EL6021 - Shaking up Shakespeare

What will I learn on this module?

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.

How will I learn on this module?

1 x 1 ½ - hour weekly lecture and workshop
1 x 1 ½ - hour weekly seminar

This module is taught via a combination of lectures, workshops, and seminars. Lectures cover foundational information about the set texts and theoretical and critical concepts relevant to analysing Shakespearean adaptations. Seminars and workshops give you the opportunity to present your own interpretation and analysis of the texts to the group, to engage with the perspectives of others, and to discuss your ideas with other students and the module tutors.

In addition to learning during contact hours (lectures, seminars, workshops), you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning will take the form of preparation for seminars (including reading, watching films, and the preparation of critical responses to the studied topics). Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and research, reflection on seminar materials and the completion of the assessment. The module will also make appropriate use of the VLE to provide you with module material and links to further resources.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Discussing material covered in lectures and seminars will develop your academic skills needed to fulfil the module learning outcomes and to enjoy engaging with Shakespearean adaptations. The module guide provides details of lectures, seminars, required reading, and assessment criteria; lecture PowerPoint slides are made available on the e-learning portal. The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in office hours and on email/phone, to discuss any queries you may have about excelling on the module. Feedback on formative work and the first summative assessment will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module.

In addition, you have a designated Personal Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Personal Guidance Tutor’s role includes:
• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)
You are advised to see your Personal Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. The Guidance Booklet, which you receive at the start of your first year, includes structured materials designed to help you develop your self-reflection skills. These materials underpin the academic side of the regular Guidance meetings, helping you to learn how to best use the feedback you receive on your assignments, how to build on your strengths, and improve in the areas where you could perform better.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• In-depth knowledge of different adaptations of Shakespeare’s texts.
• Advanced engagement with complex theoretical concepts relevant to the topic of Shakespearean adaptations.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Ability to analyse Shakespearean adaptations, engaging with their key thematic concerns and formal features.
• Ability to organise information and ideas into a logical and sustained argument, supported by relevant evidence.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Ability to identify and evaluate relevant information in independent reading and accurately acknowledge sources, conforming to relevant standards of good academic conduct.

How will I be assessed?

Formative (practice, non-graded) assessment

Essay plan and indicative bibliography (max. 500 words)
This task will allow you to develop and reflect upon key skills in literary analysis, research methods, and essay writing. This will help you feel confident about approaching your summative assessment. Feedback on your plan will be delivered by your fellow students and tutor in the lecture/workshop session, and you will have an opportunity to book an individual tutorial with the tutor, should you wish to discuss it further.

This assessment addresses both Learning Outcomes in the Knowledge and Understanding section and the first Learning Outcome in the Intellectual/Professional skills and abilities section.

Summative (graded) assessment

Assessment 1: 1,500-word critical comparison (40% of the final grade)

You will compare and contrast the ways in which one scene of your choice is represented in a play by Shakespeare and in one adaptation of that play. Your comparison should not be purely descriptive, but should engage with your chosen texts critically. You will have to back up your observations with evidence and close textual analysis.

This assessment addresses the second Learning Outcome in the Knowledge and Understanding section; the first Learning Outcome in the Intellectual/Professional Skills and Abilities section, and the Learning Outcome in the Personal Values Attributes section. Written feedback will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script.

Assessment 2: 2,500-word critical essay (60% of final grade)
You will write a critical essay, applying your knowledge of relevant issues to an analysis of two Shakespearean adaptations. Written feedback will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script.

This assessment addresses all Module Learning Outcomes. Written feedback will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code Q320

Credits 20

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

Fee Information

Module Information

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 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy