Year one modules

Compulsory modules:

Literary Aesthetics after 1800

This module will introduce some key notions of period, form, style and genre applicable to literary texts written after 1800. Students will be offered opportunities to deploy these notions in the study of three major focal literary texts (or groups of shorter texts) of different genres of the period, (for example Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things and Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway and the modernist short-story; and a selection of Victorian poetry including dramatic monologues, lyrics and sonnets by, amongst others, Robert Browning and Christina Rossetti), both in the course of close reading of passages and in extensive reading (no text will be studied only in an extract).

The module will focus on developing students’ competencies in two key modes of critical writing fundamental to English Literary Studies: close analysis of passages, and discursive interpretative essays about one or more whole works or groups of works. Special workshop sessions will support students in developing their critical writing as a central process in their literary learning and their understanding of the standards applied to the evaluation of their own and others’ written work. The module will also include explicit discussion of the rationale for key differences between university-level literary study and the methods and expectations experienced at earlier stages of education.

(20 credits)

Literary Aesthetics before 1800

This module will introduce some key notions of period, form, style and genre applicable to literary texts written before 1800. Students will be offered opportunities to deploy these notions in the study of three major focal literary texts (or groups of shorter texts) of different genres of the period (for example, Malory, Morte DArthur; selected Revenge Tragedies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and selected verse satire of the eighteenth century), both in the course of close reading of passages and in extensive reading (no text will be studied only in an extract). The module will focus on developing students’ competencies in two key modes of critical writing fundamental to English Literary Studies: close analysis of passages, and discursive interpretative essays about one or more whole works or groups of works. Special workshop sessions will support students in developing their critical writing as a central process in their literary learning and their understanding of the standards applied to the evaluation of their own and others’ written work. The module will also include explicit discussion of the rationale for key differences between university-level literary study and the methods and expectations experienced at earlier stages of education.

(20 credits)

Critical Practice

This module introduces key knowledge and skills central to critical practice in English Studies. Students will be introduced to skills and resources used to discover, evaluate, and document primary and secondary sources for literary study. They will acquire a basic understanding of textual transmission and the applications of this knowledge to the use of editions. They will also be introduced to strategies for engaging with literary criticism and scholarship as part of formulating a response to a literary text and acquire a basic understanding of methodologies in literary criticism and their histories and applications. To demonstrate the transferability of learning on the module to the discipline as a whole, skills, resources, and knowledge will be explicitly related to the primary texts studied on the co-requisite modules and to texts closely related in period, and in genre, form, or style, to those studied on the co-requisite modules.

(20 credits)

Creative Writing Foundation

This module will give students the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of key issues and methodologies related to the study of creative writing as an academic discipline; to explore purpose and method in writing, both individually and collaboratively; to develop competence in basic creative writing skills in the traditional genres of prose, poetry and dramatic writing, as related to each stage of the writing process; and to develop appropriate vocabulary and formats to reflect on their own writing as process and product. Generic themes and issues will be covered in lecture-demonstrations; while generic-specific skills and processes will be introduced in tutor-led seminars, and reinforced student-led groups.

(40 credits)

Language option module: Language for Literature

This introductory module supports and develops students' knowledge and understanding of the nature of the English language, linking this awareness to their study of literary texts. A principal goal is to provide students with tools which they can apply in the exploration of language in literature. Topics will include: the sound system of English; basic grammatical structure and terminology; vocabulary and the English lexicon; historical change (development of the English language); register variation; new modes of communication (including computer-mediated interaction); multimodal and visual analysis. Where relevant, examples for linguistic analysis will be drawn from the range of literary texts and genres students encounter in other parts of their programme.

(20 credits)

Module Outside the Main Discipline:

There is a vast selection of different options available to be taken as MOMDs each year.

A few examples of the sorts of modules enjoyed by our students are:

  • Italian Beginners' Language
  • Foundations of Politics
  • Making Culture: New Ways of Reading Things
  • The History of Philosophy
  • Landmarks in European Film
  • Art and Contexts