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The syllabus enables learners to read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English. Learners develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, they learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied.
The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting learners' better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.
The syllabus year refers to the year in which the examination will be taken.
Find out more about our range of English syllabuses to suit every level and ambition.
For some subjects, the syllabus states that Grade Descriptions will be made available after first assessment in 2020 or 2021.
Publication of grade descriptions for these syllabuses has been delayed. This is to make sure that grade descriptions reflect examination outcomes appropriately and are based on the full range of candidate performance after the 2020 and 2021 series.
From 2020, we have made some changes to the wording and layout of the front covers of our question papers to reflect the new Cambridge International branding and to make instructions clearer for candidates - learn more.
We provide a wide range of support so that teachers can give their learners the best possible preparation for Cambridge programmes and qualifications. For teachers at registered Cambridge schools, support materials for specific syllabuses are available from the School Support Hub (username and password required).
Sign up for updates about changes to the syllabuses you teach
We revise our qualifications regularly to make sure they continue to meet the needs of learners, schools and higher education institutions around the world and reflect current thinking. Please see the 2023-2025 syllabus document for full details on the changes.
The updated syllabus is for examination from June 2023 onwards. Please see the 2023-2025 syllabus above for full details.
We are developing a comprehensive range of materials to help you teach the updated syllabus. These resources will be available from June 2021 onwards (before first teaching) through our School Support Hub and include:
Face-to-face and online training will be available. For up-to-date information, visit our Events and training calendar.
Cambridge IGCSE and O Level Literature in English (Hodder Education)
Provide students with a clear structured route through the syllabus, with opportunities to assess their own progress, as well as reflect on and discuss new ideas and concepts.
Read more on the Hodder Education website
Cambridge IGCSE and O Level Literature in English (Cambridge University Press)
Stimulating literary material from around the world encourages your students to enjoy studying and analysing literature. Develop your students’ informed personal responses through well-known texts such as 'Ozymandias', 'Blackberry-Picking' and 'Odour of Chrysanthemums'.
Read more on the Cambridge University Press website
Cambridge IGCSE Literature in English (Collins)
Introduce students to the fundamental skills and concepts of literary study and allow them to apply those skills to poetry, prose and drama. This resource also supports the Cambridge IGCSE World Literature syllabus.
Read more on the Collins website