This joint degree enables students to combine the study of history with that of English language and literature. The intersection between language, culture, and history is currently the focus of active debate within both the disciplines and you are encouraged throughout your course to relate literary and historical ideas in the investigation of your chosen periods, topics, or authors. The course is centered around the twin assumptions that historical documents are just as much ‘texts’ as are poems, plays or novels, and are therefore subject to literary interpretations, and equally that poems, plays and novels represent historically grounded ways of interpreting a culture.
The joint school in History and English offers you a very wide choice of options. It is largely open to you to design the course of study which meets your own interests: tutors in your college will offer advice and help you to select the subjects best suited to your strengths. The course trains you to set different kinds of writing, in different languages, in their full social, historical, literary and linguistic contexts. You will read widely in poetry, fiction, drama and criticism and will learn to analyse and to write critically about what you have read.
A History course already enriched by a strong cultural input is an ideal companion to the study of English literature. Whether your interest is in early or Middle English, the Renaissance, or the later periods, intellectually fruitful combinations are possible. The joint degree includes two explicitly interdisciplinary papers taught jointly by specialists in the two subjects.
The History and English degree will equip you with analytical and writing skills that are readily transferable into many other situations and many professions. It opens up the opportunity to go into a great variety of careers.