English Literature: Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century Literature MA

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements: You will need a good 2:1 Honours degree in English studies or a similar subject.

Module details

Students opting for the Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century pathway are required to take at least 60 credits from the specialist modules (which must include the compulsory modules Science and Literature I and II as well as Writing Travel I and II) in addition to the core modules (Research Skills, Dissertation Project, Dissertation). The remaining 30 elective credits can be taken in any pathway run by the Department of English or across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Compulsory modules

Research Skills and Practice (ENGL700)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To equip the department's postgraduate students with the necessary research skills to make effective, critical interventions in the study of English Literature.

To equip students with the necessary presentational skills for advanced study in English Literature, including bibliographic and referencing conventions.

To equip students with para-academic professional skills relating to the development of materials for a public audience.

To equip students with the knowledge and confidence to reflect critically and creatively on the practices, contexts and real-world applications of literary study.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources.

(LO2) Students will have the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship.

(LO3) Students will acquire new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

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

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

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and its contexts.

(S5) Students will gain 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) Student will gain practical research skills to retrieve information, assemble bibliographic data, and critically evaluate, sift and organize material independently.

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

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

Dissertation Preparation Project (ENGL701)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is for students to set out the main lines of a research enquiry, its divisions and possible resources, and to undertake independent research to identify and evaluate key reading and critical contexts for the proposed topic. The object at this stage is not to try to 'solve' or 'conclude' or 'cover' the proposed topic: a much more thorough-going examination of the topic will be proper to the dissertation itself. The module also aims to help students develop public speaking skills and digital skills through the creation of an audio-visual recording. In order to qualify for a degree in a named pathway (Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century, Victorian, Modern and Contemporary or Science Fiction), the subject of their assignment for this module must be on a relevant author(s).

Learning Outcomes

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

(LO2) Students will gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources

(LO3) Students will gain the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship

(LO4) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities

(LO5) Students will gain research skills enabling critical evaluation of different research methodologies and selection of appropriate methodologies

(LO6) research skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively in order to generate new and independent research

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

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

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences

(S4) Students will gain the ability to autonomously design and self-direct an extended research project

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

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

(S7) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard

(S8) Students will gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

(S9) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines

Dissertation (ENGL702)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

Students must develop and deliver an original capstone research project: more specifically, a 14,000-15,000-word dissertation, incorporating extensive secondary research, textual analysis, use of appropriate evidence and referencing and engagement with the contexts of literature. Students work with a supervisor who is an expert in their field. As the module requires students to plan a large project months ahead, to find and select relevant material, to maintain a coherent and complex argument and to analyse large amounts of information and text, it provides an excellent grounding in many key professional skills.

Students will build on skills developed in the Research Skills and Practice module (ENGL700) and on the lessons of the preliminary research for the Dissertation Preparation Project module (ENGL701).

Learning Outcomes

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

(LO2) Students will gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of techniques for accessing electronic and bibliographic sources

(LO3) Students will gain the ability to use scholarly referencing and bibliographic conventions appropriate for advanced literary scholarship

(LO4) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities

(LO5) Students will gain research skills enabling critical evaluation of different research methodologies and selection of appropriate methodologies

(LO6) Students will gain research skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively in order to generate new and independent research

(LO7) Students will gain the ability to work with a supervisor to identify as well as autonomously plan and implement an independent, dissertation-length research project

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

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

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences

(S4) Students will gain the ability to autonomously design and self-direct an extended research project

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

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

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

(S8) Students will gain 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 gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

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

Literature, Slavery and Empire (ENGL750)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to:
- introduce students to texts of both real and imaginary travel and cross-cultural encounter produced in Renaissance and eighteenth-century England.
- add to the student's understanding of literary history, and introduce them to ways of using interdisciplinary research in cultural and social history to illuminate literary texts.
- develop the student's critical awareness of key theoretical debates about cross-cultural interaction, otherness and travel/colonial writing.
- explore questions such as the relationship between travel writing and nationalism, the influence of travel on literary genres, as well as the involvement of such textual records in the formation of England’s imperialist ambition in these periods.
- consider the ways in which texts in the period construct concepts such as 'Englishness' and 'the foreign'.
- examine literary and non-literary responses to servitude and the slave trade.

Learning Outcomes

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

(LO2) Students will gain 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 gain 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 gain an advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(S8) Students will gain 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 gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

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

Editing the Early Modern (ENGL752)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to: introduce students to the practice of scholarly editing; familiarise students with historical trends in editing and current debates in editing/textual theory; develop in students a knowledge of printing practice and book history over the course of the Renaissance and eighteenth century; encourage students to consider the artistic and interpretative implications of practical editorial decisions; consider the relationship between editing and interpretation.

Learning Outcomes

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

(LO2) Students will gain 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 gain 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 gain an advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(S8) Students will gain 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 gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

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

Optional modules

Shakespeare & Co (ENGL751)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

‘Soul of the age’ or ‘not of an age, but for all time’? The aim of this module is to examine some of the immediate and subsequent ‘cultural contexts’ (linguistic and textual, theatrical and critical) of Shakespeare’s writings, and to develop a greater sensitivity to the play of historical and literary circumstance when unfolding them. Its specific aims are: to offer a series of comparative approaches to reading and interpreting Shakespeare both within and beyond his own ‘time’, and against eighteenth-century ideas of him as the great English poet of ‘Nature’, ‘Nation’, and ‘Genius’; to address the plays’ sources, adaptations, and related or relevant works by other writers alongside critical attention to Shakespeare’s contemporaries – especially Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson – as well as to his Restoration and eighteenth-century adapters and ‘improvers’, critics and performers, such as David Garrick and Samuel Johnson; to add to the students' understanding of literary history, and also of some related aspects of cultural and social history, over the course of both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods; to develop the student's critical awareness of the problems and insights raised by an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature in the contexts both of the Renaissance and of the eighteenth century.

Learning Outcomes

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

(LO2) Students will gain 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 gain 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 gain an advanced knowledge and critical awareness of current and new literary, critical and theoretical debates.

(LO5) Students will gain new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities.

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

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

(S3) Students will gain advanced literacy, interpersonal and communications skills, and the ability to present sustained and persuasive written and oral arguments to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

(S4) Students will gain the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature.

(S5) Students will gain the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner.

(S6) Students will gain the ability to use IT and other relevant tools and resources to present written and oral work to a professional, scholarly standard.

(S7) Students will gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

(S8) Students will gain organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines.

Poetry and the Forms of Experience (ENGL753)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aims of this module are: to develop in students an informed and sophisticated understanding of a selection of Renaissance and eighteenth-century literary forms, modes, and genres; to advance students' knowledge of poetic form and literary genre, and their employment, development, and adaptation by a wide range of Renaissance and eighteenth-century authors; to explore some key developments in literary history, and in some related aspects of cultural and social history, over the course of both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods; to enhance a critical awareness of the problems and insights raised by an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature in the contexts both of the Renaissance and of the eighteenth century; to provide students with a formal text-based reading course that complements other modules in the programme

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will have the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary 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 new skills fostering continued independent learning and a critical appreciation of complex issues within the broader context of the Arts and Humanities

(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 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 to specialist and non-specialist audiences

(S4) Students will have the ability to comprehensively understand and apply a variety of theoretical approaches to literature

(S5) Students will have the ability to handle complex information and argument in a critical, creative and self-reflective manner

(S6) 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

(S7) Students will have advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing

(S8) Students will have organisational skills in managing time and workloads, and in meeting deadlines

Literature and Science (ENGL754)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to enhance understanding of and stimulate interest in the relationship between literature and science in the Renaissance and long eighteenth century. Science is considered in its broadest definition, including medicine, technology, and pseudo-sciences such as alchemy. Students will read a wide range of texts (in dramatic, poetic, and prose forms, and including scientific or medical writings) from the early modern period, and will consider how they pay attention to emerging ways of knowing, the scientific principles of observation and experiment, and rival narratives of nature. Students will also gain a critical awareness of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature and the history of science.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain the ability to read, analyse, interpret and compare with competence and independence a wide variety of literary and historical texts related to science.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(S1) Students will gain a systematic knowledge and critical awareness of current debates and new insights within the field of literature and science.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(S8) Students will gain 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 gain advanced skills and experience in selecting and using electronic and/or archival resources for planning and undertaking research and writing.

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