Teaching and assessment can vary between modules. All modules are taught by weekly seminars. In addition to seminars, the majority of literature modules also include a weekly lecture.
Assessment at Stage 1 and 2 is by a mixture of coursework and examination. Some modules may include an optional practical element.
Assessment at Stage 3 is by coursework only and may include an optional Dissertation.
Attendance at seminars is required, and for the majority of modules, you are assessed on your seminar contribution/performance.
Knowledge and understanding
You develop knowledge and understanding of:
- contemporary postcolonial writing in English, and English and American literatures
- the principal literary genres, fiction, poetry drama and of other kinds of writing and communication
- postcolonial theory and traditions in literary criticism
- the challenges of creative writing
- terminology used in literary theory and criticism
- the cultural and historical contexts in which literature is written, transmitted and read
- critical theory and its applications, understood within its historical contexts
- literary criticism as a practice subject to considerable variation of approach
- the study of literature in its relation to other disciplines.
You develop the following intellectual skills:
- application of the skills needed for academic study and enquiry
- evaluation of critical interpretations
- ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of critical theory and general methodology
- ability to make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge
- exercise of problem-solving skills
- the ability to organise and present research findings.
You develp the following subject-specific skills:
- enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of literary texts
- informed critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature
- ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to English studies
- sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature
- well-developed language use and awareness, including a grasp of standard critical terminology
- articulate responsiveness to literary language
- appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices
- understanding of how cultural norms, assumptions and practices influence questions of judgement
- appreciation of the value of collaborative intellectual work in developing critical judgement.
You develop the following transferable skills:
- developed powers of communication and the capacity to argue a point of view, orally and in written form, with clarity, organisation and cogency
- enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
- developed critical acumen
- the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information of diverse kinds
- competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work
- enhanced skills in creative writing (where the relevant modules have been taken)
- enhanced capacity for independent thought, intellectual focus, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
- enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual work, including more finely tuned listening skills
- the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
- research skills, including scholarly information retrieval skills
- IT skills: word-processing, email communication, the ability to access electronic data.
The programme aims to:
- introduce you to a range of postcolonial literatures in English (in addition to English and American literature) and encourage you to develop your own interests and expertise in fields of literary study
- enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions
- develop your understanding and critical appreciation of the expressive resources of language
- offer opportunities for you to develop your potential for creative writing
- offer generous scope for the study of literature within an interdisciplinary context
- develop your ability to argue a point of view with clarity and cogency, both orally and in written form
- develop your ability to assimilate and organise a mass of diverse information
- offer you the experience of a variety of teaching styles and approaches to the study of literature
- develop your independent critical thinking and judgement
- provide a basis for the study of English or postcolonial studies or related disciplines at a higher level
- provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to teach English or postcolonial literatures, including a broad frame of cultural reference.