Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 Hours. (10 x 1 hour seminars)
Lecture 20 Hours. (20 x 1 hour lectures: two per week for 10 weeks)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 2 x 2,000-word assignments  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   A two question examination paper of two hours duration, at the end of Semester 2  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Resubmit or resit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements 

Learning Outcomes

On the completion of this module students should typically be better able to:

1. read literary texts in an informed and critical manner;

2. discuss literary texts coherently;

3. write about them in a well-structured and well-argued manner;

4. understand the complexities of literary modes and kinds.


This module aims to:

1. introduce students to texts from a range of genres;

2. enable students to understand the usefulness of the concept of genre;

3. introduce students to the ways in which genres change over time;

4. help students develop critical skills appropriate to different genres.

Brief description

This module considers aspects of the three main literary genres - poetry, drama and prose fiction - with the emphasis mainly on pre-twentieth century writing. Within each genre the module picks out one aspect for special attention. In the case of poetry the focus is on longer forms, whether 'integral' (the verse narrative) or 'composite' (the sonnet sequence); within drama the focus is on comedy; and within prose fiction the focus is on 'the uncanny' - broadly speaking here the genre is defined by content rather than by form.


Weekly lectures and seminars will focus on the set texts listed in the bibliography. Lectures will relate the set texts to their generic and historical contexts, and will seek to show how awareness of such contexts can inform critical interpretation. In seminars students will be able to develop their active understanding of the texts and of concepts of genre, often by means of detailed discussion of selected passages from the set texts.


_Seminar 1: Introduction

_Seminars 2, 3 & 4: Poetry

_Seminars 5, 6 & 7: Drama

_Seminars 8, 9 & 10: Prose Fiction

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
Geoffrey Chaucer (ed. A.C. Spearing) (1994) The Franklin's Prologue and Tale (2nd edition) Cambridge University Press Primo search James Hogg (ed. John Carey) Confessions of a Justified Sinner Oxford World's Classics Primo search Jane Austen, ed. John Davie Northanger Abbey Oxford World's Classics Primo search Joseph Conrad, ed. Cedric Watts Typhoon and Other Tales ('The Secret Sharer' only) Oxford World's Classics Primo search Oscar Wilde, ed. Peter Raby The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays Oxford World's Classics Primo search Stephen H. A. Stephen (ed.) (1995) Middle English Romances ('Sir Orfeo' and 'Sir Launfal') Norton Critical Editions Primo search William Congreve, ed. Brian Gibbons The Way of the World (2nd edn.) 2nd New Mermaids Primo search William Shakespeare, ed F. H. Mares Much Ado About Nothing Cambridge University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 4