Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL3323 : The English Ghost Story: Forms and Themes (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In this module, we study a good selection of English ghost stories by men and women from the first half of the twentieth-century. We will try to come to a workable description of the way the ghost story works as a particular kind of 'creative writing'. This will mainly involve an analysis of plot. But we will try to develop a nuanced method of identifying and analysing the thematic structure of this type of narrative as well.

Outline Of Syllabus

We will read a story a week, build up a tool-box of analytical/creative techniques as we proceed, with the last couple of weeks given over to a retrospective summary and preparation for the assessments. Texts will vary from year to year, but there will always be a mix of famous tales, such as M. R. James's 'Rats' and A. M. Burrage's 'Smee', as well as less familiar stories, such as Edith Olivier's 'The night-nurse's story' and Marjory Lambe's 'The return'.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity112:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study188:0088:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Most of the course is given over to a methodical accumulation of analytical/creative techniques by way of exploring a story or two a week, both before and after the Easter break. The last two or three weeks are devoted to consolidation and preparation for the assessments.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A40N/A
Oral Presentation102M10Group presentation
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A502000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1M500 words. OPTIONAL
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There are three summative assessments:

1.In final teaching week, students will submit a 2000-word essay. Questions will be released the week before the Easter break. There is an option to replace this is essay with a creative writing assignment in the form of a 2000-word ghost story.

2. During work-shop time in the final teaching week, students will prepare a 10-minute group presentation.

3. During the examination period, students will write an 1-hour sit-down examination. They will answer one question, and will be required to show detailed knowledge of two texts studied on the course, plus one text from the B List in the anthology, prepared independently.

There will also be an optional 500-word formative assessment to be submitted any time between the sixth and the end of the eleventh teaching week. This may be either critical or creative.

Reading Lists