classes.

    You typically attend at least six hours of lectures or seminars, and two to three hours of individual, paired or small-group supervision each week. You normally write one or two short essays per week which you then discuss with your supervisor.

    As well as unseen exams, there’s a compulsory dissertation and over the three years, you can replace three more of the written exams with coursework. Prizes are awarded for the best work.

    Years 1 and 2 (Part I)

    You’re introduced to the full range of English literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. There are few set texts so that while you must study widely, you can also focus on topics of interest to you. Over the first two years, you take two compulsory papers:

    • English Literature and its Contexts 1300-1550
    • Shakespeare

    And you choose four from the following:

    • Practical Criticism and Critical Practice
    • Early Medieval Literature and its Contexts 1066-1350
    • English Literature and its Contexts 1500-1700
    • English Literature and its Contexts 1660-1870
    • English Literature and its Contexts 1830-1945, or English Literature and its Contexts 1870-Present

    One or two of the last three optional papers can be replaced with coursework (one dissertation and one portfolio of essays).

    Subject to certain restrictions, you are also able to take papers from the Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; Classics; or Modern and Medieval Languages courses ('shared' papers).

    Year 3 (Part II)

    You take two compulsory papers:

    • Practical Criticism
    • Tragedy, which ranges from ancient Greek drama to contemporary writing

    You also write a compulsory dissertation (of 6,000-7,500 words) and either submit a second dissertation (of 6,000-7,500 words) and take one optional paper, or choose two optional papers. The optional papers change regularly – the following are available in 2016-17:

    • Chaucer
    • Medieval English Literature 1066–1500: The Medieval Supernatural
    • Material Renaissance
    • Lyric
    • Modernism and the Short Story
    • English Moralists
    • American Literature
    • Postcolonial and Related Literatures
    • History and Theory of Literary Criticism
    • Literature and Visual Culture
    • Contemporary Writing in English
    • Early Modern Drama 1588-1642
    • Special Period of English Literature 1847-72

    Subject to certain restrictions, it’s possible to take papers from the Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic; Classics; or Modern and Medieval Languages courses. 

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    • All applicants to the University of Cambridge must submit an application to UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) by the relevant deadline.
    • The Attestat o (polnom) Srednem Obshchem Obrazovanii (Certificate of Secondary Education) is not considered to be suitable preparation for a competitive application to the University of Cambridge. We strongly recommend that you undertake further study if you wish to apply for an undergraduate degree. Examples of the qualifications that would be considered suitable for admission to Cambridge are A Levels, the International Baccalaureate (IB), five or more Advanced Placement (AP) courses, or possibly the first year of an undergraduate degree at a university outside the UK. We recommend that you contact the College that you wish to apply to directly for further advice and guidance.
    • IELTS – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element.
    • Cambridge English: Advanced – grade A or B.
    • Cambridge English: Proficiency – grade A, B or C.

    Admission assessment

    All applicants are required to take the English Literature Admission Test (ELAT) pre-interview for English at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).

    Assessment format

    • ELAT (90 minutes)

    You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment – the registration deadline is Sunday 15 October 2017. Your assessment centre must register you for the pre-interview assessment; you’re not able to register yourself. See the written assessments page for information about assessment centres and registration.

    The ELAT will be taken on 2 November 2017. It will be a 90 minute assessment. You will be given six passages of poetry, prose or drama, from which you choose two or three to compare in an essay. Please check the Admissions Testing Service website for scheduled start times.

    Please note that your performance in the pre-interview assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

    In addition to the pre-interview assessment, applicants who are invited to interview are required to take a College-set written assessment at interview at the following Colleges (see individual College websites for details): Churchill, St John's, Trinity

    Mature students (aged 21 or over) applying to one of the mature Colleges should refer to the relevant information about pre-interview assessments on the written assessments page.

    • Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust

    Your living expenses may be higher than for a Home student (eg if you stay in Cambridge/the UK during vacations). The minimum resources needed in Cambridge for the year (excluding tuition and College fees) are estimated to be approximately £10,080 in 2017-18 and £10,310 in 2018-19, depending on lifestyle (you should allow for increases in future years).

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