St Edmund’s has each year a small but vigorous group of people reading English as mature undergraduates or as affiliated students. Their ages usually range from early twenties to mid thirties, but people who are older than this are welcomed in the University, College and Faculty; they not only derive great benefit from reading English but often have made a considerable mark in the College and Faculty. Coming as they do from a wide variety of backgrounds, our students bring many varied skills to the College, and to their subject. The degree results of St Edmund’s students in English have regularly been excellent, and have included more than the college’s statistically fair share of Firsts.
The English Tripos is divided into a two–year Part One (1A/1B), and a one–year Part Two programme. For all students, the first year of Part One involves work on practical criticism (detailed readings of previously unseen literary texts) and in-depth work on Shakespeare, culminating in a portfolio of essays that are assessed. In the second year, all students undertake work on literature and its contexts from 1300 to 1550 and a further three ‘period’ papers, one of which can be replaced by a dissertation. In the third year, students take Part II of the Tripos. There are three compulsory elements: practical criticism, a term’s work on tragedy (ranging from ancient Greek drama to contemporary writing) and a dissertation. Beyond that, students pursue a combination of optional papers and/or an additional dissertation.
There is further information about the course on the University and Faculty webpages.
Applications from mature students taking A levels or Access courses are welcome. You must hold, or be working towards, A Level (or equivalent) in English Literature, and a facility with languages would be beneficial for students taking Part One of the Tripos. Entry requirements can be found here. You will be asked to submit 2 pieces of written work as part of your application.
All applicants for the English Tripos at St Edmund’s will be required to take a 60 minute admissions test a week or so before your interview. Further information about this will be provided. You will be registered for the assessment by us if you are invited to interview; candidates do not need to register themselves.
Please note that your performance in the assessment at interview will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.