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English & Joint Schools

Keble College has a very strong tradition in English. Many renowned writers have studied here, including Ian Hamilton and Geoffrey Hill, the late Professor of Poetry at Oxford (2010-2015).

For further information about English at Oxford, see the Faculty of English website and the English Language and Literature and English and Modern Languages pages on the Oxford University website.

Yearly Intake

At Keble: 8 (English) + 1 (English and Modern Languages)
At the Faculty: 275

Past Admissions Feedback

Every year tutors prepare detailed feedback about the admissions process.
Links to the text from the last three years can be found below.

Feedback 2020 (pdf)
Feedback 2019 (College) (pdf)

Feedback 2019 (University) (pdf)
Feedback 2018 (pdf)

The Course at Keble

Students apply to Keble from every type of educational background and from many different countries. There are three fellows currently tutoring the subject, providing comprehensive cover across the course. We all pride ourselves on the welcoming, inclusive community we foster here, and it tends to produce excellent results.

Library resources for English at Keble are very strong. In addition to the superb holdings of literary texts in the library, the college is home to the Martin Esslin collection (a rich resource for plays and criticism on twentieth-century drama), and the Ian Hamilton poetry library. We also house one of the finest collections of illuminated medieval manuscripts anywhere in Oxford outside the Bodleian.

At Keble, the organisation of teaching varies to suit the individual student. Students have one-to-one tutorials for Special Papers, but we also teach in pairs and run small classes, group presentations, and a range of study-skills sessions. Collectively, the tutors offer expertise in a huge span of literature – from Beowulf to Beckett and beyond – and we’re committed to widening our own literary and conceptual horizons as well as those of the students we teach.

There is plenty going on outside teaching hours too. The college has a wonderful theatre – the O’Reilly, with a 181-seat capacity – and many of our students put on and take part in plays. We have also recently set up The Salutation and Cat reading group, which offers the opportunity for staff and students from different subjects to discuss poetry in a relaxed, informal setting. In addition, the college hosts a lively Arts Festival each year, featuring many shows and events (on drama, film, music, dance, poetry, and the fine arts), and we run a termly series called Poets at Keble, which invites established and emerging poets to visit the college, read their work, and meet the students. Our most recent venture is a series of seminars on The Poet’s Essay, which is led by the psychoanalyst and essayist Adam Phillips.

More details about our teaching team can be found below, and information about the library, the theatre, and other resources here can be found elsewhere on this website. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.