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Unit information: Literature 1740-1900 in 2021/22

Unit name Literature 1740-1900
Unit code ENGL20063
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Batt
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will introduce students to a range of literature across the 160 years covered: eighteenth-century fiction; romantic period writing; Victorian poetry; the mid- and late-Victorian novel and the writing of the Decadents and Aesthetes of 1880s and 1890s. In doing so the unit will enable students to engage with such ideas as Enlightenment, sensibility, radicalism and political revolution, Europe, urbanisation and industrialisation, class, personhood, gender identity and sexual inequality, outsider status, and emancipation. The unit will expose students to a range of literary forms, elite, popular and middlebrow. All the works included will be discussed in the context of the historical and modern critical discussions which have arisen around them; the philosophical, religious and aesthetic debates they contribute to will be brought forward. The unit raises major questions about: the evolution of new genres, including that of ‘the literary’; the role of the author and the social utility of art; poetry and poetics; the power of gender, sexual, national, class and racial identities; and the interplay between literature, widening literacy and national education.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit a successful student will be able to:

1] demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of a range of literature written between 1740 and 1900;

2] articulate knowledge and make evaluations of some of the critical approaches to literature of this period;

3] contextualise primary texts within their literary, historical, and cultural contexts;

4] identify and critically assess pertinent evidence to develop a cogent argument;

5] demonstrate argumentation, close textual analysis, and critical interpretation appropriate to level I/5 using evidence from primary texts and secondary sources.

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 1000 word formative essay [ILOs 1-5]
  • 1 x 2500 word essay (100%) [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. ENGL20063).

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.