Some optional modules may be studied on the City campus.
The final year dissertation module enables you to undertake a sustained, single piece of independently researched work on a topic of your choice, under expert supervision.
The Creative Writing Dissertation
As an alternative to the critical dissertation, you may wish to do a creative writing dissertation. This alternative will enable you to study and participate in the practice of writing, with particular focus on the production of a long piece of individual creative work.
English and Creative Industries Project
As an alternative to the critical Dissertation or Creative Writing Dissertation, you may opt to undertake a project. The module will give you the opportunity to undertake project work in a small group, led by a project supervisor, and to produce a portfolio of critical and reflective writing. Working with an employer on a defined project you'll be able to put into practice the skills and knowledge gained over the course of their degree within a professional setting.
Humanities Research Project
Explore your interests in a way that draws on both subject areas. Combine the knowledge and skills you have gained in each of your subjects to complete an interdisciplinary piece of research. You can deliver your project either as a written dissertation or through an alternative creative format such as a publication, film, podcast, website, or performance, supported by a shorter essay.
English optional modules
Early Modern Poetry and Prose
This module introduces you to authors writing poetry and prose in the 16th and 17th Centuries. You’ll become familiar with some of the following literary genres: the sonnet, the epic poem, the epyllia, ‘metaphysical’ poetry, satire, political allegory and radical writing. The module will greatly expand contextual knowledge, and explore political and religious context, as well as the application of appropriate theoretical approaches (e.g. cultural materialism, gender theory).
Reading Gender and Sexuality
This module examines the politics and aesthetics of gender and sexuality in relation to the writing of 20th Century and contemporary literature. It historicises and submits to sceptical analysis central concepts in the period's conceptualisations of fixed gender identities and sexual identities. Key terms for analysis include femininity, masculinity, androgyny, heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgender, ethnicity, and 'difference'. These are related to literary texts from a range of cultures and from four main periods: the early 20th Century, the mid-century, the period of the sexual revolution and the contemporary.
Postcolonial Texts: Narratives of Liberation
This module focuses on postcolonial texts (fiction, poetry and film) and considers the relationship between acts of representation and the politics of anti-colonialism and postcolonialism. It introduces you to the historical, political and cultural contexts of the postcolonial world, as well as to a range of texts produced in postcolonial societies.
Travel Writing: Texts, Contexts and Theory
Led by members of staff from our highly regarded Centre for Travel Writing Studies, this module provides an overview of travel writing. It examines criticism and theories of the genre (including arguments about whether it constitutes a genre at all). You’ll be invited to consider the relationship of travel writing to society and to other forms of literature, both canonical and non-canonical.
Gothic Rebels and Reactionaries
This module will begin by exploring Romanticism’s Gothic impulse, examining the rise of the Gothic Romance in the late 18th Century, before investigating its development into the 19th Century. Each week, the module will consider a key literary text from the period alongside a theoretical issue in order to establish a critical vocabulary from which to interpret and understand Gothic’s many manifestations.
Literature in Theory: Writing, Technology, and the World
This module aims to enable an advanced understanding of debates that have significantly reshaped literary and critical theory in recent years. Contemporary theory is now a very large and diverse field; focusing on specific issues and questions, this module will deepen your knowledge of literature and its cultural and social locations. It will consider how the concept of ‘literature’ and the practise of writing has been profoundly transformed by work that innovatively reshapes the relationship between writing, criticism, and subjectivity.
Modernism and Modernity
This module explores some of the central features of the many transnational movements of modernism, examining how the experimental qualities of modernist culture were conditioned by responses to changes in social and technological modernity.
Nuclear Literature: Culture in the Atomic Age
Introduces students to the literary and cultural impact of a key technology and the latest debates in the Nuclear Humanities. Engaging students with research being undertaken into this subject at NTU, the module considers the representation of nuclear technology and science in literary texts, as well as the questions raised for literature by the dawning of the nuclear age.
American Specialisms provides an opportunity for students to pursue the advanced study of one or two American literature specialisms, developed from recent and current research being carried out by tutors. You will be encouraged to intervene in current debates in American literature, engaging directly with expert researchers in the field, and consider how the subject is being shaped by contemporary thinking. You will cover a particular topic in American Studies, which will allow you to explore issues such as sustainability, the relationship between the local and global and the effect of modernity.
Communication & Society optional modules
Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 2: Convergence and Creativity in the Digital Age
This module continues to develop your appreciation of the history, practice and theory of advertising, public relations and journalism. An important recent evolution of these forms in the digital age is characterised by what is known as ‘convergence’. This concept encapsulates the way individuals working in these sectors increasingly have to take on a variety of roles which cut across the traditional boundaries of each sector and learn to use a variety of working practices and technologies.
As well as continuing to study theoretical and critical academic perspectives on these developments, you'll take part in workshops to help you further develop the writing, digital literacy and image analysis / creation skills that are central to success in these areas.
Self in Crisis: Power, Prejudice and Otherness
This module brings together a range of debates in contemporary society about the nature of identity or selfhood that centre around claims that it is, in various ways, in a profound state of crisis. One part of this module will consider these ideas through a social-psychological examination of one of the most frightening crises of the 20th Century – the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews.
DJ Cultures: History, Theory and Technique
From obscure roots, the art of DJing has in recent decades exploded into the limelight as a major form of popular culture. No prior experience of DJing is required to take this module, which combines a basic ‘taster’ introduction to DJ technology and the practical techniques of DJ performance with a theoretical consideration of various styles of DJing, their histories, their related musical experiences and their wider cultural significance and influence.
Alternative and Trans-National Media
On this module you’ll examine the growth of ‘alternative’ forms of media practice which fall outside the mainstream of corporate forms of communication and which reach beyond national boundaries to generate ‘trans-national’ communities, campaigns and other social and political movements.
Humanity in the Natural World
This module helps you to look at the relation between humanity and nature from psychological, cultural, and historical perspectives. You’ll examine questions such as: Is industrial civilisation simply an extension of nature? Is the 'environmental crisis' a symptom of a deeper alienation from the natural world? You'll also consider whether capitalism and technology are inherently destructive to nature, and will assess the possibility of 'greening' industrial civilisation.
Political Communications and Society
The module will look at the ways in which the political establishment, and individuals engage in politics, communicate with society in times of war and peace. You'll focus mainly on British and American politics but some light will be shed on other countries across the world.
What's New: the future of media communications
This module looks at innovations and challenges that face media communications professionals as they look to the future. Using practical assessments such as blog writing, producing a radio advertisement and making an audio slideshow, students will advance their media skills in preparation for future employment as digital, multi-media producers. You will examine the issues, ideas and debates which contemporary journalism and marketing have to engage with, such as the funding and accessibility of news on the internet, the nature and trends of popular content, new styles and forms of presentation and the blurring of fantasy and reality in digital communications.