The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore representative, but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
Descriptive Linguistic Analysis (30 credits)
This module is a core course in language and linguistics. It introduces and then develops the key terms, theories, frameworks, ideological approaches and methodologies required in linguistic study and research. It includes a substantial research methods component. It also invites and encourages critical evaluation, reflection and response to linguistic thinking and analysis.
Literary Linguistics 1 (15 credits)
This module explores the use of linguistic frameworks to investigate literary texts. Through a series of practical analyses, students will be introduced to a range of linguistic explorations of poetry, prose, and drama from a wide range of historical periods. The course will invite students to use the analyses as an occasion for the critical evaluation of the various approaches to language and literature, to investigate the notions of literariness and interpretation, and to consider the scope and validity of stylistics in relation to literature and literary studies.
Literary Linguistics 2 (15 credits)
This module further explores the use of linguistic frameworks to investigate literary texts.
Cognition and Literature (15 credits)
This module represents a course in cognitive poetics. It draws on insights developed in cognitive science, especially in psychology and linguistics, in order to develop an understanding of the processes involved in literary reading. The module also develops skills in stylistics and critical theory.
This module surveys key work in narratology, from literary, stylistic and sociolinguistic perspectives, with each unit written by an area specialist. The module introduces key approaches to the study of narratology and offers students insight into the development of narrative from Chaucer to the present day. The emphasis will be on literary narratives, though comparative exploration of non-literary and narratives will also appear.
World Englishes 1 (15 credits)
The module will examine the historical and social development of the English language in contexts largely but not exclusively outside the traditional boundaries of Great Britain and the United States. This will involve an examination of language development, nativisation and acculturation in different contexts; social, political and ideological aspects of the phenomenon will be examined.
Teaching Language and Literature 1 (15 credits)
The module will examine the use of representational materials in language teaching and the development of creative reading, processing and interpretative skills; language awareness, text awareness and cultural awareness will be seen as contributory factors to a five-skills approach to the teaching and learning of English as second or foreign language. This will involve the study of a wide range of texts and text-types, from both an analytical and a pedagogic viewpoint. Various approaches to language, linguistic and literary study will be considered, with their application to various pedagogic situations.
Teaching Language and Literature 2 (15 credits)
The module will further develop the use of representational materials in language teaching and the development of creative reading, processing and interpretative skills; language awareness, text awareness and cultural awareness will be seen as contributory factors to a five-skills approach to the teaching and learning of English as a second or foreign language. This will involve the study of a wide range of texts and text-types, from both an analytical and a pedagogic viewpoint. Various approaches to language, linguistic and literary study will be considered, with their application to various pedagogic situations. The module builds on Teaching Language and Literature 1 and develops a greater depth of knowledge.
Middle English Romance (15 credits)
This module considers twenty-first century historicized readings of a major English literary genre, and demonstrates that medieval English romance texts can be set in complex and profound critical relationship to each other and to other artistic media. Such an approach is possible largely because of the vibrant and privileged international socio-literary milieu in which many romance tracts were first written and received. Students will be encouraged to explore how reading Middle English romance texts can equip us with vocabulary and concepts to discuss the cultural specificities of the literary representations of romance, love and chivalry in this period, the representations of public and private identities, and the questions regarding individuality and selfhood that arise in literature produced in a volatile period of religious and social uncertainty and dissent. These are all issues that now define “the Middle Ages” for modern scholars.
Old English Texts (15 credits)
A knowledge of Old English is crucial to the in-depth study of the history and development of the English language, English place-names, culture and society in pre-modern England. This module offers students the opportunity to explore the literary ideas and culture of Anglo-Saxon England through the study of selected original texts. Using Peter Baker’s Introduction to Old English, the module will introduce basic elements of Old English grammar and syntax to prepare students for reading and enjoying the texts. Wide reading of texts in translation, and discussion of poetry and prose in the light of historical and critical scholarship will form an important part of the module.
This module offers students the opportunity to explore the culture of medieval Scandinavia through the surviving literature in Old Norse. Seminars will concentrate on the reading and analysis of selected extracts from prose and poetry of Icelanders in the original, using A New Introduction to Old Norse. Students will be expected to read, and be prepared to discuss, complete texts read in translation, and the most important critical studies.
Advanced Study Module (Medieval) (15 credits)
The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity for students to take further, in the form of a project, a topic which has engaged their interest in modules already successfully completed on the MA. The project should be discrete and not merely an expansion of work already undertaken. The topic might be (inter alia) a linguistic or literary study, but it must be discussed with and agreed by the supervisor, who will advise on the scope and writing up of the project so that it appropriately reflects ‘advanced study’. A list of tutors available to supervise projects, and their areas of expertise, will be made available on the School website.
What is Literature? (30 credits)
This 30-credit module addresses the question ‘What is literature?’ by introducing key critical methodologies and theoretical frameworks that have been developed to study literary and dramatic texts. The primary aim is to encourage you to become more reflexive about your own practice as a literary critic. For this reason, the range of the module is purposely broad. Each Unit introduces a particular critical methodology or theoretical framework and works through significant issues by examining a particular author, period or genre, ranging broadly over literatures from the fourteenth century to the present day.
Language and Gender 1 (15 credits)
The module will explore the relationship between language and gender in spoken interaction and written texts, drawing on key approaches in the areas of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. The extent to which gender affects the language we produce when interacting with one another in a variety of contexts will be focused on, along with the issue of sexism in language use. Various theoretical paradigms that have been presented to explain language and gender differences will be critically examined, along with gender ideologies which operate in society. Students will be encouraged to combine theoretical thinking with hands-on analyses of data from authentic examples of spoken interaction and from a variety of publications including the popular media. The practical consequences of the discipline in terms of how findings can have a political impact on wider society are also discussed.
Language and Gender 2 (15 credits)
The module will build on the theoretical and critical knowledge gained in Language and Gender 1, in order to develop practical methodological and analytical skills in a range of discourse situations. These will include issues of language and gender in an educational and pedagogic context, in the cyberspace, in the media, in medical settings and the courtroom. With further reference to current work in the field, students will apply their knowledge of discourse analytic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic approaches to examining the inter-relations between language, gender and society.
Intercultural Communication (15 credits)
This module will explore the use of language in interactions between speakers of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds from three different perspectives: Description, Development, and Assessment. With a growing proportion of interactions in the world today taking place between people of diverse cultural backgrounds, it is important to identify and describe language use which may lead to misunderstanding and communicative breakdown. This module will look at ways in which language barriers might be overcome in such interactions, and at the key factors in this process. We will examine intercultural interactions in a variety of contexts, e.g. business and other professional encounters, the language of the media, the foreign language classroom, etc.
Consciousness in Fiction (15 credits)
The module will explore in depth narrative techniques used for the presentation of consciousness in novels and other fictional texts. Students will learn about the linguistic indices associated with the point of view of characters and the various modes available to a writer for the presentation of characters’ thoughts and perceptions. Alongside detailed examinations of narrative texts which portray consciousness, students will also study different theories put forward to explain the nature of writing consciousness in texts. The module will also aim to explain historical changes in the style of writing consciousness, making connections with literary and cultural history.
Dickens and Language (15 credits)
Through detailed study of a selection of his novels, this module will examine the language and style of Dickens. It investigates the creation of fictional worlds and techniques of characterization. While the focus is on Dickens, the module introduces stylistic approaches that are of wider applicability (such as approaches to body language in literature or computer-assisted methods of analysis). The module also deals with the reception of Dickens's novels and assesses Dickens's literary celebrity in the context of popular culture.
Further information about the above modules is available in the Module Catalogue.
The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.