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All You Need to Know About English Honours in DU

English Honours is one of the most sought-after undergraduate courses of the University. Here are the details about the papers, skills learnt, career prospects and cut-off trends.

The University of Delhi offers a three-year undergraduate course in English titled, B.A. (Hons) English, under CBCS (Choice Based Credit System).  It is offered by the University’s Faculty of Arts which also offers M.A. in English.

Trend of Previous Cut-Offs

For the General or Unreserved category, the highest cut-off percentage in 2017 for the undergraduate course was 98% and 87.75% by the last cut-off list. The range of cut-off for the OBC category was 97.5%-73%. The highest percentage for the SC and ST category was 97% which later plunged to 69% and 66% respectively.

Core Papers

A total of 14 core papers are offered in the Undergraduate course. The distribution of core papers across the six semesters can be represented as follows:

Semester Core Subject
1 Indian Classical Literature, European Classical Literature
2 Indian Writing in English, British Poetry and Drama: 14th to 17th Centuries
3 American Literature, Popular Literature, and British Poetry and Drama: 17th and 18th Centuries
4 British Literature: 18th Century, British Romantic Literature, British Literature: 19th Century
5 Women’s Writing, British Literature: The Early 20th Century
6 Modern European Drama, and Postcolonial Literatures


Generic Elective Papers

A subject called a Generic Elective is taken up by a student in the first semester, which continues till his/her 4th semester (i.e 2nd year). This subject is one which is not offered by the English Department, and the number of General Elective subjects offered varies from college to college. In Gargi College, for example, the department of Business Economics offers a GE in Business Economics, while the Commerce department offers additional GE subjects.

Skill Enhancement Course – 3rd and 4th semesters

In the third and fourth semesters, six papers of SEC (Skill Enhancement Course) are offered by the University out which two are taken up by the students, one in each semester. The paper titles are – English Language Teaching, Soft Skills, Translation Studies, Creative Writing, Business Communication, and Technical Writing. Certain colleges either offer a specific paper to its students and some provide options between two papers for the students to choose from.

An Ability Enhancement Course paper is compulsory to be taken up by students of all undergraduate couses in the first semester and second semesters.

Discipline Centric Elective (DCE) – 5th and 6th Semesters

The six papers offered by the University in the fifth semester comprise – Modern Indian Writing in English Translation, Literature of the Indian Diaspora, British Literature: Post World War II, Nineteenth Century European Realism, Literary Criticism, and Science Fiction and Detective Literature. At least four of these six papers are offered by each college and the students are supposed to choose any two in the fifth semester. The next seven papers offered by the University in the sixth semester are – Literature and Cinema, World Literatures, Literary Theory, Partition Literature, Research Methodology, Travel Writing, and Autobiography. Each college offers at least four of these papers, out of which each student has to choose any two.

Skills Learnt

Students of Literature do not just read books or texts as given; the texts come with a lot of background reading including the social, political, and economic circumstances that influenced the writer. It is a concoction of literature, political science, history, philosophy, sociology, and feminism. Most of the texts that are taught are contemporary in nature of their ideologies and thoughts.

The student improves immensely on structured writing skills, research abilities, and critical analysis because one does not just mug up the stories and vomit them during exams. They critically analyze them, express their opinions, and present them as concrete analysis. The student learns to read between the lines, is exposed to multiple interpretations and perspectives that goes beyond the classroom.

Dr. Anjana Nera Dev, an Associate Professor at Gargi College comments, “Studying English as your Major in University will give you a synergy of professional competencies and life skills that will always hold you in good stead. You will also enjoy learning to decode the written word, whether it appears in a novel or a billboard.”

Career Options

The career prospects after English Honours are diverse. Literature students can venture into management, public relations, law, journalism, professional writing, administration, profiles as translations and/or subtitles, international relations and event management.

Colleges that Offer English Honours

45 colleges of the University offer the undergraduate course include Miranda House, Sri Venkateswara College, Gargi College, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Hindu College, and St. Stephen’s College, among others.


Feature Image Credits:  Spirit Earth Awakening

Prachi Mehra

A soon-to-be third year Commerce student at Jesus and Mary College. Can be found browsing quizzes on Slideshare or re-reading the Harry Potter series for the nth time. To discuss the insipidness of life or if in need of any assistance, drop a "hi" at vijeatab@dubeat.com. (fun facts and interesting leads are always appreciated)

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