Honour School of English Language and Literature

A

  • 1. The subjects of examination in the School of English Language and Literature shall be the English Language and Literature in English, together with such Special Options, texts or authors as may from time to time be prescribed by the Board of the Faculty of English Language and Literature.

  • 2. No candidate shall be admitted to examination in this school unless he or she either (a) has passed or been exempted from the First Public Examination or (b) has successfully completed the Foundation Course in English Language and Literature at the Department for Continuing Education.

  • 3. The Board of the Faculty shall by notice from time to time make regulations respecting the examination, and shall have power:

    • (1) To prescribe authors or portions of authors.

    • (2) To specify one or more related languages or dialects to be offered either as a necessary or as an optional part of the examination.

    • (3) To name periods of the history of English Literature and to fix their limits.

    • (4) To issue lists of Special Options in connection either with English Language or with Literature in English, or with both; and to prescribe authors and texts.

B

Candidates shall offer either Course I (a general course in English Language and Literature) or Course II (a special course in English Language and early English Literature). Each course shall consist of seven subjects, as prescribed below.

  • 1. Submitted work

    • (a) Subjects 1, 6, and 7 in Course I, and Subjects 4, 5, 6, and 7 in Course II, shall be examined by submission.

    • (b) Two typed copies of each extended essay or portfolio essay must be delivered to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, according to the deadlines specified in the regulations for each subject. It is additionally strongly recommended that the candidate keep a third copy of his or her submission. A certificate signed by the candidate to the effect that each extended essay or portfolio is the candidate's own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, and observed the specific requirements in (c) below, must be presented together with each submission.

    • (c) Every extended essay and portfolio must be the work of the candidate alone, and he or she may not discuss with any tutor either his or her choice of content or the method of handling it after the last date indicated in the regulations for each subject.

    • (d) Essays previously submitted for the Honour School of English Language and Literature may be re-submitted. No essay will be accepted if it has already been submitted, wholly or substantially, for a final honour school or other degree of this University, or degree of any other institution.

    • (e) Essays may be penalised that are deemed to be either too short or of excessive length in relation to the word limits specified in the regulations for each subject.

  • 2. Course I: General Course in English Language and Literature

    Each candidate for Course I shall offer all subjects from the list below. Candidates may not offer any period of English literature in which they have already satisfied Examiners in a First Public Examination in English. The subjects will be examined by written examinations of three hours’ duration, unless otherwise specified. Examinations will be held in the Trinity Term of the final year of the Honour School.

    Candidates are warned (i) that in the papers for Subjects 1-5 they must not answer questions on any topics of which they offer a special study for Subject 6 or Subject 7 and (ii) that they must avoid duplicating, in their answers to one paper, material that they have already used in answering another paper or in the extended essay under Subject 6 or Subject 7.

    • 1. Shakespeare (a portfolio submitted in year 3)

      The portfolio will consist of three essays of not fewer than 1,500 and not more than 2000 words each. Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies and titles do not count towards the limit. Candidates must address more than one work by Shakespeare in at least two of their portfolio essays.

      The three essays may be selected from tutorial work or can be written specially for the portfolio. The candidate may revise tutorial essays for portfolio submission in light of feedback from his or her tutor; however the tutor may not mark or discuss the revised version. If an essay is written specially for the portfolio it will not be read or marked by a tutor prior to submission.

      Every portfolio essay produced for the Shakespeare paper must be the work of the candidate alone, but he or she may discuss with his or her tutor the subjects and approach to the essays up until the Friday of the eighth week of the Michaelmas Term preceding the examination.

      The candidate must deliver two typed copies of each portfolio essay to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street by noon on [For students starting before MT 2017: Thursday of the fourth week] [For students starting from MT 2017: Monday of the second week] of the Hilary Term preceding the examination. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each essay is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with the submission (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

    • 2. Literature in English from 1350 – 1550

      Candidates must answer two essay questions and one commentary question, as indicated in the rubric for the examination. Passages for commentary will be taken from Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (ed. L.D. Benson). The paper will be shared with Course II candidates [see Course II, subject 3 below].

    • 3. Literature in English from 1550 to 1660, excluding the works of Shakespeare

      Candidates who have satisfied the Examiners in the First Public Examination in Classics and English may not offer this paper, and instead must offer Literature in English 650 – 1100 [see Course II, subject 1 below].

    • 4. Literature in English from 1660 to 1760

    • 5. Literature in English from 1760 to 1830

    • 6. Special Options (an extended essay of not fewer than 5,000 and not more than 6,000 words, except where specified in the published list of options) (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for Course I).

      All Special Options shall be centrally taught. A list of available Special Options shall be published to candidates by the end of the seventh week of the Hilary Term preceding the year of examination. Enrolment to Special Options will be administered by the English Faculty Office and will take place in the Trinity Term in the first year of the Honour School. Confirmation of the Special Option shall be provided to candidates by the end of the sixth week of the same Trinity Term.

      Examination for this paper shall be by an extended essay of not fewer than 5,000 and not more than 6,000 words, except where specified in the published list of options.  Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies and titles do not count towards the limit. The theme for the essay shall be formulated by the student in discussion with the option convenors. The candidate may not discuss with any tutor either his or her choice of content or the method of handling it after the conclusion of teaching for the Special Options paper on Friday of the[For students starting before MT 2017: fifth week] [For students starting from MT 2017: sixth week ]of the Michaelmas Term preceding the examination.

      Two typed copies of the extended essay must be delivered to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Thursday of the eighth week of Michaelmas Term. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each essay is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with the submission (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

    • 7. Dissertation (an extended essay of not fewer than 7,000 nor more than 8,000 words) (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

      Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies and titles do not count towards the limit. Candidates may offer an extended essay in any subject area of English Language or Literature in English.[For students starting from MT 2016:  Candidates may refer to writing in foreign languages so long as the focus of the essay is on English language or literature in English. Candidates may discuss translations so long as the focus is on their significance in relation to English language or as part of literature in English.] Candidates should show such historical and/or contextual knowledge as is necessary for the profitable study of the topic concerned.

      Candidates should submit to the Chair of Examiners, care of the English Faculty Office, by 5p.m. on Thursday of the eighth week of the Michaelmas Term preceding the examination, an abstract of no more than 100 words, describing their area of study. Confirmation of his or her abstract will be received from the Chair of Examiners by Thursday of the first week of the Hilary Term preceding the examination.

      The candidate may not discuss with any tutor either his or her choice of content or the method of handling it after Friday of the sixth week of the Hilary Term preceding the examination.

      Two typed copies of the essay shall be delivered to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Tuesday of the ninth week after the commencement of Hilary Full Term. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each essay is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with the submission (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

  • 3. Course II: Special Course in English Language and Early English Literature

    Each candidate shall offer Subjects 1 to 4 and Subjects 6 and 7 below, and may choose between Subject 5 (The Material Text) or Course I Subject 1 (Shakespeare). Candidates may not offer any period of English literature in which they have already satisfied Examiners in a First Public Examination in English. The papers will be written examinations of three hours’ duration, unless otherwise specified. Written examinations will be held in the Trinity Term of the final year of the Honour School.

    Candidates are warned (i) that in the papers for Subjects 1-5 they must not answer questions on any topics of which they offer a special study for Subject 6 or Subject 7 and (ii) that they must avoid duplicating, in their answers to one paper, material that they have already used in answering another paper or in the extended essay under Subject 6 or Subject 7.

    • 1. Literature in English 650-1100

      Candidates will be expected to show knowledge of a wide range of Old English literature and should show an awareness of the historical and cultural contexts of the period.

    • 2. Medieval English and Related Literatures 1066-1550

      A paper on a specified genre or theme. The paper shall be examined by a written examination of three hours’ duration, in which candidates shall write two essays of equal weighting. Across the paper as a whole, candidates must demonstrate (a) knowledge of literature written before 1350; and (b) knowledge of writing in insular or European languages other than English, which are expected to have been studied in translation.

      The genre or theme for the paper shall be published in the Handbook for the Honour School of English Language and Literature by noughth week of Michaelmas Full Term in the first year of study for the Honour School. The specified genre or theme may be subject to periodic review.

    • 3. Literature in English 1350 – 1550 (shared with Course I) [as specified for the Honour School of English Language and Literature, Course I, Subject 2].

    • 4. The History of the English Language to c.1800

      This paper will cover the development of the written language from the earliest records to c.1800, with particular attention to the emergence of a standard form. The paper will be examined on a portfolio of work, comprising two essays of no more than 2,500 words each. Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies and titles do not count towards the limit. The list of themes for these essays will be divided into Section A and B and will be published on Tuesday of the seventh week of the Trinity Term preceding the examination. Candidates may not consult tutors after the list of themes has been circulated.

      Candidates will be required to submit two pieces of work, each one of between 2,000-2,500 words. They will be required to submit one piece of work in response to discursive essay questions (Section A) and one piece of close commentary work in response to directed questions (Section B). The commentary questions in Section B will require students to find their own passages for analysis. Passages must not exceed 100 lines in total (i.e. 100 lines altogether, not separately). Copies of the texts or passages used in Section B must be included as an appendix to the portfolio.

      Two typed copies of the portfolio must be delivered to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Thursday of the ninth week of the same Trinity Term. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each essay is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with the submission (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

      Once submitted, the essays will then be held over until the following Trinity Term, when they will be examined at the same time as papers for Course II subjects 1 – 3 and 5 – 7.

    • 5. One of the following:

      • (a) The Material Text (a portfolio submitted in year three)

        Candidates will study Old and Middle English texts in their original manuscript context.

        The portfolio will consist of one commentary answer and one essay, of not fewer than 2,000 and not more than 2,500 words each. Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies and titles do not count towards the limit. Themes for the portfolio commentary and essay will be published on Monday of the second week of the Hilary Term preceding the examination. Following their publication, the candidate must not discuss his or her choice of themes with any tutor, nor the method of handling the themes. Every portfolio commentary and essay produced for the Material Text paper must be the work of the candidate alone, but he or she may discuss with his or her tutor the subjects and approach to the essays up until the stated publication date of the portfolio themes.

        The candidate must deliver two typed copies of the portfolio to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Thursday of the fourth week of the Hilary Term preceding the examination. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each essay is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with the submission (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

      • (b) Shakespeare (a portfolio submitted in year three) [as specified for the Honour School of English Language and Literature, Course I, Subject 1].

    • 6. Special Options

      For this paper Course II candidates may choose ONE of the following:

      • (a) Literature in English 1550 -1660 [as specified for the Honour School of English Language and Literature, Course I, Subject 3];

      • (b) any Special Option from the list published for Course I candidates [as specified for the Honour School of English Language and Literature, Course I, Subject 6];

      • (c) any Special Option from the list published for Course II candidates.

      Option (a) will be examined by an examination of three hours’ duration in Trinity Term of the final year.

      A list of available Special Options for (b) and (c) shall be published to Course II candidates by the end of the seventh week of the Hilary Term in the first year of the Honour School. Enrolment to Special Options will be administered by the English Faculty Office and will take place in the Trinity Term in the first year of the Honour School. Confirmation of the Special Option shall be provided to candidates by the end of the sixth week of the same Trinity Term.

      Examination for options (b) and (c) shall be by an extended essay of not fewer than 5,000 and not more than 6,000 words, except where specified in the published list of options. Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies and titles do not count towards the limit. The theme for the essay shall be formulated by the student in discussion with the option convenors. The candidate may not discuss with any tutor either his or her choice of content or the method of handling it after the conclusion of teaching for the Special Options paper on Friday of the[For students starting before MT 2017: fifth week] [For students starting from MT 2017: sixth week ]of the Michaelmas Term preceding the examination.

      Two typed copies of the extended essay must be delivered to the Chair of Examiners, Honour School of English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Thursday of the eighth week of Michaelmas Term preceding the examination. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each essay is the candidate’s own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with the submission (see the introductory regulations for ‘submitted work’ for the Honour School of English Language and Literature).

    • 7. Dissertation (an extended essay of not fewer than 7,000 nor more than 8,000 words) [as specified for the Honour School of English Language and Literature, Course I, Subject 7].