Preliminary Examination in History and English

A

  • 1. The Preliminary Examination in History and English shall be under the joint supervision of the Boards of the Faculties of History and English Language and Literature and shall consist of such subjects as they shall jointly by regulation prescribe.

  • 2. The Chairs of the Examiners for the Preliminary Examination in History and of the Examiners for the Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature shall consult together and designate such of their number as may be required for the examination for the Preliminary Examination in History and English, whereupon the number of examiners shall be deemed to be complete.

  • [For students starting from MT 2017: 3. Lists of the papers available in this examination will be published in the fourth week of the Hilary Term prior to candidates beginning their studies for the examination.]

B

Each candidate shall offer four papers as set out below. The papers will be of three hours' duration, except where otherwise specified. The Examiners shall publish the names of candidates who have satisfied them in the whole of the examination, or in papers 1 and 2 only, or in papers 3 and 4 only.

  • [For students starting before MT 2017: 1. The History of the British Isles (any one of the periods specified for the Preliminary Examination in History).

  • 2. One of the following:

    • (a) One of the Optional Subjects as specified for the Preliminary Examination in History.

    • (b) Approaches to History (as specified for the Preliminary Examination in History).

    • (c) Historiography: Tacitus to Weber (as specified for the Preliminary Examination in History).

  • The individual specifications and prescribed texts for these papers will be published in the Handbook for the Preliminary Examination in History by Monday of noughth week of Michaelmas Term each year for the academic year ahead. Depending on the availability of teaching resources, with the exception of Optional Subject 1, not all the Optional Subjects listed in the Handbook will be available to candidates in any given year. Candidates may obtain details of the choice of options for that year by consulting the Definitive List of Optional Subjects posted at the beginning of the first week of Michaelmas Full Term in the History Faculty and circulated to tutors.]

  • [For students starting from MT 2017: 1. The History of the British Isles: any one of the periods specified for the Preliminary Examination in History.

    2. One of the following, as specified for the Preliminary Examination in History:

    • (a) One of the Optional Subjects

      (b) Approaches to History

      (c) Historiography: Tacitus to Weber]

  • 3. Introduction to English Language and Literature.

  • The paper will be examined by a portfolio of work, comprising one commentary answer and one discursive essay, of not fewer than 1,500 and not more than 2,000 words each. Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies do not count towards the limit. The list of questions for this paper will be divided into Section A (Language) and B (Literature) and will be published on Monday of the fourth week of the Trinity Term of the first year. Candidates must select one question from Section A and one question from Section B.

    Questions in Section A (Language) invite candidates to make their own selection of texts or passages of texts for commentary, in accordance with the terms of the particular question chosen. Copies of the texts or passages used must be included as an appendix to the portfolio. The combined length of all texts or passages chosen must not exceed 70 lines. The texts or passages used will not count towards the word limit for the commentary answer.

    Two typed copies of the portfolio must be delivered to the Chair of the Examiners for the Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Wednesday of the sixth week of the same Trinity Term. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each answer is the candidate's own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with each portfolio.

    Following the publication of themes for this subject on Monday of the fourth week of Trinity Term, the candidate must neither discuss his or her choice of themes nor the method of handling them with any tutor. Every portfolio 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.

    Portfolios previously submitted for the First Public Examination in English Language and Literature may be resubmitted. No answer will be accepted that has already been submitted, wholly or substantially, for a final honour school or any other degree of this University, or degree of any other institution.

    Work deemed to be either too short or of excessive length may be penalised.

    Candidates must avoid duplicating material used in this paper when answering other papers. In addition, candidates are not permitted to duplicate material between Section A and Section B of the portfolio.

  • 4. One of the following:

    • (a) Literature in English 650 – 1350 (as specified in the regulations for the Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature, subject 2).

    • (b) Literature in English 1830 – 1910 (as specified in the regulations for the Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature, subject 3).

    • (c) Literature in English 1910 – present day (as specified in the regulations for the Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature, subject 4).

Candidates who fail one or more of papers 1, 2, 3, or 4 above may resit that[For students starting before MT 2017: subject or subjects] [For students starting from MT 2017: paper or papers ]at a subsequent examination.