Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL2201 : Writing the Renaissance

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The ‘Renaissance’ is marked by a general surge of different kinds of artistic and intellectual activity in Western Europe. In England, for example, a new and unique form of theatre developed in London. There were similar ‘rebirths’ in all sorts of poetry, for example the long narrative epic. In this course, we try to give you a glimpse of the richness and variety of the writing of the period. We pay closest attention to its drama but we will also read some key moments in English Renaissance epic (extracts not the whole poem!) and we will explore some of the experimental prose writing composed for a whole new reading public.

Outline Of Syllabus

Texts may change from year to year, but we will always have some tragedies and comedies by Shakespeare and two or three other playwrights. Epic is most likely to be represented by book 1 of Spenser’s Faery Queen and/or by two or three books of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Our prose choices will be taken usually from 'popular' print intended for a 'mass' audience.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion144:0044:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading180:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The Learning Outcomes are intended to illustrate that texts in this period are read in dialogue with one another, and are intended to encourage discussion, analysis and debate among their readers. By co-teaching lectures and by examining texts comparatively, that dialogue is embedded into the course structure.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A702, 500 words
Written exercise2M301,500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-module assessment asks students to explain a pithy quotation from one of the set-texts and to show how it illuminates some aspect of that text. It helps students to use their close-reading and analytic-organisational skills, and asks them to think through the organisation of an argument based on close textual analysis. That prepares them to do better in the longer end-of-module assessment, which is a take-home essay paper.

Reading Lists