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Unit information: Special Author Study in 2015/16

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Unit name Special Author Study
Unit code ENGL30023
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Lovatt
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to allow students to undertake a special author study, examining a range of writings by one writer under the supervision of an adviser. Students will produce an extended essay arising out of this work, of 4,000 to 5,500 words. This unit is normally compulsory for students wishing to undertake a dissertation in their final year.


The special author study aims to allow students to work more independently than in other units completed thus far. It also aims to help students who wish to consider undertaking a dissertation acquire relevant skills and practices: for example, how to plan and structure a longer discussion and how to assemble a wide range of appropriate critical or other materials.

Intended Learning Outcomes

This unit will have allowed students to work more independently than in other units, and to acquire skills that may be helpful in future work of this kind. In particular, the unit is designed to help students to decide whether they wish to undertake a dissertation in their final year.

Teaching Information

The special author study is undertaken principally through independent study. The student will normally meet regularly throughout the unit with an adviser, for up to a maximum of three hours. In addition, there will be one two-hour seminar at the start of the unit, designed to introduce some of the skills and practices necessary for such work.

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed through submission of a formative thesis proposal of up to 2,000 words and a summative essay of 4,000 to 5,500 words (including quotations and notes, excluding bibliography) on a subject of the student's choice that has been agreed by the Unit Director.

Reading and References

Key reading and references will vary depending on the choice of topic, and will be defined in consultation with the adviser.