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SEL8540 : Poetology

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alex Niven
  • Lecturer: Professor Michael Rossington
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The module aims to encourage students to think more deeply about the ways in which poets have conceived of themselves as poets. In addition, students may have the opportunity to reflect on the basics of poetics with the practice of poetry, drawing on our School’s distinctive position of expertise in both Literature and Creative Writing and our partner organisations e.g. Dove Cottage, Keats and Shelley House and initiatives such as the Bloodaxe Archive.

Outline Of Syllabus

Beginning with the broad concept of the life of poetry, certain key ideas and themes may be included across the module including:

'The Pragmatics of Poetry'
'The poet as Prophet'
'Changing understandings of the poet'
'The poet as producer'
'Class and national identity in poetry'
'Rhyme and Reason'

This team taught module will combine poems of varying lengths and scale, including those read from a craft angle, as well as context e.g tradition and genre.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1118:00118:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminars are the most appropriate means at MA level of studying critical debates and analysing literary texts.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A1004000 word essay which may be based on a case-study
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment by essay encourages students to explore and grasp the intricacies of topics investigated in the module, and allows them to demonstrate their full command of the skills practised in the seminars, as is appropriate for students at MA level.

Reading Lists