BA English

Quad 2

This programme aims to provide a historically-based overview of the literature of all periods, together with opportunities to specialise in particular periods of literature, in modern English language, and in non-period courses. Students are encouraged to develop their own interests and may choose from a wide variety of specialisms.

The first year of the English BA acts as a foundation for the two following years, covering major narrative texts from the Renaissance to the present, background texts from Homer to Freud and Barthes, Anglo-Saxon and medieval writings and the study of critical method.

In the second and third years you will study compulsory courses on Chaucer and Shakespeare, and will choose six further courses from a wide range of options. American Literature and literature in English from other countries outside Europe feature strongly on several courses and attention is paid to the study of film.

First Year

The first-year course consists of four components which taken together constitute a foundation for the further study of English Literature:

Single honours students follow all these courses, while Modern Language Plus students follow the Narrative Texts course and either Criticism and Theory or Introduction to Medieval Language and Literature.

Second and Third Years

The following courses run yearly:

Chaucer is compulsory in the second year, and Shakespeare in the third.

Students should also take Critical Commentary and Analysis unless they are sitting three or more medieval options: in these cases, Critical Commentary is an optional paper.

Students then select five (or six, if they have not taken Critical Commentary and Analysis) further courses across the two years of study.

Please note that if a course is unavailable in second year, students can take that course in their final year instead. Students will therefore be able to take any of these courses at some point in their degree, regardless of their year of availability.

The following courses are running in 2015-16:

The following courses ran in 2014-15 will run again in 2016-17:

The following course will be introduced in 2017-18:

  • The Seventeenth Century

There are also opportunities to take the following papers from outside the Department: Medieval French, Early Italian, Medieval German (all SELCS) and Early Medieval Archaeology of Britain (Archaeology).