Resources for Students

If you are a school or college student thinking of studying English at university, these pages will provide you with sample approaches to the study of literature, information about authors who once studied at Cambridge, short essays, and resources for exploring their work.

The Virtual Classroom

The Virtual Classroom

In the Virtual Classroom, we try to give you a taste of some of the many approaches to literary criticism which are practised in the Cambridge English Faculty. We hope that our virtual classes will help you enjoy your reading more and introduce you to some new ways of thinking about literary texts. 

Be Cambridge

Be Cambridge

University life is not just about working hard; it’s also about meeting new people, developing your interests and expanding your horizons, and Cambridge is the perfect place to do this. This resource has been developed by the Cambridge Admissions Office to introduce you to what the University is like, and how to apply.


Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible was composed by members of Christ's College, Cambridge, where John Milton studied from 1625 to 1632. It was commissioned as part of the college's year-long celebration of the poet's 400th birthday. It is intended for those attempting their first or second reading of John Milton's poem Paradise Lost, whether at sixth form, at university or in private study. Its aim is  to discuss this challenging epic with an accessibility that will enable those new to Milton to familiarize themselves with the poet, his work and his themes, but without patronizing the reader or shying away from more difficult ideas. There is a variety of resources on offer for the teacher or student of Paradise Lost to explore: a plot summary, character descriptions, essays with suggestions for further reading, a biography of the poet, and a gallery of illustrations including some interactive images.

Cambridge Authors

Cambridge Authors

Cambridge Authors was designed for anyone thinking of applying to university to read English - or any degree involving literary criticism. It focuses on authors who studied at Cambridge themselves. You might use it to lead you towards new books to read, or towards new angles on the ones you've already read. You might find a new way of thinking about literature, or some contextual information that alters your perspective. The skills and experience involved could be handy in developing your studies now, or for the admissions process ahead, or during your future course.


Oxford and Cambridge Outreach Network

Oxford and Cambridge Outreach Network

The Oxford and Cambridge Collaborative Outreach Network was founded to highlight opportunities for both teachers and students to find out more about studying at Oxford or Cambridge. It brings together details of upcoming events, helpful resources and information, and booking for school visits.