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 subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules we offer.
A choice of three from the following four modules:
Language and Context
This module considers the main forms and functions of English vocabulary, grammar and discourse and explores how they are used in real social and cultural contexts. You will look at how language is used for different purposes and how people use language to reveal and conceal social realities as well other topics surrounding language and context. For this module you’ll have a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar per week.
Beginnings of English
You will be introduced to the language, literature and culture of medieval England and study Old and Middle English texts. In this module you’ll familiarise yourself with the knowledge needed for reading and understanding medieval texts. In addition you will be introduced to the basics of grammar and spelling conventions. For this module you’ll have two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour seminar per week.
This module will introduce some of the core skills necessary for literary studies through focus on specific poetry and prose texts. You will address topics including: close reading, constructing an argument and handling critical material. For this module you’ll have a combination of lectures and seminars.
Introduction to Drama
For this module you’ll explore the variety of drama in the western dramatic tradition. You’ll consider some of the following: theatre of ancient Greece, medieval mystery and morality plays, the drama of Shakespeare and the Restoration, and nineteenth century naturalism. For this module you’ll study selected plays but also explore 20th century interpretations of the texts through use of video extracts. For this module you’ll have a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars.
Studying the Greek World
This wide-range module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Greek World from BC1600-31; the period from the Bronze Age becoming part of the Roman Empire and no prior knowledge of Greek world is required. You will also consider other major chapters of Greece’s history from the Mycenean Period and the Dark Ages, to the rise of polis in the Archaic period among major chapters. You will also explore developments in Greek literary and artistic culture as well as consider aspects of the reception of ancient Greece in modern western culture. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture over the course of ten weeks.
Studying the Roman World
This wide-range module introduces you to the history, literature and art of the Roman world from the beginnings of the city of Rome to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. You will examine all the major chapters of Rome’s history such as the Roman Republic, the rise of the empire, the establishment of the Principate, and the fall of Rome. Of these chapters you will explore developments in Roman literary and artistic culture, and consider aspects of the reception of ancient Rome in modern western culture. In addition, you will also examine the relationship of the Roman world to the Greek world which complements the Autumn semester module ‘Study the Greek World. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture each week.
Interpreting Ancient Art
In this module you will explore Greek and Roman art in more detail with an aim of giving students a broad overview of visual material from classical antiquity, whilst concentrating on a cross-section of the most famous and talked about objects and monuments of Greek and Roman Culture. You will be introduced to temple-sculpture, statues, wall-paintings, buildings and coins from the 6th Century Greek sculptures to the 4th Century arch of Constantine in Rome. Material for this module is organised by theme and media rather than chronological starting with topography, sculpture, vase painting etc. For this module you will have a two 1-hour lecture each week and five 2-hour seminars over the course of your first year.
Interpreting Ancient History
This module takes you through some of the important historical issues from major periods of Greek and Roman history with an emphasis on the methodological questions raised from ancient source materials and modern debates on those issues. On completion of this module you will have a more detailed knowledge of these important historical issues and clearly understand the evidential basis on which ancient historians rely upon as well as an appreciation of how contemporary preoccupations can influence the perspectives of modern practioners of the discipline and generate debate between them.
Interpreting Ancient Literature
Ancient literature is the core focus in this module and is studied by focusing on a representative theme. Themes will address issues such as the relationship between literature and society, the working of genres, modern and ancient receptions, the analysis of rhetoric and literary style. Recent themes have been ‘Performance and Persuasion’ and some issues treated may include: orality and performance, genre, gender, religion and literature, ritual and performance. For this module you will have eight one 1-hour seminars over the year and two 1-hour lectures each week.
Latin Texts: 1
This module is targeted at those students who have a good A level pass in Latin. This module studies Latin literary text and begins the systematic revision of grammar to be completed in Q81LT2 Latin Texts: 2 in Year 2. This module will reinforce your knowledge of the Latin language and develop your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture and a3 1-hour lectures each week.
Latin Texts: 2
This module studies Latin literary text and is a systematic revision of grammar begun in Q810LT1 Latin texts: 1. The Latin Texts: 2 module reinforces and further develops your ability to read Latin with fluency and understanding. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture, a one 1-hour lecture and a two 1-hour lecture each week.
Three modules in English covering at least two areas from a choice of options.
Literature 1500 to the present
Shakespeare and Contemporaries on the Page
This module focuses on material written between 1580 and 1630 to provide you with an introduction to methods of reading early modern texts. Shakespeare’s poetry will be among the core texts; other canonical writers will include Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney and John Donne. You will explore the practice of historicised readings of early modern texts and you’ll consider the related challenges and limitations. You will have one hour of lectures and two hours of seminars each week.
From Talking Horses to Romantic Revolutionaries: literature 1700-1830
This module introduces you to a range of literature written between 1700-1830. This was a dramatic and turbulent period in literary history where anything was possible and many roles were reversed. Writers produced texts about contemporary issues such as class, poverty, sexuality, slavery, and the city, but also had their eyes firmly on the past. They took every available opportunity to promote their own agendas and to savage and ridicule those of their political and literary opponents. You’ll examine a wide-range of literature considering the political, social and cultural contexts of the period. You will have three hours of contact time through lectures and seminars each.
Modern and Contemporary Literature
This module will familiarize you with relevant aesthetic, generic, and literary-historical strategies for tracing formal and thematic transformations in twentieth and twenty-first century literature. Moving between genres, the module will unfold chronologically from modernism, through the inter-war years, and into the ‘contemporary scene’ up to the present day. You’ll have two hours of lectures and an hour-long seminar each week.
Literature and Popular Culture
This module will give you an understanding of the relationship between literature and popular culture, as you explore works from across a range of genres and mediums such as prose fiction, poetry, comics, graphic novels, music, television and film. In addition to exploring topics such as aesthetics and adaptation, material will be situated within cultural, political and historical contexts allowing for the distinction between the literary and the popular. You’ll have two hours of lectures and an hour-long seminar each week.
English Language and applied linguistics
Discourse and Society
This module explores the relationship between discourse and society. It considers the vital role that discourse plays in a variety of contexts including healthcare, business, politics, law, the media, advertising and education. You will be introduced to frameworks for examining various types of discourse and communication strategies, including multi-modal approaches that examine the visual aspects of texts, as well as a range of contemporary approaches to discourse analysis. You will have a one-hour lecture and a two-hour workshop each week.
Language and Development
You will explore how English is learnt from making sounds as an infant through to adulthood. Topics relating to early speech development include: the biological foundations of language development, the stages of language acquisition and the influence of environment on development. Further topics which take into account later stages of development include humour and joke telling abilities, story-telling and conversational skills and bilingualism. You’ll have three hours of contact time per week through a mix of workshops, practicals and lectures.
Bridging the study of literature and language, this module offers training in the discipline of literary linguistics, also known as ‘stylistics’. There is a focus on the analysis of linguistic and narratological aspects of literary texts in order to show their linguistic patterns. You’ll also consider the effects of texts on the reader, including their significance, meaning and value. The module offers an opportunity for specialisation in preparation for Year three modules in modern English language, particularly in the areas of stylistics, cognitive poetics and narratology.
Second Language Development
This module will introduce you to theories and practice of second language learning, enabling you to develop an in-depth understanding of the process in various settings. Topics that are covered include: zone of proximal development, classroom interaction, collaborative learning, learning styles, and classroom methodology. You will spend around three hours in a workshop each week.
Medieval Languages and Literatures
Ice and Fire: Myths and Heroes of the North
In this module you will study and analyse the key texts of old Norse myth and legend from which popular stories come, along with pictorial versions in wood and stone from throughout the Viking world. You’ll explore the development of Norse myth and legend from the Viking Age, through medieval Christian Iceland, and into more recent times. You will have a one-hour lecture and a one hour seminar every week.
Sisters, sex and scribes: writing women in early medieval Britain
This module will introduce you to a range of different ways in which women influenced text production in the period 800-1200 in Britain, with comparative examples from Old Norse literature. You’ll look at women as writers, readers, sponsors and recipients of texts and discuss the meaning of ‘literacy’ in this historical context. Examples will range from saints' lives to runic inscriptions. You also consider how women are portrayed in the literature of their time, and if particular genres were thought to be especially appropriate for a female audience. You will have an hour lecture and a two hour seminar every week.
Names and Identities
The module explores the origin of the names given to people—forenames, surnames, and nicknames—and examines the contribution that the study of them can make to linguistics, social and cultural history. The emphasis is on names used in England from the medieval period to the earlier twentieth century. You have a mix of lectures and seminars totalling three hours of contact time per week for this module.
Chaucer and his Contemporaries: c.1380-1420
In this module you’ll be introduced to the exceptionally rich period of writing in English at the end of the fourteenth and turn of the fifteenth century. It will focus on the so-called ‘Ricardian’ poets, Chaucer (selected Canterbury Tales, Parliament of Fowls, Legend of Good Women), Langland (excerpts from Piers Plowman), Gower (excerpts from Confessio Amantis) and the Gawain-poet (Patience). You’ll also discuss Thomas Hoccleve’s early poems, and the prose works of the female mystics Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe. You’ll have an hour-long lecture and two one-hour seminars weekly for this module.
Drama and Performance
Twentieth Century Plays
This module aims to provide you with an overview of key plays and performances from the 1890s to the present, placing those texts in their original political, social, and cultural contexts and considering their subsequent reception and afterlife. You will focus on the textual and performance effects created in those key texts, by writers such as Samuel Beckett and Edward Albee, and will be encouraged to situate those texts alongside the work of relevant theorists and practitioners. You will have a hour lecture and one two hour seminar every week.
Performance Practices: From Stanislavski to Sterlarc
This module helps you develop your understanding of the theory and practice of theatre and performance from the beginnings of the twentieth century through to the present day. Building on the work encountered in Introduction to Drama, you will move forward from naturalism to consider the work of influential theorists and practitioners such as Stanislavski, Brecht, Meyerhold, Barba, Schechner, Boal, Artaud, Berkoff, Grotowski, Jarry and the futurists, whose work has had a major impact on theatre and performance in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. You’ll have a mix of lectures and workshops totalling three hours per week for this module.
Prose and Poetry Writing
This module will allow you to develop the process of writing prose and poetry, further from Year One, by engaging in various forms of reading and practice. Particular issues for consideration in prose might include narrative voice and technique, point of view, character development, dialogue, plot, and setting. In the poetry section of the module content takes a range of approaches to poetic form, and focuses on forms including the sonnet, the sestina and the cut-up. During this module you’ll have an hour-long lecture and an hour-long seminar every week.
Extended Source Study
This module is designed to develop your skills of research, analysis and written presentation as preparation for your third year presentation. You will be expected to write a 5,000 word essay chosen from a range of worksheet topics, each focusing on a single piece of ancient source material. You will be provided with a topic for investigation, starter bibliography and tips on how to approach the question. The questions will suggest a range of possible approaches from evaluation of historical source material to exploration of literary and/or effects, relationships with other material, discussion of context or reception. A number of seminars and consultation sessions will be help you approach and develop your source study. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture, a one 2-hour seminar and a one 2-hour lecture over a period of ten weeks.
Latin Texts: 3
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. You will also the development of the genre as well as its relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture and a one 1-hour lecture each week.
Latin Texts: 4
This module examines, in the original Latin, a text representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying close attention to matters of language and style. Literary appreciation and linguistic appreciation and linguistic skills are developed through detailed analysis of original Latin. You will also the development of the genre as well as its relationship with its social, political and cultural context. For this module you will have a one 2-hour lecture and a one 1-hour lecture each week. The set text for in 2013/14 will be Tacitis’ Agricola.
Classics and Popular Culture
For this module you will explore the reception of ancient Greek and Roman Culture in a modern popular media such as films, novels, museums, architecture, children’s literature and comics with aim to understand how these receptions influence the way Greek and Roman culture is approached, used and questioned. Lectures may focus on the following: classical education for the 18th century, the influences of the Classics on the production and content of modern literature, the establishing of museums, and the use and abuse of the Classics in political and philosophical debate among others. For this module you will have one 2-hour lecture twice a week and a one 2-hour seminar each week over a ten week period.
Love in Augustian Rome
In this module you will undertake a detailed study, in translation, of the Latin elegiac poet Propertius, with reference to other poets of the same genre (Catullus, Gallus, Tibullus, Ovid). It takes a cross-cultural perspective on writing love poetry: what does it mean to say ‘I love you’ and how do different cultures do it? You will also be looking at real women and imaginary mistresses, masculinity and counter-cultural posturing, allusion and literary credibility, poetry and politics. The text will be read in the translation of Guy Lee (Oxford World’s Classics 1996). For this module you will have a one 1-hour seminar and a one 1-hour lecture over 10 week period.
The modules we offer in final year are inspired by the research interests of our staff. The following list is subject to change each year, but is an example of the scope of modules that will be open to you. All final year subjects have three contact hours per week unless otherwise stated.
Literature 1500 to the present
Blake and his Legacy
In this module you’ll become familiar with the works of William Blake and discover the adaptations of his imagery and concepts in a variety of genres. The module will also introduce you to a selection of adaptation theory. Poetry, novels and graphic novels will be covered and there is the potential to examine works in other media as well.
This module gives you an overview of D H Lawrence’s career as a novelist, considering the thematic and stylistic development of his work in the genre. You’ll read four of Lawrence’s major novels, Sons and Lovers (1913), The Rainbow (1915), Women in Love (1920), and Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), plus two of the short stories he wrote or revised in the crucial period after he finished the final revisions to Sons and Lovers in 1912.
This module looks at the shaping of twentieth century literature in terms of a development from realism, through modernism, to post modernism. It is concerned both with the textual practice of realism, and with the relation of the text to political and ideological contexts manifested in issues such as gender and sexuality, the construction of self, history and national identity.
Literature of British India
This module gives you an introduction to the theoretical, cultural and historical contexts for Anglophone literature written in and about the Indian subcontinent during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Issues studied include: early British representations of India, literature of the `Indian Mutiny', gender, race and class relations, travel-writing, and the rise of 'Indo-Anglian' literature in the first half of the twentieth century. Authors studied include Philip Meadows Taylor, Rudyard Kipling, Mulk Raj Anand, R.K. Narayan and Salman Rushdie.
James Joyce: Revolutions of the World
In this module you’ll explore two major works by James Joyce: ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ and ‘Ulysses’ giving you the chance to get to grips with what is acclaimed to be the greatest novel of the twentieth century. Topics discussed include: informal experimentation, the epiphany, aesthetics alcohol and much more.
Modern British Fiction since 1950
This module focuses on the post-war novel affecting or responding to social and cultural life in Britain. The term ‘British’ in this module will be considered as an inclusive concept open to contestation (as in ‘Black British’). Key texts from the 1950s up the present day will be studied and particular issues discussed, including: representations of history; gender; ethnicity; the state-of-the-nation.
Oscar Wilde: Literature, Consumerism, and the Commodification of Culture
This module uses the writings of Oscar Wilde and some of his contemporaries to examine changes which took place in literary culture and the practices of literary composition in the late nineteenth century. Topics to be explored include: the role of new technology in literary creativity; the growth of mass and 'celebrity' culture, the development of consumerism and consequent commodification of literary art; the changing relationship of art to politics; anxieties about artistic originality and its obverse, plagiarism; and attempts (via censorship) to police literary expressivity. You’ll study a range of Wilde's works (drama, fiction and criticism), and these will be compared with pieces by a number of his contemporaries (including Walter Pater, Henry James and William Morris) with a view to assessing both the modernity and radicalism of Wilde's writings.
English Language and applied linguistics
This module considers the possibilities offered by cognitive linguistics in the field of literary studies. You will examine a range of theoretical models developed in a range of interdisciplinary areas such as: psychology, computer science and literary, critical and social theory. You will focus on practical and applied exploration of different literary texts and contexts.
Exploring Health Communication
In this module you’ll consider the world of health and illness and language. You will cover three central modes in health communication studies: spoken, written and computer-mediated communication. You will consider how health professionals interact with patients and how patients communicate concerns about their health.
Introduction to English Language Teaching
This module is designed to give you the theoretical and academic background necessary to begin to teach English as a second language. Although the module does not include actual teaching practice, you will learn the principles for teaching key aspects and skills of English, including: vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening. You’ll also cover necessary classroom skills, such as classroom management, materials development, and ways of assessing the above aspects and skills.
Language and Creativity
The aim of this module is to provide you with a sophisticated sense of the links between language and creativity in theory and practice in relation to written and spoken discourse. Examples from canonical literature, journalism, advertising and new media among others will be used and you will then be encouraged to undertake a range of writing and re-writing tasks.
Language and the Mind
Speaking, listening, reading and writing are all behaviours used every day but remain difficult to fully explain. This modules attempts to explain these complex set of behaviours by considering: how people understand written and spoken behaviour, how people produce language and how language (both first and second languages) are acquired.
Literacy in Global English
This module examines the development of literacy in English in a variety of contexts. You’ll consider the relationship between learning to read and write, and reading and writing to learn. This module will be of particular interest to students interested in teaching English as a foreign language and those interested in teaching English in primary and secondary schools in English-speaking countries.
Medieval Languages and Literatures
Chaucer and his Legacy
This module considers Chaucer's writing and its influence on English and Scottish poetry of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The study of Chaucer's poetry will concentrate on Troilus and Criseyde and The Book of the Duchess. You will also study other poets including John Lydgate, Thomas Hoccleve, Robert Henryson and William Dunbar. You will discuss the following critical topics: the nature of the literary response to Chaucer during the century after his death; medieval concepts of authority; the construction of a narrative persona; stylistic imitation and change; and genre.
This modules studies place- names with an aim to illustrate the various languages spoken in England over the last 2000 years. You’ll learn how place-name evidence can be used as a source for the history of English. Part of the module’s assessment can be directed at a geographical area of particular interest to you.
Literature of the Anglo-Saxons
This module provides students who already possess basic knowledge of Old English theto chance to explore the astonishing range of heroic and Christian texts from the earliest stages of English literature. Themes include Germanic myth and legend as well as heroic endeavour and Christian passion. Study of the epic poem Beowulf will be considered in from various aspects as an essential part of the module.
Outlaws, Ghosts and Heroes: Iceland and its Medieval Literature
You will be given an introduction to the Icelandic sagas including the language of the sagas and short lectures on Icelandic literature, culture, history and landscape. You will take part in student-led discussions of selected saga-texts. Core texts are the canonical Grettis saga and Njáls saga
Drama and Performance
Awakenings and Arguments: Plays from the Long 20th Century
In this module you will analyse a selection of plays and performances from the 1890s to the present and place these performances in their political, social and cultural contexts. You will also consider the impact and influence of performed versions of these scripts, and will be reading the scripts alongside the work of theorists and practitioners including Gordon Craig, Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud.
In this module you’ll assess and analyse the practices and processes involved in professional performance considering script development, the role of dramaturg, marketing, audience and the place and space of performance and the history. This module is run in conjunction with Nottingham Playhouse and University of Nottingham’s Lakeside theatre. For this module you’ll have around five hours of lectures and practicals.
Language in the Limelight: analysing the discourse of drama
Exploring the relationship between language and performance, you’ll work with a range of texts from the early modern period to the present day. The module investigates the role of language in shaping characters, dialogue, interaction and staging.
Performance: Theory and Practice
This module develops your understanding of performance as a material practice, composed of textual, scenic, spatial and other meanings. You will be provided with the opportunity to critically evaluate some key theories of performance in relation to both dramatic texts and your own performance practice. You’ll spend around six hours per week in workshops and lectures studying for this module.
This module explores the phenomenon of the riot, examining it’s definition and relation to other kinds of western performance events. You’ll be encouraged to analysis the way riots are triggered by and represented in performance. You will be encouraged to compare and contrast material from a range of different periods across a range of genres. Works considered in this module include the drama of Euripides, the music of Stravinsky and the performance poetry of Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Students that meet the threshold requirement may take a 20 credit dissertation. This will give you the chance to work on a one-to-one basis with a supervisor on an agreed area of study to produce a detailed and sustained piece of writing. This can be on a topic of language, literature or performance, or there is the option of undertaking a project-based dissertation, which will suit those students interested in applied or 'hands on' aspects of English as a discipline. The topics available build on the School’s engagement with local theatres and literacy projects.
This module draws on a member of staff's research interest in Latin literature, and examines, in the original Latin, a text or range of texts representative of an author, genre, period or theme of Latin literature, paying special attention to matters of language and style. Original Latin will be studied in detail and the position of the texts or texts in the development of the genre will be explored, as well as relationships with social context. For this year the module will explore epic endings beginning with Aeneid 12 in the recent edition by R.J Tarrant. You will address issues such as politics and poetics, incompleteness and transmission as well as other closely related issues. For this module you will have a one 1-hour seminar and a one 2-hour lecture each week.
In this module you’ll have the unique opportunity to engage in an intensive productive study of a topic which you have chosen for yourself and on which you will be working on your own terms with access to advice and subject to criticism on completion of assessment. This module, built on skills acquired and/or developed in your first and second years, notably, Extended Source Study in Ancients History and Independent Second-Year Project, is entirely independent on your personal research and will involved a few sessions of formal teaching, as well as attendance at the departmental research workshop. Each student is allotted an individual supervisor to guide them through the process, and comment on plans and two 200-word drafts of the dissertation. For this module you will have a combination of lectures, tutorials, computing sessions and workshops to complete this module.
Intermediate Latin: 1
This module further develops your ability to translate Latin. You will be able to consolidate your grammatical knowledge from the earlier language modules and thereby begin to study unadapted literary texts. You will also communicate more effectively through speech and the written word.