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. The majority of Stage 2 and Stage 3 Creative Writing modules also include a weekly workshop.
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/Creative Writing project.
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:
- a wide range of authors and texts from different periods of literary history, in both British and American literature
- the principal literary genres, fiction, poetry, drama and of other kinds of writing and communication; insight into the varying demands imposed by their written production
- the challenges involved in producing original imaginative writing as they relate to several different genres
- literatures in English from countries outside Britain and America
- traditions in literary criticism and their relationship with creative writing
- terminology used in literary 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.
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 synthesise material from a number of sources in a coherent creative whole
- ability to make discriminations and selections of relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge or of a body of creative material
- exercise of problem-solving skills, especially in the context of creative writing
- the ability to organise and present research findings
- the ability to frame oral criticism of creative work sensitively and constructively and to digest it to good effect.
You develop the following subject-specific skills:
- enhanced skills in the close critical analysis of literary texts and written creative work in progress
- ability to structure and edit original creative work
- informed critical understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature and contemporary writing
- ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to the study of literature and technical alternatives and their implications in the context of creative writing
- sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature and to their implications for the practising writer
- very well-developed linguistic resourcefulness including attention to tone and register and a grasp of standard critical terminology
- articulate responsiveness to literary and other persuasive language
- appropriate scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular in bibliographic and annotational practices
- appropriate professional practice in the presentation of creative work, in particular in formatting and normal submission procedure
- 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
- highly developed writing skills and enhanced fluency in creative, discursive and general communicative contexts
- enhanced confidence in the efficient presentation of ideas designed to stimulate critical debate
- enhanced confidence in the writing and presentation of original projects
- developed critical acumen and critical diagnostic skills
- the ability to assimilate and organise substantial quantities of complex information or creative material of diverse kinds
- competence in the planning and execution of essays and project-work and in the conception, planning, execution and editing of individual creative work
- enhanced capacity for independent thought, intellectual focus, reasoned judgement, and self-criticism
- enhanced original creativity, imagination, judgement and powers of self-criticism
- enhanced skills in collaborative intellectual or creative work, including more finely tuned listening and questioning skills
- the ability to understand, interrogate and apply a variety of theoretical positions and weigh the importance of alternative perspectives
- the ability to respond to a variety of creative positions while sustaining confidence in your own
- 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 predominantly British and American literatures, and study them both as literature and as sources of technical expertise, inspiration and best practice in their own writing
- enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary traditions and place your own endeavour within that tradition
- develop your understanding, critical appreciation and practical powers of application of the expressive resources of language
- offer sustained opportunities for you to discover and develop your potential for creative writing in more than one generic area
- offer generous scope for the study of literature and creative writing 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 and contemporary writing
- develop your independent critical thinking, judgement, originality and self-reliance
- provide a basis for the study of English, creative writing or related disciplines at a higher level
- provide a basis for future creative writing in a number of different genres
- provide a basis in knowledge and skills for those intending to teach English literature and/or creative writing
- provide the opportunity to experience another culture’s approaches to English and American literature and creative writing
- if studying in continental Europe, to develop the ability to communicate in another language, in part through the provision of language modules at the host University.