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Unit information: Poetry in 2015/16

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Unit name Poetry
Unit code ENGL10101
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ian Burrows
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will encourage students to read and appreciate a wide range of poetry. It will introduce literary concepts such as genre, historical context and critical theory. There will be a particular emphasis on poetic form and voice; through this approach, students will be encouraged to consider both particular authors and the development of certain forms across time. There will be an opportunity to study poetry in draft as well as in published forms, and through this to think about the process of composition.


This unit aims to enhance students' critical appreciation of poetry, and to widen their knowledge of concepts that inform an understanding of this literary form. In particular, the unit will aim to develop students' knowledge of particular poets and of aspects of form that shape any poem, through composition as well as in a published or 'final' version.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will have had an opportunity to gain knowledge that is useful for approaching poetry from a range of historical periods and in a variety of forms, as well as to improve their confidence in discussing such works orally and in writing. These skills are designed to be useful as students continue to study poetry throughout their degree or further qualification.

Teaching Information

The unit will normally be taught in ten three-hour seminars, which will utilise a range of teaching methods including lectures by the tutor(s), formal and informal presentations by students, and small group discussion.

Assessment Information

Students will be required to write two essays for formal assessment. The first will be of 1,800 to 2,500 words; in this assignment, students will be asked to engage with a particular text or a topic with a relatively defined scope. The second will be of 2,800 to 4,000 words and will normally involve a wider range of texts and/or approaches to the subject. The first essay will be worth 40% of the unit mark; the second essay will be worth 60%.

Reading and References

  • Boland/Strand, The Making of a Poem (Norton, 2001)
  • P.J. Keegan, The New Penguin Book of English Verse (Penguin, 2001)