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Unit information: Animal Planet: Humans and other animals in modernity in 2023/24

Unit name Animal Planet: Humans and other animals in modernity
Unit code ENGLM0056
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Malay
Open unit status Not open
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School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

Animal Studies is an emergent field which embraces insights from across the Arts and Sciences. The study of human relationships with nonhuman animals offers an opportunity to investigate the human place in a more-than-human world. The period from 1800 to the present day has seen important transformations in the way in which humans have interacted with animal life. The rise of zoos and safari parks, alongside the increased inclination to welcome animals into families as pets has resulted in animals occupying parts of the human world which they had not inhabited before. Moreover, the treatment of animals and their habitats as resources, the development of scientific knowledge of animal bodies, the more recent positioning of animals in a seemingly threatened natural world, and ways of representing animals through film and television show that animals can be looked at, understood and treated in an astonishing diversity of ways.

Central Thematic concerns will include: How do the relationships between humans and other animals reflect the human relationship with the rest of the natural world? What do changing ideas about animals, and changing relationships with animals, reveal about larger historical transformations? What can we tell about the nature of power and domination from the study of human-animal relationships? How can animals impact upon the ‘human’ world? Why is it important to understand the contradictions inherent in our relationships with animals?

Your learning on this unit

1. A broadened experience of the range and variety of perspectives on the relations between non-human and human animals

2. Improved independent critical thinking about how animals and human beings interact.

3. A maturing ability to apply critical, historical, geographical and cultural contexts to the field of animal studies.

4. Developing an appropriate style of critical writing for the discussion and analysis of how human and animals relate to each other.

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

6. Present findings in a coherent and communicable form orally.

How you will learn

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

How you will be assessed

Tasks which do not count towards your unit mark but are required for credit (zero-weighted)

1,000 word presentation (0%, required for credit) [ILO 6]

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative):

4,000 word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-5]

When assessment does not go to plan

When required by the Board of Examiners, you will normally complete reassessments in the same formats as those outlined above. However, the Board reserves the right to modify the format or number of reassessments required. Details of reassessments are confirmed by the School/Centre shortly after the notification of your results at the end of the year.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGLM0056).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the University Workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. For appropriate assessments, if you have self-certificated your absence, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (for assessments at the end of TB1 and TB2 this is usually in the next re-assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any exceptional circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.