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SEL8674 : Research Methods (Literature)

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jacob Jewusiak
  • Lecturer: Professor Anne Whitehead, Dr Robbie McLaughlan, Dr Kirsten MacLeod, Professor Neelam Srivastava, Dr Stacy Gillis, Dr Aditi Nafde, Professor Jennifer Richards, Dr James Cummings
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module is designed to manage students' transition from undergraduate work to postgraduate study and research. It introduces them to new and current trends in the discipline and allows them to lay the preliminary conceptual and theoretical groundwork for the development of their Masters dissertation project.

To this end, it enables them to develop:

• Knowledge and understanding of the importance of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research
• Knowledge and understanding of a variety of disciplinary methodologies, sources and resources
• The capacity to situate individual research in relation to major critical fields

Outline Of Syllabus

After an introductory week, focusing on critical methods, the module will examine methods of research in literary studies through case studies of theories and approaches which may include:
• Canonicity
• Historicism and cultural materialism
• Formalism
• Critique and postcritique
• Feminism
• Queer theory
• Postcolonialism and world literature
• Psychoanalysis
• The archive
• Digital humanities

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion144:0044:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1123:00123:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Small group teaching/workshops are the most appropriate teaching strategies for the deep learning required at Masters level. This will be supplemented by learning activities and independent study.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1004000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

At the end of the module, students will submit a 4000-word essay that will examine one or more of the critical theories and/or approaches they have studied on the module and in which they will position their own work in relation to those theories and/or approaches. This will require students to show understanding both of a key critical theory and/or method and encourage reflection on the conceptual and theoretical basis of the research they will undertake at Masters level.

Reading Lists