Cambridge programmes

English Literature Stream

Whether you are studying A Level, IB, the Hong Kong DSE or Australian HSC, our English Literature Stream will equip you with a toolkit that will help you analyse and interpret literary texts independently. Close analysis of poetry and prose and the study of a Shakespeare play are central to the programme.

The study of literature is not only for those thinking of reading English Literature at university. A good command of English and the ability to read and write with fluency and precision are invaluable skills that transfer across to any academic discipline where English is the medium of instruction. If you wish to apply to a UK or US secondary school or university, a familiarity with English Literature will help you stand out from the crowd. University admissions tutors view English Literature as a serious academic subject that develops skills essential to the study of Law, History and other Humanities courses. The skills you acquire through writing first-rate literary essays will also come in handy as you start work on UCAS personal statements or US college application essays.

The English Literature Stream takes students on a stimulating and inspiring journey through a range of literary genres, techniques and contexts. The syllabus is designed to build on, complement and extend – but not repeat – the Literature curriculum taught in schools. Students will also be introduced, where appropriate, to the study of literature at degree level.

Course Details


England’s literary heritage is one of the richest in the world and is one of the United Kingdom’s greatest exports. The study of literature brings students into contact with some of the greatest thinkers and writers in history.

The English Literature Programme develops the skills of close reading, critical thinking, precise communication and analysis, providing participants with the higher order thinking skills that top universities – and employers – are looking for. We aim to make the study of literature an enriching and rewarding experience for every student on the programme.

Our Literature Programme draws on the best educational practice of the United Kingdom’s leading academic schools and universities. Our teachers are highly qualified, experienced professionals and distinguished academics, who are skilled in inspiring their students and stimulating them to think creatively, while encouraging them to attain greater heights. Students will benefit from a close relationship with their teacher in small classes, typically of up to a dozen students. Our Literature classes are fun, vibrant and dynamic and student discussion and debate take centre stage. Information technology and multi-media are used to provide students with innovative ways to explore literary tradition.

Programme aims

• To introduce students to a range of unfamiliar poems, plays and prose works to broaden their exposure to literature

• To develop students’ awareness of the historical development of English literature

• To hone the skills of close reading and literary analysis, crucial for exam success

• To develop students’ knowledge of literary devices, forms and styles, giving them the technical terminology necessary for sophisticated literary analysis

• To improve students’ ability to develop coherent arguments and express complex ideas

• To enhance students’ confidence in experimenting with personal interpretations of literature, developing their individual voice

• To improve students’ self-confidence, fluency and creativity in spoken presentations

• To strengthen students’ collaborative skills through group and pair work


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


Drawing on the full historical sweep of English poetry, students will be introduced to a diverse selection of literary styles, approaches, genres and literary techniques. Students will be equipped with the tools for analysing the effects of rhyme, rhythm, metaphor, allusion, rhetorical devices and imagery in verse, among others. By placing poems in their historical and political contexts, students will be able to develop informed, critical and original judgements about the role of poetry in society.

Writing skills

Formal, academic writing is a key focus of the English Literature Programme. Through the analysis of literary models, students will learn to formulate precise and persuasive arguments and express their thoughts with style, precision and clarity. Students will be taught how to write model paragraphs and develop these into successful essays.


Discussing literature and being able to adjust to and take account of others’ perspectives is a vital academic and life skill. Students will be introduced to the distinctive Cambridge undergraduate supervision approach, where they will be supported and inspired to develop their own personal responses.


In addition to detailed analysis of Shakespearean drama, students will also encounter England’s greatest playwright and poet through film adaptations, drama workshops and a live performance at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. These activities deepen students’ understanding of Shakespeare’s works and develop their confidence in reading and performing his plays.

English Culture

Through an exploration of the place of English literature in history and its relationship with other art forms, students will become familiar with British culture. The educational excursions that form part of the Literature Programme also introduce students to aspects of Britain’s unique and rich culture.

Highlights and Visits


Programme Highlights

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


  • Sandringham, The King’s Summer Residence
  • Cambridge Museums
  • King’s College Chapel
  • Punting on the River Cam



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

Cambridge programmes

Academic English Stream

Our unique English programme is designed to complement, extend and enrich—but not repeat—the curricula taught in schools. The Academic English Stream offers an intense and challenging pathway to advanced all-round language capability.

The Academic English Stream focuses on developing the four key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, ensuring that you will be a better all-round communicator in English after the Programme.

A good command of English is essential for academic success both at school and university and is vital when applying to UK boarding or day schools, and universities, enabling you to present yourself at your best at interview or in your UCAS Personal Statement, for example.

Course Details


For many years we have worked closely with highly experienced and professional teachers in the Cambridge area to develop an Academic English Stream that offers innovative ways of exploring a range of different genres and text types.

The Academic English Stream provides students with advanced skills, challenging them to develop original, personal arguments and to express these with confidence and fluency.

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, enabling them to achieve results beyond their expectations.

The skills and knowledge offered by the Academic English Stream are vital to any subject where English is the medium, for example, Law or History, since all academic disciplines require clarity, precision and accuracy of expression. This intensive academic course aims to achieve the following for each of its participants:

• Increase the clarity, accuracy and fluency of spoken presentation

• Enable students to propose and defend substantial, persuasive arguments

• Encourage students to communicate creatively and appropriately in a variety of social contexts

• Develop an awareness of the significance of specific words and styles

• Expand personal vocabulary

• Develop sophisticated essay-building and creative writing skills

• Encourage an awareness of English as a global language

• Encourage critical thinking and self-evaluation

• Build self-confidence and collaborative skills

• Develop students’ language skills through the appreciation of art and literature



I enjoyed my time at Cambridge, and I am now determined to enter a world class University like Cambridge. To achieve this goal, I will apply the skills in studying and learning from the lessons to my future learning. Also, I will put more stress on extra-curricular activities, so as to have an all rounded development. I will get to more study trips and get accustomed to more cultures, so as to broaden my horizon and increase my exposure. I am going to strive hard for my ambitions from this trip on

- Joshua, 2015 cohort

Fees and Registration


Fees under this Stream cover:

  • 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 English Programme is for students aged 15 and above.
  • 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 15 March 2024.


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