Course details

Number of students per year
Typical offer
A*AA at A-level; 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level for the IB.
Essential subjects
English Literature
Useful subjects
English Language

At Homerton

Homerton has welcomed students taking single honours English since 2002, and makes offers to between 10 and 12 students for the subject each year. While the majority are British and whose first language is English, we have also had numerous very successful overseas students. Offer-holders come from a broad range of social and educational backgrounds, including an exceptionally high proportion of high-achieving state-educated students. At the time of writing, offer-holders have included students of colour every year English has been taught here, and we are incredibly proud of the diversity of our student body.

At Cambridge

English at Cambridge enables you to explore literary output in English since 1300, with options in the final year to focus on more specialised areas of literary study, including theory, post-colonial, gender, and specific historical periods. There is ample chance for researching examinable coursework. The course is unique for its concentration on Practical Criticism - the close and detailed analysis of texts - and for its module on Tragedy in the third year.

Supervisions, hour-long weekly meetings with a supervisor and between one and four students, are arranged by the Director of Studies. The supervisor is very often a Fellow in English at Homerton College, although you will also see experts from other colleges for some papers. You will normally write a short but detailed essay on a different topic each week.

Seminars, groups of 10 to 15 students, are also offered for many papers, particularly at Part II. While led by a Faculty member, with set reading, discussions are relatively informal, and your contribution is encouraged.

Lectures are arranged centrally by the Faculty. Lecture courses take the form of four to eight lectures, in consecutive weeks of full term, each lasting about fifty minutes, and relating to the supervision courses run that term. Some are on general topics; others are on particular authors or specific texts.

What We Look For

We are looking for students who have the academic ability and potential to succeed on the course, as well as the necessary interest in and motivation for the subject.

In order to explore English Literature in more detail we would recommend reading widely, including across different historical periods. We would also encourage prospective students to develop their close reading skills through engaging with practical criticism. Offer holders for English at Homerton will be provided with a list of the set texts for the first year so that they can start reading these before starting their course.

You can also explore your chosen subject through the Homerton Resources page.

How To Apply

Admissions Assessment: Applicants for English will take a College-registered written assessment if  shortlisted for interview. Further information about the format and content for this assessment are available under 'Entry Requirements' on  this page.

Written Work: Submit one or two, preferably marked, essays that you would be happy to discuss further in the interviews, if asked. They should be as recent as possible, to showcase your abilities more readily, but should not be specially written for this purpose.

Other Teaching Staff

At different times over the years English students from Homerton have been taught by the majority of colleagues listed as members of the Faculty of English, especially in their third year when specialist papers are selected. Supervisors are approached for their expertise as it relates to a student’s interests, to find the best match for teaching. A full list of English Faculty staff can be found here.