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English Literature with French, Mandarin or Spanish BA (Hons) module descriptions

First year | Second year | Third year

With Languages: Conversation and practice sessions are held weekly throughout Blocks 1 and 2, and then you undertake the intensive part of your study of the French, Mandarin or Spanish module in Block 3.

First year

Block 1: Approaches to Reading and Writing

This module will equip you with core study skills in critical reading, reading for craft, and creative, reflective, and critical writing at university level. You will develop your understanding of standard English grammar and sentence construction and knowledge of how terminology can be applied to the description of diverse forms of language and writing techniques. The module will be taught using a variety of literary and non-literary texts and modes, for example, poetry, dramatic monologues, myth and fairy tales, political speech and film. You will put this knowledge into practice in your own writing alongside learning how to organise and reference writing appropriately.

Assessment

Essay, 40%: You will produce a 1000-word essay, which might take the form of either a critical or creative response to one of the texts studied in the module.

Online writing project, 60%: You will produce an online text, such as a wiki, on a topic chosen by you. You will also submit a learning diary reflecting on your experience of learning about digital texts.

Block 2: Introduction to the Novel

This module is designed to provide you with skills in reading, writing and analysing fiction that you can build on throughout your degree. You will learn to engage with critical texts and different theoretical approaches to literature. The module will get you thinking about how novels work and how, as readers, we can understand the content from different points and perspectives. You will learn to recognise subtle changes in narrative position, how to know when and when not to trust the narrative voice, how to recognise and read of different subgenres, for example Neo-Victorianism, Realism, Romanticism, Modernism and Postmodernism, and how to use literary criticism to help reveal the novel in ways you had not expected or imagined.

Assessment

Class Test, 40%: You will analyse an extract from a single text in response to a specific theme or issue.

Research Essay, 60%: You will write a 2000 word essay developing a critical approach to a single text or multiple texts, supported by literary, critical and theoretical research.

Block 3: Beginner in French, Mandarin or Spanish Beginner

You will be introduced to your chosen language, learning introductory and basic words, phrases and structures about yourself, family, immediate surroundings and daily activities and routine. You will also be introduced to basic social, cultural, political, historical and artistic topics related to your chosen language.

Assessment

Reading test, 30%. Listening test, 20%. Speaking test, 25%. Writing test, 25%

OR

Block 3: Post-Beginner in French, Mandarin or Spanish

This module will further develop your language skills. The focus is on enhancing basic and personal communication skills and moving to more topics including family, other people, living conditions, educational background and employment. You will engage in basic dialogues and social interactions, expressing feelings, actions and needs and responding with thanks, apology, agreement and disagreement in answer to questions. You will also be introduced to basic social, cultural, political, historical and artistic topics related to your chosen language.

Assessment

Reading test, 30%. Listening test, 20%. Speaking test, 25%. Writing test, 25%.

Block 4: Poetry and Society

Through this module you will develop your understanding of poetic form and genre and consolidate your close-reading skills by scrutinising a range of poems and poets from different historical periods. You will explore the historical origins and development of specific poetic genres such as epic and pastoral and learn the conceptual tools and technical vocabulary needed for critical analysis of poetry.

Assessment

Essay 1, 40%: You will write a 1500 word essay containing as series of close-reading exercises.

Essay 2, 60%: You will write a 2000 word essay, building on your first assignment, combining detailed close analysis of specific poems with consideration of wider social and cultural themes.

Second year

Block 1: Exploration and Innovation: 14th Century to 18th Century Literature

This module looks at the birth of English literature, offering an introduction to literature written between the medieval era and the mid-eighteenth century in England and Europe. Text will be considered in their national, cultural, and historical contexts. You will explore examples of poetry, drama and prose organised around key themes such as power, faith, love and sexuality.

Assessment

Commentary, 30%: You will write a 1000 word analysis of an extract from a text.

Comparative essay, 70%: You will write a 2500 word research essay comparing two or three texts studied on the module in relation to a research topic.

Block 2: Romantic and Victorian Literature

This module introduces you to the exciting and significant range of literature from the Romantic and Victorian periods between 1780 and 1901. You will explore texts by writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen and Byron in relation to the huge social upheavals of the time (including the impact of the French Revolution) and the new and radical ideas about childhood, the rights of man, and of woman, the natural world and the imagination emerging at the time. We then examine how Romantic ideas mutate in the literature of the Victorian period (1837-1901). The primary focus in this part of the course is on the novel, the dominant literary genre of the period, and students study writers like Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Thomas Hardy, and examine the ways in which they represent issues such as class-conflict, urban poverty, faith, national identity and changing gender-roles. Students also look at the changing forms of Victorian poetry and the emergence of a distinctively female poetic tradition during the period.

Block 3: Post-Beginner in French, Mandarin or Spanish

This module will further develop your language skills. The focus is on enhancing basic and personal communication skills and moving to more topics including family, other people, living conditions, educational background and employment. You will engage in basic dialogues and social interactions, expressing feelings, actions and needs and responding with thanks, apology, agreement and disagreement in answer to questions. You will also be introduced to basic social, cultural, political, historical and artistic topics related to your chosen language.

Assessment

Reading test, 30%. Listening test, 20%. Speaking test, 25%. Writing test, 25%

OR

Block 3: Intermediate in French, Mandarin or Spanish

This module will build on the language skills you have already learned to develop these even further. You will use a wider range of vocabulary and more complex structures and various means of communication. You will develop your ability to respond appropriately in general conversations and learn to enter unprepared into a verbal conversation or communication in writing on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life and society, explaining your viewpoint in a structured way. You will learn to understand, without difficulty, the most familiar topics and enhance your ability to discuss and comprehend general social, cultural, political, historical and artistic topics related to your chosen language.

Assessment

Reading test, 30%. Listening test, 20%. Speaking test, 25%. Writing test, 25%

Block 4: Screen and Literary adaptations of the Classics

What happens when an iconic literary text is adapted from one genre to another, one medium to another, and one cultural platform to another? What are the processes at work in these transformations? This module explores the practice of the textual transformation of both historic and contemporary literary classics. You will examine the term 'adaptation' in its widest cultural context by engaging with a range of adaptive responses to these texts, tracing their transition from authorised works of 'high art' to products that thrive within popular culture. You will also focus on the ideological, political, and cultural contexts of adaptations via debates focusing on their social, cultural, historical, and industrial production contexts. Issues related to gender, sexuality, race, and class are central to this module.

Assessment

Assignment, 40%: You will write a weekly 600 word learning diary for the first three weeks of the module, applying that week's teaching through either a piece of close reading or a detailed creative piece.

Essay, 60%: You will write a 300 word essay on a set task exploring the module content.

Third year

Year long: Dissertation

You will propose, refine, develop, research and write a dissertation on a topic supervised by a member of the English team. We will support you throughout the year with skills-oriented workshops on devising and planning a project, engaging with scholarship, writing, editing and referencing. This will be complemented by workshops on key theoretical approaches such as structuralism and poststructuralism, Marxism, feminism, ecocriticism, queer theory or critical race theory as well as anti-theory or ‘against theory’ movements.

Assessment

Dissertation, 80%: You will write a 8-10,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choosing as approved by your supervisor.

Research portfolio, 20%: You will produce a 3000 word portfolio including four reports on the application of different theories/interpretive frameworks to one of the set texts on the module and your dissertation, as well as a 1000 word introductory essay based on your dissertation conference presentation.

Block 2: Remediating Texts

More texts are now stored electronically in the world’s computers than on paper in its libraries. But as well as preserving these texts, the same machines allow us to adapt, recreate, circulate and ask new and sophisticated questions about literature. This module seeks to explore the varied ways in which technology allows us to remediate literary texts and you will have the opportunity to choose your own focus for your learning. You will consider the interventions we can make, creatively and critically, when using technology, as well as the centrality of technology to literary culture. Topics explored may include Adapting Literature Online: Bookishness, Memes and Fans, Textual Studies Using Computers or Writing Adaptations: Screenplays in Theory and Practice.

Assessment

Test, 20%: You will take a series of quizzes across the first six weeks of the module.

Report 1, 35%: You will complete a 1500 word report critically analysing a creative or practical project relevant to the themes of the module.

Report 2, 45%: You will complete a 2500 word report critically analysing a creative or practical project relevant to the themes of the module.

Block 3: Intermediate in French, Mandarin or Spanish

This module will build on the language skills you have already learned to develop these even further. You will use a wider range of vocabulary and more complex structures and various means of communication. You will develop your ability to respond appropriately in general conversations and learn to enter unprepared into a verbal conversation or communication in writing on topics that are familiar, of personal interest or pertinent to everyday life and society, explaining your viewpoint in a structured way. You will learn to understand, without difficulty, the most familiar topics and enhance your ability to discuss and comprehend general social, cultural, political, historical and artistic topics related to your chosen language.

Assessment

Reading test, 30%. Listening test, 20%. Speaking test, 25%. Writing test, 25%

OR

Block 3: Advanced in French, Mandarin or Spanish

This module refines and perfects the learning of your chosen language to the highest advanced level. This level will require the use of a wider range of vocabulary and complex structures. You will develop an understanding of extended authentic speech and more complex factual and specialised texts, including on TV, radio and in films. You will learn to use language flexibly and effectively for social and professional purposes. You will lead a discussion with arguments and debate on a variety of familiar, unfamiliar and complex topics, using language flexibly and effectively with precision. You will develop a high level of understanding of specialised social, cultural, political, historical and artistic topics related to your chosen language.

Assessment

Reading test, 30%. Listening test, 20%. Speaking test, 25%. Writing activity, 25%

Block 4: Modernism and Magazines

You will examine the origins of Anglo-American modernism by considering a selection of key authors, critically analysing how they responded to modernity. You will also consider where modernism was first published, that is, in the pages of the modernist 'little magazine'. This module encourages you to interrogate the relationship between modernism and wider culture through study of a range of modernist texts and magazines.

Assessment

Essay, 40%: You will write a 2000 word essay applying your understanding of modernism to your chosen authors and texts.

Research portfolio, 60%: You will write three 500 word responses to the magazines studied in the module and a 1500 word research report on a magazine of your choice.