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Approaches to Literature II: Other Worlds - ENG00021C

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. George Younge
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module is a core foundational module, and will help 1st Year English students understand new ‘approaches’ to literary studies as they encounter a range of texts and topics. It specifically addresses the idea of ‘other worlds’ in medieval and early modern literature and culture. The medieval and early modern periods may seem ‘other’ to us on account of their distance in time, and their different worldviews, ideas, and even emotions. But at the same time, medieval and early modern writers themselves imagined ‘other worlds’: heaven and hell; monstrous borderlands and undiscovered countries; strange territories of magic and enchantment.

This module will explore both the ‘otherness’ of the medieval and early modern period, and also the ‘other worlds’ imagined in that period. In doing so, it will foreground questions about historical distance and difference, and about the methods that may be most productive or provocative in studying the literature and culture of earlier periods. The module will therefore also help to lay the foundations for the 2nd Year Intermediate Modules ‘The Shock of the New: Medieval Literature’ and ‘The Renaissance’.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

The primary aim of the module is to introduce students to a range of texts and topics that will enable them to come to an understanding of medieval and early modern literature and culture.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a foundational understanding of and engagement with medieval and early modern literature, across a range of genres and forms.

2. Demonstrate a foundational understanding of and engagement with the cultural and historical contexts of medieval and early modern literature.

3. Engage with key debates and critical approaches to the period.

4. Develop arguments and ideas which demonstrate foundational critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
1000 word Textual Response
N/A 30
2000 word Essay
N/A 70

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative tasks include in-class workshopping of essay title, introduction, bibliography in week 8


Task Length % of module mark
2500 word Reassessment Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

  • You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is provided in a pedagogical spirit, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.

  • For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see section 12 of the department's Guide to Assessment available on the Student Home Page

Indicative reading

Key texts for this module may include the following. Current students should consult the VLE site for the module.

  • Beowulf,
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,
  • Dr Faustus,
  • The Tempest.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.