ENG2301 – English Renaissance Literature

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course provides an introduction to the literature of the English Renaissance, studied in a variety of historical contexts—poetic, intellectual, religious, and political.

Learning outcome

After completing this course, you:

  • have a broad understanding of the most important literary trends in Renaissance England,
  • can analyse the trends as connected with the ideas and socio-political development of the period,
  • have critical reading and writing skills in English.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

The students should have taken at least 10 ECTS in English literature/culture.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with ENG4341 – English Renaissance Literature


Seminar, two hours per week for 10 weeks, 20 hours in all. Two of the seminars will be devoted to developing your research methods and written term paper.

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory 8 out of 10 seminars. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here. Please note that absence exceeding 50 % of all seminars may not be approved, regardless of any excuses.
  • In order to qualify for the exam (submission of term paper) students must submit a preliminary draft of your term paper by a stated deadline. The preliminary draft must be at least 2000 words (excluding footnotes/bibliography), that is, approximately 5 pages written out in fluent prose, and containing the introductory paragraphs. You will get feedback on both the language and content of your draft.

All obligatory activities must be approved in the same semester. All obligatory attendance and assignments are only valid the semester you attend the course.

As a full-time student you are expected to spend at least 12 hours a week studying for this course.

Two of those hours are spent in seminars with your teacher each week. The other 10 hours should be spent reading, making notes on and reflecting on primary texts, exploring secondary texts and criticism, completing the assignments posted in reading packs on Canvas, and preparing to contribute your own viewpoints and ideas to class discussions. You may also want to spend some of this time working on your essay writing skills and discussing the course material with other students.

You are expected to come prepared to each seminar. This means that you have completed the assigned reading and any other assignments given in the reading pack.

ENG2301 is a seminar-based course, meaning that classes consist primarily of student-driven literary discussion. This means that while it’s fine to prefer listening to talking, you should be prepared to contribute to discussions throughout the term. The more of your week you spend exploring the set texts yourself (or in discussion with classmates), the more you will get out of seminars.


The assessment of the course is based on a term paper of approximately 4500 words (excluding footnotes/bibliography).

You can either choose your own topic or select from a list of suggested topics. In any case, you will be expected to develop a thesis statement (“problemstilling”), to be approved by the teacher.

The paper should make use of at least three different secondary sources (material published by an academic press or journal).

Students will be offered individual term paper supervision.

Assessment guidelines

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

The results will be found on the StudentWeb within three weeks after the exam.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

You must do all obligatory activities, including attendance, in this course again if you want to qualify to re-take the exam. Admission depends on capacity.

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Reports from periodic evaluations (in Norwegian)

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language