BA English Literature with Creative Writing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Narrative Theory and Victorian Fiction

Course unit fact file
Unit code ENGL30172
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


“Once upon a time…”  Humanity is a story-telling species; narrative is fundamental to our understanding of ourselves and the world.  This course explores the key questions, what is narrative, what does it do, and how does it do it?  It will introduce you to a number of key concepts and debates in narrative theory with a particular focus on the theories of Propp, Bakhtin, Brooks and Jameson.  In addition, we will explore the development of narrative in three novels by Charles Dickens.  Thus, the course uses narrative theory to read the work of Dickens, but also uses Dickens to examine the claims of narrative theory.


Learning outcomes

  • Students will achieve an understanding of a range of theoretical concepts and debates within the field of narrative theory.
  • Students will obtain greater knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a range of Victorian fiction.
  • Students will be able to use concepts from the field of narrative theory to produce critical analyses of Victorian fiction.
  • Students will be able to use Victorian fiction to produce a critical analysis of key concepts within the field of narrative theory.


Assessment methods

Research Poster 40%
Essay 60%


Recommended reading

Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

Charles Dickens, Bleak House

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

H. Porter Abbott, The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative


Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michael Sanders Unit coordinator

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