The English School at Somerville is thriving and continues to attract outstandingly able, enthusiastic and energetic students. Each year about twelve students are admitted to read English Language and Literature, while the Joint Schools in English and Classics, English and History, and English and Modern Languages, frequently accept one or more candidates.
Most papers are taught within College, through a variety of teaching methods. Tutorials with one, two or three students (depending on the topics chosen each week) are the major form of tuition, but there are also language classes and small seminars on poetry and other subjects. All undergraduates are encouraged to make full use of the excellent lectures organized by the English Faculty each term. Library facilities for English in Oxford are also extremely strong. In addition to Somerville's extensive College Library, students have access to the vast resources of the English Faculty Library and the Bodleian. Computer facilities are similarly generous.
There is no typical English undergraduate, though most successful candidates will demonstrate a deep interest in literature, an enthusiasm for reading, an intellectual curiosity and a strong desire to learn and develop independent ideas.
The Oxford course is structured in such a way that all undergraduates can study English Literature from all periods. Somerville students generally choose very varied options from many different areas of the syllabus in their final year.