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SEL2218 : Research Project in English Literature & History

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kirsten MacLeod
  • Lecturer: Professor Rachel Hammersley
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module gives students the opportunity to:

1. Apply the historical and literary-critical methodologies and approaches learned at stage one to the same source.

2. Acquire specialised knowledge of a range of primary sources and then to explore and write about one in depth using historical and literary-critical approaches.

3. Develop knowledge of significant archival collections and the skills to locate, handle and interpret archival material from both hard and/or digital archives.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Research Project guides students in the investigation of primary sources (which may be hard or digital; oral as well as written) which have significance for students studying both English Literature and History. The primary sources will vary according to the interests of staff members teaching from year to year. The module focuses on reading each source both as a object of historical information and as a literary text and asks students use their skills as historians and as literary critics to developing their own interpretation of the primary source text of their choice.

In addition, students will be directed in the processes necessary for handling and interpreting an archival collection (through hands-on research-skills workshops in an archival setting where required and on how to design a project that can be achieved within the specified time-frame.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion601:0060:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading851:0085:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching92:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study211:0021:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision11:001:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Singly and co-taught workshops will be used to introduce students to the materials they will research through a mixture of teaching and, where possible, hands-on examination and to the key methodologies and concepts needed for interdisciplinary work. Workshops will involve training in working with archival sources -- databases and/or local archives. Student-led group activity in preparation for workshops ensure students practise the skills needed to work towards a specified task and deadline on a small-scale each week building up to the final assessment.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M20Group presentation and submitted write-up, including response to feedback.
Case study2A803000 word (or equivalent) case-study centred on one item within the archival collection.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Each student will produce a 3000 word (or equivalent) case-study centred on one item which demonstrates their knowledge and application of the conceptual and methodological approaches of Literature and History. The report consists of a group oral presentation (10 mins) that will ask students to summarise key scholarly approaches on a topic and a 1000-word write up of the individual contribution, which will include the questions raised by their audience, their responses to those questions and any reflections on how their project has developed or changed as a result of peer- and staff-feedback. The presentation both fosters communication skills, the write-up encourages students to reflect on and respond to feedback and the case-study element allows the student to demonstrate the interdisciplinary skills they will have acquired on the module.

Alternative assessment will be 20% written report.

Reading Lists