English, Communications and Philosophy

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

Module codeSE1107
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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
Credits20

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
Credits20

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
Credits20

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 codeSE1111
LevelL4
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This module explores the relationship between language and the mind. How do we plan what we say and write? How do we understand what we hear and read? How are words organised in our memory and why do we sometimes forget them? Why do we sometimes make slips of the tongue? We’ll consider whether it is true that ‘everything important about language is in the head’—how does psycholinguistics relate to the other things we know about language, including context and social interaction? We will critically examine, and try out, the methodologies that psycholinguists use when they attempt to pin down features of language processing. This module will be highly relevant to any student with interests in language learning, language disorders, teaching, or generally in how language works.

This module aims to introduce students to the key ways in which psycholinguistic investigations can inform our understanding of language and the mind, and the limitations of these approaches. By considering language in its biological, cognitive and social contexts, the contribution of various methods used in psycholinguistic research can be evaluated, including how we should interpret ‘lab’-based observations and experiments in relation to findings from other areas of linguistics. Theoretical models of language processing (e.g. speech production, reading, writing) will be examined, with particular reference to evidence of planning errors (e.g. slips of the tongue).

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1112
LevelL4
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This module introduces students to the underlying communicative principles and emerging language norms while reading and writing with and through digital media. By observing and creating digital texts, we discuss the impact of digital space upon reading, organising and communicating information online. We consider the underlying principles according to which texts, images, and profiles are interlinked and searched online. We also reflect upon recent changes in the way people present themselves through writing, as well as other social media activities, that capitalise on notions of connectivity and interactivity.

Assessment

  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1312
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

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, being a twin and growing up in a bilingual environment.  We examine the role of social media on language and communication development and finally we examine children’s social interaction with peers and in the early and teenage years.

Assessment

  • Oral/aural assessment: 20%
  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1318
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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
Credits20

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
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

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 - spring semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1340
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

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
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

Relationships are central to our lives, and communication plays a central role in them. In addition, relationship matters may even be the most common topic of our everyday conversations. This module examines the theories and interdisciplinary research on relational aspects of interpersonal communication. Our primary focus is on communication in close relationships: e.g. relationships with friends, family members, and, in particular, romantic partners. We will study the communication processes involved in the dynamics of relationships (e.g. initiation, development, maintenance, conflict, repair, de-escalation, termination), including both the ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ sides of relational communication.

Assessment

  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1347
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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 - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Oral/aural assessment: 20%
Module codeSE1362
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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.  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
Credits20

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
Credits20

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
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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 - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codeSE1396
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

Does the language of Twitter differ from that of Facebook? Do American and British speakers use the same swear words?  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 this module we will look at how we can examine patterns in how language is actually used, using large collections of language (known as Corpora).  We will explore patterns of language used across a variety of different data types from written sources such as books, magazines, junk mail, letters, advertisements, business documents, literature, academic papers, emails and internet pages to transcribed spoken language such as everyday conversations, phone calls, university classes, television and radio programmes, and parliamentary debates. 

In this module, language is explored as a means of discovering patterns and to test existing theoretical views about language. 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, offering students the opportunity to develop skills in critical and digital literacies. 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.

We will consider the important contribution of using corpus methods to our understanding of, for example, patterns of written, spoken and e-language (i.e. language online); language change and variation; phraseology and constructions; word meaning (and semantic prosody) and the use of corpora in literary studies.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 75%
Module codeSE1397
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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
Credits20

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
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

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 - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1403
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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 different theories of approaching language and gender. We examine research on the discursive construction of participants’ gender identity in interaction. We will also explore linguistic sexism, representations of gender and ageing, 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: 45%
  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
  • Written assessment: 5%
Module codeSE1407
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

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
Credits20

This module aims to enhance students’ understanding of a variety of media discourse genres, ranging from broadcast talk to social media discourse. We focus particularly on how media discourse in public participation media has changed over time in relation to specific technological developments, such as the introduction of new technologies, 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, media disputes, mediated narratives and advice-giving. This module aims to develop students’ understanding of how different approaches can be used to analyse a range of media genres, drawing on conversation analysis, media discourse analysis, and interactional sociolinguistics.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1409
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

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
Credits20

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 codeSE1413
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This module will consider how language and, more specifically, dialect are used in literature and film. The approach will focus primarily on sociolinguistic aspects rather than stylistic ones, and will aim to allow students to assess how literature and film reflect actual language and what this may tell us about linguistic attitudes and use.

The module will give students a grounding in the main features and characteristics of a range of British and North American dialects, and will provide a general historical introduction to dialect use in (English) literature, in terms of both literary dialect and dialect literature. Students will also be introduced to the basic methods of corpus linguistics work, so that they are able to conduct small-scale analyses themselves. In terms of language in film, the module will focus particularly on the representation of accents, for example, how speakers of foreign accents are portrayed.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 75%
Module codeSE1414
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This research-led module specifically examines the nature of persuasion in the legal process but in the much broader context of debate about persuasion-related issues of central importance across the humanities and social sciences: narrative, voice, conflict, identity, evidence, expertise, regulation and ideology. Persuasion permeates all phases of the legal process from police interrogation to judicial argument, from lay testimony in small claims courts to legal advice about the torture of terrorist suspects. But what makes persuasion in the legal process particularly interesting is that the law as an institution tends to deny that the process has anything to do with persuasion. The legal process is thus a test-bed for the line between persuasion and deception that invokes the timely and timeless issues of truth, trust and technology. The module will consider the rhetorical origins of ‘forensic discourse’ and will examine some key elements of persuasion – narrative, argument and evidence – as they play out in the highly regulated but conflict-ridden forensic context. The aim of the module is to generate critical reflection about the intersection of persuasive forensic discourse with such key social issues as power, ideology, identity, voice and expertise. The module complements such modules as Forensic Linguistics and Persuasive Communication but it does not assume any knowledge of either persuasion or the legal process.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - spring semester: 50%
Module codeSE1416
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

In this module you will learn about how language models and theories can be applied to the analysis of creative genres such as novels, poetry and plays. You will build on your theoretical knowledge of language and develop practical experience in the application of this knowledge to a range of creative texts. You will be given the opportunity for lots of hands-on, practical work, as a basis for developing analytic skills.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
Module codeSE1417
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This module explores communication in professional settings, approaches to intercultural communication, and the role culture and cultural identities may play in professional contexts. The course will focus primarily on spoken interactions, such as workplace meetings and presentations, media interviews, and various problem-solving interactions in a range of professional settings. Theories and methods that are covered include discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, intercultural communication, management studies, interactional sociolinguistics, pragmatics and gendered discourse. The course aims to build on courses covered in years one and two, and to develop students’ cultural intelligence in preparation for their future careers.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 75%
Module codeSE2138
LevelL4
SemesterDouble Semester
Credits20

English in Theory and Practice seeks to inculcate core skills to help you become an independent researcher and an imaginative thinker. It is both a practical and a theoretical module that will help you develop and advance your critical and transferable skills relating to research in English literature. It also aims to challenge you intellectually by introducing you to the key disciplinary principles of English literature from the birth of print culture to its possible decline in our contemporary digital age. To set the scene, the first lectures will introduce you to the historical development of English studies, focusing on the political, cultural, and social factors that have impacted on the discipline. We will then address a wide range of skills including research and close reading skills, essay writing, rhetoric and communication. These practical sections of the module will be complemented by considerations of the main theoretical concerns in the history of criticism, ranging from mass literacy, book history, and historicism to feminism, formalism, and psychoanalysis. We will see how texts exist in a complex system of relations with one another by inquiring into why authors have so often felt compelled to rewrite and adapt older works. By analysing some classic texts and their modern, often subversive, retellings we will consider the most important and controversial concepts that have animated debates in literary and critical theory over the past 50 years. The module finishes on the issue of digital culture. We will ask whether we are today witnessing the death of print at the hands of digital technology and what this might mean for the future of English studies.

Assessment

    Module codeSE2139
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Credits20

    This long, thin module offers an introductory survey of some key developments and influences on the history of the English and Americanstage. Students will read classical, Renaissance, Restoration and modern plays in their critical and cultural context, developing key critical vocabulary. Lectures and seminars will be devoted to discussions of staging practices, interpretation of performances, and close analysis of texts. The first semester focuses on drama from the ancient Greeks to the Restoration, providing a strong contextual overview for modules on Shakespeare, Renaissance drama, and seventeenth-century literature in the second and third years of the BA. The second semester concentrates on the development of the modern stage, beginning with the nineteenth-century ‘New Drama’ movement and ending with contemporary theatre: it will provide a useful stepping stone for modules in modern and contemporary drama later in the BA programme. In its consistent emphasis on various explorations of theatricality and ideas of tragedy, comedy, and the ‘performance’ of social roles on stage, the module identifies and examines the continuity of such explorations onto the contemporary English and American stage.  Through lectures and seminars, students will thus learn of the larger, continuous context of theory, debate, and performance through which drama and theatre have developed. Ultimately, the span of this module will help students to appreciate the flexibility of drama as a genre and the diversity of its engagement within a literary, social, political, and cultural context.

     

    Assessment

    • Examination - autumn semester: 40%
    • Examination - spring semester: 60%
    Module codeSE2140
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    From Christopher Marlowe’s claim that his ‘rude pen/ Can hardly blazon forth the loves of men’, to Ted Hughes’s description of his marriage as ‘only a story./ Your story. My story’, love and the authoring of love have been of vital importance in the formation of identity and gender in western culture, yet discourses of love and desire consistently efface their social construction. Although always contradictory, the paradoxes of love have not always been the same throughout time. This cross-period module offers an in-depth study of the fate of some of literature’s notable tragic lovers in poetry, the novel and drama to think about the importance of such narratives in testing the political, social, and cultural temperature of different periods. In studying these texts we will be examining the evolution of ideas of love, fate, family, physical/spiritual eroticism, morality and tragedy across different ages and in different forms.

    Some medieval writers conceived of passionate love as a profoundly destructive force: the adulterous stories of Tristan and Iseult, and Lancelot and Guinevere are powerful myths that sought to contain the surges of the destructive instinct in literary texts voyeuristically received. Early Modern writers, meanwhile, foregrounded the personal desires of their protagonists in a variety of new ways, yet persistently returned to the notion that love’s resolution could only be found in death. For many Victorians, writers’ private love-lives reflected the nation’s public ethical and economic health. Discourses of love became central to modern western society’s privileging of the private life and the pursuit of personal happiness that became so important to the 20th century. In the twentieth century, too, discourses of love remained diverse and paradoxical.

    Reading the texts from these periods alongside a variety of contextual and theoretical methodologies, the module explores the ways in which different writers, periods and forms have configured love as a location of norms, proprieties and taxonomies – and how these limits and constraints have been challenged. The module will explore these intertwined texts, contexts and ideas through close attention to the formal elements of the texts alongside situating them in their changing historical and theoretical circumstances from the medieval to the modern.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE2141
    LevelL4
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    This module offers students the opportunity to study a wide range of literature written and read in these islands during the Middle Ages. The module introduces a long and varied period of literary history through study of the following texts: an Anglo-Saxon poem commemorating the Battle of Maldon, fought in 991; the Welsh prose of the Mabinogi; the Anglo-French lais of Marie de France (both twelfth century); a selection of texts from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (c.1386-1400); and Thomas Malory’s late fifteenth-century Morte Darthur, the most influential retelling of the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

    When analysing these texts, emphasis will be placed on understanding them in their historical and cultural contexts. Students will also gain a strong appreciation for several major medieval forms and genres, including the heroic poetry of the Anglo-Saxon period; the scant, though evocative, prose narratives of twelfth-century Wales; and a variety of narrative genres drawing on French literary traditions, among them romance, Breton lai and fabliau. Students will gain an appreciation of the multi-lingual character of medieval Britain, reading modern English translations of literature written in Old English, Middle Welsh, and medieval French and also developing the skills required to read Middle English literature in the original language by studying selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Malory’s account of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table.

    The module begins by examining the relationships between different languages and literatures in medieval Britain and then introduces students to the development of the English language in the period, tracing the transition from Old English of the Anglo-Saxon period to Middle English of the period 1100–1500 by looking at a selection of very brief poems that introduce themes explored in more detail in the rest of the module, including: issues of interpretation, bawdy, poetry and violence, manuscript culture, and love. The Battle of Maldon provides an example of an heroic poem grounded in a very specific historical context that explores issues of identity, patriotism, loyalty to one’s lord, and attitudes to death; one lecture looks also at J. R. R. Tolkien’s critical and creative response to this poem in his The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth. The tale of Branwen from the Mabinogi emerges from a very different heroic culture – that of medieval Wales. Nevertheless, it shares with many Old English texts a preoccupation with honour and shame, issues of identity and community, and an abiding thematic concern with the Other. New literary forms and themes enter English Literature after the Norman Conquest, reflecting the influence and status of French literature in this period: the central part of the module involves the study of a selection from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, including English examples of the bawdy fabliau genre and the Breton lai, a form pioneered in French by Marie de France. Finally Malory’s late medieval Arthurian narrative brings together heroic traditions stretching back to the early Middle Ages with some of the characteristic concerns of the romance genre.

    By the end of the module students will have encountered two of the most important medieval literary traditions (heroic poetry and romance) and should have developed an appreciation of the range and variety of medieval literature from England and Wales, of the multilingual environment in which medieval English literature developed, and of some of the ways in which texts relate to their historical contexts.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 60%
    • Examination - spring semester: 40%
    Module codeSE2142
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module explores the reciprocal relationships between literature and visual culture, encompassing materials ranging from the late eighteenth century to the present day and is taught in two Blocks. The first Block is taught in Weeks 1-5 and focuses on the way in which literary texts respond to and rework visual images (particularly paintings). Block 2 is taught in Weeks 7-11 and reverses the critical trajectory by looking at how literary texts have been given visual expression, whether in terms of book-illustration, television, film or other visually-based media. The module addresses the following questions:

    • How do we think about the relationships between the visual and the verbal—artist and author—as they occur in literature? Are such relationships harmonious or are they characterized, rather, by a sense of rivalry and rebellion?
    • How do intermedial exchanges between image and text provide an arena for the articulation of broad questions about gender, sexuality, race, slavery, class, family, religion and the natural world?
    • What are the similarities and differences between the ways in which we interpret literary texts and visual images?

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE2143
    LevelL4
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    Our most familiar ideas about authorship are bound up with concepts of individuality and selfhood, but what is the self, and why do we attach so much importance to it? This module offers an introduction to key ideas about selfhood and subjectivity in literature, focusing particularly on Romantic and Victorian explorations of, and experiments with, constructing the self. The Romantic period saw a new focus upon selfhood, within a revolutionary political and intellectual context where established truths and allotted identities were being challenged. The nature of the artist, especially the poet, was of especial concern: what was a ‘poet’, and who was that singular ‘I’ in the text? And how did a poet’s gender inflect popular notions of his or her literary authority? In the Victorian period the so-called ‘Woman Question’ led writers of both genres to interrogate female subjectivity and to speculate on whether selfhood itself was gendered. In order to explore the many facets of this rich topic, the module will examine texts from a range of literary genres, including poetry, the novel, autobiography, biography, the short story, journals and letters, non-fictional prose and pastiche, alongside critical and theoretical works, concluding with a discussion of Roland Barthes’ notion of the ‘death of the author’.

     

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 60%
    • Examination - spring semester: 40%
    Module codeSE2144
    LevelL4
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    Speaking to the critical-creative agenda for the curriculum review, this module will concentrate on creative reading.  Students will be introduced to the idea of ‘reading as a writer’ and be encouraged to develop their skills as critical readers and creative writers through the close reading of set texts, the study of authors’ creative choices and processes, and the undertaking of creative writing exercises.  The emphasis of this module will be on reading literature in terms of craft and technique, with an eye to imitation, emulation, and parody, together with an exploration of creative writing in terms of wider questions of diversity, authorship, identity and environment.  Students will be encouraged to examine how critical reflection and creative practice inform and feed back into each other and to view writing as part of an ongoing, provisional process, informed by divergent influences, experiences and backgrounds.  They will be introduced to the central elements of the writer’s workshop, such as constructive criticism, peer reviewing, and formative writing, and begin to experiment in different forms and genres.  The focus of this module will be on encouraging students to situate their own writing in terms of, and in response to, other writing/literature, which will provide a foundation for exploring and developing their own distinctive voice in the Creative Writing module.

    Assessment

    • Portfolio: 40%
    • Portfolio: 60%
    Module codeSE2145
    LevelL4
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    Creative Writing builds on the foundations provided in the Creative Reading module, allowing students to utilise the knowledge and techniques they have developed through their critical and creative engagement with other literary texts as a means of discovering and exploring their own distinctive voice and style.  In terms of writing, the emphasis of this module will shift from imitation and emulation to individual expression: students will be encouraged to take what they have learnt through reading as writers and begin to apply that in the shaping and completing of new and original creative work.  There will be an opportunity to focus on the genres of fiction and poetry, as well as script writing and creative non-fiction. Students will be asked to experiment in a variety of forms, to initiate new ideas, develop appropriate formal strategies, address technical problems and tackle the demands of different literary genres. This module will offer a stepping stone towards the specialist genre options provided in the second year, as well as introducing students to the idea of creative research – such as working with historical sources - and encouraging them to reflect on how writers present and discuss their work in public. 

     

    Assessment

    • Portfolio: 20%
    • Portfolio: 80%
    Module codeSE2283
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2295
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module aims to introduce students to some of the major Arthurian texts written in the medieval period: including historical annals, Latin histories, Vita Sancti (Saints’ Lives) and French verse and prose romance. In particular, it will concentrate on the first ‘flowering’ of Arthurian literature produced in Europe during the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, with an emphasis on the works of Chrétien de Troyes, the first of the romance writers, and the later fifteenth-century English tradition. The course will pay particular attention to the contexts in which these texts appeared and the ways in which the many variations in the tradition respond to and realise issues relevant to their culture and period.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeSE2354
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    This module will explore some of the key figures in experimental postmodern American poetry (Olson, Duncan, Creeley, Dorn, Levertov, Ashbery, O’Hara, Ginsberg and the Beat poets, Snyder, the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets, Conceptual Poetry, ‘flarf’, etc.) in relation to their poetic heritage of the modernist traditions of Pound, Williams, Stevens and Gertrude Stein. Emphasis will be on the close reading of texts in conjunction with more critical essays on poetics authored by the poets studied on the module, in order to make students aware of their growing interrelation in recent American writing.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeSE2367
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2395
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    The module teaches students how to approach illustrated texts, making them aware of the complexity of the relationship between word and image, and giving them an understanding of the history of the illustrated book from the late eighteenth century to the present.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2417
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Credits20

    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.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 90%
    • Written assessment: 10%
    Module codeSE2441
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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: 100%
    Module codeSE2446
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2456
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    Considering texts by writers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, this module investigates developments in the novel in the twentieth century. Students will engage with both influential and marginalised writers. Part of the module’s aim will be to draw some of these writers back into the centre and think about why they have been left out of the canon. The module will consider the writers in their national, cultural, social, historical, political and literary contexts. Students will gain an understanding of how these novelists engaged with questions of national, gender and class identity whilst thinking through the impact of major events of the twentieth century including in the two World Wars. The novels range between the late-Victorian style decadent, hallucinogenic novel of Arthur Machen The Hill of Dreams (1907) to Patrick McCabe’s modern novel in the colloquial voice of an Irish teenager in the 1960s, Butcher Boy (1992).     

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeSE2457
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2464
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module will explore some key themes in medieval literature through a selection from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as well as an anonymous romance of the fourteenth century, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The focus will be particularly on how these texts support and/or subvert ideas of chivalry, and thereby interrogate matters of genre and themes of love, friendship, gender, truth and power. The texts will be read closely in relation to their literary, social and historical contexts.

    This is a course suitable both for students who have never studied Chaucer or other medieval literature and also for those who already have some familiarity with Middle English. The Canterbury Tales will be read in the original Middle English, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight will be read in a parallel text edition with facing translation into modern English.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE2468
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    ‘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
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2472
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2473
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    The module begins by showing how the influential legacy of W.B. Yeats provides us with the cultural and historical starting point for understanding the work of succeeding generations of Irish poets. Through readings of poems by Patrick Kavanagh, Austin Clarke, John Hewitt and Louis MacNeice we will explore the multiple and contested meanings attached to Irish identity and the notion of a distinctly Irish poetic tradition in the 20th century. We will read the experimental poems of Thomas MacGreevy, Samuel Beckett and Brian Coffey as constituting a significant form of literary modernism whose presence in the Irish canon is, for reasons students will explore, a strangely muted and marginal one. Works by Thomas Kinsella and John Montague from the 50s and 60s give us a glimpse of a poetic consciousness divided between tradition and experimentation in a country that was itself divided between a relatively newfound independence and a colonial past. The outbreak of the Northern Ireland conflict in 1968 saw the rise of a new generation of Ulster poets headed by Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley and Derek Mahon, whose work deals with the trauma of political violence in both direct and indirect ways. We will read the poems of Eavan Boland, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Paula Meehan in terms of the challenge feminism presents to the dominance of the male voice in Irish society and culture. The module will conclude with a consideration of the ever elusive, allusive and playful work of Paul Muldoon.      

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2474
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module aims to introduce you to a range of twentieth-century and contemporary poetry by women. It will focus on selected key themes and will examine how different poets explore those themes, using distinct techniques, forms, images, and voices. The module will help you to read poetry sensitively and attentively, staying alive to the nuances of its language and images. It will also enhance your ability to understand how the social, political and cultural contexts that shape our lives also have a profound effect on literary creation and production. Feminist approaches will be central to the module but not in any dogmatic or unquestioning way. We will look at the relationship between women’s poetry and mainstream literary traditions, at the processes of canon formation, and at the ways in which women’s poetry has been critically analysed, evaluated, championed or ignored. We will ask whether a separate women’s poetic tradition can be said to exist, why some poets don’t like to be labelled as ‘women’, and whether it still makes sense to discuss women’s poetry separately from that of their male contemporaries.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2475
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    The Victorians lived in a world saturated with images, from the pictures that appeared in newspapers, books and magazines to the paintings that lined the walls of the Royal Academy. This was a period that saw rapid developments in techniques for reproducing images, the birth of new artistic movements, and, of course, the invention of photography. This module will examine diverse aspects of Victorian visual culture (e.g. gender roles, racial politics, fashion, class, representations of childhood) as a way of exploring how the Victorians embodied themselves and their values in art. The aim of this examination will be to formulate new understandings of the relation between images and culture. To what extent, for example, can pictures be seen as documentary evidence of the Victorian period? How far do they participate in and/or subvert dominant values about gender, race or class? By addressing these questions, the module will view pictures as part of the fabric of Victorian culture rather than merely contextual, and will thus problematise the notion of culture itself.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2476
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module aims to introduce students to the extraordinary output of British women writers in the long eighteenth century. It will look at a diverse range of genres (e.g. letters, poetry, prose fiction, political philosophy) as well as consider some dominant themes in works produced by, and sometimes about, British women. Themes addressed may include piety, domesticity, romance, feminism, anti-feminism, and education. The course will also address the means and modes of women’s involvement in literary culture and subsequent concerns with the history of women’s literary history. Authors covered will include Katherine Philips, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Anne Finch, Eliza Haywood, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Elizabeth Carter, and Frances Burney.

    Assessment

    • Presentation: 10%
    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 60%
    Module codeSE2477
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Credits20

    This module looks at Shakespeare’s major tragedies and then examines the staging of history in Shakespeare’s history plays.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE2478
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    This module seeks to introduce students to a range of contemporary Welsh writing in English, encouraging students to explore novels and short fiction in light of political and cultural change in Wales. It offers the opportunity to build on the work done in the Year 1 module ‘Literature, Culture, and Place’ and provides a point of comparison for further study of contemporary British and American literature from the same period. During the course of the module topics of discussion may include: the relation of literary texts to cultural and political Welsh history; postcolonialism within Welsh writing in English; concepts of belonging; the presentation of gender and sexuality in contemporary writing from Wales; form; the way in which language and literature seek to challenge and redefine Welsh national identity; Celtic connections, ethnicity and social change in contemporary Anglophone Welsh writing. Relevant theoretical perspectives will also be explored, including some of the seminal work of the Welsh cultural critic, Raymond Williams.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2544
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2548
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This course will focus on the religious, political and social contexts that shaped intellectual and creative writing in the period 1640-1714 (i.e., the Civil Wars to the death of Queen Anne). Particular emphasis will be placed on the intersections between literary and non-literary texts. We will explore discourses about kingship and patriarchy, religious enthusiasm, libertinism, and the status of women. Some of the writers we will cover include Hobbes, Locke, Dryden, Rochester, Behn, Milton, and Astell. Special attention will be paid to the literary tactics deployed by non-literary writers and tropes of revolutionary thought (e.g., destruction, creation and reconstruction).

    Assessment

    • Presentation: 10%
    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 60%
    Module codeSE2551
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module explores key developments in modern drama, also examining its evolving relationship with film and music-drama.

    The first half of the module will discuss the development of an ideal of modern drama both in theory and practice. Our discussion will consider some key European dramas and discussions of the fundamental role and function of drama in society. The focus of the module will then turn to plays representative of twentieth-century trends in British and American theatre. We will pay close attention to the engagement of that theatre with cultural and historical events and to the development of an ideal of drama as a national art.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2564
    LevelL6
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Credits20

    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: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE2566
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    On this module we will trace the development of the American novel after 1945. We will be reading a range of texts from significant and influential American writers and identifying persistent themes and innovations 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. We will consider how novelists have responded to major shifts in American culture and society, from the Cold War, the growth of consumerism, feminism and the Civil Rights movement, to late capitalism and the events and aftermath of 9/11. We will discuss shifting conceptions of American identity including the role of the individual in society, immigration and assimilation, and the marginalized Other. The set texts are situated 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
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    This module will introduce some of the main French critical theorists of the second half of the twentieth century (Barthes, Kristeva, Blanchot, Foucault, Lyotard, Deleuze, Lacan, Derrida, Cixous, 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
    Credits20

    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
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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: 15%
    • Presentation: 15%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2591
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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 analysing the physical artefact 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: 85%
    • Presentation: 15%
    Module codeSE2593
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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.

    A key focus is on storytelling, and the ways in which material culture relates to language and understanding. Attention is also be paid to the way these plays respond to the conventions of romance and pastoral.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2595
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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

    • Presentation: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2597
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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 codeSE2598
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module involves the comparative study of sagas, short stories, and novels written during the medieval and modern periods in island communities of the North Atlantic: Orkney, Shetland, the Faroes, and Iceland. The focus will be on two dominant influences that have shaped the literatures of these communities: their natural environment as islands in the North Atlantic and their Norse and Viking cultural inheritance. The modern literatures from these islands are written in several different languages (English and Scots, Faroese and Danish, Icelandic), but Old Norse was the language spoken in all these islands (as well as in mainland Scandinavia) throughout the Viking Age and medieval period: modern Icelandic and modern Faroese are both descended directly from, and remain very closely related to, Old Norse, and a form of Norse, known as Norn, survived in Orkney and Shetland until the eighteenth century and is the source of many dialect words still in use in the islands.

    Most of the surviving medieval literature in Old Norse was written in Iceland from the late twelfth century onwards; the earliest extended narratives set in Orkney, Shetland, and the Faroes (Orkneyinga saga and Færeyinga saga) were also written Iceland, in the thirteenth century. The first half of this module explores a selection of the medieval Icelandic prose narratives known as sagas, focusing on the ‘sagas of Icelanders’ genre. The second half of the module is concerned with twentieth- and twenty-first century fiction in which writers engage with the natural environment of the North Atlantic and with the cultural inheritance from Old Norse; the texts studied include: short stories by the acclaimed Orcadian poet, novelist, and prose writer, George Mackay Brown; an historical novel by Margaret Elphinstone set in twelfth-century Fair Isle and Shetland; short Icelandic novels by the Nobel prize winner, Halldór Laxness, and the contemporary poet, novelist, and Björk lyricist, Sjón; and the novel chosen by Faroe islanders as their book of the twentieth century, Heiðin Brú’s The Old Man and his Sons. Key themes that will be explored in relation to both the medieval and the modern texts include: time and the relationship of past to present; issues of local, regional, and national identity (including post/colonial experiences); literature and the environment; literary representations of island life; and ideas of ‘North’ and ‘Northerness’.

    Medieval and modern Icelandic and Faroese texts will be read in modern English translations, but the module will also include some language classes in which students will be able to acquire basic reading skills in Old Norse, skills which should enable them to understand saga prose with the help of an Icelandic-English dictionary or glossary and enhance their appreciation of Icelandic literature read in translation.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Written assessment: 70%
    Module codeSE2599
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    This module will explore the generic and thematic possibilities of Middle English romances – narratives of knightly adventure, combat, quests, and love. The module will address some key themes in medieval literature through a selection of verse and prose romances, including Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur, Sir Degaré, King Horn, Emaré, Sir Isumbras, and The Squire of Low Degree. The focus will embrace matters of identity – chivalry, gender, monstrosity – as well as marvels and the supernatural, friendship, love, ethics, and heroism. The texts will be read closely in relation to their literary, social and historical contexts.

    This is a course suitable both for students who have never studied medieval literature and also for those who already have some familiarity with Middle English. The texts will be read in the original Middle English.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 100%
    Module codeSE4101
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Credits20

    Through careful study of contemporary contributions to philosophical debates over where ideas come from, how beliefs are to be justified, what knowledge is, whether God exists, 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
    Credits20

    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, free speech, and whether there can be objective moral truths, 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
    Credits20

    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 codeSE4107
    LevelL4
    SemesterDouble Semester
    Credits20

    This module will provide a thorough grounding in methods of argumentation. It will cover different types of arguments and how to challenge them, how to identify common argumentative fallacies, how to write critical essays and present your ideas in an academic context, and introduce basic logic.

    Assessment

    • Class test: 30%
    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Examination - spring semester: 40%
    Module codeSE4312
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    This module will provide a critical overview of philosophical questions about the methods and metaphysical underpinnings of contemporary science. Core topics will include current debates about the ‘proper’ nature of scientific explanation, and the epistemological status of models and computer simulations in scientific research (including ‘model’ organisms). No prior knowledge of science is required, but readings will sometimes engage with scientific work and one of the assessments is based on a lab visit (set up by the module leader).

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 25%
    • Presentation: 25%
    Module codeSE4313
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    Citizens in democracies are both authors and subjects of political decisions. As such, they have good reason to ask whether their basic social institutions and public policies are just or unjust. John Rawls’ Justice as Fairness sets out to demonstrate that social justice requires the protection of basic civil liberties, the preservation of fair equality of opportunity to compete for work and political offices, and that differences in income and wealth should maximally benefit the least economically advantaged.  In this module, we will critically assess the Rawlsian conception of justice as fairness, turning to responses from the left-wing critic G.A. Cohen, the right wing critic, Robert Nozick. We will also assess the claims of Philippe Van Parijs, who argues that society should provide a basic income for all citizens regardless of whether or not they pursue paid employment, and of Elizabeth Anderson who regards Van Parijs’ proposal as a recipe for the exploitation of the hard-working by the lazy. We will also explore the feminist critique of Rawls offered by Susan Moller Okin and a multiculturalist view from Will Kymlicka, who argues for special protection of minority cultures, such as speakers of the Welsh language.

    This module aims to explore the main debates within contemporary political philosophy by introducing students to a range of contemporary political literature. We will start with John Rawls’ liberal egalitarian conception of economic justice before examining the leading libertarian, feminist and rival liberal egalitarian respones to Rawls’ view.

    Assessment

    • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE4364
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE4367
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE4369
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module aims to give students a thorough understanding of classic works by Beauvoir, Camus, Fanon, and Sartre, and the issues that surround their interpretation and assessment. We will focus on philosophical texts, but also study some fiction. We will be concerned with debates over how these works are to be interpreted as well as with assessing their potential contributions to current philosophy.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 30%
    • Examination - autumn semester: 70%
    Module codeSE4372
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    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
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    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 - spring semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE4386
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    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
    Credits20

    This module will provide a critical overview of contemporary theory of knowledge and understanding. In particular, core epistemological theories about the nature of knowledge and understanding will be assessed to see whether, and how, they can answer ‘value problems’, which are concerned with if and why knowledge is valuable. This will include discussion of what transforms (true) beliefs into knowledge, how to challenge epistemological theories, and how to evaluate value in epistemic attitudes.

    Assessment

    • Presentation: 20%
    • Written assessment: 40%
    • Written assessment: 40%
    Module codeSE4402
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    The module will explore key issues in aesthetics and the philosophy of art by reviewing the responses that philosophers, artists and art critics have made to modernist works of art. The module will be structured through a chronological review of modernist art, primarily focusing on the visual arts (including painting, sculpture and photography) in the Western tradition, but also exploring non-Western responses to modernism, and contemporary art forms (such as video gaming).  The module will critically examine the thought of continental and analytic philosophers, including Kant, Hegel, the Frankfurt School, Heidegger and the phenomenologists, Bell, Collingwood and Danto.

    This double module aims to give students an understanding of modernist art, its relationship to philosophy, and the role that philosophy and art criticism play in the interpretation and development of art.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 60%
    • Presentation: 40%
    Module codeSE4403
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    This module explores the leading contemporary theories of fairness. One proposal is that fairness is a purely formal matter. For example, fairness is sometimes said to require merely that the same rules be applied to everyone equally and impartially. Another formal approach claims that fairness consists in proportionality. Other proposals are that fairness requires not only that rules be applied equally and impartially but also that the rules themselves distinguish between people on the basis of certain features. One common proposal is that fair rules distinguish between people on the basis of desert, while another proposal is that fair rules distinguish between people on the basis of need. Finally, we explore the way in which certain cognitive biases might affect our judgments about what is fair.

    Assessment

    • Examination - autumn semester: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    Module codeSE4404
    LevelL6
    SemesterAutumn Semester
    Credits20

    Few things grip our imagination quite like time travel: countless novels, films, video games, comics and other texts have been devoted to it, and there are a multitude of lively and ongoing debates concerning it in the philosophical literature. In this course we will examine time travel not only in itself (including the paradoxes it is thought to engender), but also as a lens to consider other problems in metaphysics and epistemology. In doing so, we will draw on texts spanning philosophy and pop culture, ranging from Heraclitus to Harry Potter.  

     

    In the first part of this course we will investigate the arguments for and against the possibility of time travel, using as a foundation David Lewis’s “The Paradoxes of Time Travel” (1976). After considering the so-called ‘paradoxes’ of time travel – first under four-dimensionalism and then under other theories of time - we shall move on to its puzzles: coincidence, free will, causation, luck and foreknowledge. This is an exploratory, research-led course that will require students to engage critically with both philosophical and speculative fiction texts, and will serve as a solid introduction to a number of debates cross-cutting metaphysics and epistemology.

    Assessment

    • Written assessment: 20%
    • Written assessment: 50%
    • Written assessment: 30%
    Module codeSE4405
    LevelL6
    SemesterSpring Semester
    Credits20

    Assessment

    • Presentation: 50%
    • Written assessment: 50%