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English Special

I decided I wanted to read English at Oxford, one because I enjoyed it but two because I felt I had the more to offer outside of the curriculum than my other subjects. My teachers told me I ought to apply for Politics or History, as I'd achieved full marks in my exams but I knew my knowledge was too limited to the classroom, so stuck to my gut feeling and applied for English.

So, what are the positives of English at Oxford?

  • Oxford has the most amazing libraries containing every book you could ever want. Every student gets a Bod card (library card) giving them access to 12 million books!

  • The Oxford English Faculty is the largest English department in Britain.

  • The tutors are experts in the field, you often spot your tutors' texts on your reading lists.

  • You are following in the footsteps of some pretty amazing literary predecessors; C.S Lewis, Tolkien and Lewis Carroll to name just a few.

  • Students are encouraged to come up with original ideas, not just rely on existing opinions.

  • There are lectures on all the time, on niche topics with highly acclaimed academics.

  • The course is all about reading, so if that's what you love to do, you'll be immersed in it.

  • You get some choice over areas to study for coursework.

  • You cover literature from Beowulf to the Moderns.

  • In second year you can choose to take Course 1 spanning 1350-1830 or Course 2 650-1800.

What are the negatives?

  • It can at times feel like a race. There are so many books to read that it can become difficult to properly enjoy them all.

  • The work load is intense, with long reading lists, multiple essays and several tutorials each week.

  • There is so much reading that it can become difficult to fit in lectures which seems kind of crazy!

Top Tip

  • Check out the Oxford website for more info on English:

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