The Cambridge English Tripos aims to stimulate in its students innovative thinking and critical habits of mind; to develop the construct ability to an argument, both verbal and written; to foster an unusual sensitivity to language; to provide a wide knowledge of the development of English literature which will help students to understand how writers work within and against literary traditions. Over the centuries, many writers have studied in Cambridge: Spenser, Marlowe, Milton, Wordsworth,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.
|1st & 2nd year|
|COURSE There are two compulsory papers:
You also take four optional paper, chosen from:
|Courses There are 2 compulsory papers:
You also take two optional paper, chosen from:
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 from above.
|Courses Course I:
*Special Options. Students will choose one topic from a list of options, which will alter on an annual basis. Choices might include:
Course II students will also have the opportunity to choose option papers from any of the available Course I papers.
‘Part I’ of the course occupies the first two years and introduces you to a broad range of texts. This is divided into four periods and you study Shakespeare as fifth topic.
This structure ensures that you try many things – from medieval ‘dream poems’ to postmodern fantasy, say – but still become acquainted with the major and formative authors.These papers have few set texts, so as long as you range widely across periods, you can focus on topics of particular interest within each period under the guidance of Cambridge’s falculty’s distinctive teaching system.The emphasis falls on literature written in the British Isles, but some inclusion of world literatures written in English is possible. Thus, Part I offers a valuable overview of the core knowledge of the subject and room to think for yourself.
Having acquired the overview, new skills and comparative perspectives provided by Part I, you take Part II in your third year: an exciting, adventurous and intense year of study.
Part II has three compulsory components which exercise your new skills and knowledge. Beyond the dissertation and those two intellectually freewheeling papers, you then have a free choice among various optional examinations, of which you either take two, or you take just one but write a further dissertation.The optional subjects alter slightly year to year,to reflect developments in the subject; but there is always a rich mix.Your one or two dissertations can address any writing from the British Isles or in English from anywhere in the world.
You’re taught by some of the finest academics, teachers and visiting Fellows who, between them, teach and research almost every aspect of literature.There is no set approach beyond instilling the valuable skills of critical thinking, scholarly rigour and good writing.The students have access to the university Library and the Faculty library, which houses around 80,000 books.Many English students pursue interests in creative writing, journalism and the performing arts.