BA English Literature with Creative Writing / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Reading Literature

Course unit fact file
Unit code ENGL10021
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by English and American Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


Course Unit Overview

After the introductory lecture, the course is divided into four units, each of which is focused on reading a particular genre or kind of material. Readings vary year on year, but a typical year might include:

Unit 1: Reading Poetry (poetry by a wide range of poets);

Unit 2: Reading Prose (essays and fiction by Bacon and Adichie);  

Unit 3: Reading Drama (plays by Shakespeare and Beckett);

Unit 4: Film Adaptation (Shakespeare)



' To introduce students to reading skills in the main genres in contemporary English studies.

- To familiarize students with a range of important terms and tools (including the ability to scan lines of verse) in the critical reading of prose, poetry, drama, and culture.

- To develop students' ability to use critical reading in order to construct an argument.

- To introduce students to the theoretical issues around the notion of culture, and to the reading skills needed when critically evaluating popular culture.

- To develop skills of written and oral expression.

- To develop students' ability to work effectively as a group and in online discussion groups.

- To develop students' IT skills through Blackboard.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course successful students should be able to:
- Identify works in a variety of different forms
- Identify and explicate some of the methods used by literary or cultural critics to examine formal issues and to link a work's form with its content

- Formulate arguments on the basis of textual evidence
- Use appropriate scholarly terms and methods of presentation
- Give critical readings of texts in different genres, including fiction, poetry, drama and popular culture.

- Communicate appropriately in online and seminar discussions
- Express their arguments in writing that reaches a Level 1 standard.
- Read texts critically and with attention to rhetorical detail
- Speak and debate issues clearly
- Navigate and utilize the resources available on Blackboard

Assessment methods

Portfolio 3 x 500 word close readings of poetry 40%
Coursework essay 60%


Feedback methods

Tii and face to face meetings upon arrangement with marker

Recommended reading

Recommending Reading

William Shakespeare, King Henry V, ed. by Andrew Gurr, The New Cambridge Shakespeare, rev. edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Samuel Beckett, Endgame (London: Faber and Faber, 2009).

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus, (orig. 2003, Fourth Estate, 2017)

Melissa Harrison, All Among the Barley (Bloomsbury, 2018)

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Clara Dawson Unit coordinator

Return to course details