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.
Title Victorian Murder and Other Crimes
Code ENGL763
Coordinator Dr MA Raines
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Second Semester 15


Victorian Murder and Other Crimes aims:
-to examine the representation of murder and other serious crimes in a variety of Victorian texts
-to consider relevant contextual developments and the impact on literary genre
-to develop a comprehensive understanding of the key critical and theoretical debates in the area
-to engage with a wide range of primary texts on murder, including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction
-to meet the hallmark and attribute criteria of Curriculum 2021

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary and other texts

(LO2) Students will have an advanced knowledge and systematic understanding of the political and ideological aspects of literary texts and how they can be situated within appropriate cultural and social contexts

(LO3) Students will have a critical appreciation of the ways in which texts can be situated within literary history, including issues of genre, influence, and creation and reception

(LO4) Students will have an advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates

(LO5) Students will have a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources

(LO6) Students will have the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship

(LO7) Students will have research skills enabling critical evaluation of different research methodologies and selection of appropriate methodologies

(LO8) Students will have research skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively in order to generate new and independent research

(S1) Students will have a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts

(S2) Students will have an advanced critical and analytical skills in relation to diverse forms of discourse

(S3) Students will have advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments

(S4) Students will have the ability to autonomously design and self-direct a research project that brings together historical and literary approaches

(S5) Students will have the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature

(S6) Students will have the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner

(S7) Students will have practical research skills to retrieve information, assemble bibliographic data, and critically evaluate, sift and organize material independently

(S8) Students will have the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard

(S9) Students will have advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

(S10) Students will have organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines



Key topics will include representations of murder and other serious crimes in Victorian poetry, fiction, and nonfiction; murder and advances in Victorian psychology; the impact of crime on genre; criminal investigations and the media; and the afterlife of Victorian crime. Almost all literary texts will be available in print or electronic versions through the library or through the VLE, using the Reading Lists system; specific extra learning resources will be made available through the VLE. Students will have a set amount of required reading for the seminar each week; there will be some guidance in finding appropriate secondary material but students will be encouraged to follow individual interests in choosing additional reading material.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

• Teaching on this module is undertaken through 2-hour seminars which take place fortnightly.
• Each student will have 2 x individual feedback session lasting 30 minutes, the first likely to be on their formative assessment, the second likely to be a preparation for the summative assessment.
• The majority of all students’ learning time on this module is in self-directed study and independent research. This will likely include reading widely in the field of Victorian murder and crime, researching appropriate resources in this field of study, acquainting themselves with relevant theoretical approaches, and developing individual research ideas.
• Attendance at seminars will be recorded in line with SotA policy on attendance.

The majority of teaching will be delivered face to face on campus. Online delivery will be used to complement the on-campus delivery and where technology affords a better learning experience.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   12


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 137


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework 1 Partial draft of final essay (no resit, not anonymous)         
Coursework 2 Final essay    100       

Recommended Texts

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