The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.
Our first-year modules in BA English will introduce you to key genres of English Literature across a wide historical and international span, and train you in new ways of thinking about literature. By studying core modules on ‘Poetry’, ‘Prose’and ‘Plays and Performance’, you will develop the close reading skills needed to analyse all kinds of texts, from medieval plays and early modern poetry to contemporary drama. You will also develop new understanding of how the historical and cultural contexts in which literature is produced and read can shape its meaning.
Alongside these literature-focused modules, ‘Language for Literature’, taught by expert colleagues in English Language, will develop your technical skills and understanding of how literary texts are put together, and how literary language works.
Enhancing these traditional subjects, the first year is also an opportunity for you to explore more creative options, according to your interests. Two ‘Creative Practice’ modules give you the chance to sample topics in Creative Writing, Film, Language or Drama. You will have the option of focusing more closely around these subjects in the second and third years of your BA English degree. Alternatively, you can choose to take one of our ‘Comparative Literary Cultures’ modules and develop your knowledge of European literature in translation, trans-Atlantic literary relations or medieval literary contexts or explore the impact of digital technologies on cultural practices and artistic representations in the twenty-first century.
In addition, you will also take a Module Outside the Main Discipline (MOMD) in e.g. History, Psychology or Modern Languages. This is an excellent opportunity to continue a subject you enjoyed at A Level, or to pursue a brand new interest.
Detailed description of first year modules
In your second year you will be able to either keep your main focus on Literature or combine your study of literature with another discipline on one of our Creative Pathways: Film Studies; Language; Drama; and Creative Writing.
You will take our core Shakespeare module 'Shakespeare: Elizabethan and Jacobean'.
You will also choose ‘Histories of Literature’ modules to deepen your knowledge and understanding of different literary periods. If you are on the Literature pathway you will choose one from each period (A, B, C and D) or, if you are taking a Creative Pathway you will choose one from the Medieval or Early Modern periods (A or B) and one from the Romantic/Victorian or the Modern/Contemporary periods (C or D) and will take two options in your chosen area.
Histories of Literature will include modules such as:
- Chaucer and his Legacy; Popular Fiction before the Novel; Songs and Sonnets
- Epic Ambitions; Stories of the Novel; Writing the Restoration
- Romantics and Romanticisms; Victorian Literature; Decadence and the Fin-de-Siècle
- Making it New; New World Orders; Twenty-First Century Literature
You will take one ‘Themes in Literature’ option module from a selection such as:
- The Gothic
- Shakespeare’s Sisters
- Transatlantic Literary Relations
- Rude Writing
- The Use of Genre: Nefarious Plots, Cheap Thrills, and the Search for Meaning
- Film Genres
- Film Theory and Criticism
If you have chosen to take a Creative Practice pathway, you will take two of your Special Subject Modules in this area, for example:
Creative Writing: Drama and Media Writing, Editing: Theory and Practice
Film: Digital and Documentary Filmmaking, Aesthetics of Television
Language: Voices in Fiction, The Language Poets Use
Drama: Rehearsing Dramatic Text, Performance Text Workshop
Detailed description of second year modules
In your final year, you will write a 12,000-word Dissertation on a topic of your choice, guided and supported by a supervisor who is an expert in your area of interest.
You will also be able to choose four modules from a very wide range of Special Subjects, working closely with specialists in each field on modules such as:
- Imagining the Digital; Last Year’s Novels
- Literature and the Law
- The Modernist Novel
- Postmodern Historical Fictions
- Remembering World War One
- The Work of T. S. Eliot
- Victorian Literature and Science
- Bringing Out the Bodies: Technology, Transhumans and Skin
- Utopia and Its Discontents
- Politics and Terror in the Age of Revolutions
- Senses of the Past: Nineteenth-Century Literature and History
- Henry James and Edith Wharton
- Nation and Identity in Nineteenth-Century America
- World Comics
- Suicide Girls: Female Self-Harm in the Late Nineteenth Century
- New York, New York
- Reading and Popular Culture: Contemporary Book Cultures in North America and UK
- John Donne and the Metaphysical Poets
- Viragos, Coquettes and Prudes
- The Birth of English Theatre: from the Mystery plays to Jacobean City Comedy
- Shakespeare's Bodies on the Edge
- Lierature in the Age of Evolution
- Visions of London
- The Essay as Form and Function
If you have chosen to take a Creative Practice pathway, you will take two of your Special Subject Modules in this area. These might include Genre Fiction (Creative Writing), Film and Television Authorship (Film), Language and New Media (Language) and Victorian Drama (Drama).
Detailed description of final year modules
You will have the option to take a year abroad between your second and final year at one of a wide range of carefully selected partner institutions from around the world.