Ways of Reading: An Introduction to Literary Criticism
This module will address questions around authorship, textuality, and different ways of interpreting texts, as well as considering what goes into the creation of a ‘text’, as a production between writers and their environments. You will learn key skills around research, writing, referencing, critical reading and forming critical arguments that will help you to develop as an English student.
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.
Media Communications and Digital Cultures
Examine the social, cultural and political contexts within which media communications institutions have emerged and developed and study the history of media and communications.
Psychology of Communication
Investigate the psychology of leadership, group dynamics and intergroup relations through classical and contemporary psychology. Examine non-verbal and verbal communication, the role of the unconscious and the ways in which communication influences societal groups.
Some optional modules may be studied on the City campus.
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.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Explorations of Identity and Selfhood
Today the concept of ‘identity’ stands as a key term within many different academic disciplines, including geography, history and philosophy, as well as sociology and psychology. However, there is a considerable gap or discrepancy between common sense and more formal academic understandings of identity. This module aims to introduce you to these important debates – starting with our common sense and moving steadily towards more radical understandings of the nature of identity and selfhood.
Humanities in the workplace
This module will give you a taste of live industry experience. You'll undertake a placement, 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.
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.
Creating an Anthology: Developing Editorial Vision
In the first unit, a programme of lectures and seminar/workshops, will build on your close-reading and critical skills. In the second unit, you will be taught further theoretical concerns specific to the editing and scholarly presentation of texts. You will be guided in applying the skills and knowledge already learnt as you work in groups constructing a critical anthology of your own, and you will be invited to reflect on the processes involved as you work towards the final versions of the anthologies you have chosen to compile.
Communication & Society optional modules
Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism 1: The New Creativity
This module explores at a practical and theoretical level the new modes of creativity which are transforming working methods in the contemporary economy. You'll study the histories of advertising, public relations and journalism. You'll look at the intersections between economic developments, forms of communicative and media technology and the evolution of modern psychology and sociology that have resulted in a proliferation of new types of creativity.
Communications and Creativity Toolkit
On this module you'll learn new skills and discover new ways of expanding your understanding of communications and creative industries. You'll combine insights from a range of disciplines and creative practices to generate a 'toolkit' for both the intellectual understanding of communications and creativity, and the practical development of creative practices in various forms.
Gender and Sexuality
‘Gender’ and ‘sexuality’ are key terms within psychology, social theory and ordinary everyday life. They are terms with which all of us are familiar. However, as this module will show, despite this familiarity, these concepts are highly complex – and, indeed, contested. During this module you'll look at the ways in which gender and sexuality have been theorised from a range of different social scientific perspectives.
Media, Communication and Culture in Asia
This module provides an insight into contemporary media development and cultural change in East Asia, placing this in the context of broader historical, economic and cultural debates. It will examine a wide range of media forms including print media, broadcasting, film and new media technologies, assessing their cultural impact in East Asian societies. It will explore contemporary issues of media development and policy and it will relate these to longer historical contexts.
Digital Identities: The Politics of Communication in the Globalised World
This module will develop your understanding of core themes in the study of communications and media. Four interlinking blocks of study take you from the formation of the communicating self through to further examinations of social, digital and global facets of contemporary communications.
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.
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 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.
Contemporary Literature, Culture and Theory
This module will be organized into three related thematic sections. The first will explore approaches to literature in contemporary theory, focusing in particular on innovative developments which work at the intersection of criticism and writing. Section two will examine debates about literature, culture, and technology which will include sessions on digital and other technologies, mobile devices, and electronic literature. Section three will consider recent debates about concepts of the world, transnational social processes, and global culture. These concepts and directions in contemporary theory will be approached through work by, among others, Giorgio Agamben, Roland Barthes, Hélène Cixous, Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, N. Katherine Hayles, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Gayatri Spivak. Throughout, it will reflect on fiction, poetry, and other literary writing that engages with this module’s principal concerns.
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.
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.
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.