Literature: New Horizons
This module will introduce you to the different ways of reading and critical perspectives on literature. It will encourage you to think about why we approach literary texts as we do, and what factors influence writing and particularly reading.
American Literature: Writing Self and Nation
This module introduces many of the authors, literary movements, and historical events that shaped American literature from the birth of the republic to the contemporary period. You’ll read writers such as Washington Irving, Alice Walker, Walt Whitman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Tennessee Williams who call for a national tradition or assume the task of defining it.
Introduction to Language and Linguistics
This module will raise some of the questions that make language one of the most fascinating subjects in the humanities and will provide you with the tools you'll need to study any aspect of language.
You’ll learn how we can examine the sounds, words and grammar of a language such as English and what this tells us about the way speakers use language.
Language in Context
This module explores the English language from the point of view of its structure, its history and its unique role today as a global language.
You’ll explore different perspectives on studying English in its various social, historical and cultural contexts. In doing so, you’ll consider applications of the core tools of linguistic analysis in the study of English language and in examining the wider world.
Culture and Anarchy
This module explores the ways in which the tension between ‘culture’ and ‘anarchy’ has repeatedly surfaced as a driving force in the development of English literature, animating creative expression and shaping critical debate. Taking the broad historical period ranging from the late 19th to the late 20th Century as its backdrop, the module focuses on a number of significant moments at which various understandings of ‘cultural’ and ‘anarchic’ activity have impacted upon the social landscape, and on literary texts themselves.
Applying Methods in Linguistics
This module will introduce you to a range of methods of data collection, project design and data analysis. You’ll acquire the skills and methods which will help prepare you for your dissertation in the final year. At the end of the module, you’ll be required to produce a research proposal in response to a simulated real-world briefing.
Humanities in the workplace
This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. You will carry out a work placement for a minimum of 37 hours, write a report around your experience and set clear work-based learning objectives.
English optional modules
Renaissance Literature, 1485-1660: Shakespeare and his Contemporaries
This module explores the dramatic writing of the Early Modern period, concentrating on writers such as Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson and Middleton.
Throughout the module, you’ll become familiar with the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. You’ll also consider the critical responses to, and adaptations of Renaissance writing in our own time, whilst exploring the issues raised by Renaissance writing such as those of gender, sexuality or race.
British Women Writers between the Wars (1918-1939)
The years after the First World War saw historic changes affecting the social and economic lives of British women. For the first time women were granted the vote on the same terms as men, and the opening up of professions to women permanently shattered the Victorian ideal of womanhood as the ‘Angel in the House’. Newspapers and magazines of the period were full of images of the ‘modern woman’ who became an emblematic figure for modernity in the interwar years.
This module will explore the ways in which a new generation of professional women writers represented women’s experiences of modernity across a range of literary texts written during the years between 1918 and 1939.
Romantic Revolutions 1780-1851
1780-1851 was a period of political, poetic and social revolution in Britain. By studying poetry and prose of the period, you’ll investigate how far revolutionary social and political change is reflected in the experimental themes and forms of Romantic writing, and the module will be attentive to the development from earlier to later Romantic writing.
During this module, you’ll study and produce writing in different genres, gaining knowledge of craft issues and learning how to apply them to many different forms.
Ethnicity in American Writing: Place, Identity and Form
Racial Identity and ethnic diversity have been central to the American experience since the nation’s founding. In this module you will examine literary interactions between people of different ethnic backgrounds and see how writers use ethnicity as a tool of resistance.
Literature and Psychoanalysis
This module explores the relationship between literature and psychoanalysis, examining the way that psychoanalytic theory has reshaped our encounter with literary texts. Building on your understanding of the relationship between critical thinking and literary production and analysis, the module discusses the development of psychoanalysis from its origins to its application by contemporary literary critics. Reading a range of clinical, theoretical and literary texts, you will think about how different approaches to the human psyche have been understood and employed by different readers and writers in different places and at different times.
Voices and Visions
You'll be introduced to new writing specialisms with a particular focus on visual and vocal communication. Throughout this module you'll practice independent learning strategies and draft original creative work to enhance collaboration, research, editing and reviewing skills. You'll be taught how to combine information, think laterally and develop resonant visual and sonic narratives.
Examine poetry anthologies and develop skills in critical evaluation of poetry, editing and book construction. You'll work in groups to produce your own sample anthology.
Black Writing in Britain
Examine a range of literary texts by black writers written in or about Britain from the 1950s until the present day.
Linguistics optional modules
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists estimates that 2.5 million people in the UK have a communication disorder. Of this number, 800,000 people have a disorder that is so severe that it’s hard for anyone outside their immediate families to understand them.
This module will introduce you to the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders that make up these large numbers.
Language variation refers to the way in which language changes in response to different social practices. Common sense tells us that language varies with situation and in the course of this module we will explore the different aspects of language variation, drawing on your own experiences and perceptions of language use. For instance we are aware of different accents and dialects across the country; we can all vary our language depending on whether we are talking to an adult or a child.
The aim of this module is to raise your awareness of the linguistic consequences of the contexts of culture and situation.
Language and Discrimination
Whether it’s racial abuse on social media, prejudice against regional accents in schools, or sexist advertising campaigns, discrimination is a social issue that affects us all in one way or another. This module examines how discrimination is encoded in language use in a range of institutional and everyday contexts, in order to equip you with the necessary tools to identify and challenge societal inequality in all its forms.
Discourse analysis is the study of naturally occurring language across extended texts, both spoken and written. The module begins by surveying the various approaches and issues within discourse analysis, before introducing a critical element to analysis and finally applying the methods across a range of discourse types. The module aims to provide a systematic linguistic toolkit for analysing discourse, and to show how the tools can be applied to a wide range of spoken and written texts. It also aims to offer a solid grounding for all of the third year modules in the Discourse pathway.
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.
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
English and Creative Industries 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.
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 eighteenth 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.
Linguistics optional modules
This module will allow you to look at language from a psychological perspective. This will relate the psychology of language to theories of learning, mind and brain as well as dealing with particular aspects of society and culture. By the end of this module you’ll be aware of the central issues of psycholinguistic research and will have an understanding of the various methodologies and experiments which have been carried out within this field of study.
Language, Gender and Sexuality
This module will explore key aspects of the study of language and gender, such as theories of language and gender (difference, dominance, discursive approaches), sexist language and language change, language and gender in different contexts (e.g. in the media, in books etc.). It will offer insight into the ways in which research on language and gender has developed and diversified since the 1970s, and in particular how it has responded to the 'post-structuralist challenge' and the shift to discourses and to gender identities. The module will provide you with an opportunity to explore and critically evaluate the discursive construction of both femininities and masculinities, in theoretical and practical ways.
In this module you’ll be invited to apply your knowledge of language structure and function to a clinical context. A range of child and adult communication disorders will be examined. You’ll be introduced to the anatomical, physiological, psychological, audiological and neurological pathologies that underlie disorders of foetal development (e.g. cleft palate), disorders of cognitive development (e.g. Down's syndrome and autism), congenital disorders (e.g. cerebral palsy), acquired neurological disorders (e.g. stroke, brain tumour, dementia, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, head trauma), acquired speech disorders (e.g. glossectomy, dysarthria), hearing disorders (genetic and infection-related), disorders of fluency (e.g. stammering) and disorders of voice (e.g. puberphonia in adolescent males, laryngectomy, vocal nodules and polyps).
This module will introduce you to the analysis of language in legal settings, which comprises two main fields of enquiry: (i) language in the legal process (ii) and language as evidence. You’ll critically engage with both written and spoken discourse produced within the specialised institutional contexts of the law, and will examine the linguistic strategies used by those within the institution (legal drafters, police, lawyers and judges) and by lay participants (suspects and witnesses).