What is English?
The study of English Literature will see you read, analyse and think critically and creatively towards different texts including works of poetry, prose, drama and even non-fiction.
Within the study of English Literature, you may concentrate on a particular period (e.g. the Romantics; twentieth-century modernism), allowing you to think about how different works written about the same time relate to one another, and to larger movements in the thought and sensibility of the culture at that time. Other elements may focus on particular modes of writing (e.g. the novel; or tragedy; or satire; or science fiction) rather than particular periods. Most courses will offer ample opportunities to work on English literature written outside the British Isles.
Furthermore, the study of English encourages close attention to how language works: tone, imagery, syntax, rhythm, allusion and so on.
What can I do with an English degree?
Whilst many may work in teaching, publishing, marketing, the media and the arts, an English degree provides a good springboard for most graduate-level careers. Many English graduates go on to work, for example, in business and finance, in the public sector, in senior-level administration, or in the law.
What might I need to study English?
Almost all universities will be looking for you to have English Literature at A Level or equivalent. Some may accept English Literature & Language as a substitute for this. Other essay based subjects will be complimentary but not compulsory.
Resources within this subject
Check out written, audio, video resources. CAMbassadors comments and related links.
Discover more subjects
English at Cambridge
Undergraduate students and staff talk about studying English at the University of Cambridge.
English at Cambridge
Find out more about studying English at Cambridge.
English on UCAS
Discover English courses available at other universities.
Cambridge Virtual Classroom
The Faculty of English at Cambridge has its very own virtual classroom with classes on practical criticism and a very useful glossary of literary terms.
Cambridge Literature Timelines
The Cambridge Literature Timelines are a resource aimed at developing contextual knowledge. They provide a visualisation of the historical, social, political and literary events surrounding the literature studied on the Cambridge course.
The Poetry Society
Website promoting the recognition and appreciation of poetry, including publications, projects and competitions.
A large depository of digitised archival and collection items with expert commentary.