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Unit information: Chaucer and Chaucerians in 2021/22

Unit name Chaucer and Chaucerians
Unit code ENGL20061
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Baden-Daintree
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is an exploration of the works of the medieval poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, and a selection of writers whose works operate in dialogue with Chaucer’s example. This will involve a detailed study of the Middle English texts, alongside an understanding of the processes of reception, including editing, adaptation and translation. While the main focus is on Chaucer’s work, there will be opportunities to engage with various writers who followed, imitated, and strove to outdo him, such as Thomas Hoccleve, James I, Robert Henryson, and William Shakespeare, as well as some modern and contemporary artists and writers. Students will read a number of the Canterbury Tales, and may also read some of Chaucer’s dream visions, and Troilus and Criseyde.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the evolution of Chaucer’s works, and that of some of his followers;
  2. apply understanding of historical, cultural and intellectual contexts to readings of Middle English Literature;
  3. discriminate between different critical perspectives on Chaucerian literature;
  4. identify and present pertinent evidence to develop a cogent argument in oral and written discourse;
  5. demonstrate skills in textual analysis, argumentation, and critical interpretation using evidence from primary texts and secondary sources;
  6. demonstrate skills in presenting an aspect of Chaucer’s influence in the form of a poster.

Teaching Information

Teaching will involve asynchronous and synchronous elements, including long- and short-form lectures, group discussion, research and writing activities, and peer dialogue. Students are expected to engage with the reading and participate fully with the weekly tasks and topics. Learning will be further supported through the opportunity for individual consultation.

Assessment Information

  • 1 x group project (25%) [ILOs 1-6]
  • 1 x 2500 word essay (75%) [ILOs 1-5]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGL20061).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.