Cambridge programmes

English Literature

13-Day Course | 28 July – 10 August 2019

The English Literature Programme takes students on a penetrating journey through the history and techniques of prose, poetry and drama. The syllabus is designed to complement, extend and enrich – but not repeat – the Literature curriculum taught in schools.

Course Details


English Literature is one of the United Kingdom’s greatest exports. A university degree in this subject is one of the most respected and potentially profitable in the world – and can lead to a variety of careers in some of the most prestigious areas of public life. The study of literature introduces students to a rich vein of some of the most significant cultural artefacts in world history. Skills of close reading, critical thinking, attention to detail, communication and analysis enable students to access higher order thinking skills of inestimable value in modern academic, cultural and business contexts. We aim to make the study of literature an enriching, productive and rewarding experience for every student on the programme.

Our academic programmes draw on the uniquely rich traditions of education in the United Kingdom’s best academic schools and universities. The principles which underwrite our English Literature syllabus, and the practices we use to teach it, also reflect the specific educational background of each group of students that come to learn with us. We work closely with first-rate teachers who have witnessed the changing landscape of international education and who have developed an English Literature Programme composed equally of tradition and innovation.

The English Literature Programme offers students advanced skills, challenging them to:

  • Unlock and develop their perspectives on the world
  • Open new horizons of thought
  • Attain a deeper consciousness of the way things are.

Students will benefit from a close relationship with their teacher in small classes, typically of up to a dozen students. A wide variety of innovative student-focussed tasks and activities will engage learners with complex ideas, requiring them to work at the height of their potential – and beyond.

In this challenging and intensive academic course, students will progress rapidly through a survey of English prose, poetry and drama from Shakespeare to the present day. Alert to the syllabi students follow in their home schools, this course equips students with an expanded knowledge of texts and strengthens their analytical skills. In the English Literature Programme, students will be immersed in the following key literary tasks:

  • Broadening their exposure to new poems, plays and prose works
  • Building an awareness of the historical evolution of literature in English
  • Refining advanced skills of close, analytic scrutiny of texts
  • Developing a sophisticated vocabulary of literary devices, forms and styles
  • Modelling exemplary arguments with sound structure and complex ideas
  • Testing new personal and experimental perspectives on literature
  • Engaging with the important relations between literature and the visual arts
  • Improving self-confidence, fluency and creativity in spoken presentations
  • Producing creative group atmospheres and working collaboratively

The English Literature Programme aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the following key areas:


Drawing on the historical wealth of English poetry, students will experience a diverse array of literary styles, approaches, genres, and formal techniques. We will equip students with the fundamental tools for discovering the effects of rhyme, rhythm, metaphor, allusion, rhetorical devices and imagery in verse. By situating poems in their historical and political contexts, students will be able to form considered, critical and imaginative ideas about the place of poetry in society.

Writing skills

Formal and academic writing will be a key focus of the English Literature Programme. By analysing the structures and techniques of literary prose, students will learn to formulate precise and persuasive written arguments and express their thoughts with style, richness and natural clarity. Building strong sentences into substantial paragraphs, students will develop their ability to argue persuasively in the essay form.


Talking discursively about literature and being able to adjust to and incorporate others’ perspectives is essential in a good literary critic. By adopting the formalities and nuances of Cambridge undergraduate discussion techniques, students will learn to express their own ideas and personal responses with clarity in a professional group environment.


As well as detailed analysis of Shakespearean drama, students will experience England’s greatest writer through film adaptations and drama workshops with professional actors. These activities are designed to enhance students’ expressive body language, confidence and natural flair.

English Culture

through an exploration of democratic politics and the royalty, customs, etiquette and art, students will become familiar with another different, but historically linked, society. This emphasis of comparison and mutual learning will underpin all aspects of the English Literature Programme and is designed to encourage students to cultivate a textured consciousness of their own identities and the global societies of which they – and the literature they read – are a part.

Highlights and Visits


Programme Highlights

  • Study Skills Workshop
  • Cambridge Style Lectures
  • Cambridge Admissions Advice
  • Interview Technique Workshop
  • Choral Evensong
  • Parliamentary and Social Debating
  • Academic Presentation
  • Concert and Formal Dinner


  • Sandringham, The Queen’s Summer Residence
  • Cambridge Museums
  • Cambridge Shakespeare Festival
  • King’s College Chapel
  • Punting on the River Cam
  • Visit to Oxford for formal lunch in Hall and admissions talk
Therefore, we would hereby want to conclude by saying thank you to our beloved Mentor, Kat, who has been guiding us throughout our experiences in Cambridge, and Mr Taylor, for his inspiring and fascinating lessons! Finally, we must not forget to mention Mr and Mrs Clarke for their wonderful organisation of the programme.

– Kate, 2016 cohort

Fees and Registration

2019 Cohort | 28 July – 10 August 2019


GBP £4,388. This covers:

  • Tuition and Teaching Materials
  • Accommodation
  • All Meals, including lunches
  • Cost of visits and travel to and from the airport

It does not cover air-fares, travel insurance or pocket money.


  • Admission to the Academic English Programme is for students aged 12-17 years.
  • In some circumstances, we may ask for the applicant to provide a reference from the school and a copy of their latest school report.
  • Students from one of our participating schools should apply via their school. (Please follow the School’s own timetable for Applications).
  • For individual applications not linked with our participating schools, please download an Application Form below and return it to us by 1 March 2019.


Get In Touch

14 + 2 =