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SML1018 : Introduction to Literature

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kathryn Robson
  • Lecturer: Dr Alba Griffin
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


- 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).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials160:308:00Recorded lecture videos each teaching week for students to listen to and respond to before each PIP
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00PIP seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities221:0022:00Key reading tasks with questions to prepare each week.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Drop in surgery offered both PIP or on Zoom
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study221:0022:00Guided independent study themed to the week’s lecture and seminar topic.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study931:0093:00Free reading on topic with peers. Student-led discussion. Other independent research and study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introductory recorded module talk
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SML1118Introduction to Literature - Part 1
SML1218Introduction to Literature - Part 2
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials (in the form of recordings) will provide essential introductions to the set texts and their authors and to their literary genres (short story, play, novel, poetry) more widely. They will also offer guides to the use of literary terms. Students will be expected to work through the lecture materials and accompanying
directed reading/viewing which will be clearly signposted on Canvas. Evaluation from last year showed that a majority of students appreciated the online elements as part of the module contact hours and the blended learning mode of teaching showed to be very effective as it allowed students time to reflect in their own time.

In seminars, students will analyse the chosen texts in detail, working through specific questions and specific extracts; emphasis will be placed on close literary analysis, and they will be given support to develop and practise their skills. Students will be expected to carry out guided independent reading and to prepare questions – of a simple but also more extensive nature – in advance of seminars.

The module talk will provide an introduction to and benchmark of the module and its teaching methods (that students can refer back to) and the Q&A will facilitate debate around the key topics and issues in the module.

The drop-in sessions will be mainly to go through assessment queries in person.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A50The assessment in semester 2 will be a written examination, but the resit format if required will be an essay.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 word essay on the play, in English.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MA practice commentary in English of 600 words (optional)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay in semester 1 allows students to practise and develop their close reading skills and textual analysis.

The summative exam in semester 2 assesses students’ ability to write about the novel or poetry studied in semester 2, using the terms taught and the skills practised throughout the academic year. The students will also be asked to analyse an unseen English-language extract, again to practise close textual analysis.

The formative essay in semester 1 on the short story allows students to develop and test out their close reading skills and receive feedback before going on to write the longer summative essay. They will be given guidance on essay writing before the formative essay is written and be given individual and full-cohort feedback on the formative essay that will support them to write the summative essays.

Reading Lists