Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENGL270
Coordinator Prof SL Peverley
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 30


To introduce a range of medieval narrative literature and common themes found there through studying a variety of texts in the original Middle English, alongside some others written in Anglo-Norman (studied in translation).
To provide a basic reading knowledge of Middle English.
To introduce students to the issues involved in editing early literature.
To introduce students to a range of medieval cultural, intellectual, and literary contexts through the study of Middle English literature.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will develop an appreciation of the diversity of medieval narratives.

(LO2) Students will understand and have a critical appreciation of major narrative texts within the medieval period.

(LO3) Students will develop enhanced reading and critical skills relative to this literature.

(LO4) Students will have a basic reading ability in Middle English Language.

(LO5) Students will have an appreciation of the place of this literature within the broader context of English literary history.

(LO6) Students will have a basic understanding of how early texts might be edited.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Following instructions/protocols/procedures

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S3) Communication: oral, written and visual - Academic writing, including referencing skills

(S4) Time and project management - Personal organisation

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S6) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

(S7) Information skills - Information accessing: Locating relevant information and Identifying and evaluating information sources

(S8) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking



The module will look at various forms of poetic and prose narrative in the medieval period, covering courtly texts such as romances and lais as well as bawdy tales (fabliaux). Themes explored will include elite behaviour (courtly codes), secular and spiritual codes of conduct, exile, marriage, and quests. A fair chronological range will allow for a sense of historical development and scope for comparison, as well as seeing how certain themes recur, eg rites of passage, women's relation to power, magic, social conduct.

A typical syllabus might cover: Chaucer's Book of the Duchess and a selection from The Canterbury Tales, often including The Knight's Tale, The Reeve's Tale, the Wife of Bath's Tale, and others chosen by tutors; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Selected books from Malory's Morte D'Arthur (normally The tale of King Arthur, The Tale of Sir Gareth, The Book of Lancelot and Guinevere). Extracts fro m medieval chronicles, Gower's Confessio Amantis and several lyrics may also be considered.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Workshop
Description: 2 x 1 hour remote workshops per week (weeks 1 to 11)
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided
Notes: Workshops (weeks 1-11) provide a range of contexts (intellectual, cultural, thematic, generic, and author-based) to support students' study of the literature and offer starting points for independent research. They will focus on one or more texts and often involved small groups work or structured debate.

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial
Description: 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week (weeks 1-12)
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Weekly tutorials (weeks 1-11) offer the opportunity for close analysis of individual texts through small group teaching and student-centred group discussion.

Teaching Method 3 - Other
Attendance Recorded: No
Notes: Asynchronous tasks and resources will be provided before classes. Additional office hours will also be provided mid-semester for feedback and consulta tion,

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours     11



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 258


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 2  Editorial Exercise 2    40       
Assessment 2 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 2  Essay 3000 words    60       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.