English Literature and Film first year modules

Compulsory modules - English Literature

Literary Worlds 900-1770

This module provides an introduction to a wide range of texts---including both prose and verse— across a broad transhistorical period. The aim is to introduce students to a spectrum of texts and genres from the earliest writing in English to the invention of the novel in the early- to mid-eighteenth century. Building on the work of ‘Literary Worlds 1770-Today’, this module expands in depth and breadth the exploration of key aesthetic and cultural developments that shaped the development of literature during this earlier and less-familiar period. The module will be arranged in three main blocks corresponding to key historical and literary periods within the range of c. 900 to 1750.

Literary Worlds 1770-Today

This introductory module offers students a broad chronological survey of the literary history of the modern age. Students will explore a diverse array of texts – including prose, verse and drama – written in the English-speaking world between the middle of the eighteenth century and the present. The module is designed to introduce key aesthetic and cultural developments that shaped literary production during this period and train students in methods of research and analysis at university level. Lectures will frame set texts as (1) representative examples of specific literary-historical moments and (2) case studies for particular modes or techniques of writing and analysis. Seminars will guide students to achieve a nuanced understanding of literature post-1770, develop discursive and analytical skills essential to an undergraduate degree, and undertake formative work towards an assessed portfolio of writing tasks. The module aims to foster students’ understanding of significant topics and approaches, helping them to develop an appropriate critical vocabulary, versatile knowledge of literary history, and a flexible and accurate analytical style.

Critical Environments

This module introduces students to some of the contextual applications of literary analysis, the ‘critical environments’ which the study of literature reflects and influences. Whereas ‘Literary Worlds’ focuses on literary history of the works studies, ‘Critical Environments’ focuses on critical reactions to those works, be they from a human rights perspective, ethnic studies angle, eco-critical view, etc. The module draws on the research of scholars in the Department to begin making links between the study of literary works and the world beyond.

Cultural Environments

This module introduces students to some of the socio-cultural contexts of literary production, the ‘cultural environments’ that may not be immediately obvious to new scholars. Whereas ‘Literary Worlds’ focuses on the literary qualities of the works studied, ‘Cultural Environments’ focuses on the broader social, linguistic, and cultural circumstances that gave rise to those works. The module draws on the research of scholars in the Department to begin making links between the study of literary works, the moments in which they were written, and their relevance for readers today.

Compulsory modules - Film

Film Culture and Media Skills

Film Culture and Media Skills will provide an introduction to film, television and digital media in its industrial contexts.  Seminars will focus on the ways in which films are made, sold and consumed at regional, national and international levels.  


This module is designed to equip students with a range of filming and editing skills appropriate to the task of completing a short audiovisual project. Sessions will be structured to deliver training in the various elements of film production through a series of class assignments and interactive tutorials. Students will work in groups on a particular theme or idea and will take responsibility for developing this project into a short-length film. The module will aim to develop students’ practical skills alongside critical skills, in keeping with the overarching structure and format of the English BA and related programmes. To this end, sessions will also incorporate a consideration of film texts, encouraging students to analyse existing works in relation to their own practice.

Introduction to Film: Approaches and Methods  

Introduction to Film Studies: Approaches and Methods will engage critically with the various ways in which film is evaluated and understood alongside various theoretical, social and historical contexts. Individual film texts will be studied in detail and in relation to these underlying concerns and interests. 

Introduction to Film: Styles and Forms 

Introduction to Film Studies: Styles and Forms will embed the practice of film analysis, with a specific focus on ‘close reading’ to evaluate the specific formal and stylistic of individual films. The critical vocabulary of film studies will be introduced and utilised within student work. Aspects of film history will also form the basis of this module, as texts from particular periods are studied in order to build a sense of cinema’s chronology.