The College admits eight undergraduates a year to read English and one or two in English & Modern Languages. There are three Tutorial Fellows who cover almost all of the undergraduate teaching. Dr Mark Griffith works on Old English poetry and teaches Old and Middle English and the History of the Language. Dr Will Poole has a particular interest in relations between literature and intellectual history in the Early Modern period and covers the teaching from the Renaissance to the 18th century. Dr Hannah Sullivan has research interests in Modernism and teaches 19th and 20th century literature. There is, however, some overlap and interchange between the areas in which we teach. Professor Laura Marcus, Goldsmith's Professor of English Literature, holds a Professorial Fellowship at New College.
The first year course (‘Prelims’) comprises 19th and 20th century literature and Old English literature and language; in the second and third years undergraduates choose to study either Course I (English literature from the Middle Ages to the present) or Course II, which has a focus on the medieval period. Course I is broadly chronological, but also offers some opportunities for specialisation (e.g. by the intensive study of an individual major poet or novelist). English & Modern Languages is a three- or four-year course combining the study of English with the study of one modern language; students opting for the four-year course spend one year abroad in the country whose language they are studying. Applicants interested in the details of the syllabi are referred to the English Faculty website.
At Admissions the tutors are looking particularly for students who enjoy reading widely and accurately in English Literature.
New College is especially interested in candidates for the following joint course involving English:
- English & Modern Languages is a three-year or four-year course; students opting for the four-year course spend one year abroad in the country appropriate to the language they are studying. The course combines the study of English with the study of one modern language, which may be French or German, but may be one of several other languages, including Russian, Czech, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish.