English: Renaissance and Eighteenth-Century Literature MA

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: September 2020
  • Entry requirements: You will need a good 2:1 Honours degree in English studies or a similar subject.
English Renaissance and Eighteenth Century Literature ma

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 (literature) (ENGL601)
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 world of the professional study of English Literature. To equip students with the necessary presentational skills for advanced study in English Literature, including bibliographic and referencing conventions.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By the end of this module, students will be able to:Demonstrate imaginative,discriminating and systematic use of the wide range of traditional and electronic resources available for producing bibliographies.

(LO2) Demonstrate effective presentational skills for advanced literary study

(LO3) Critically evaluate secondary literature and demonstrate advanced skills in reviewing current scholarship

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

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

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading

(S6) Information skills - Information accessing:[Locating relevant information] [Identifying and evaluating information sources]

(S7) Research skills - All Information skills

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity

(S9) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

(S10) Skills in using technology - Information accessing

Literature and Science I: Science On Stage (ENGL720)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to: Enhance students' understanding of the relationship between science and the stage in the Renaissance and Eighteenth Century, through the works of authors such as Ben Jonson, Thomas Shadwell, and John Gay. Advance students' critical 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. Develop students' 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) On completion of the module, students will have:The ability to demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of Renaissance and Eighteenth-century dramatic works concerned with science, by key authors from both periods.

(LO2) The ability to assess and discuss the various ways in which dramatic texts of the period engaged with ideas prevalent in ‘scientific’ discourses, and how writers were inspired by and/or critiqued different accounts of nature.

(LO3) The ability to demonstrate an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works examined.

(LO4) The ability to put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and writing .

(LO5) The ability to research, read, and think both independently and sensitively about the works studied at a more specialised level.

(LO6) The ability to evaluate and communicate effectively both their own and others’ ideas .

(LO7) An enhanced ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and Eighteenth-century periods.

(LO8) An enhanced understanding of literary history and of some related aspects of cultural and social history over the course of the Renaissance and Eighteenth-century periods.

(LO9) An ability to evaluate critically advanced scholarship and research of the Renaissance and Eighteenth-century periods.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills.

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading.

(S6) Research skills - All information skills.

(S7) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.).

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

Literature and Science II: Science and Imagination (ENGL710)
LevelM
Credit level10
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to: Enhance  students' understanding of the relationship between literature and science in the Renaissance and Eighteenth Century, through the works of authors such as Spenser, Bacon, Milton, Boyle, Cavendish, Newton, Swift, Thomson and Barbauld. It will pay particular attention to how emerging ways of knowing and seeing influenced accounts of cosmology and creation, discovery and imagination, politics and poetics. Enhance 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. Advance   students'  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) On completion of the module, students will have:The ability to demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of Renaissance and eighteenth-century literary works concerned with science and the examination of 'Nature', by key authors from both periods.

(LO2) The ability to assess and discuss the various ways in which literary texts of the period engaged with ideas prevalent in ‘scientific’ discourses, and how writers were inspired by and/or critiqued different accounts of nature.

(LO3) The ability to demonstrate an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works examined.

(LO4) The ability to put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and writing.

(LO5) The ability to research, read, and think both independently and sensitively about the works studied at a more specialised level.

(LO6) The ability to evaluate and communicate effectively both their own and others’ ideas.

(LO7) The ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO8) An enhanced understanding of literary history and of some related aspects of cultural and social history over the course of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO9) The ability to evaluate critically advanced scholarship and research of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills.

(S4) Information skills - Critical reading.

(S5) Research skills - All Information skills.

(S6) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.).

(S7) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

Dissertation Project (ENGL603)
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.  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 through going examination of the topic will be proper to the dissertation itself.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By the end of this module, students will be able to: Demonstrate critical thinking and research skills in formulating an appropriate research question.

(LO2) Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of their subject area through critical evaluation of current scholarship.

(LO3) Develop strategies to explain and defend their proposed project through oral presentation.

(LO4) Demonstrate the ability to communicate in written form the feasibility of their proposed project for Dissertation.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

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

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S4) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

(S6) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S7) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Influencing skills – argumentation

(S8) Information skills - Critical reading

(S9) Information skills - Evaluation

(S10) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

Dissertation (literature) (ENGL602)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterSummer (June-September)
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of the dissertation will be to produce a coherent argument on an appropriate topic, supported by appropriate evidence and presented with proper documentation, including a bibliography.

The dissertation will be the result of systematic study and should show some awareness of the existing state of scholarly/critical knowledge and opinion in the field.

The student will build on skills developed in the Research Skills module and on the lessons of the preliminary research or feasibility study undertaken for the Dissertation Project module (ENGL603).

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By the end of the module students should be able to apply appropriate writing and presentation skills over a sustained piece of work.

(LO2) Over the course of the module students should acquire knowledge of current state of research appropriate to their chosen project and the ability to work independently at a level appropriate to postgraduate study.

(LO3) By the end of the module students should have demonstrated an ability to investigate their chosen topic in some depth, drawing as appropriate on relevant published research and criticism, and constructing an original argument to arrive at explicitly justified interpretations and conclusions.

(S1) Personal attributes and qualities - Initiative

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S4) Research skills - All Information skills

(S5) Improving own learning/performance - Personal action planning

Writing Travel 1: Things of Darkness - Encountering Africa and the Caribbean (ENGL721)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To introduce students to texts of both real and imaginary travel produced in Renaissance and eighteenth century England by focussing on one specific region – Africa and the Caribbean. It aims to investigate the ways in which such texts engaged with real cultural and political changes, including England’s connections with other nations in both the Old World and the New, and the construction of concepts such as ‘Englishness’ and the ‘foreign’ To 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. To develop the student's critical awareness of key theoretical debates about cross-cultural interaction, otherness and travel writing.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Develop introductory graduate-level knowledge of Renaissance and eighteenth-century literary works and genres concerning travel and exploration.

(LO2) Develop an understanding of some early modern ideas and debates concerning travel, identity, and the 'foreign', as well as some of the contexts for these issues.

(LO3) Develop an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works examined.

(LO4) Develop an enhanced ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written.

(S3) Information skills - Critical reading.

(S4) Global citizenship - Cultural awareness.

(S5) Personal attributes and qualities - Initiative.

(S6) Personal attributes and qualities - Willingness to take responsibility.

Writing Travel 2: Old Worlds, New Worlds (ENGL712)
LevelM
Credit level10
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The module aims to introduce students to texts of both real and imaginary travel produced in Renaissance and eighteenth-century England. By juxtaposing texts from England’s pre-colonial encounters with other nations to the records of eighteenth century Grand Tours and colonial engagements, the module will offer students an opportunity to 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. There will be study of the construction of concepts such as 'Englishness' and 'the foreign', and of cross-cultural interactions.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Ability to demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of Renaissance and eighteenth-century literary works and genres concerning travel and exploration by key authors of both periods.

(LO2) Ability to demonstrate an understanding of the key contemporaneous ideas and debates concerning travel, identity, and the 'foreign'.

(LO3) Ability to demonstrate an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works examined.

(LO4) Ability to put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and the ability to research, read, and think independently and sensitively about the works studied at an appropriately specialised level.

(LO5) Ability to evaluate and communicate effectively ideas drawn from observation and from scholarship.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written.

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S4) Global citizenship - Cultural awareness.

(S5) Personal attributes and qualities - Initiative.

(S6) Personal attributes and qualities - Willingness to take responsibility.

Optional modules

Shakespeare & Co (ENGL711)
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) By completion of the module, students should be able:To demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of Shakespeare plays, in relation to the works of a number of other Renaissance and eighteenth-century dramatists, writers, and texts

(LO2) To address Shakespearean drama within a variety of contexts: literary and theatrical, critical and cultural

(LO3) To assess Shakespeare's art as a dramatist in relation to sources and the works of other dramatists, and to examine the adaptation of Shakespere's plays in the Restoration and the eighteenth century

(LO4) To demonstrate an understanding of some of the critical and interpretive debates concerning Shakespeare in performance and adaptation, especially in the Restoration and the eighteenth century

(LO5) To demonstrate an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the plays and writings examined

(LO6) To put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and writing

(LO7) To research, read, and think both independently and sensitively about the works studied at a more specialised level

(LO8) To evaluate and communicate effectively both their own and others’ ideas

(LO9) To demonstrate an enhanced ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO10) To demonstrate an enhanced understanding of literary history and of some related aspects of cultural and social history over the course of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO11) To demonstrate an ability to evaluate critically advanced scholarship and research of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods. 

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading

(S6) Research skills - All Information skills

(S7) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity

Poetry and the Forms of Experience (ENGL713)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst 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 (such as ENGL734).

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By completion of the module, students should be able: To demonstrate a critical understanding of a selection of Renaissance and eighteenth-century forms and genres: their differences, similarities, and inter-relation, alongside an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works examined.

(LO2) To put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and writing.

(LO3) To research, read, and think both independently and sensitively about the works studied at a more specialised level.

(LO4) To evaluate and communicate effectively both their own and others’ ideas.

(LO5) To demonstrate an enhanced ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO6) To demonstrate an enhanced understanding of literary history and of some related aspects of cultural and social history over the course of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO7) To demonstrate an ability to evaluate critically advanced scholarship and research of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills.

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading.

(S6) Research skills - All Information skills.

(S7) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.).

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.

Shakespeare Restored: Textual Transformations, 1590-1790 (ENGL709)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to: 
Encourage students to view critically the literary history of Shakespeare’s works in publication, addressing the interpretative contests involved in reading them on the Renaissance page and in their 'restoration' in the eighteenth century. 
Advance students' knowledge by examining a number of Shakespeare’s plays ( Hamlet , Titus Andronicus, Pericles ) in their original (Quarto and/or Folio) printed versions, as well as his Sonnets, to illustrate how understanding them can be enhanced by unlocking their textual histories. 
Develop  students' understanding of the editorial and hermeneutic basis of eighteenth-century editions of Shakespeare (those of Pope and Theobald, Johnson and Malone). 
Enhance students' critical 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.  Develop students' 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) By completion of the module, students should be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of Shakespeare's works in relation to the history of their publication in both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO2) To evaluate the differences, similarities, and inter-relation of different versions of Shakespeare's texts (in Quarto and Folio versions, for example).

(LO3) To assess the practical and the interpretative issues involved in editing Shakespeare, particularly in the context of eighteenth-century editorial practices and debates.

(LO4) To demonstrate an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works and issues examined.

(LO5) To put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and writing.

(LO6) To comprehend and put into practice some basic theories of textual editing.

(LO7) To research, read and think both independently and sensitively about the works studied at a more specialised level.

(LO8) To evaluate and communicate effectively both their own and others’ ideas.

(LO9) To demonstrate an enhanced ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO10) To demonstrate an enhanced understanding of literary history and of some related aspects of cultural and social history over the course of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO11) To demonstrate an ability to evaluate critically advanced scholarship and research of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods. 

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (including referencing skills)

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading

(S6) Research skills - All Information skills

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

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity

First Fictions: From Romance to the Novel (ENGL734)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to: He lp students develop an informed and sophisticated  understanding of a selection of Renaissance and 18th-century works of fiction. It allows for the detailed study of prose romances and tales from the sixteenth  and seventeenth centuries, and also of the version of ‘Romance’ most popular in the late eighteenth century: the ‘Gothic novel’, with which the period was  especially fascinated. En hance students' understanding of the history of prose fiction and the  emergence of the ‘novel’ as a literary form, and the module will examine works by a number of writers from George Gascoigne and Thomas Nashe to Samuel  Richardson and Ann Radcliffe. Add ress how prose narrative across both periods relates to issues of gender, identity, and the ‘self’ as well as the stuff of sensationalism, and it asks why, for  example, ‘Romance’ and later the novel have traditionally been considered  ‘feminine’ – and not always reputable – forms. De velop critical readings of a selection of Renaissance and 18th-century fictions in relevant literary, cultural, historical and critical contexts . Ad vance students' critical   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. Develop students' 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) By completion of the module, students should be able: To demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of Renaissance and eighteenth-century literary works of fiction, romance, and the early novel by key authors of both periods.

(LO2) To demonstrate an understanding of some early modern ideas and debates concerning fiction, romance and the novel, as well as some of the contexts for these issues.

(LO3) To demonstrate an informed critical engagement with some of the relevant literary, cultural and historical contexts of the works examined.

(LO4) To put into practice advanced skills in textual analysis, critical reading, and writing.

(LO5) To research, read, and think both independently and sensitively about the works studied at a more specialised level.

(LO6) To evaluate and communicate effectively both their own and others’ ideas.

(LO7) To demonstrate an enhanced ability to read and engage critically with literary and, where relevant, historical and cultural sources for both the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO8) To demonstrate an enhanced understanding of literary history and of some related aspects of cultural and social history over the course of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(LO9) To demonstrate an ability to evaluate critically advanced scholarship and research of the Renaissance and eighteenth-century periods.

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills).

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills.

(S5) Information skills - Critical reading.

(S6) Research skills - All Information skills.

(S7) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.).

(S8) Research skills - Awareness of /commitment to academic integrity.