Hi! I’m Anna and I’m currently studying English Literature and Language at Corpus Christi.
I love my course and I love my college. Life at Oxford is certainly hard work, but it is challenging and rewarding rather than impossible! I worried a lot before I arrived that I would have to spend all my time in the library just to stay afloat – this is not true. As long as you are dedicated, interested, and willing to work hard when you need to, you will be absolutely fine. A lot of our students manage to be heavily involved in extra-curricular activities alongside their degree: there’s student theatre and student journalism, as well as both university and college-level societies for sports, music, drama, and pretty much anything you can think of. There is plenty of time for other interests.
The English course at Oxford spans the whole scope of English literature, from the earliest recorded Old English texts to modern day. In first year you will study the early medieval period (650-1350), the Victorians (1830-1910) and ‘modern’ literature (1910- the present). There is also a coursework piece on language and literary theory. You will be guided by tutorials (academic discussion sessions usually with two students and a tutor) and classes within college (the average English class size for Corpus is between six and eight). You are free to attend whichever lectures seem relevant to your interests that the faculty hold; the St. Cross Building is, at most, a 15-minute walk from Corpus.
Corpus is really central, a few minutes’ walk from the high street and central libraries like the Bodleian. It is also very close to the river and overlooks Christchurch meadows, so you really feel like you have the best of both worlds. It’s quite a small college, with around 75 undergrads per year. It has a very friendly, inclusive atmosphere. There’s strong integration between years, especially with the college family system which places freshers with a second-year ‘married couple’ (two friends!) and a fellow fresher sibling or two.
If you’re interested and dedicated, I would really encourage you to apply. The whole process might seem daunting, but it is a really useful experience to go through and well worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed my interview experience, even if at first it seemed very nerve-wracking. If you have any questions at all – about Corpus or Oxford – or just want some encouragement or advice, please feel free to send me an email. I would love to help you as best I can.