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Research Now: Shakespeare in Depth - ENG00158I

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Information currently unavailable
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

Research Now gives you the chance to explore a cutting-edge specialist research area, while developing advanced skills for your own independent, extended research in the final year of your degree.

In the first half of the module, you will tackle your ‘deep dive’ research area of Shakespeare in Depth, allowing for a variety of historical and critical approaches to be presented in tandem. In 2023/24, you will have the opportunity to study King Lear in depth. How and why do we have two radically different versions of the play which both date from the early modern period? What forces have driven these changes, and what difference do the changes really make? Why were the generations of theatre practitioners and audiences that immediately followed Shakespeare unable to cope with the play that he had written? Why did the version produced by Nahum Tate in 1681 – with a happy ending – drive Shakespeare’s play from the stage until well into the nineteenth century? What kind of performance traditions have grown up around the play? How and why have other cultures, such as those of Russia and Japan, seized on the story and turned it into remarkable films? What is the relationship between the play and Greek tragedy? What did the play have to tell its first audiences about patriarchy and gender, and what can it tell us today? What were the social and political contexts that generated the play in the first place, and what kind of political interventions has it made more recently? You will hear from a range of lecturers, while collaborating in team-based workshops, in order to develop a team research project and presentation on the topic’s material.

The second half of the module focuses on skills to take your research further: formulating comprehensive research proposals and questions; developing a clear methodology or research practice; working interdisciplinarily, across languages, and periods; and improving ways of presenting research both orally and in writing. Each week will introduce a new tool for developing your research, and will contribute to a portfolio that will also look ahead to your final-year (bridge) dissertation project.

As a whole, the module gives you the chance to develop key employability strengths, including teamwork, creative and critical thinking, and problem-solving, while also developing the skills needed to embark on a longer research project by putting together an individual dissertation / bridge dissertation proposal.

Note: The ‘deep dive’ research area that you choose for the first half of this module does not have to correspond with the proposed subject area of your final-year (bridge) dissertation. You have the freedom to explore new, innovative terrain in this ‘deep dive’ or opt for a research area that you know and love - it is entirely up to you.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

  • This module aims to introduce students to cutting-edge research and innovative approaches to research design and presentation.

  • This module will encourage students to engage creatively with critical sources and texts, preparing students for the design of an extended dissertation project in the third year.

  • The module will develop essential research techniques together with oral, written and digital skills that can be applied to individual and collaborative research projects

Module learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with the ‘deep dive’ research topic, the issues involved, and the critical debates surrounding the subject of Shakespeare in Depth

  2. Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with research strategy through the development of a focused piece of research.

  3. Examine essential research approaches and techniques and apply those techniques in the development of a research proposal portfolio.

  4. Develop and successfully manage a collaborative project relating to Shakespeare in Depth, which demonstrates a proficiency in oral, written, performance and/or digital skills as appropriate.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Portfolio : Research Proposal Portfolio
N/A 50
Group work : Group work : Team presentation
N/A 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : 1,500-word Essay
N/A 50
Essay : Research Proposal Portfolio
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 designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further 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 the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

Refer to mini-syllabus for ‘deep dive’ research topics

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.