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Unit information: Victorian Literature and Place in 2021/22

Unit name Victorian Literature and Place
Unit code ENGLM0034
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Bennett
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit introduces students to primary and secondary texts addressing central questions about urbanisation and changing conceptions of place in Victorian literature. Issues studied may include urban growth, industrialisation, rural depopulation, poverty, democracy and education, gender and identity politics, consumerism and imperialism. Realist, gothic, pastoral, and apocalyptic literary modes may be explored. Primary texts focus on specific cities, such as London, Manchester, Rome or New York, and broader notions of place, environment and setting.

The unit aims to: develop students’ awareness of the variety of Victorian writing about place; introduce relevant literary genres, traditions, conventions and motifs; contextualise Victorian writing about place in relation to major currents in history, theory and cultural study; enable students to discuss and write about at a mature level Victorian literary works on urban and rural locations in Britain and the wider world; develop existing skills through independent reading, research and writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. A broadened experience of the range and variety of Victorian writing about place.

2. Improved independent critical thinking about urban and rural traditions, conventions and motifs in Victorian literature.

3. A maturing ability to apply critical and cultural contexts to the discussion of Victorian literature focusing on London, the new industrial cities, and rural locations.

4. Developing an appropriate style of critical writing for the discussion and analysis of literary works in relation to relevant contexts.

5. Improving existing skills through independent reading, research and writing on defined texts and topics.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. These can include seminars, lectures, class discussions, formative tasks, small groupwork and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 x 4000 word summative assignment (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. ENGLM0034).

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.