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English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) Year three modules

The English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) modules listed below are just to give you a flavour of what is available in your third year and are subject to change.

Year three (Level 6)

Core module:

English Literature Dissertation

You will research and write a dissertation of 8000-10000 words on a topic of your choice with the support of a supervisor. Examples of recent topics include fairy-tales in adaptation, Shakespeare’s comedies, the 19th century detective novel and Jewish-American writing.


English Language Dissertation

An independent research project on a subject of your own choice. This is where you can show us what inspires and interests you about the subject.


Professional Writing Skills

Students will work on creating a publication to professional standard in print or online format, develop skills in oral presentation, and explore aspects of professional practice. NB: Students must have taken ‘Exploring Creative Writing’ and ‘Writing Place’ at levels 4 and 5 to take this module.

Optional modules:

Nineteenth-Century American Literature

This module will introduce students to a representative range of nineteenth-century American literary texts, studying them in their cultural and historical contexts. It will examine the attempt to develop a distinctively American literature, the impact of slavery and the Civil War on literature, and transatlantic literary and cultural relations during the period. 

English in the Workplace

In this module you will put the skills developed during your English degree into practice in a placement of your own choosing. Previous placements have included, publishing, journalism and teaching (primary, secondary and college). 

Modernism and Modernity

This module explores the development of Anglo-American modernism during 1910-1945. You will study experimental fiction and poetry and a selection of magazines from this period that first printed, supported and debated modernist literature. 

This module examines the impact of history, memory and publication media on narrative. Students will examine the production and use of selected narratives in different media: manuscript, print and current digital cultures. It will use well-known English texts of medieval origin that have blended with wider society to become part of our history and modern popular culture: Chaucer, Malory and the Arthurian Legend, Robin Hood and the Ballads tradition, and the Bible and Saints’ Legends. A distinctive feature of this module is its use of digital technologies as a vehicle to explore manuscript and print literary production from historical perspectives. 

Textual Studies Using Computers

On this module you will use computers to tackle questions like: Who had the larger vocabulary, Shakespeare or Austen? Or, is it true that c and k are the funniest letters? With hands-on experience of how computers store and process literary texts, you will devise your own project to ask and answer original questions that shed new light on literature. 

Radical and Contemporary Adaptations

This module explores what happens to a range of counterculture and radical literary works, such as Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Christos Tsiolkas’s Loaded, when they are adapted. It considers texts transferred to screen and other media, such as graphic novels, from America, Australia and England. 

Writing Adaptations: Theory and Practice

This module introduces students to key theories of adaptation studies and assesses them on their own creative adaptation practice in the form of screenplays and treatments, plus critical and reflective essays. Workshops will deliver various discourses on the history and development of literary and non-literary adaptations and interrogate the various relationships of differing media. Themes covered include adapting fairy tales and myth, experimental literature, postmodern adapting, and the art and craft of screenwriting for film and television. 

Revolutionary Men, Unruly Women: Politics and Gender at the Fin de Siècle, 1880-1900 

This module will provide students with an introduction to some of the popular and controversial literature published in the final two decades of the nineteenth century. It will be divided into two sections: the first covering the literature discussing the drive for female emancipation and the second will introduce the students to the literature of decadence and degeneration. 

Watching Early Modern Drama: Spectatorship and Fandom 

On this module we will explore the role of the audience in the production of early modern dramatic meaning, both then and now. Beginning in the early modern period, we will explore the ways that early modern dramatists imagined and engaged their audiences and vice versa We will utilise this knowledge and compare early modern spectatorship against the types of audience engagement that can be found in the contemporary moment. The module will introduce the critical concept of fan theory and we will then work through a series of representative fan texts. 

The 21st century Global Franchise: Adapting the Wizarding World 

This module will explore the concept of the 21st Century Global Franchise, using J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World as a case study. With adaptation theory as a critical framework, we will explore how Rowling’s appropriation of established genres, such as school stories, children’s fantasy, and the bildungsroman, was adapted in turn for the cinema. We will then address the current rebirth of the Harry Potter franchise, and its rebranding as ‘Wizarding World’. A trip to the Warner Bros studio tour and/or to the West End production of the stage play will clinch our study of the evolution of Potter, from publisher’s gamble in 1997, to tourist attraction today. 

English Language in the Workplace 

You will undertake work experience throughout the year and also conduct a study in linguistic anthropology, examining the use of English in a specific context. This module will also develop your presentation and public speaking skills, as well as your general self-confidence and employability. 

Powerful Language: An Introduction to Rhetoric 

The tools of effective, persuasive communication have been studied for over two millennia; what is now presented as advertising, PR, ‘news management’ or ‘spin’ has in previous centuries been known as ‘rhetoric’. This module considers rhetoric both in theory and in practice. 

Language, Mind and Culture 

On this module, you will examine the complex relationship between language, thought and culture, considering, for instance, if the language you speak affects how you think. 

Perception, Persuasion, Power 

This module examines the techniques of persuasive communication as they are employed in the real world in a variety of domains, including propaganda, political discourse, advertising and interrogation. 

Language Acquisition 

The focus of this module is how language is acquired. We consider questions such as: How do children acquire language? How do you acquire a second language? Is bilingual acquisition different from acquiring just one language? 

Creative Writing Portfolio

Is your chance to develop a long project of your choice, in whatever form or genre. Past students have undertaken chapters towards a novel, collections of poems, sit-coms, graphic novel scripts; and interrelated groups of short fiction (to indicate only a few possibilities). You are supervised by a tutor who guides you through regular meetings, and are also placed in peer response groups with fellow students. This allows for an exciting exchange of ideas and editing suggestions, as well as providing the healthy social contact that enables you to develop longer projects with a sense of audience. 

Specialism plus Negotiated Study

Involves working alongside a professional writer beyond the immediate teaching team in a specific set genre, to learn about the possibilities and the demands of that marketplace. This is a unique opportunity to gain professional ‘insider’ knowledge of what the creative priorities and challenges are in a given field (Currently, in 2019-20 the set genre is long-form fiction, taught by Mahsuda Snaith — Radio 4 Book at Bedtime author; teaching the rigors of novel writing).

Language, Gender and Sexuality 

This module examines the complex role that language plays in the construction of gender and sexuality in contemporary society. You will learn about a range of theoretical approaches to the study of language, gender and sexuality, including feminism, performativity, queer linguistics and intersectionality. These approaches will be examined in relation to various spoken and written data from domains such as the media, the workplace and online spaces. You will critically evaluate the role that language plays in the construction of identities and in real-world issues such as sexism and homophobia. You will carry out your own research on a topic that relates to language, gender and sexuality, developing your skills in data collection, analysis and evaluation.

Data From Texts: Corpus Linguistics 

Corpus linguistics provides computer-assisted methods to investigate patterns of language use, based on large collections of ‘real world’ texts (whether written, spoken or online). This module introduces you to the key principles and techniques of corpus linguistics as an approach to linguistic analysis. It covers areas such as commonly-used methods, how to build a corpus and the application of corpus methods in a range of fields such as critical discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and forensic linguistics.

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.