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


Seminars, 2 hours per week for 10 weeks. 20 hours in all. Two of the seminars will be devoted to developing your research methods and term paper.

Obligatory activity:

  • Attendance is obligatory at least 8 out of 10 seminars. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absence or postponements here. Please note that absence exceeding 50 % of all seminars may not be approved, regardless of any excuses.
  • A preliminary draft of your term paper turned in by a stated deadline. The preliminary draft must be at least 5 pages (2 000 words), in addition to footnotes and bibliography, and contain the introductory paragraphs. You will get feedback on both the language and content of your draft.

All obligatory activities must be approved for you to sit the exam. All obligatory activities must be approved in the same semester. Approved 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. You spend 2 of those hours in seminars with the lecturer each week, and you should spend the remaining 10 hours 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 discussions in the seminars. You may also want to spend some of those hours working on your essay writing skills and discussing the course material with your fellow students.

You are expected to come prepared to each seminar. In other words, you are supposed to have completed the assigned reading and any other assignments given in the reading pack before the seminars.

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


The form of assessment is a term paper of 4 500 words, in addition to footnotes and 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 to be approved by the lecturer.

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

You 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 in Studentweb within 3 weeks after the examination.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

For those who want to retake their exam: Since the form of assessment in this course is a term paper, you must follow the seminars and write a new paper in order to qualify. 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