BA English Literature and History / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
English Literature Tutorials

Course unit fact file
Unit code ENGL10171
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


English Literature Tutorials is an intensive, seminar-based course designed to teach incoming English literature students the basic skills of university-level research, close reading and academic writing. Each student will be assigned to a seminar group with a member of academic staff who will also serve as that student’s Academic Advisor. Students will work with this member of staff one-on-one and in small discussion groups, with seminars focused on weekly topics designed to help students make the transition from A-level to university-level work. Students can expect to do in-class writing and discussion work, as well as to practice the skills of close reading, research, and debate.


This course aims to:

  • help students make the transition from school to university-level study;
  • teach students the skills required to produce university-level essays;
  • provide training in the necessary skills of the discipline (e.g. use of library, close, critical analysis of literary and other texts, oral skills for seminar presentations);
  • make students aware of the requirements of referencing and academic honesty;
  • provide guidance for learning and self-development;
  • foster an environment in which students take responsibility for their own learning.

Teaching and learning methods

This class will have a 2 hour seminar and a 1 hour tutorials each week.  


Relevant materials will be posted on Blackboard each week.   

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate a good familiarity with the chosen seminar texts;
  • understand how to use relevant library and IT resources ;
  • define and avoid academic malpractice, including plagiarism;
  • demonstrate a good understanding of close reading skills.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • analyse and reflect critically on course texts;
  • perform close readings of literary texts;
  • identify and outline key issues in the study of English literature ;
  • synthesize and analyse information from close readings;
  • develop and articulate a reasoned argument for a particular point of view;
  • draw reasoned conclusions using information from close reading;
  • evaluate arguments advanced by other critics.

Practical skills

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • plan and execute independent research on a relevant topic;
  • make good use of library, electronic, and online resources pertaining to the course;
  • write clearly structured and persuasively argued essays about course texts;
  • express ideas in seminar;
  • debate ideas with other seminar participants.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • retrieve, sift, organise, synthesise and critically evaluate material from a range of different sources, including library, electronic, and online resources;
  • produce written work using appropriate language for an academic audience;
  • produce written work that collects and integrates evidence to formulate a critical argument;
  • manage time effectively by scheduling tasks in order of importance;

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students taking this unit will be able to analyse and evaluate arguments and texts. Above all, committed students will emerge from this course unit with an advanced capacity to think critically, i.e. knowledgeably, rigorously, confidently and independently.
Group/team working
Students taking this unit will be able to work courteously and constructively as part of a larger group.
On this unit students are encouraged to respond imaginatively and independently to the questions and ideas raised by texts and other media.
Students on this unit must take responsibility for their learning and are encouraged not only to participate in group discussions but to do so actively and even to lead those discussions.
Project management
Students taking this unit will be able to work towards deadlines and to manage their time effectively.
Oral communication
Students taking this unit will be able to show fluency, clarity and persuasiveness in spoken communication.
Students on this unit will be required to digest, summarise and present large amounts of information. They are encouraged to enrich their responses and arguments with a wide range of further reading.
Written communication
Students on this unit will develop their ability to write in a way that is lucid, precise and compelling.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative Weighting within unit (%)

Essay 1

Formative and summative 25%

Essay 2

Formative and summative 25%

Essay 3

Summative 50%



Feedback methods

Feedback method  

Formative or Summative 

Numerical grade and written comments on essays within 15 working days  

Formative and summative  

One on one meetings with the course tutor to discuss completed and/or ongoing written work. 

formative and summative 

Recommended reading

Readings vary from seminar group to seminar group, and are determined by the instructor.  Students will be advised of the required reading well in advance of the study of the material. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 172

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alan Rawes Unit coordinator

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