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Theory Now - ENG00030C

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Namratha Rao
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module offers a foundation in the critical and philosophical approaches we might use to analyse literary texts. It explores a range of theoretical concepts, positions and frameworks, and shows how we can use them to interpret literary texts with close attention to their historicity and form. Topics covered might include: Postcolonialism, Critical Race Theory, Feminism, Queer Theory, Disability Studies, Affect Theory, the Environmental Humanities, and Marxist Literary Theory.

The lectures and workshops give you an entry point into exciting and complex areas of literary analysis and theorisation, which will be of use throughout your degree programme. The lectures draw on key theoretical texts, both historical and current; the workshops focus on clarifying the theoretical concepts and how, in practice, they help you to understand and explicate the dynamics of texts.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module aims to introduce students to a range of literary and critical theory and to its use and affordances in literary study. Students will learn a range of foundational literary and critical terms and concepts and are encouraged to move towards increasingly complex ways of thinking about literary texts and theoretical and critical approaches to the study of literary texts. Alongside this, students will develop their critical thinking and writing skills and see the links between these processes; learn strategies for constructing and developing an argument; and build research and writing skills in working with literary criticism and critical theory.

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and engagement with a range of key literary terms, concepts and theoretical approaches.

  2. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and engagement with a range of literary theories and their application to literary texts.

  3. Develop arguments and ideas which demonstrate university-level critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

  4. Produce critical writing which demonstrates a multi-stage process of planning and revision, and a clear understanding of grammar and rhetorical skills.


Task Length % of module mark
Theory map
N/A 50
Open Examination: Multiple choice questions online
Open book examination
4 hours 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
1,500-word Essay
N/A 50
Open Examination: Multiple choice questions online
Open Book Examination
N/A 50

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 would like to discuss your feedback, please consult your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours.

Indicative reading

The essential theoretical readings for this module will be made available online through the VLE.

In addition, we will be reading 3-4 literary texts alongside our key theories in order to test out and illustrate various theoretical approaches.

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.