Module Catalogue 2023/24

SEL1003 : Introduction to Literary Studies 1

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Robbie McLaughlan
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module provides an introduction to selected texts and literary movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students are introduced to a range of issues and approaches which will be developed at stages 2 and 3: the varieties of writing in English, the cultural and political contexts in which texts are produced and read, and a range of critical practices. Students are invited to explore the relationship between texts and contexts, and how texts might be read in relation to particular generic expectations.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will typically include weeks focussed on a text or a theme - from across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - and then a response to that text. Particular attention will be paid to historical and social context and to different critical approaches.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the following:

1. The cultural and political contexts of literary production.
2. A range of genres and literary movements.
3. The current debates informing the critical study of literatures.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. Ability to develop and practice skills in the analysis of texts.
2. Ability to grasp the interplay between texts and contexts.
3. Ability to exercise a sensitivity to verbal creativity.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion135:0035:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading185:0085:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study137:0037:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce students to learning outcomes (and incidentally to the staff of the literature section, all of whom are involved in either this module or its partner module, ILS 2). Seminars provide the opportunity to practice the skills outcomes outlined above, including oral presentation.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M401500 words
Essay1A602000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1M500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative essay asks students to produce an outline and a draft outline for a close reading.

Summative Essay 1 is designed to assess students' ability to structure an argument, as well as their ability to engage with secondary material.

Summative Essay 2 is designed to assess students' ability to write a critical essay that makes an argument about the text, uses secondary criticism, and that, as part of its argument, engages with aspects of literary form and style.

Together these essays enable students to develop written communication skills and to develop their ideas about and understanding of the subject and the core academic skills of research and analysis associated with it.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.