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Do you want to explore the treasures of literature while also training yourself as a writer?

This flexible course will enable you to do both at the same time. Learning within a strongly creative community, you’ll be set for an intellectually stimulating experience that also develops valuable transferable skills.

In Literature modules you will cover topics from Shakespeare to contemporary fiction, fostering your appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of literary texts. You will produce independent interpretations of texts and concepts, and share your insights with others confidently.

In Creative Writing modules you will hone your craft as a writer with an emphasis on voice, structure and critical reflection. Workshops will allow you to reflect on your practice as you develop your own creative projects.

The course combines academic rigour with a concern for employability skills such as communication and analysis.

How does Literature & Creative Writing course help with employability?

Studying Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria lets you bring together your passion for human stories while making practical steps into your future career.

You will have opportunities to engage with the heritage industry through department field trips, guest lecturers, and academic partnerships. And we introduce you to the world of publishing and book-making, potentially leading to our unique MA in Publishing with partners Hachette and New Writing North.

Meanwhile, for those looking to inspire the next generation of literature lovers, you can opt to begin your teaching experience with a module focused on learning how to be a tutor of students in schools or colleges.

 

Northumbria's English Literature learning experience

Your voice is vital in our seminar groups and small discussions. We bring students together to read and talk about texts and stories from day one. We introduce you to themes of huge relevance today, such as gender and equality, or the power of poetry to capture a cultural moment or a new social obsession. All your work leads up to your major creative writing project or dissertation, where you make your own mark in the world of literary studies and showcase your creativity.
Students will also have the option to extend their studies, either taking a placement year in industry or opting to study abroad in the likes of mainland Europe or North America.

 

Why choose Northumbria to study English Literature and Creative Writing?

The uniqueness of our Literature degree lies in how it brings together the study of stories and how we tell them across hundreds of years, with a contemporary focus on your career, helping you take your cultural understanding into the twenty-first century world of work.

Research Power: English at Northumbria is ranked 21st for research power in the UK, out of 92 institutions (REF, 2021). This is a rise of 5 places since 2014.

Student Rated: Over 93% of students studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria believed the library resources supported their learning and thought staff were good at explaining things (NSS, 2023).

Discover all of our available English Courses and find the course for you.

Do you want to explore the treasures of literature while also training yourself as a writer?

This flexible course will enable you to do both at the same time. Learning within a strongly creative community, you’ll be set for an intellectually stimulating experience that also develops valuable transferable skills.

In Literature modules you will cover topics from Shakespeare to contemporary fiction, fostering your appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of literary texts. You will produce independent interpretations of texts and concepts, and share your insights with others confidently.

In Creative Writing modules you will hone your craft as a writer with an emphasis on voice, structure and critical reflection. Workshops will allow you to reflect on your practice as you develop your own creative projects.

The course combines academic rigour with a concern for employability skills such as communication and analysis.

How does Literature & Creative Writing course help with employability?

Studying Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria lets you bring together your passion for human stories while making practical steps into your future career.

You will have opportunities to engage with the heritage industry through department field trips, guest lecturers, and academic partnerships. And we introduce you to the world of publishing and book-making, potentially leading to our unique MA in Publishing with partners Hachette and New Writing North.

Meanwhile, for those looking to inspire the next generation of literature lovers, you can opt to begin your teaching experience with a module focused on learning how to be a tutor of students in schools or colleges.

 

Northumbria's English Literature learning experience

Your voice is vital in our seminar groups and small discussions. We bring students together to read and talk about texts and stories from day one. We introduce you to themes of huge relevance today, such as gender and equality, or the power of poetry to capture a cultural moment or a new social obsession. All your work leads up to your major creative writing project or dissertation, where you make your own mark in the world of literary studies and showcase your creativity.
Students will also have the option to extend their studies, either taking a placement year in industry or opting to study abroad in the likes of mainland Europe or North America.

 

Why choose Northumbria to study English Literature and Creative Writing?

The uniqueness of our Literature degree lies in how it brings together the study of stories and how we tell them across hundreds of years, with a contemporary focus on your career, helping you take your cultural understanding into the twenty-first century world of work.

Research Power: English at Northumbria is ranked 21st for research power in the UK, out of 92 institutions (REF, 2021). This is a rise of 5 places since 2014.

Student Rated: Over 93% of students studying English Literature and Creative Writing at Northumbria believed the library resources supported their learning and thought staff were good at explaining things (NSS, 2023).

Discover all of our available English Courses and find the course for you.

Course Information

UCAS Code
QW38

Level of Study
Undergraduate

Mode of Study
3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department
Humanities

Location
City Campus, Northumbria University

City
Newcastle

Start
September 2024 or September 2025

Fees
Fee Information

Modules
Module Information

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Humanities Video Gallery

Discover more about what you will learn on the course, more about our academics research interests, and hear from current students by watching our videos.

News & Events / Humanities

Find out what our English Literature students and staff are taking part in and achieving.

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Department / Humanities

Our Department of Humanities includes the subject areas of History, English Literature, English Language and Linguistics, Creative Writing and American Studies.

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Department

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Study

Delve Deeper / Discover more about life at Northumbria

Book an Open Day / Experience English Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)

Visit an Open Day to get an insight into what it's like to study English Literature and Creative Writing. Speak to staff and students from the course and get a tour of the facilities.

Entry Requirements 2024/25

Standard Entry

112 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

There are no specific subject requirements for this course.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Entry Requirements 2025/26

Standard Entry

112 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-level, T Level, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas, or the International Baccalaureate.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth by using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

Northumbria University is committed to supporting all individuals to achieve their ambitions. We have a range of schemes and alternative offers to make sure as many individuals as possible are given an opportunity to study at our University regardless of personal circumstances or background. To find out more, review our Northumbria Entry Requirement Essential Information page for further details www.northumbria.ac.uk/entryrequirementsinfo

Subject Requirements:

There are no specific subject requirements for this course.

GCSE Requirements:

Applicants will need Maths and English Language at minimum grade 4/C, or an equivalent.

Additional Requirements:

There are no additional requirements for this course.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applicants with a range of qualifications which may not match those shown above.

If you have qualifications from outside the UK, find out what you need by visiting www.northumbria.ac.uk/yourcountry

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section: www.northumbria.ac.uk/englishqualifications

Fees and Funding 2024/25 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1: £9,250

* The maximum tuition fee that we are permitted to charge for UK students is set by government. Tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, these are subject to government regulations and in line with inflation.


EU Fee in Year 1: £18,250

International Fee in Year 1: £18,250


Please see the main Funding Pages for 24/25 scholarship information.

 


ADDITIONAL COSTS

There are no Additional Costs

Fees and Funding 2025/26 Entry

UK Fee in Year 1*: TBC

* Government has yet to announce 25/26 tuition fee levels. As a guide, 24/25 fees were £9,250 per year. 



EU Fee in Year 1: **TBC


International Fee in Year 1: TBC

ADDITIONAL COSTS

TBC

If you’d like to receive the latest updates from Northumbria about our courses, events, finance & funding then enter your details below.

* At Northumbria we are strongly committed to protecting the privacy of personal data. To view the University’s Privacy Notice please click here

How to Apply

Please use the Apply Now button at the top of this page to submit your application.

Certain applications may need to be submitted via an external application system, such as UCAS, Lawcabs or DfE Apply.

The Apply Now button will redirect you to the relevant website if this is the case.

You can find further application advice, such as what to include in your application and what happens after you apply, on our Admissions Hub Admissions | Northumbria University



Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL4001 -

Introduction to Literary Studies (Core,20 Credits)

You will be given the opportunity to familiarise yourself with conceptual issues such as canonicity, the unconscious, the tragic, the nature of the author, gender and postmodernity. Lectures will introduce you to these concepts and modes of applying these to literary texts as well as introducing you to new material in the texts themselves. Seminars will follow the lectures, where you will discuss and explore with your tutor and with your fellow students both the texts and their historical and theoretical contexts.

More information

EL4004 -

Reading Poetry (Core,20 Credits)

This module encourages you to read and enjoy poetry whilst also developing your understanding of how figurative language, linguistic choice and formal technique work to produce the meanings that we derive from poetry. The module is structured to help you develop competence in close reading of literary texts and to increase your familiarity with the critical vocabulary that will enable you to discuss and analyse poetic language in an informed manner. You will also be encouraged to increase your awareness of the diverse nature of poetic composition and to recognise the importance of genre, context and form in the reading of poetic language. Working on the principle that close reading is an essential part of critical analysis of any text, the module provides a foundation for all subsequent elements of your studies in English Literature. Moreover, because these skills in understanding poetry are an essential first step in creating it, the module seeks to foster an understanding of the creative process that will improve your familiarity with poetic technique and thus help to develop your creative skills. The module elides the gap between the creative and critical spheres and in so doing enrich both.

More information

EL4014 -

Story (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of narration. Semester 1 mainly focuses on the structure and techniques of prose fiction. In Semester 2 this is broadened to a wider range of narrative forms, including script. Students will be introduced to a variety of basic key skills related to storytelling, will learn to appreciate the demands of different narrative genres, and will develop an understanding of the nature of story and narrative. This will provide students with a basic framework to underpin the development of their writing practice.

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EL4015 -

Creative and Critical Practice (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn the habit and discipline of sitting down to write regularly. You will also learn key techniques of prose fiction writing, writerly reflection and critical writing. In particular, you will engage in a range of ‘textual interventions’ that encourage you to explore how other writers write and how you can develop your own writing voice through engagement with that of others. In this way you will also learn to relate critical study of literary texts to writing practice.

More information

EL4016 -

Talking Texts (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers students a forum to develop academic skills in close reading and analysis. A range of texts are examined within a reading-focussed workshop, including: the novel, short stories, poetry, plays, journalism, academic essays and online media such as blogs and flash fiction. Students are exposed to a range of writing in order to consider and develop their own reading practices. The discursive workshops develop speaking, listening, and critical skills through participation in classroom activities. The module prepares students for work at degree level, encouraging them to become independent learners in a supportive environment.

More information

EL4017 -

Gothic Stories: Nineteenth Century to the Present (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will be given the opportunity to study a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore the conventions of the genre as well as some of the ways in which gothic writing reflects and/or questions assumptions about race, gender, social class and sexuality. You will learn about the cultural significance of many familiar gothic motifs and figures such as ghosts, uncanny doubles, haunted houses and vampires.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional,40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroadat an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

More information

EL5003 -

Early Modern Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to read texts written in the period 1500-1700 historically. Lectures and seminars will encourage you to learn about the early modern period, and to situate texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More, and Philip Sidney. You will learn about poetry, prose, and drama – situating literary genres from the period in relation to themes that include: class, race, sexuality, politics, authority, gender, and ideas of literary production itself. Lectures will trace the afterlives of some of the most influential texts ever written, and will encourage you to read these textual traditions in light of a range of western literary ideologies.

Building upon work completed at Level 4 on early modern authors like Shakespeare and Donne, this module offers students a more comprehensive survey of the early modern period. Encouraging students to read literature historically, Early Modern Cultures fosters key skills in tutor-led and independent reading and research that will complement a range of studies at level 6.

More information

EL5004 -

Modernism and Modernity (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will gain an understanding of the relation between literary modernism and modernity in the early part of the twentieth century. The module provides you with conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the relation between art and social life. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the ways in which different literary genres prompted modernist experiments in form and with the various debates taking place between literary critics, writers, philosophers and cultural historians in early-twentieth-century Britain and the USA.

More information

EL5022 -

Thinking About Voice (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of voice as applied to creative writing. You will learn about technical aspects of voice in creative writing, e.g. the concepts of register and free indirect discourse. You will also learn about the wider notion of developing an individual creative voice, i.e. the expression of subjectivity, and the importance of originality. You will learn about the way that tone is deployed in different types of writing, and you will learn about the imaginative use of language. All of this will give you tools that you can utilise in your own creative work.

More information

EL5023 -

Working With Structure (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of structure as applied to narrative forms (fiction, script) and poetry. Students will read and analyse a range of creative texts employing diverse formal structures. Through experimentation, they will make use of these formal structures in their own creative work. They will learn about both the limits and the opportunities offered by different structures in narrative forms and in poetry.

More information

EL5026 -

Literary Revolutions, Eighteenth Century to Romanticism (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will study a range of texts from the eighteenth century to the Romantic period. The module considers a period in which literature and culture witnessed a succession of revolutionary changes. The novel emerged as a new form; female writers and readers took on a new prominence; the print market expanded enormously; and writers responded to the seismic changes in society caused by a period of war, imperial expansion, and political and social revolution. You will study a diverse and unusual range of texts that emerged from this period, and learn how to link the texts to the period’s context.

More information

EL5028 -

Pitch to Publication (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn how to develop, edit and contribute to writing projects in the real world, from poetry and short fiction anthologies to special issues of magazines, collections of reviews, and specialist blogs. You will study a range of creative and professional writing projects and produce your own, from initial pitch to writing, publicising, editing and producing the finished item. You will learn to reflect on your own writing identity and the process of writing to a brief, and how to evaluate and write a structured report on a project. You will learn from writing professionals and develop skills which prepare you for your future professional life as well as further study at level 6.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

More information

EL6001 -

English Dissertation (Optional,40 Credits)

In your third year you will be ready to become an independent thinker and researcher. The dissertation is your opportunity to research and write a substantial investigation of a topic that you are really passionate about. Your tutors will support you as you learn how to work independently and to manage a large project. You will also learn project-management, research, presentation and writing skills. You will learn to be self-motivated and independent. By the end of the module you will have produced a major piece of work that you can be proud of, and you will be ready to continue as an independent thinker in further study or in the graduate job you go on to at the end of your third year.

More information

EL6004 -

Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Optional,20 Credits)

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) to Alan Ball’s True Blood (2008-), this module invites you to explore the dark, shadowy world of the Gothic in relation to a diverse range of literary texts and modern media. Combining the study of familiar canonical fictions with new and challenging material, we will train our focus on the enigmatic figure of the vampire, examining its various transitions and developments through the lens of critical and cultural theory.

Through an analysis of the Gothic, the module aims to develop your critical thinking, as well as your existing knowledge of literature, film, and television dating from 1816 to the present day. In doing so, it will encourage you to reflect on and interrogate the complex ways in which Gothic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about gender and sexuality.

More information

EL6018 -

The Black Atlantic: Literature, Slavery and Race (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to a range of texts which have been created out of, or about, the experience of African peoples in the diaspora from the seventeenth century to the present. It will encourage you to relate your understanding of the texts to the cultural and historical background from which they developed. Following on from level four core modules this module will develop your understanding of the concept of the ‘Atlantic World’ and theories of local, national and global cultures as well as theories of race and postcolonial theory. You will be encouraged to recognise the activity of the slave trade as the beginning point of the Atlantic World as an imagined space that challenges national and chronological boundaries and speaks of the powerful and enduring legacies of slavery.

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EL6020 -

Boxing with Byron: Romanticism and Popular Culture (Optional,20 Credits)

The Romantic period (1789-1832) was a time of revolutionary change in literature, yet the literature of the period is typically represented by a narrow list of elite poets. On this module you will learn about a much more diverse range of writing: by men and women, by the poor and the rich, and taking in styles from satirical poetry, to advertising, to magazine fiction, to essays about opium addiction. Is there a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, and who gets to decide the answer? This was a question the Romantics asked, and it is one you will learn to answer. You will also learn to investigate the diverse range of literature produced in the period yourself by using e-resources to find texts from the period that you think are valuable. You will develop an enhanced knowledge of the literature and culture of the period and as a result you will learn to question the way that literary critics tell stories about who and what should count in literary history.

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EL6021 -

Shaking up Shakespeare (Optional,20 Credits)

This module develops your awareness and understanding of post-Renaissance adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It engages with Shakespearean adaptations belonging to different literary genres (in particular, drama and prose fiction) and different media (written texts, films). It examines the ways in which selected Shakespearean texts are transformed in subsequent adaptations, and the issues underpinning these transformations, especially those concerning race, gender, and class. It also engages with theoretical debates surrounding authorship, literary value, canonicity, and popular/high culture.

More information

EL6035 -

Creative Writing Project (Optional,40 Credits)

This module provides an opportunity to undertake a sustained, large-scale writing project as the culmination of your degree. It allows you to demonstrate both creative skill and the ability to reflect critically on your creative writing practice.

You will undertake a Creative Writing Project of 8,000 words of prose fiction or 300 lines of poetry. Your creative writing project may take any form that is agreed by the project supervisor, but in most cases will be:
• A collection of poetry;
• A collection of short stories;
• A novella;
• Part of a novel
As well as the creative work, you will submit a critical commentary reflecting on the project. The commentary must be 1,000-4,000 words. The creative work will be 4,000-7,000 words, so that together they make a total of not more than 8,000 words.
As well as the final project, you will give a formatively assessed presentation, and submit summatively assessed draft work, in semester 1.

More information

EL6042 -

Postwar US Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will enhance your understanding of postwar American literary culture in its broader social, political, and
economic contexts. Mid-century America was a time of profound contradictions: while US citizens lived under the shadow the bomb, many experienced unprecedented economic prosperity and access to new material comforts. We will explore how national paranoia
about the spread of communism and the nuclear arms race sat alongside – and fed into – the postwar image of the American ‘good life’, an image of suburban conformity underpinned by the growth of advertising and consumer culture. We will consider how postwar fiction and poetry challenges this demand for conformity in both content and form: through its complex representations of the American cold war experience and its innovative narrative and poetic strategies. The texts on this module offer insights into postwar attitudes towards a diverse range of topics, including national and international politics, work, leisure, and domesticity, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

More information

EL6044 -

Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn how to use the key forms, approaches and techniques of fantasy and science fiction in your own writing. As you explore these genres by reading a range of classic and contemporary texts, you will develop a critical understanding of speculative fiction in theory and practice. You will answer questions such as:
• What is a fantasy or science fiction text?
• How can we read such texts productively?
• What writing strategies do they use?
• How can you produce exciting and original fantasy/science fiction writing yourself?

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EL6045 -

Political Theatre in Early Modern Britain (Optional,20 Credits)

People thought and wrote about politics a lot in the early modern period. Just like today, lives and livelihoods hinged upon the attitudes, loyalties and alliances of those in power – and the theatre was a convenient and accessible place to think about (and sometimes to poke fun at) political figureheads and their ideologies. Also, because men like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were, effectively, on the payroll of some of England’s wealthiest and most powerful men and women, their dramatic writings often carried distinct political agendas. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and James VI/I were passionate about literature, and London’s best playwrights and acting companies were employed during their lavish coronation processions – and invited to perform at court during annual festivities. Drama from this period was not only influenced by politics, moreover, it had influential political clout, in and of itself. The theatre explored, explained, critiqued, and shaped political attitudes and ideas – at every level of society.

Building on your reading of early modern authors at levels 4 and 5 in early modern literature, this module will challenge you to read a range of Tudor and Jacobean plays in relation to political change, scandal, and satire. You will develop a specialised understanding of the relationship between literature and politics, and a detailed knowledge of the early modern period’s tumultuous social and religious contexts.

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EL6046 -

Advanced Creative Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module is designed for students with some experience in creative writing to further develop their skills in prose and/or poetry, with an emphasis of producing longer pieces of writing. The module will examine the nature of genre, and will explore structure in the novel, novella, short story cycle, long poem and poetic sequence.
Although the focus of the module is on your own writing, we will read and discuss a number of texts in order to improve technique and help you in planning and carrying out your project.
Seminars will run as creative writing workshops in which students respond to writing exercises and learn to offer and receive feedback on their own and others’ work.

More information

EL6047 -

Twenty First Century Literature: Writing in the Present (Optional,20 Credits)

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and its popular television adaptation (2017) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster (2015), this module invites you to explore a wide and diverse range of novels, short stories and other media in order to promote and analyse the study of contemporary theoretical debates on gender, love, the body and sexuality.

Through the theoretical lens of feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and postmodernism, the module aims to develop your critical thinking and your existing knowledge of literature, film and television, from 1985 to the present day. It will encourage you to explore the complex issues raised by diverse critical theory and close analysis of a range of late twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film and television adaptation. By doing so, you will reflect on the ways that twenty-first literature and other media engages with, interrogates and often offers alternative narratives on present debates about gender, love, the body and sexuality.

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EL6053 -

Writing Women: Aphra Behn in Focus (Optional,20 Credits)

This module explores the writings of the first professional woman writer in England, Aphra Behn (d. 1689). Biographically, Behn remains something of an enigma. We know little about her personal life, and some of our earliest records of her relate to her work as a Continental spy for Charles II. Yet Behn is one of the most important writers of the late seventeenth century. She contributed to many genres of literature (poetry, drama, translation and prose), she was the second most prolific dramatist of her age, and she authored the first English novel. Behn was a transformative and innovative author, deeply engaged with questions of gender and self-aware, in her writings, of her status as a female author in a male profession.
On this module we will read a selection of Behn’s writings, exploring their relationship to her contemporary writers, Behn’s historical moment and the broader development of literature. We will also explore the complex reception history of Behn’s work, thinking about why she disappeared from the literary canon within decades of her death, only to be rediscovered by feminist and postcolonial scholars from the 1970s and 80s. In studying Behn’s changing status as a literary author, and by reading her work, students will learn about a key moment (the 1670s-80s) in the development of the literary marketplace, whilst developing an appreciation of the ways in which gender concerns have affected access to Behn’s literature, as well as shaped (and, at times, limited) our understanding of its wider importance.
Today, Behn is much-studied and there are numerous scholarly editions of her writings. Yet there is still much we have yet to properly understand about her writings, and Behn studies are as vibrant and diverse as ever. Recent years have seen a renewed energy in Behn scholarship that seeks to understand her writings beyond their significance to gender studies, with scholars showing how Behn’s writings engage with the burning issues of the day: marital law; monarchy; philosophy; politics; science; sexuality; slavery.

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EL6055 -

Writing and Environment (Optional,20 Credits)

You will study a selection of texts, written from the eighteenth century to the present day, that engage with the natural environment in various ways. These include natural histories and popular science, pastoral and environmental poems, environmental protest literature, apocalyptic novels, and the ‘new nature writing’. You will learn how literary writers describe the world around them and how they use the natural world to articulate their own personal needs, feelings, and desires. You will study texts that draw attention both to natural beauty and to environmental catastrophe. You will learn how writers as diverse as Gilbert White, William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, and Robert Macfarlane have changed the ways in which readers engage with the world around them. As part of your studies, you will learn to produce your own literary engagement with the natural world in a ‘creative field journal’, inspired by the writings of Charles Darwin, Robert Macfarlane, Amy Liptrott, and others. By the end of the module, you will have gained a sophisticated understanding not only of the ways that writers can change the world, but also how they can save it.

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EL6057 -

Thieves, Harlots, Pirates, Murderers: Criminal Lives in the Long Eighteenth Century (Optional,20 Credits)

The eighteenth century is often considered the ‘age of politeness’, a new enlightened age of material wealth, refinement, global trade and luxury, urban order and civility, and polished manners. However, the major changes that brought such refinement and wealth to British society also brought with them disruption, poverty, violence, and crime and a period of adjustment to modern commercial realities and pressures. This module will introduce students to eighteenth-century Britain’s underbelly of crime, through the lives of criminals who, reviled and celebrated in news, popular culture, and literature, were always the focus of public fasincation.

On this module, we will use a variety of media, including criminal biographies, novels, plays, poems, newspaper reports, pamphlets, legal records, art and visual culture, and film/TV adaptations, in order to explore the social, political, and cultural meanings encoded in the lives of criminals in eighteenth-century Britain and the countries to which its global trade reached. We will consider the ways in which criminal figures were represented and continue to be represented today, as well as the implications of these representations in terms of ideas about crime, social class, gender, regional and national identity, race, and culture.

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EL6059 -

The Craft of the Playwright (Optional,20 Credits)

The module will focus not only on the craft of writing for performance, but also on how a script plays out in real space and time, and in front of an audience. It will be grounded in the possibilities and practical limitations of writing for theatre. This module is designed to engender a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts of dramaturgy and performance, and will also focus on the practical mechanics of how plays work and how they are structured. Students will examine a number of work-in-progress texts, and will employ research and literary analysis very specifically to illuminate the issues raised in the practical realization of plays.

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YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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Modules

Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EL4001 -

Introduction to Literary Studies (Core,20 Credits)

You will be given the opportunity to familiarise yourself with conceptual issues such as canonicity, the unconscious, the tragic, the nature of the author, gender and postmodernity. Lectures will introduce you to these concepts and modes of applying these to literary texts as well as introducing you to new material in the texts themselves. Seminars will follow the lectures, where you will discuss and explore with your tutor and with your fellow students both the texts and their historical and theoretical contexts.

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EL4004 -

Reading Poetry (Core,20 Credits)

This module encourages you to read and enjoy poetry whilst also developing your understanding of how figurative language, linguistic choice and formal technique work to produce the meanings that we derive from poetry. The module is structured to help you develop competence in close reading of literary texts and to increase your familiarity with the critical vocabulary that will enable you to discuss and analyse poetic language in an informed manner. You will also be encouraged to increase your awareness of the diverse nature of poetic composition and to recognise the importance of genre, context and form in the reading of poetic language. Working on the principle that close reading is an essential part of critical analysis of any text, the module provides a foundation for all subsequent elements of your studies in English Literature. Moreover, because these skills in understanding poetry are an essential first step in creating it, the module seeks to foster an understanding of the creative process that will improve your familiarity with poetic technique and thus help to develop your creative skills. The module elides the gap between the creative and critical spheres and in so doing enrich both.

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EL4014 -

Story (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of narration. Semester 1 mainly focuses on the structure and techniques of prose fiction. In Semester 2 this is broadened to a wider range of narrative forms, including script. Students will be introduced to a variety of basic key skills related to storytelling, will learn to appreciate the demands of different narrative genres, and will develop an understanding of the nature of story and narrative. This will provide students with a basic framework to underpin the development of their writing practice.

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EL4015 -

Creative and Critical Practice (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn the habit and discipline of sitting down to write regularly. You will also learn key techniques of prose fiction writing, writerly reflection and critical writing. In particular, you will engage in a range of ‘textual interventions’ that encourage you to explore how other writers write and how you can develop your own writing voice through engagement with that of others. In this way you will also learn to relate critical study of literary texts to writing practice.

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EL4016 -

Talking Texts (Core,20 Credits)

This module offers students a forum to develop academic skills in close reading and analysis. A range of texts are examined within a reading-focussed workshop, including: the novel, short stories, poetry, plays, journalism, academic essays and online media such as blogs and flash fiction. Students are exposed to a range of writing in order to consider and develop their own reading practices. The discursive workshops develop speaking, listening, and critical skills through participation in classroom activities. The module prepares students for work at degree level, encouraging them to become independent learners in a supportive environment.

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EL4017 -

Gothic Stories: Nineteenth Century to the Present (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will be given the opportunity to study a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore the conventions of the genre as well as some of the ways in which gothic writing reflects and/or questions assumptions about race, gender, social class and sexuality. You will learn about the cultural significance of many familiar gothic motifs and figures such as ghosts, uncanny doubles, haunted houses and vampires.

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YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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AD5012 -

Humanities Study Abroad (40 credit) (Optional,40 Credits)

The Study Abroad module is a semester based 40 credit module which is available on degree courses which facilitate study abroad within the programme. You will undertake a semester of study abroadat an approved partner University elsewhere. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be constructed to meet the learning outcomes for the programme for the semester in question, dependent on suitable modules from the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). The module will be assessed by conversion of graded marks from the host University.

Learning outcomes on the year-long modules on which the student is unable to attend the home institution must be met at the host institution, and marks from the host are incorporated into the modules as part of the overall assessment.

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EL5003 -

Early Modern Cultures (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn to read texts written in the period 1500-1700 historically. Lectures and seminars will encourage you to learn about the early modern period, and to situate texts by authors such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas More, and Philip Sidney. You will learn about poetry, prose, and drama – situating literary genres from the period in relation to themes that include: class, race, sexuality, politics, authority, gender, and ideas of literary production itself. Lectures will trace the afterlives of some of the most influential texts ever written, and will encourage you to read these textual traditions in light of a range of western literary ideologies.

Building upon work completed at Level 4 on early modern authors like Shakespeare and Donne, this module offers students a more comprehensive survey of the early modern period. Encouraging students to read literature historically, Early Modern Cultures fosters key skills in tutor-led and independent reading and research that will complement a range of studies at level 6.

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EL5004 -

Modernism and Modernity (Core,20 Credits)

Through this module you will gain an understanding of the relation between literary modernism and modernity in the early part of the twentieth century. The module provides you with conceptual and historical frameworks for understanding the relation between art and social life. It gives you an opportunity to engage with the ways in which different literary genres prompted modernist experiments in form and with the various debates taking place between literary critics, writers, philosophers and cultural historians in early-twentieth-century Britain and the USA.

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EL5022 -

Thinking About Voice (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of voice as applied to creative writing. You will learn about technical aspects of voice in creative writing, e.g. the concepts of register and free indirect discourse. You will also learn about the wider notion of developing an individual creative voice, i.e. the expression of subjectivity, and the importance of originality. You will learn about the way that tone is deployed in different types of writing, and you will learn about the imaginative use of language. All of this will give you tools that you can utilise in your own creative work.

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EL5023 -

Working With Structure (Core,20 Credits)

This module introduces students to the core skills and ideas of structure as applied to narrative forms (fiction, script) and poetry. Students will read and analyse a range of creative texts employing diverse formal structures. Through experimentation, they will make use of these formal structures in their own creative work. They will learn about both the limits and the opportunities offered by different structures in narrative forms and in poetry.

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EL5026 -

Literary Revolutions, Eighteenth Century to Romanticism (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will study a range of texts from the eighteenth century to the Romantic period. The module considers a period in which literature and culture witnessed a succession of revolutionary changes. The novel emerged as a new form; female writers and readers took on a new prominence; the print market expanded enormously; and writers responded to the seismic changes in society caused by a period of war, imperial expansion, and political and social revolution. You will study a diverse and unusual range of texts that emerged from this period, and learn how to link the texts to the period’s context.

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EL5028 -

Pitch to Publication (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will learn how to develop, edit and contribute to writing projects in the real world, from poetry and short fiction anthologies to special issues of magazines, collections of reviews, and specialist blogs. You will study a range of creative and professional writing projects and produce your own, from initial pitch to writing, publicising, editing and producing the finished item. You will learn to reflect on your own writing identity and the process of writing to a brief, and how to evaluate and write a structured report on a project. You will learn from writing professionals and develop skills which prepare you for your future professional life as well as further study at level 6.

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YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

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AD5009 -

Humanities Work Placement Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Work Placement Year module is a 120 credit year-long module available on degree courses which include a work placement year, taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6 (the length of the placement(s) will be determined by your programme but it can be no less than 30 weeks. You will undertake a guided work placement at a host organisation. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to classification. When taken and passed, however, the Placement Year is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Work Placement Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Work Placement Year)”. The learning and teaching on your placement will be recorded in the work placement agreement signed by the placement provider, the student, and the University.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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AD5010 -

Humanities Study Abroad Year (Optional,120 Credits)

The Study Abroad Year module is a full year 120 credit module which is available on degree courses which include a study abroad year which is taken as an additional year of study at level 5 and before level 6. You will undertake a year abroad at a partner university equivalent to 120 UK credits. This gives you access to modules from your discipline taught in a different learning culture and so broadens your overall experience of learning. The course of study abroad will be dependent on the partner and will be recorded for an individual student on the learning agreement signed by the host University, the student, and the home University (Northumbria). Your study abroad year will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. It will not count towards your final degree classification but, if you pass, it is recognised in your transcript as a 120 credit Study Abroad Module and on your degree certificate in the format – “Degree title (with Study Abroad Year)”.

Note: Subject to placement clearance; this is a competitive process and a place on the module cannot be guaranteed.

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EL6001 -

English Dissertation (Optional,40 Credits)

In your third year you will be ready to become an independent thinker and researcher. The dissertation is your opportunity to research and write a substantial investigation of a topic that you are really passionate about. Your tutors will support you as you learn how to work independently and to manage a large project. You will also learn project-management, research, presentation and writing skills. You will learn to be self-motivated and independent. By the end of the module you will have produced a major piece of work that you can be proud of, and you will be ready to continue as an independent thinker in further study or in the graduate job you go on to at the end of your third year.

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EL6004 -

Vamps and Virgins: Gothic Sexualities (Optional,20 Credits)

From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Christabel (1816) to Alan Ball’s True Blood (2008-), this module invites you to explore the dark, shadowy world of the Gothic in relation to a diverse range of literary texts and modern media. Combining the study of familiar canonical fictions with new and challenging material, we will train our focus on the enigmatic figure of the vampire, examining its various transitions and developments through the lens of critical and cultural theory.

Through an analysis of the Gothic, the module aims to develop your critical thinking, as well as your existing knowledge of literature, film, and television dating from 1816 to the present day. In doing so, it will encourage you to reflect on and interrogate the complex ways in which Gothic texts engage with, and intervene in, broader cultural debates about gender and sexuality.

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EL6018 -

The Black Atlantic: Literature, Slavery and Race (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will introduce you to a range of texts which have been created out of, or about, the experience of African peoples in the diaspora from the seventeenth century to the present. It will encourage you to relate your understanding of the texts to the cultural and historical background from which they developed. Following on from level four core modules this module will develop your understanding of the concept of the ‘Atlantic World’ and theories of local, national and global cultures as well as theories of race and postcolonial theory. You will be encouraged to recognise the activity of the slave trade as the beginning point of the Atlantic World as an imagined space that challenges national and chronological boundaries and speaks of the powerful and enduring legacies of slavery.

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EL6020 -

Boxing with Byron: Romanticism and Popular Culture (Optional,20 Credits)

The Romantic period (1789-1832) was a time of revolutionary change in literature, yet the literature of the period is typically represented by a narrow list of elite poets. On this module you will learn about a much more diverse range of writing: by men and women, by the poor and the rich, and taking in styles from satirical poetry, to advertising, to magazine fiction, to essays about opium addiction. Is there a distinction between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, and who gets to decide the answer? This was a question the Romantics asked, and it is one you will learn to answer. You will also learn to investigate the diverse range of literature produced in the period yourself by using e-resources to find texts from the period that you think are valuable. You will develop an enhanced knowledge of the literature and culture of the period and as a result you will learn to question the way that literary critics tell stories about who and what should count in literary history.

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EL6021 -

Shaking up Shakespeare (Optional,20 Credits)

This module develops your awareness and understanding of post-Renaissance adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s work, from the seventeenth century to the present day. It engages with Shakespearean adaptations belonging to different literary genres (in particular, drama and prose fiction) and different media (written texts, films). It examines the ways in which selected Shakespearean texts are transformed in subsequent adaptations, and the issues underpinning these transformations, especially those concerning race, gender, and class. It also engages with theoretical debates surrounding authorship, literary value, canonicity, and popular/high culture.

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EL6035 -

Creative Writing Project (Optional,40 Credits)

This module provides an opportunity to undertake a sustained, large-scale writing project as the culmination of your degree. It allows you to demonstrate both creative skill and the ability to reflect critically on your creative writing practice.

You will undertake a Creative Writing Project of 8,000 words of prose fiction or 300 lines of poetry. Your creative writing project may take any form that is agreed by the project supervisor, but in most cases will be:
• A collection of poetry;
• A collection of short stories;
• A novella;
• Part of a novel
As well as the creative work, you will submit a critical commentary reflecting on the project. The commentary must be 1,000-4,000 words. The creative work will be 4,000-7,000 words, so that together they make a total of not more than 8,000 words.
As well as the final project, you will give a formatively assessed presentation, and submit summatively assessed draft work, in semester 1.

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EL6042 -

Postwar US Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module will enhance your understanding of postwar American literary culture in its broader social, political, and
economic contexts. Mid-century America was a time of profound contradictions: while US citizens lived under the shadow the bomb, many experienced unprecedented economic prosperity and access to new material comforts. We will explore how national paranoia
about the spread of communism and the nuclear arms race sat alongside – and fed into – the postwar image of the American ‘good life’, an image of suburban conformity underpinned by the growth of advertising and consumer culture. We will consider how postwar fiction and poetry challenges this demand for conformity in both content and form: through its complex representations of the American cold war experience and its innovative narrative and poetic strategies. The texts on this module offer insights into postwar attitudes towards a diverse range of topics, including national and international politics, work, leisure, and domesticity, gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity.

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EL6044 -

Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction (Optional,20 Credits)

You will learn how to use the key forms, approaches and techniques of fantasy and science fiction in your own writing. As you explore these genres by reading a range of classic and contemporary texts, you will develop a critical understanding of speculative fiction in theory and practice. You will answer questions such as:
• What is a fantasy or science fiction text?
• How can we read such texts productively?
• What writing strategies do they use?
• How can you produce exciting and original fantasy/science fiction writing yourself?

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EL6045 -

Political Theatre in Early Modern Britain (Optional,20 Credits)

People thought and wrote about politics a lot in the early modern period. Just like today, lives and livelihoods hinged upon the attitudes, loyalties and alliances of those in power – and the theatre was a convenient and accessible place to think about (and sometimes to poke fun at) political figureheads and their ideologies. Also, because men like William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were, effectively, on the payroll of some of England’s wealthiest and most powerful men and women, their dramatic writings often carried distinct political agendas. Monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I and James VI/I were passionate about literature, and London’s best playwrights and acting companies were employed during their lavish coronation processions – and invited to perform at court during annual festivities. Drama from this period was not only influenced by politics, moreover, it had influential political clout, in and of itself. The theatre explored, explained, critiqued, and shaped political attitudes and ideas – at every level of society.

Building on your reading of early modern authors at levels 4 and 5 in early modern literature, this module will challenge you to read a range of Tudor and Jacobean plays in relation to political change, scandal, and satire. You will develop a specialised understanding of the relationship between literature and politics, and a detailed knowledge of the early modern period’s tumultuous social and religious contexts.

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EL6046 -

Advanced Creative Writing (Optional,20 Credits)

This module is designed for students with some experience in creative writing to further develop their skills in prose and/or poetry, with an emphasis of producing longer pieces of writing. The module will examine the nature of genre, and will explore structure in the novel, novella, short story cycle, long poem and poetic sequence.
Although the focus of the module is on your own writing, we will read and discuss a number of texts in order to improve technique and help you in planning and carrying out your project.
Seminars will run as creative writing workshops in which students respond to writing exercises and learn to offer and receive feedback on their own and others’ work.

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EL6047 -

Twenty First Century Literature: Writing in the Present (Optional,20 Credits)

From Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) and its popular television adaptation (2017) to Yorgos Lanthimos’ film The Lobster (2015), this module invites you to explore a wide and diverse range of novels, short stories and other media in order to promote and analyse the study of contemporary theoretical debates on gender, love, the body and sexuality.

Through the theoretical lens of feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory and postmodernism, the module aims to develop your critical thinking and your existing knowledge of literature, film and television, from 1985 to the present day. It will encourage you to explore the complex issues raised by diverse critical theory and close analysis of a range of late twentieth and twenty-first century literature, film and television adaptation. By doing so, you will reflect on the ways that twenty-first literature and other media engages with, interrogates and often offers alternative narratives on present debates about gender, love, the body and sexuality.

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EL6053 -

Writing Women: Aphra Behn in Focus (Optional,20 Credits)

This module explores the writings of the first professional woman writer in England, Aphra Behn (d. 1689). Biographically, Behn remains something of an enigma. We know little about her personal life, and some of our earliest records of her relate to her work as a Continental spy for Charles II. Yet Behn is one of the most important writers of the late seventeenth century. She contributed to many genres of literature (poetry, drama, translation and prose), she was the second most prolific dramatist of her age, and she authored the first English novel. Behn was a transformative and innovative author, deeply engaged with questions of gender and self-aware, in her writings, of her status as a female author in a male profession.
On this module we will read a selection of Behn’s writings, exploring their relationship to her contemporary writers, Behn’s historical moment and the broader development of literature. We will also explore the complex reception history of Behn’s work, thinking about why she disappeared from the literary canon within decades of her death, only to be rediscovered by feminist and postcolonial scholars from the 1970s and 80s. In studying Behn’s changing status as a literary author, and by reading her work, students will learn about a key moment (the 1670s-80s) in the development of the literary marketplace, whilst developing an appreciation of the ways in which gender concerns have affected access to Behn’s literature, as well as shaped (and, at times, limited) our understanding of its wider importance.
Today, Behn is much-studied and there are numerous scholarly editions of her writings. Yet there is still much we have yet to properly understand about her writings, and Behn studies are as vibrant and diverse as ever. Recent years have seen a renewed energy in Behn scholarship that seeks to understand her writings beyond their significance to gender studies, with scholars showing how Behn’s writings engage with the burning issues of the day: marital law; monarchy; philosophy; politics; science; sexuality; slavery.

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EL6055 -

Writing and Environment (Optional,20 Credits)

You will study a selection of texts, written from the eighteenth century to the present day, that engage with the natural environment in various ways. These include natural histories and popular science, pastoral and environmental poems, environmental protest literature, apocalyptic novels, and the ‘new nature writing’. You will learn how literary writers describe the world around them and how they use the natural world to articulate their own personal needs, feelings, and desires. You will study texts that draw attention both to natural beauty and to environmental catastrophe. You will learn how writers as diverse as Gilbert White, William Wordsworth, Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson, and Robert Macfarlane have changed the ways in which readers engage with the world around them. As part of your studies, you will learn to produce your own literary engagement with the natural world in a ‘creative field journal’, inspired by the writings of Charles Darwin, Robert Macfarlane, Amy Liptrott, and others. By the end of the module, you will have gained a sophisticated understanding not only of the ways that writers can change the world, but also how they can save it.

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EL6057 -

Thieves, Harlots, Pirates, Murderers: Criminal Lives in the Long Eighteenth Century (Optional,20 Credits)

The eighteenth century is often considered the ‘age of politeness’, a new enlightened age of material wealth, refinement, global trade and luxury, urban order and civility, and polished manners. However, the major changes that brought such refinement and wealth to British society also brought with them disruption, poverty, violence, and crime and a period of adjustment to modern commercial realities and pressures. This module will introduce students to eighteenth-century Britain’s underbelly of crime, through the lives of criminals who, reviled and celebrated in news, popular culture, and literature, were always the focus of public fasincation.

On this module, we will use a variety of media, including criminal biographies, novels, plays, poems, newspaper reports, pamphlets, legal records, art and visual culture, and film/TV adaptations, in order to explore the social, political, and cultural meanings encoded in the lives of criminals in eighteenth-century Britain and the countries to which its global trade reached. We will consider the ways in which criminal figures were represented and continue to be represented today, as well as the implications of these representations in terms of ideas about crime, social class, gender, regional and national identity, race, and culture.

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EL6059 -

The Craft of the Playwright (Optional,20 Credits)

The module will focus not only on the craft of writing for performance, but also on how a script plays out in real space and time, and in front of an audience. It will be grounded in the possibilities and practical limitations of writing for theatre. This module is designed to engender a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts of dramaturgy and performance, and will also focus on the practical mechanics of how plays work and how they are structured. Students will examine a number of work-in-progress texts, and will employ research and literary analysis very specifically to illuminate the issues raised in the practical realization of plays.

More information

YC5001 -

Academic Language Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences (Core – for International and EU students only,0 Credits)

Academic skills when studying away from your home country can differ due to cultural and language differences in teaching and assessment practices. This module is designed to support your transition in the use and practice of technical language and subject specific skills around assessments and teaching provision in your chosen subject. The overall aim of this module is to develop your abilities to read and study effectively for academic purposes; to develop your skills in analysing and using source material in seminars and academic writing and to develop your use and application of language and communications skills to a higher level.

The topics you will cover on the module include:

• Understanding assignment briefs and exam questions.
• Developing academic writing skills, including citation, paraphrasing, and summarising.
• Practising ‘critical reading’ and ‘critical writing’
• Planning and structuring academic assignments (e.g. essays, reports and presentations).
• Avoiding academic misconduct and gaining credit by using academic sources and referencing effectively.
• Listening skills for lectures.
• Speaking in seminar presentations.
• Presenting your ideas
• Giving discipline-related academic presentations, experiencing peer observation, and receiving formative feedback.
• Speed reading techniques.
• Developing self-reflection skills.

More information

To start your application, simply select the month you would like to start your course.

English Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)

Home or EU applicants please apply through UCAS

International applicants please apply using the links below

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Any Questions?

Our Applicant Services team will be happy to help.  They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901 or by using our Contact Form.



Accessibility and Student Inclusion

Northumbria University is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse and accessible campus and wider University community and are determined to ensure that opportunities we provide are open to all.

We are proud to work in partnership with AccessAble to provide Detailed Access Guides to our buildings and facilities across our City, Coach Lane and London Campuses. A Detailed Access Guide lets you know what access will be like when you visit somewhere. It looks at the route you will use getting in and what is available inside. All guides have Accessibility Symbols that give you a quick overview of what is available, and photographs to show you what to expect. The guides are produced by trained surveyors who visit our campuses annually to ensure you have trusted and accurate information.

You can use Northumbria’s AccessAble Guides anytime to check the accessibility of a building or facility and to plan your routes and journeys. Search by location, building or accessibility feature to find the information you need. 

We are dedicated to helping students who may require additional support during their student journey and offer 1-1 advice and guidance appropriate to individual requirements. If you feel you may need additional support you can find out more about what we offer here where you can also contact us with any questions you may have:

Accessibility support

Student Inclusion support




All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions
northumbria.ac.uk/terms

Fees and Funding
northumbria.ac.uk/fees

Admissions Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy

Admissions Complaints Policy
northumbria.ac.uk/complaints



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