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Unit information: Period unit 2 (1550-1740) in 2020/21

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Unit name Period unit 2 (1550-1740)
Unit code ENGL20119
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Gournet
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts



This unit will introduce students to the wealth of literature in English in the period running approximately from 1550 to 1740. There will be opportunities to consider the rise of the novel and developments in poetry; students will also be encouraged to study parallel developments in society and in enlightenment thought and, changing methods of literary production and consumption.


This unit aims to introduce students to a range of literature in the period running from the works of John Milton to Samuel Johnson. Students will be introduced to a range of literary developments in this period, including the rise of the novel, and to relevant contexts that impact on particular texts and on literary production and reception more widely. The unit aims to facilitate students' ongoing appreciation of the chronology and historical development of literature in English.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will be able to:

  1. Analyse a range of texts from the period and to place them in wider historical, sociological, and other contexts
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the historical development of literature at this time
  3. Place this period in the wider context of literature in English
  4. Communicate their ideas about these issues effectively
  5. Demonstrate skills in textual analysis, argumentation, and critical interpretation appropriate to level I/5

Teaching details

The unit will delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching over a period of 10 weeks, each of which will utilise a range of teaching methods including mini-lectures by the tutor(s), formal and informal presentations by students, small group discussion, guided activities and self-directed learning.

Assessment Details

1 x 3000-word essay (60%) [ILOs 1-5]

1 x Presentation (40%) [ILOs 1-4]

Reading and References

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: 16th/Early 17th Century ed. M.H Abraham

Samuel Johnson, Rasselas