Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Critical Practice
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 20 x 1 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Attendance and Participation  Engagement with all teaching activities throughout the course of the module.  10%
Semester Assessment Critical Practice Portfolio  Weekly entries c 1500-2000 words in total - online writing tasks responding to prompts.  30%
Semester Assessment Essay Assignments  2 x 2000 word essays  60%
Supplementary Assessment Attendance and Participation  Students WILL NOT be permitted to make good the marks available for "attendance and participation".  10%
Supplementary Assessment Critical Practice Portfolio  Resubmit failed or missing portfolio. Weekly entries c 1500-2000 words in total - online writing tasks responding to prompts.  30%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Essay Assignment  Resubmit missing or failed essays (2 x 2000 words)  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Deploy critical and interpretative skills appropriate to a given analytical task;

2. Use appropriate critical vocabulary in written work and discussion;

3. Demonstrate awareness of the relevance of cultural / philosophical / historical contexts to the interpretation of literary texts;

4. Conduct basic research, using appropriate tools, in response to a given task;

5. Present their academic writing in accordance with given conventions;

6. Engage effectively with the full range of learning activities (lectures / seminars / workshops / tutorials / VLE) utilised in undergraduate-level literary studies teaching


This module is designed to bridge from previous study / experience to university-level learning. It delivers skills that are specific to the study of English Literature alongside transferable skills pertinent to students’ broader academic and professional development.

Brief description

This module will introduce you to the essential skills required for success in critical practice. You will encounter a broad range of issues and skills that will be developed and honed through a range of learning environments including large-group lectures, problem-based group work, and writing labs. Over the course of the module you will discuss four literary texts which, taken together, encompass the range of genres, historical periods, and philosophical issues that will underpin your engagement with literary studies as an undergraduate student. Assessment for this module is varied and designed to provide regular opportunities for formative feedback as well as traditional summative tasks.



Week 1 Lecture 1: Introduction to the module
Seminar 1: What is critical practice?

Week 2 Lecture 2: Iliza Haywood, Fantomina: reading the text
Writing Lab 1: Initial responses to the text {Short response to the text}

Week 3: Lecture 3: Eliza Haywood, Fantomina: themes
Seminar 2: Problem-based learning task {Research a theme}

Week 4: Lecture 4: Eliza Haywood, Fantomina: critical contexts
Writing Lab 2: What is a bibliography? {Bibliography/referencing test}

Week 5: Lecture 5: William Shakespeare, Hamlet: reading the text
Seminar 3 Problem-based learning task (articulating plot)

Week 6: Lecture 6: William Shakespeare, Hamlet: critical contexts
Writing Lab 3: Quotations, summaries, and healthy notes {Short response to a critical extract}

Week 7: Lecture 7: William Shakespeare, Hamlet: historical context
Seminar 4: Problem-based learning task {research for historical context}

Week 8: Lecture 8: William Shakespeare, Hamlet: an argument
Writing Lab 4: How to find what you want/how to know what you need (session involving subject-specialist librarian) (short response to the text)

Week 9: Lecture 9: William Shakespeare, Hamlet: another argument
Seminar 5: Problem-based learning task: analysing a question and "finding" an argument

Week 10: Lecture 10: Semester 1 Round-Up: Putting it all together
Writing Lab 5: Assignment surgery 1


Week 1: Lecture 11: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner: reading the text
Seminar 6: Initial responses to the text (and what is a seminar for?)

Week 2: Lecture 12: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner: critical contexts
Writing Lab 6: Initial responses to the text {Short response to the primary text}

Week 3: Lecture 13: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner: STC and the slave trade
Seminar 7: Problem-based learning task (exploring an issue)

Week 4: Lecture 14: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner: co-texts & moving beyond the "primary" text
Writing Lab 7: Methods for integrating secondary material {Short response to secondary material}

Week 5: Lecture 15: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah, reading the text
Seminar 8: Initial responses to the novel and strategies for reading longer texts

Week 6: Lecture 16: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah: from text to theory
Writing Lab 8: "First" steps with theory

Week 7: Lecture 17: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah, from theory to text
Seminar 9: Problem based learning task {Academic writing and the art of spinning plates}

Week 8: Lecture 18: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, Americanah: an argument
Writing Lab 9: The editiing process: how to do it and why {Copy editing task / grammar test}

Week 9: Lecture 19: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, Americanah: another argument
Seminar 10: Problem-based learning task (writing for longer texts, the art of being selective)

Week 10: Lecture 20: Semester 2 Round-up: Putting it all together
Writing Lab 10: Assignment surgery 2 {Essay plan and bibliography}

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication in essays. Spoken communication in seminar participation. Group discussion and presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Developing time-management skills. Independent reading and research Reflective tasks
Information Technology Effective information retrieval and IT for research tasks Effective presentation of written work
Personal Development and Career planning Critical self-reflection and development of transferable communication and research skills.
Problem solving Developing evaluative analysis and critical skills in a controlled argument.
Research skills Developing independent study skills. Relating literary texts to historical and interpretative contexts.
Subject Specific Skills Skills for critical/ theoretical analysis of literary texts and evaluation of broad theoretical concepts.
Team work Group work and problem-based learning tasks


This module is at CQFW Level 4