English, Communications and Philosophy

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Learn more about the modules study abroad students can take at the School of English, Communication & Philosophy.

Module codeSE1107
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces some of the main themes, theories and concepts that underpin the study of human communication, by applying these to a broad range of different media and genres, including advertisements, cartoons, novels, photographs and films. We discuss the nature of signs and the ways in which they are organised into complex systems. We also consider the important role of metaphor, narrative, and humour in human communication. Another central topic is how we acquire language as children and learn to use it for different communicative purposes and how we judge the appropriateness of different ways of communicating.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1108
LevelL4
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This double module develops basic approaches to the study of discourse and communication, relevant to a wide range of traditional and new forms of media - from TV programmes to magazine advertisements, e-mails and texting. What is distinctive about particular media forms and genres? How do patterns of language use differ depending on text type and register? We look at how news gets produced, and analyse news stories, advertisements and broadcast interaction using methods of discourse analysis. We also look at patterns of language in emergent forms of e-based communication, examining how we can define, characterise and understand the ways in which discourse is used to scaffold our existence in the modern digital world (primarily using corpus-based methods).

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1109
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This double module introduces you to some of the key concepts and methods in the study of language. We take you on a tour of analysis from the smallest units of meaning (phonemes, morphemes) to the largest ones (sentences and extended discourse) to build up a picture of how language is structured and how it conveys meaning. By the end of the module, you should have a clear awareness of how language works, how it is analysed and what we can do with it. The course provides an essential background for anyone going on to study language in more detail, literature in any language, social development and interaction, or human communication.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 100%
Module codeSE1110
LevelL4
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This double module is an introduction to language and cultures. We examine a range of approaches which help explain the complex but fascinating relationship between language and social life. For example, we look at the role of language in intergroup and intercultural communication; the ways that language can be used to establish identity e.g. gender, age, social class. These are all important areas of understanding for a wide range of academic disciplines such as sociology, media, education, psychology, politics and philosophy and this module offers interesting connections with those disciplines. 

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1312
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module offers an introduction to various aspects of (non-disabled) children's acquisition and use of language and communication from infancy through to the teenage years. We begin by evaluating various theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of children’s developing communicative abilities. We then progress to examine, in turn, how a child acquires (i) a sound system (phonology), (ii) a huge collection of words (vocabulary), (iii) the meaning of words (semantics), (iv) the ability to combine them together (syntax), (v) to use them appropriately (pragmatics) and (vi) literacy skills (reading and writing). We consider the linguistic input experienced by children including the (potential) impact of child directed speech and the media on language and communication development and we examine children’s social interaction with peers and adults in contexts such home, playground and school classroom.

Assessment

  • Oral/aural assessment: 20%
  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
Module codeSE1318
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module explores a range of issues in Language and Communication research. Students will learn to identify, read, understand and critique existing research, formulate their own research questions, conduct literature searches and summaries, and execute a small-scale empirical project.  Students will work with qualitative and quantitative data, and basic numerical skills will be assumed. The aims of the module are to develop research knowledge, understanding and skills to enable students to undertake small projects in Language and Communication. Students will be able to identify different genres and traditions of research, and develop their ability to read, discuss and critique a wide range of research texts. Students will gain skills in designing, analysing, presenting and evaluating their own research project. Students will gain basic skills in data analysis.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 10%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codeSE1324
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will introduce the theory and practice of forensic linguistics. First, we consider the forms and functions of legal language in a wide range of settings throughout the legal process from 999 calls to prison.  This aspect of the module, will examine the discourse characteristics of talk in and around the law and the nature of various written legal texts.  This leads to our second focus: consideration of the activities of linguists in language reform and the measures taken when individuals are disadvantaged in their contact with the law.  Finally, we will examine the role of the linguist in providing linguistic evidence such as identifying authors and speakers and investigating language crimes.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1329
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will provide an understanding of the theories and practices involved in learning and teaching second and foreign languages. The module establishes the relationships between theories of language acquisition and approaches to teaching, and offers a basic grounding in the practical applications of these approaches in the classroom, and by the autonomous learner.

The aims for this module are to investigate current theories and practical issues relating to language learning and teaching methodology. We will focus on the real world problems and challenges of language learning and teaching, and explore the methods and interventions which might address these.  We then investigate the ways in which these can be related to theoretical models of language acquisition and language learning. The practical coursework element of the module, together with seminar work, is designed to explore how the theories are put into practice and vice versa. The module demonstrates how research into second language acquisition can inform, and be informed by, the experience of learners and teachers.  It would be good preparation for students interested in working in an educational context, and, for example those thinking of pursuing work experience, career opportunities, and/or further qualifications in language teaching after University.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1340
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

For many people, grammar seems like a bad word but really grammar is about the way we group words into recognisable patterns in order to make meaning. In this module we will look at the main patterns of the English language through a functional account of English grammar called systemic functional linguistics. This approach to the description of English can be used within a wide range of applied linguistic contexts.  We will concentrate mainly on grammar for reading and writing and how grammar is used to create meaning.  At all stages we will draw on a variety of texts including texts we write ourselves. Therefore this module will be of particular interest to those who are interested in pursuing a career where writing and reading play an important role, whether this is for example as a teacher, language therapist or as a writer.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1344
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The module will examine theory and research concerned with interpersonal communication across a range of relationships such as friendships, intimate relationships, workplace relationships, and social groups. We will examine the dynamics of social group interaction, including the formation and maintenance of groups and the creation of norms. We will also focus on communication in friendships and intimate relationships.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1347
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module offers an introduction to communication disorders. We consider what it means to have a communication disorder and we identify & discuss various different types of disorders including aphasia, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Williams Syndrome. The causes and the communicative characteristics of these conditions are considered along with possible remedial programmes. Finally, we reflect on the likely impact the disorder has on the person and his/her family, friends and colleagues.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Oral/aural assessment: 20%
Module codeSE1362
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to the various ways in which the term “discourse” is applied to the study of language.  Theories and methods that are covered include: Gricean pragmatics and speech act theory, pragmatic politeness theory, situated politeness theory, conversation analysis, ethnography of communication, interactional sociolinguistics, and critical discourse analysis.  As a core year two module, Discourse builds on topics covered in year one and provides core theoretical content that is further developed in many year three modules.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1369
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

Sociolinguistics examines how language is meaningfully linked to social differences between people, be it in terms of their geographical origin, their social class, their age or their gender.  This module will provide students with the theoretical background necessary to understand aspects of current sociolinguistic research.  Through exercises and in-class discussions, students will focus particularly on the social factors (style, class, gender, age, and so on) involved in linguistic variation.  The module will also examine how linguistic variation can be better understood using models of social networks and communities of practice, and will consider aspects of new-dialect formation and the acquisition of variation by children and non-native speakers.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1370
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

The first aim of the module is to explore a range of theoretical and descriptive approaches to the relationship between words and their meanings. The second aim is to provide students with an understanding of how to investigate word behaviour.

This module explores the world of words. What is a word? What range of meanings does a word have? How are word meanings related? How can we tell them apart? How do words ‘behave’ in texts? Where do words come from and how do they change? In this module we will explore a number of different approaches to the semantics of words. We will take an investigative look at our words from various perspectives. The emphasis will be on how speakers actually use words in texts. Students will be given the opportunity to gain some hands-on experience using electronic resources (e.g. resources such as the Sketch Engine and AntConc and various language corpora).

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
Module codeSE1371
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

One of the most important goals of language and communication is persuasion. A great deal of communication that is directed towards us seeks to influence our thinking and feelings about issues and objects, as well as our tastes, and the way we behave. And much of the communication that we direct towards others also seeks to achieve such influence. We may try to persuade others through a variety of means: e.g. by lying or being economical with the truth, by waiting till we think the other person is in the right mood, or by reeling off facts and figures. In this module, students gain an understanding of what is meant by ‘persuading’ people, and become familiar with some of the main theories of persuasion. Students also gain knowledge of some of the many empirical studies into the relative effectiveness of different approaches to persuasion. We consider persuasion and persuasiveness in relation to a number of different areas such as interpersonal communication, communication in groups and organisations, and mass communication. Coverage of persuasion through the media includes some aspects of consumer advertising, but also extends to political advertising, charity appeals, public safety and health campaigns, etc.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1396
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

Does the language of Twitter differ from that of Facebook? How has the language of news or gossip changed over time? Does the word 'table' mean the same thing in all texts? This module seeks to answer questions like these by examining a variety of approaches to the study of language behaviour in texts.  We start by considering the important contribution of British traditions of text analysis to our understanding of, for example, word meaning and use; grammatical patterns; register description and variation.  In this module, language is explored as a means of discovering patterns and to test existing theoretical views about language. We will consider how corpus methods can be used to reveal culturally significant patterns of language use. The module also offers students the opportunity to develop skills in critical and digital literacies.

 

This module aims to develop students’ understanding of how corpus analysis can be used to test theories about language use and to reveal culturally significant patterns of language.  It also aims to give students the opportunity to learn to use software which is designed to assist the researcher in lexical, grammatical and textual analysis. Students will learn to apply basic text-based methodologies for language analysis and they will be able to discuss and compare the differences and similarities between corpus-based language analysis and other forms of analysis.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 75%
Module codeSE1397
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module connects the functional description of language introduced in years 1 and 2 to the analysis of discourse as a social activity.  We will consider the importance of context in discourse analysis and the ways in which grammatical patterns across texts can be explained in terms of the social functions of these texts and the social positions of those who produce and receive them. 

 

The module aims to develop skills in analysing texts from a multifunctional perspective; to equip students with skills to compare and evaluate perspectives on textual meaning; to collect, transcribe and analyse data; and to present in oral and written forms project work on various aspects of social interaction.  

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 75%
Module codeSE1398
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module traces the development of the English language over a one thousand year period, from its original appearance in 5th century Britain, to the emergence of Early Modern English around 1500 and the birth of Modern English towards the end of the 18th century.  We will examine engravings medieval manuscripts inspired by politics, religion and story-telling.  Using textual evidence and historical records we will evaluate the impact of external events and political influences both on the internal structure of the language and on its social status. In addition we will study how the forms of the language changed.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1402
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module explores the close relationship between communication and culture. We shall be discussing such questions as: Does language determine thought? What are ‘standard’ languages and why is so much invested in them? How and why do we try to ‘clean up’ language? Is free speech always a good thing? In exploring such themes, we shall be using insights from linguistics, anthropology, sociology and psychology. The principal aim of the module is to introduce you to theories and key readings in language and culture, and to help develop your critical and argumentative skills.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
Module codeSE1403
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module explores the role and place of gender in language and communication.  It critically examines studies on children’s socialisation into gender roles, the differences in male and female speech and the role of power and dominance in cross-gender communication. We examine research on the discursive construction of participant’s gender identity in interaction. We will also explore linguistic sexism, the construction of gender and sexuality in talk and text and look at the relevance of gender in educational and institutional settings.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1407
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module studies how sounds both at the segmental and suprasegmental level function in the creation of interactional and interpersonal meaning in various spoken genres. The module will illustrate how speakers use sounds in a range of situations to manage interactions and create systematic local but unpredictable additional meanings. The genres which will be studied will be:

 

  • Radio news broadcast;
  • Radio phone ins;
  • Sports commentaries;
  • Advertising;
  • Poetry readings and audio books;
  • Language training audio files;
  • Workplace interactions

 

This module is of particular relevance to those interested in speech therapy as it allows you to gain knowledge of how ‘normal’ patterns of speech are produced.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1408
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module aims to enhance students’ understanding of a variety of media discourse genres, ranging from print media texts to broadcast talk and social media discourse. We focus particularly on how media discourse has changed over time in relation to specific technological developments, such as the microphone and web 2.0, and wider social and political phenomena, such as globalisation. We examine a range of media forms and their meanings, as articulated primarily through language, and explore issues relevant to media production, audience/user participation, commentary and ‘live’ reporting in media events, and global media discourses and ideologies. This module aims to develop students’ understanding of how different approaches can be used to analyse a range of media genres, drawing on (critical) discourse and conversation analysis. 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1409
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to the ‘graphic memoir’ (or autobiographical comic book) genre, which, over the past 40 years, has become an increasingly popular way of telling personal stories of considerable complexity and depth. Drawing on concepts from several disciplines, including linguistics, semiotics, multimodality, and literary and narrative theory, the module considers works that cover a broad range of subject matters and employ many different artistic styles. The focus is on the unique formal features of graphic memoirs. We discuss how narrative meaning is made through complex interactions between several semiotic resources, including pictures, the written word, colour, layout, and typography. Students are also taught to do close readings of texts, examining their formal features and locating them in their social, historical and literary contexts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 15%
  • Written assessment: 75%
  • Written assessment: 10%
Module codeSE1411
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module equips students with the necessary terminology and practical skills for the linguistic description and analysis of text that is the basis of applied and topic-specific language studies.  The module will cover the basics of phonology, grammatical structure and clause semantics from a theory-neutral perspective.   

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE2283
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will introduce students to the fiction of the Indian subcontinent and will examine relationships between nation, trauma and politics.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2367
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will trace the origins, development and persistence of the myth of Robin Hood in written and visual form.  Students will be required to read texts from the fifteenth to the twenty-first centuries, to study a range of film and television versions and be able to conceptualize the causes and effects of the changes that have occurred in the tradition.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeSE2417
LevelL6
SemesterDouble Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to the fundamentals of writing fiction and poetry. Class sessions will consist of seminar-style writers’ workshops, craft lectures, discussion of topics relevant to Creative Writing, and in-class writing exercises.

This module is a pre-requisite to Creative Writing II and Creative Writing III.

 

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 85%
  • Report: 10%
  • Oral/aural assessment: 5%
Module codeSE2441
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module provides an introduction to the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England. Students undertake close study of a selection of Old English prose and poetry in the original language and in modern English translation. The module should appeal to students interested in the history of the English language as well as those with an interest in medieval literature; no previous experience of language-learning is necessary.

 

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE2445
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module offers in-depth study of a number of some the most exciting key modernist fictions by Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. Through sustained close reading, an attention to language, and a sensitivity to literary influence and context, we will explore these wilful, brilliant, funny, and sometimes challenging texts. In doing so, students will develop an ability to draw associations between individual works and the movement known as ‘modernism’ itself, exploring modernist aesthetics, the fragmentation of meaning inherent in so much modernist fiction.

Over the course of two semesters we will cover a selection of major texts by Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Virginia Woolf Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. The module places emphasis on the importance of close-reading and analytical skills, and particular attention will be paid to placing the texts in the context of modernism as a whole.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeSE2446
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module explores selected examples of contemporary women’s writing from the 1980s to the present. Focusing on novels, short stories and memoirs, it provides an opportunity for students to address the connections between gender and genre, the significance of literary traditions and canon formation, and the complex dialogues that characterise the relationship between women’s writing and feminist thinking. Paying particular attention to the ways in which gender might inform both form and content, the module will consider the set texts in relation to some of the key themes and issues characterising contemporary women’s writing (e.g. literary revision and experiment, space and place, time, history and the past, feminism and postfeminism, family, community, marginality, difference, art and creativity), as well as questions about how gender identity intersects with sexuality, class, race and nationality.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2447
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module considers children’s literature in its many and varied forms from picture book to poetry and from fairy tale to teen fiction. Literature for children is enormously significant culturally, historically and ideologically: it is a formative element of childhood and in many ways shapes the future adult. The module explores how and why this literature may be studied; the definition of children’s literature; cultural constructions of childhood; the critical methods appropriate to its study and the literary, cultural, educational applications and implications of such literature. The module will focus on the form and function of a wide range of children’s literature from the nineteenth century to the present.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE2449
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module offers an introduction to critical theory and the difference that it makes to the analysis of literature. No prior knowledge of critical theory is assumed, and literary examples will be used throughout the course to support and illuminate the reading of the theoretical texts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2457
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

The imaginary journey has been a source of fascination for writers in English since the publication of Thomas More’s Utopia in 1517. This course offers a survey of some of those journeys, read in the light of a series of themes: technology, gender, power, and geographical space, up to and including Huxley’s Brave New World.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2463
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

On this module we will trace the representation of the city in a variety of modernist texts, including poetry, novels, short stories, films, visual art, and theoretical writing, paying particular attention to the historical and cultural context of these texts.

The rise of urban life had a huge effect on the literary and artistic movement of the first half of the twentieth century known as modernism, and on the construction of the twentieth-century subject. Indeed, modernity itself can be identified as having grown in concert with the dominance of the metropolis. The mixture of fascination and revulsion with which modernist writers inhabited their cities is key to the texts we will look at on this course. We will identify this paradoxical sense of the city as a site of possibility, of chance collision and erotic encounter, but also as imbued with the fragmentary and alienating effects of urbanism – the city can be, as it was for James Joyce, ‘the centre of paralysis’. This module will investigate a wide range of modernist responses to the city: literary, artistic, theoretical, and cinematic.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 80%
  • Written assessment: 20%
Module codeSE2468
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the changing and complex nature of first-wave gothic fiction published between 1764 and 1824, by close readings of novels and other texts from the period, as well as consideration of literary and film adaptations over the last 250 years.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2469
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

‘All circumstances taken together, the French Revolution is the most astonishing thing that has hitherto happened in the world’ wrote Edmund Burke in 1790. The period that we now call Romantic was dominated by revolution and by responses to a series of revolutions occurring at home and abroad. This module will survey a broad range of genres, including poetry, philosophy, fiction, the essay, and drama, in order to investigate the vexed relationship between Romantic art and revolution. It will chart significant shifts occurring in the national and global politics of the period, as well as in literature, technology, science, and philosophical modes of thinking about human beings, their rights, and their impact on the nonhuman world around them.

The module will ask students to work closely with literary texts and will situate them in their historical context, but it will also encourage careful thinking about the continuities and discontinuities between the Romantic period and our own time. Romanticism is often considered as the beginning of modernity and Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads has similarly been seen as initiating a brave new world for modern art. But does this narrative oversimplify the connections between Romanticism and eighteenth-century aesthetics? And is it hard for us to assess the aesthetics and politics of the period from a vantage point that is arguably constructed by it? In addition to providing a good grounding in Romantic literature, this module will ask these and other serious questions about the relationship between history, politics and aesthetics in the period.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 70%
  • Presentation: 30%
Module codeSE2470
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module will explore and analyse selected works of interwar fiction (novel, drama, short fiction, film) by American authors. It will focus on the thematic and aesthetic response of that writing to such prevailing social and national issues as the legacy and imminence of war; communism, socialism, and labour movements in America; capitalism and the ‘American Dream’; technology, modernity, and the individual; New Deal politics; race, history, and modern America; the public performance of gender and sexuality; and the position of the writer within contemporary culture. Equally central to this module is a focus on the aesthetic language through which these responses are articulated, particularly in the context of the many literary and cultural innovations that characterized that moment. Discussions will consider such topics as modernism and modernity; the self-conscious development of an American style and literary canon; Southern Agrarians, regionalism, and the city; the relationship between journalism and literature; the relationship between genre fiction and ‘serious’ literature; and the relationship between literature, drama, and mainstream cinema.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeSE2471
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

Literature and Science offers an introduction to the study of the intersections between literary forms (the novel, poetry and drama) and scientific investigation and discovery. Covering a wide historical range, from the eighteenth century to the present day, the module will consider how writers engage with science, represent it in their work and ultimately reimagine and critique it for their readers. Uniquely, the module will also read scientific narratives using literary techniques: considering the work of some of the most important British scientists of the past two centuries, asking what literary qualities their writing reveals, and how engagements with literature influenced their science.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeSE2472
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This course considers the diversity of Dickens’s writing career, as novelist, travel writer, editor and journalist. It also explores a range of academic and popular responses to Dickens in criticism, film, fiction, museums, and digital culture (from scholarly databases to tweets). We will investigate the ways in which Dickens’s work was produced and read in the Victorian period, and how this relates to more recent and contemporary responses.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 15%
  • Written assessment: 85%
Module codeSE2544
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

Why are viewers drawn to the work of Alfred Hitchcock long after the director’s death? Why do the films call us back, even when their secrets are no longer secret, their shocks now familiar and expected? What could there possibly be left to see and say? This module addresses the ongoing appeal of Hitchcock’s work by examining closely the textuality of a selection of his films. We will study these films for the moments at which they establish a relationship with their viewers that leaves audiences wanting more. The module’s commitment to close textual analysis takes explicit issue with the psychoanalytic and biographical approaches that have often dominated the study of Hitchcock’s films (and to which students will be introduced briefly at the beginning of the module). No prior experience of studying film is necessary: the module will introduce the analysis of cinema by building upon the skills developed elsewhere by students of English Literature.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2564
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The emergence of cultural fears of ‘monsters’ is particularly vibrant in the collective unconscious in times of political, social, and cultural upheavals, such as the turn of centuries, which spell beginnings and endings, the loss of old belief structures and the quest for new certainties, confusion and experimentation. The aim of this module is to consider what late-Victorian and (post-millennial) neo-Victorian images of monstrosity might tell us about the fears and fantasies of the respective periods. We will examine how these anxieties are reflected and conceptualised in Gothic form in fiction and other modes of cultural production such as film. Drawing on feminist and psychoanalytic theory, we will discuss the cultural and psychological constructions of moral ‘evil’ and sexual danger attributed to the (gendered, raced, sexed, classed) Other at the two fins de siècle and, through pairs and sets of texts from the two periods, explore the ways in which contemporary writers have adapted, modernised, politicised, and subverted Victorian forms of Gothic.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2566
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

On this module we will trace the development of the American novel after 1945, reading a range of texts from significant and influential American writers, identifying persistent themes of the American novel throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will pay attention both to the theoretical and critical contexts of the novels, and their place in the historical and cultural trajectory of the period.

This module will introduce students to a range of novels published in the United States since the Second World War by some of the most significant writers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including Nabokov, Salinger, Pynchon and McCarthy. We will consider how novelists have responded to major shifts in American culture and society, from the Cold War and the growth of consumerism, to the response to late capitalism, and the events and aftermath of 9/11. Through our readings of these texts and events, we will explore the idea of the ‘contemporary’ at a time in literary history when all threatens to dissolve into repetition and pastiche, and will identify a paradoxical vitality present in this ‘literature of exhaustion’. We will discuss larger conceptions of American identity, situating the set texts in relation to a range of key literary terms and movements, including the legacies of modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, the emergence of the Beats, and ideas such as postmodernism, intertextuality, metafiction, and the ‘systems novel’.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2568
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module examines literary and visual representations of British Caribbean slavery between the 1790s and the 1860s and in our own postcolonial moment and explores the relationships between these two bodies of historically distinct but thematically interconnected materials.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2570
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will introduce some of the main French critical theorists of the second half of the twentieth century (Barthes, Blanchot, Foucault, Lyotard, Deleuze, Lacan, Derrida, Cixous, Kristeva, Badiou) that have been influential in renewing our understanding of how literature is written and read. Emphasis will be on the historical and ideological contexts within which these new ideas were developed, in relation to a range of disciplines (philosophy, aesthetics, literary criticism, psychoanalysis, semiology, feminism), as well as on the reconceptualization of practices of reading and writing they involved.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2583
LevelL6
SemesterDouble Semester
Cerdits20

This module looks at the different ways the topics of love and death are handled in Renaissance texts before looking at a number of plays on marriage.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE2588
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module explores the construction and contestation of the politically engaged woman in Britain over the period 1770-1800, using novels, poetry, drama, biographies, pamphlets, medical texts, pornography, conduct literature and visual imagery including satirical prints and portraits. Topics for discussion will include: sexuality and sensibility, learning and patronage, marriage and domesticity, leisure and labour, posterity and reputation, abolitionism, and radical and conservative forms of ‘feminism’. We will explore these topics within a framing context of politically charged debates about female visibility, authority and participation in public life in Britain today.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 20%
  • Written assessment: 10%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeSE2591
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module offers the opportunity to make a close study of a range of poems by four twentieth-century English poets, namely Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), Edward Thomas (1878-1917), Ted Hughes (1930-1998), and Alice Oswald (1966-    ). Although very different from one another, these poets share a passionate interest in place, landscape, and the world of nature, and the module’s focus will be on their differing visions of these. All four poets, moreover, have a close connection to the south of England – Devon, Dorset, Cornwall, the South Downs and, in Thomas’s case, to south Wales. We will look at the construction of these specific places in their poems, and the meanings attached to them, for example, the eponymous river in Oswald’s Dart or Cornwall in Hardy’s poems of 1912. Another feature which links these poets is a concern with violence and war, and their effects on the human and natural world: we will analyse their exploration of these themes and consider the gendered aspects of their respective visions. Examining the work of these poets in turn will allow us to explore an alternative tradition of English poetry in the twentieth century, one different from mainstream accounts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeSE2592
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

On this module we will learn how to read the materiality of the manuscript page and understand how the work-in-process can illuminate the published text. This module will use both online digital manuscripts and Cardiff University’s own rich archives. We will debate key questions that affect our understanding of literary manuscripts, challenging our understanding of poetic ‘genius’ and the way in which poems are written. Beginning by understanding the effect of material writing conditions on the poetry produced we will analyse the digital manuscripts of First World War writers comparing the poems of Isaac Rosenberg written in the trenches to those of Wilfred Owen written on the home front. We will interrogate the difference between analyzing the physical artifact and the digital version, as well as addressing genetic criticism and archive studies. At the centre of the module is an engagement with the papers of Edward Thomas held in Cardiff University Special Collections. We will go onto consider collaborative composition and how this affects our understanding of creativity. Lastly we will consider the way women poets have been portrayed as writing in an ‘inspired’ or ‘mystical’ manner and how this erodes their agency in the craft of their own work. We will interrogate these ideas through an analysis of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel manuscripts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codeSE2593
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to postcolonial theory.  The students will be introduced to the definitions of and debates associated with this field of study.  They will also be taught how to read race, class, gender, sexuality and identities in texts through this theoretical lens.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2594
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to Shakespeare’s Late Plays as a group of related texts and asks them to consider questions of genre, gender, historical context and dramatic performance. It examines how Shakespeare’s final plays relate to each other as a group and situates them in their Jacobean and early modern contexts in the light of current literary theory.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2595
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module introduces students to a range of texts set in, or dealing with, different periods of the historical past and of the future, primarily in Britain. These include works in several genres: historical novels, alternative histories, time-travel and timeslip fantasies, and dystopian future visions. The module considers the various ways in which such texts and the genres of which they are examples engage with history, with particular attention to the ways that they mediate between the periods being represented and those when the texts are produced and read, in terms of ideology, accuracy and authenticity, memory, and the “narrativization” of history.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE2596
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

Medical Fictions considers the long history and present positions of the multiple relationships between literature, medicine and society. Drawing on novels and medical writing, as well as drama, poetry, and television, the module investigates literary representations of medicine and medical cultures in order to evaluate the position of medicine in society. The module takes what is known as a medical humanities approach: bringing together different disciplines to offer new insights into the worlds of medicine in the past and present and to do so with an ethical sensitivity to the subject matters under discussion. Across the module, and via different literary texts, we will study anatomy and dissection, seizure conditions, vivisection, cancer, neuroscience, forensics, and the corpse. Reading and interrogating these topics means an engagement with both literary writing and medical writing, which will be given similar and equal attention. An underlying question will inform every topic studied: what role does literature play in our health and wellbeing?

Assessment

  • Oral/aural assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codeSE2597
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module overturns stereotypes of Victorian masculinity and militarism. Once seen as a warmongering age characterised by stiff-upper lipped men unable to express their feelings, the course charts an alternative cultural history of soldiering and emotion through the long-nineteenth century. From the eighteenth-century man of feeling to the First World War, we look at a range of published writing and exhibited art and at work produced by soldiers and their families.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 100%
Module codeSE4101
LevelL4
SemesterDouble Semester
Cerdits20

Through careful study of classic contributions to philosophical debates over where ideas come from, how thoughts and words have meaning, how beliefs are to be justified, what knowledge is, and the relation between mind and body, we will consider the nature of thought and its relation to the rest of reality. We will isolate and discuss the argument structures and philosophical assumptions employed by some of the most important philosophers to have discussed these issues. Students will develop their skills of analysing texts, reconstructing arguments, and developing their own critiques of those arguments. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required. Students will find any existing knowledge significantly broadened, deepened, and challenged by our emphasis on reading original contributions to debates rather than explanations of those debates.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
Module codeSE4103
LevelL4
SemesterDouble Semester
Cerdits20

Through careful study of recent philosophical arguments on such moral and political issues as euthanasia, abortion, the treatment of animals, gender roles and relations, the nature of justice, capital punishment, economic development, and nuclear deterrence, we will isolate and discuss the argument structures and philosophical assumptions made in these debates. Students will develop their skills of analysing texts, reconstructing arguments, and developing their own critiques of those arguments. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required. Students will find any existing knowledge significantly broadened, deepened, and challenged by our emphasis on reading original contributions to debates rather than explanations of those debates.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
Module codeSE4104
LevelL4
SemesterDouble Semester
Cerdits20

Through careful study of four great texts, we will isolate and discuss the argument structures and philosophical assumptions that are developed in four great texts from different periods in the history of philosophy. Students will develop their skills of analysing texts, reconstructing arguments, and developing their own critiques of those arguments. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required. Students will find any existing knowledge significantly broadened, deepened, and challenged by our emphasis on reading the contributions to debates rather than explanations of those debates.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
Module codeSE4312
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

This module will provide a critical overview of philosophical questions about the aims and methods of science.  We start by looking at attempts to characterise the nature of science and experimentation, and whether they provide ways of successfully demarcating science from pseudo-science.  We then look to questions about the objectivity of science: are scientific observations, theory choice, and scientific practice itself free from expectations, bias, and values?  And if they aren’t, does this mark a significant problem (what is ‘objectivity’ anyway)?  We will also look at newer work on the epistemological status of models and computer simulations in scientific research, and finally come to a central question in philosophy of science: to what extent, and in what way, are our current scientific theories true?

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE4313
LevelL6
SemesterDouble Semester
Cerdits20

This double module is concerned with problems in the philosophy of mind. We will examine two main areas of current interest: general pictures of the mind (different solutions to the mind-body problem); and the nature of beliefs and the status of folk psychology (our common sense picture of the mind).

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
Module codeSE4358
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The module will explore a number of advanced topics in contemporary philosophy of language, topics in theories of reference, meaning and truth.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE4363
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

Global politics at the beginning of the twenty first century may be seen to involve conflicts between different political philosophies, as well as raising important issues that political and moral philosophers need to address.  This module will introduce students to those political philosophies and political philosophers that are most relevant to understanding contemporary political debate, and for developing a critical understanding of contemporary political events and issues.  The modules will engage with contemporary liberalism and neo-conservativism, as well as Marxist, post-modernism and republican thought.  Events covered will include issues such as the 'war on terror' and the Arab Spring.

This module aims to allow students to explore contemporary political events in the light of relevant philosophical arguments, and to recognise the relevance of those arguments to the understanding and critical assessment of those events.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE4364
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

The aim of this module is to investigate and understand some essential topics of metaphysics as discussed by modern analytical philosophers.

 

Metaphysics is one of the three central and pervasive themes of philosophy (the others being epistemology and ethics) — knowledge of which is required for a comprehensive understanding of any philosophical topic.

 

In Metaphysics we study the most fundamental questions that can be asked about reality. What is the nature of reality? Is it material or mental or both? Are the most fundamental entities particular objects or are there also properties? Or perhaps the fundamental entities are just facts, and objects and properties are similarities among facts. Are there only concrete objects, such as cabbages and kings and quarks and photons, or are there abstract objects as well, objects such as numbers? What is it that determines the identity of entities? For example, when we have a statue made of wax do we have just one object present or are there two, the lump of wax and the statue.  Arguments can be given both ways. What is it that determines identity across time and through change? Suppose all the timber of a ship is replaced over 25 years and we collect all the pieces replaced and build another ship with them. Which is the original ship? And what about the identity of persons?  Are you the same person you were 10 years ago, and if you are, what is it that makes you the same you despite all the changes you have undergone? Things could have been different from how they actually are—this text could have been in blue, but what about reality makes that the case? Are there other worlds where those possibilities are actual, but then, why should some blue text in another world explain why this text could have been blue? Concrete reality has a history: things change over time and apparently they change because one thing causes another. When one billiard ball strikes another and the second moves off it appears as if the first made the second move, but what is that making. We see the motions but look as closely as we will, we do not see the making, so perhaps there is no such thing as causing apart from our expectation of regularity. Yet the entirety of science is built on the assumption of causal laws: if causation doesn’t exist explanation and prediction make no sense and confirmation of laws by empirical investigation is an illusion. In this course we will study all these problems as discussed by modern analytical philosophers.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 100%
Module codeSE4367
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

The aim of this module is to investigate and understand the central questions of metaethics.

 

In Metaethics we study the philosophical issues that lie behind or are presupposed by normative ethics (which is that part of ethics covered by the second year course, Contemporary Ethical Theory). For example, when someone says ‘stealing is wrong’ they are making a normative ethical claim, but when they follow it up by saying ‘but that is just my opinion, I wouldn’t want to impose it on anyone else’ they have shifted to taking a position in metaethics, a position that morality is merely a matter of opinion rather than a matter of fact. And of course, we can wonder whether that is right. The second year course on moral philosophy spent some time on deontology versus consequentialism, and behind that debate lies another metaethical question: whether moral requirements are requirements of rationality, requirements that any rational agent is committed to simply in virtue of being a rational agent or whether they depend instead on our preferences or attitudes.

 

More broadly, metaethics is concerned with the questions of what is it for something to be good or bad, right or wrong, what ought or ought not to be done; whether moral properties are objective features of the world, and if so, whether they are natural or non-natural features, or whether they depend on the attitudes or responses or rational willing of subjects; whether moral discourse is truth apt or whether its semantics must be given in other terms; whether moral judgements are cognitive or non-cognitive states and whether they are necessarily motivating.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 100%
Module codeSE4372
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

Who are you? And why do you behave like that? This course is concerned with some philosophical issues faced by anyone attempting to answer those questions, such as: the nature and existence of character traits like courage, honesty, and integrity; the difference between intended, intentional, and unintentional actions; the role of desire in action and the difference between desires that are yours and desires that aren’t; whether it is really true that people see the world differently and why; how pleasure features in our motivations and how it should; how it is possible to do what you know you shouldn’t.

Although these issues are central to moral philosophy, they are themselves issues in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. Hence the course title. There will be very few lectures for this course. Lectures will only introduce each major topic. The rest of the course will be spent in seminars, two per week for each student, discussing excerpts from classic philosophy texts such as Aristotle and Mill or recent philosophy articles. We will also look at some classic psychology experiments.

The module aims to give students a thorough understanding of a range of debates in contemporary moral psychology, including an understanding of classic philosophical treatments of the issues and classic psychology experiments pertaining to them, and to equip students to argue for and against positions in current debates on these topics.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 100%
Module codeSE4373
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

We will be studying in detail at least two of the following three books: David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Immanuel Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism. We will aim to identify precisely what claims the chosen books are making, through assessing competing interpretations, and to evaluate their contributions to moral thought.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE4379
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This double module is concerned with the problem of consciousness. Following a look at some of the background to contemporary philosophy of mind, we will examine the principle problems and proposed solutions to the problem of consciousness.

The module aims are as follows:

  • To develop students’ reasoning skills: to enable them to construct, present and justify arguments.
  • To make students fully cognisant of some central issues and texts in the philosophy of mind.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE4386
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module engages with important contributions to philosophy from feminist philosophers, addressing issues that concern the positions of women in society. Topics covered include: justice, the workplace and the family; sexual harassment; abortion; multiculturalism; feminist perspectives on philosophy of science; and feminist epistemology.

 

The module aims to develop student's analytical skills in constructing, presenting and examining arguments and to introduce students to a number of important contributions to philosophy from feminist philosophers.

Assessment

  • Portfolio: 50%
  • Portfolio: 50%
Module codeSE4398
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

This module will provide a critical overview of contemporary theory of knowledge and rational belief. This includes analysis of the following core questions: whether knowledge is possible (sceptical scenarios); what knowledge is and what the problems are in defining it; what the role of justification is in having knowledge and where justification can come from. Finally, we consider new approaches to epistemology, including virtue epistemology, naturalised epistemology, and questions about methodology.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%