Module Catalogue 2019/20

SML1018 : Introduction to Literature

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kathryn Robson
  • Lecturer: Dr Helen Ferstenberg, Professor Shirley Jordan, Dr Beate Muller, Professor Bernhard Malkmus
  • Other Staff: Miss Alba Griffin, Dr Dunja Fehimovic
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

Need at least a an A-Level in any of French, German or Spanish

Co Requisites
Code Title
FRE1071Level B (HE Intermediate) French
GER1071Level B (HE Intermediate) German
SPA1071Level B (HE Intermediate) Spanish
Co Requisite Comment



•       To introduce you to four different types of text: the short story, the play, poetry, and the novel.
•       To show and enable you to practise critical approaches to these different types of text.
•       To equip you with tools for close reading and textual analysis.
•       To enable you to develop critical, widely contextualised, and theoretically informed approaches to the subject.
The course assumes no prior knowledge of the texts to be studied and no previous experience of studying literature to Advanced level is necessary.

Outline Of Syllabus

There are 36 contact hours in the module, all of them obligatory:
•       Each week there is a one hour seminar in language groups (i.e. 23 hours of seminars).
•       In semester 1 in weeks 1–3 and 5–6 and in semester 2 in weeks 1–2 and 5–6, there are additional one hour plenary lectures (i.e. 9 hours of lectures).
•       In semester 1 and semester 2 in weeks 4 and 7, there are additional individual "surgery hours" (i.e. 4 hours of surgery).

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Knowledge Outcome
•       The study of literature develops skills of close textual analysis which are equally crucial in sociological, historical, political, and linguistic studies.
•       Literature is an integral part of a country’s culture and history and offers insight into the social, political and cultural context in which it is produced.
Reading literary texts gives unique advantages for language learning: total immersion in the language, expansion of vocabulary, internalisation of grammatical structures, seeing language used in context.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
• read critically literature in the language(s) of their choice
• use the standard reference works;
• write an appropriately documented and organized essay and a literary commentary
• take notes effectively in lectures, from journals, electronic sources and secondary material;
• use a standard format (the Harvard or author-date system) for footnotes and references.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00see below.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching231:0023:00see below.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00Assessment preparation & Completion (50) Directed research and reading (60) Independent study (20)
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SML1118Introduction to Literature - Part 1
SML1218Introduction to Literature - Part 2
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The mixture of general lectures for all students, text-specific materials on Blackboard, and language-specific seminars in which passages or extracts from the set texts are analysed in depth allows students to get a general overview over different genre while honing their analytical skills.

Teaching activities comments:-

one hour of preparation per lecture or seminar expected of the students
30 hours for essay writing in sem. 1, 20 hours exam preparation in sem. 2
reading the primary source material: 15 hours per genre; reading general background info 20 hours

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50The examination will require to write a commentary or an essay on one of the two genres studied in semester two (novel or poetry).
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
SML1218Introduction to Literature - Part 22N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M50Essay based on the play. 2000 words (check handbook for details).
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MAdditionally you will write a practice commentary essay in semester 1. This will be on the short story.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. The assessed essay will allow students to demonstrate their ability to produce a close reading and critical analysis of a specific passage of text and to show their understanding of how the specific passage relates to and reflects the wider text.
2. The examination will require students to write one essay of a choice of three on a specific text or genre. They will be asked to produce a logical and reasoned argument showing their understanding of the specific text and the issues it raises.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 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 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.