Course Outline: English

First year students study three periods of English Literature (Medieval, Victorian and Modern Literature), in addition to an introductory course studying Language and Literature. The latter provides skills that students can draw on for the remainder of their studies.

The second and third year course covers English Literature from 1350 to 1830. There is one compulsory author paper, on Shakespeare (for which you submit an essay portfolio, rather than sitting an examination). In addition to these, students can choose from a lengthy list of topics for your Special Options paper in the third year, including film, American literature, life writing, and various language and culture topics. In the third year students also write a dissertation, which can be on any literary or language topic. 

Alternatively, in the second and third years, students can choose to follow a specialist course in Medieval Language and Literature (known as Course II). The subjects taught cover the literatures of England from 650 to 1550, along with textual criticism (exploring aspects of manuscript culture) and the history of the English language up to c. 1800. Optional papers for this course might include Old Norse, Old French, Shakespeare and Literature in English from 1550 - 1660. As with the other second and third year students, those following Course II write a dissertation on a subject area of their choice.

You can find further details about the course structure at http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/prospective-undergraduates/course-summary