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SEL3364 : Independent Essay I (English Literature)

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor James Annesley
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To allow students to research and write a long essay that reflects their own particular interests and intellectual strengths.

To demonstrate an ability to plan, conceptualise, research and execute an independent piece of work.

To foster independent thinking and develop research skills and skills in critical thinking, writing and presentation.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module allows students to write an essay on a self-directed topic in English Literature. Students will have considerable choice in terms of how they decide to proceed and could choose to orientate their research towards the analysis of written texts, or film or theatre, or indeed to shape a project that is interdisciplinary in character.

They will be asked to identify their likely area of interest at the start of the semester. In this process they will be supported by the module leader and provided with guided learning activities to support them in their initial planning. They will then be assigned a supervisor and be expected to work with that supervisor over the remaining months of the module. In regular meetings, they will discuss the overall design of their essay. There will be further support in the form of guided learning activities relating to academic skills, independent research, approaches to argument and scholarly presentation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading170:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study172:0072:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision41:004:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be guided initially by the module leader and then directed to consult with a member of staff about their topic and approach. They will only be allowed to begin to work on their essay when their topic has been approved.

There will be regular consultation with the supervisor over the semester to check progress and to support reading, study and conceptual approach. Students are given more formal support with the guided learning activities and are provided with the opportunity for scheduled drop in/surgery sessions with the module leader.

The main aim of the independent essay is to foster skills of independent working and to allow the students to plan and complete an independent piece of work.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A904,500 word essay, plus or minus 10%
Written exercise1M10The mid-module will be assessed by a 250-word project plan and an annotated bibliography containing at least 10 items.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 4,500-word essay written under individual supervision will demonstrate both detailed knowledge of the student's chosen subject and that they acquired the appropriate skills. This will be submitted at the end of the semester.

The mid-module assessment of a 250-word plan and an annotated bibliography is designed to ensure that students keep up steady progress on their essay over the semester, and to provide formative feedback that can be taken forward into the writing of the essay.

Reading Lists