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Undergraduate Courses 2017

Drama and English and American Literature - BA (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

As one of the most wide-ranging, multi-faceted and interdisciplinary of subjects in the Arts and Humanities, Drama and Theatre naturally lends itself to joint honours study. Students taking any of the joint honours programmes in the subject area will encounter aspects of drama, theatre and performance drawn from a wide range of historical epochs, languages and cultures, and have the opportunity to explore these in theory and practice, bringing their own specialist areas of study into play in both the seminar and the rehearsal room.

English at Kent is challenging, flexible, and wide-ranging. It covers both only traditional areas (such as Shakespeare or Dickens) and newer fields such as American literature, creative writing, postcolonial literature and recent developments in literary theory. Studying for degree joint honours with another subject allows you the freedom to explore your other passions whilst developing skills associated with the study of literature.

Independent rankings

Drama at Kent was ranked 16th in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 92% of our Drama students were satisfied with the quality of teaching.

For graduate prospects, Drama at Kent was ranked 9th in The Complete University Guide 2017. Drama and Theatre students who graduated from Kent in 2015 were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities (DLHE).

English and Creative Writing at Kent was ranked 14th in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and Creative Writing was ranked 14th in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 95% of our English students were satisfied with the quality of teaching.

For graduate prospects, English and Creative Writing at Kent was ranked 12th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

DR339 - The Empty Space 2 (30 credits)

Like The Empty Space 1, this module is not about Peter Brook's work, but about the implications of his idea that anything can be seen as 'an act of theatre'. Students will be further encouraged to see beyond their own default assumptions about theatre, and introduced to an expanded range of methods of devising their own performances. In practical workshops, they will learn more about warming up, performance skills, and collaborative group work; and will explore the possibilities of creating performance from a further range of starting points, including (for example), improvisation, music, audience, personality, and aural and visual stimuli. Workshops will be longer than in The Empty Space 1, to allow for a more developed engagement. Not only will this allow more time for discussion of the assigned reading, but it will also allow students to start engaging with technical aspects of theatre-making. Students will be encouraged to develop their own ideas about theatre and performance through a series of lectures in which different Drama lecturers talk to the students about their ideas of what theatre is and could be, and how these ideas have been shaped by their encounters with theatre as audience members, theatre makers, and academics. Students will be assessed by a public performance, in which they explore their own aesthetic tastes and approaches to theatre (to take place in Summer Term); and a piece of writing in which they create their own theatrical manifesto, reflecting on their experiences of creating and performing theatre in this module, the ideas they have encountered in the lectures and the reading and, crucially, articulating their own ideas about what theatre and performance should be. This module (together with The Empty Space 1) will offer a solid foundation for all modules in years two and three which involve creative performance work.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN333 - Romanticism and Critical Theory (30 credits)

This year-long course examines some of the most significant writing of the Romantic period (1780-1830) - a period in which the role and forms of literature were being redefined - alongside recent debates in critical theory. You will study a wide range of literary texts from the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth and Keats to the novels of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley, with reference to contemporary literary and political debates and against the backdrop of the period’s turbulent history. In parallel, this module explores fundamental critical questions about literature: Why read it? What is an author? What is the role of poetry in society? How is literature shaped by culture? What is ‘Art’? Continuities and disjunctions between Romantic writers’ answers to these questions and those provided by more recent literary theorists will be a central concern of the course.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN302 - Early Drama (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to a range of medieval and early modern dramatic genres, from ninth-century Latin church drama to the commercial theatres of Shakespeare's London. Students will learn about methods for analysing past performances and existing texts, as well as how drama interacted with and responded to pivotal moments in British history, and the culture, politics and religion of the period. As such, the module will function as an introduction to medieval and early modern studies more broadly and a platform from which to undertake early English literature and drama modules, such as ‘Chaucer and Late Medieval Literature’, ‘Early Modern Literature, 1500-1700’ and ‘Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama’, at Stages 2 and 3. Students will read and discuss playtexts in modern translations, both as literary objects and live performance events. Regular optional site visits and screenings will contribute to students’ understanding of the drama’s contexts, how plays might work in performance and to what extent they still speak to twenty-first century audiences.

Lectures and seminars are designed to be varied and interactive, with the opportunity for everyone to participate and to develop key academic skills. The module is assessed by seminar contributions, creative and research-based coursework and a final end-of-year project, which will allow students the freedom to explore a topic of their choice creatively.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN331 - Readings in the Twentieth Century (30 credits)

This module emphasizes the links between literature, history, and culture. It introduces students to the formative events, debates and struggles of the twentieth century, and how these have been addressed by different modes of creative and critical writing. Topics such as Modernism, the Holocaust, the US culture industry, postcolonial studies and neoliberalism will be considered and discussed in relation to fictional and critical literature, films, photography, graphic novels, music, and other media. Weekly screenings will run alongside lectures and seminar discussions. Literary works across all genres will be read in relation to visual material – such as paintings, photography, feature and documentary films – and a range of selected critical reading. The majority of writing samples are drawn from English, American and more broadly Anglophone writing, though several instances of writing in other languages will also be included (all taught in translation).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN332 - Writing America (30 credits)

This module aims to emphasize connections between literature and culture in the USA, from early considerations of a distinct American literature to the present day. By way of six key themes or preoccupations, the module will introduce students to some of the major debates and antagonisms, and rhetorical and stylistic modes, that have formed and modified American literary and intellectual culture Questions of Belief, Gender, Race, Economy, Space, and Time will be approached through a range of textual forms set against their historical contexts and within the broader nexus of cultural production including the visual performing arts where appropriate. Students will be encouraged to examine the specific local, regional, and national frameworks within which these texts are produced, but also to look at the ways in which they resist and transcend national boundaries, in the development of an American register in world literatures for instance.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

DR684 - Introduction to Musical Theatre Dance (30 credits)

Students will explore the historical and cultural contexts through which the genre of musical theatre dance developed. Learning will be organised around detailed examinations of particular periods of musical theatre dance including its interface with popular dance forms in the 1920s and the emergence of variety and Vaudeville theatre; the integration of Latin, Indian and African influences through the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s; the standardization of jazz in the 1970s; and the influences of ballet, cabaret, and burlesque theatre across the century’s period styles. Weekly workshop sessions will include a comprehensive isolation-based musical theatre/jazz warm-up, followed by movement studies focused in specific periods and the learning of a section of musical theatre dance repertory. In addition, students will view filmed musicals and other performances from specific periods and present critical analyses of these in small groups during seminar classes. Attendance at live musical performances will also be required. These tasks will lead towards a research essay focused on a period, artist, or musical of the students’ choice.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR685 - Theatre and Adaptation (30 credits)

Recent theatrical productions as diverse in form as experimental performance, new writing, West End drama, musicals and live art have shown a recurring fascination with adapting existing works by other artists, writers, filmmakers and stage practitioners. The transition of an existing source or stimulus to the stage – be it film, book, play, artwork, or other performance – is not a smooth one. It implies negotiations of numerous kinds, such as interlingual and intercultural, but also ideological, ethical, aesthetic and political. Drawing on the work of contemporary theatre-makers, this module will explore specific approaches to stage adaptation, study adaptation methodologies and develop an understanding of the implications of adaptation. Through seminar discussions, practical and creative work, the module will prompt a reflection on performance's near-obsessive desire to return, repeat, rewrite and revisit, establishing a dialogue across languages and cultural identities.

During seminars, students will study several adaptation projects and strategies, which will form the basis for an essay. During practice-based workshops, students will experiment with a source of their choice and produce a research and development portfolio for a performance project based on this source. The portfolio may include an essay on the chosen source and its afterlife, a treatment on their proposed adaptation approach, and a brief director’s statement for marketing purposes, aimed at communicating their ideas to the general public. If the student wishes so, the portfolio may be supported by a brief practical demonstration, promotional video or other creative material, but the students are expected to keep their performance time and tech to a minimum, and will not be provided with technical support or extra rehearsal space for this module.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR667 - Site Specific Performance (30 credits)

This module focuses on the emergence and development of 'site specific' performance through the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, interrogating what has progressively become a generic label applied to a range of theatre/performance forms which embrace 'site' however tenuous this relationship might be.

The module explores the context in which ‘site’ becomes the determining feature in the creation of artistic and theatrical works in the mid-20th Century, specifically considering the development of site/land art, installation art, celebratory community theatre and the subsequent influence of this work on the emergence of ‘site specific’ performance and current practice. The module will introduce students to a range of practitioners who explore the ‘site’ of performance from a number of perspectives. Models of ‘site specific’ approaches may include: the ‘Anthropological/Archaeological’ illustrated in the work of Brith Gof, the ‘Reclamation and Animation’ of disused space illustrated in the work of Deborah Warner, ‘Performative Journeys’ through site illustrated in the work of Lone Twin. The module will be delivered through seminar/workshops and culminate in a practical project enabling students to explore the possibilities and limitations of the form, theoretical contexts, gain an understanding of a variety of creative approaches to the site and interrogate the efficacy of the term in the 21st Century.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR669 - European Theatre from 1945 (30 credits)

This module will investigate key texts and practitioners of post-World War II European theatre. The course will provide an introduction to some key European playwrights (e.g. Genet, Beckett) and practitioners (e.g. P. Brook, A. Mnouchkine, D. Fo) through looking at significant play texts, landmark productions and theatre practices in their social context and conditions of performance.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR671 - Puppet and Object Theatre (30 credits)

This module offers a creative exploration of puppetry and object theatre. It includes scenic elements and staging. Elements used typically include puppets, objects, visible/invisible puppeteers and set, light, projection, motion and sound. Lectures provide theoretical perspectives while practical workshops explore making performance. Students will explore and discover the uses and dynamics of the different elements, developing the skills as makers, performers, puppeteers, manipulators, musicians and/or technicians.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR673 - Theatres of the Past 1: the Classics (30 credits)

The primary aim of the module is to introduce students to the principles and practices of theatre history, and therefore in order to make best use of the staff team’s research specialisms, the historical focus of the curriculum will vary. The module offers not only a study of the major canonical texts of the period but also a detailed exploration of the societal conditions and theatrical realities of its time, allowing for an understanding of theatre as an artistic product of a particular culture. Modern revivals of classical texts will also be considered, taking account of issues regarding historical and cultural transposition.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR674 - Media and Performance Art (30 credits)

This module addresses the influence of the early avant-garde on later experimental performance forms such as performance art and multimedia performance. It examines the impact of new technologies on performance and representation throughout the last century, and explores the relationship between media culture and theatre practice. Key modernist and postmodernist practitioners are discussed as the module traces the evolution of intermedial theatre and performance art. Students analyse how time and space manifest within works driven by a visual aesthetic, and focus is placed on the nature of audience engagement and the specific means of communication effective in forms of intermedial theatre. The module also considers questions concerning the live and mediated aspects of performance, and explores concepts such as 'liveness', ‘the body’, ‘remediation’ and ‘intermediality’.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR549 - Acting (30 credits)

The course will introduce basic skills related to the craft of acting, predominantly within naturalist and realist idioms. This acting course will provide a core practical introduction to mainstream acting techniques descended from the teachings of Stanislavski and his heirs, as well as providing an introduction to contrasting practice and theories from other significant practitioners.



The course will introduce students through practical means, to basic terms and concepts in mainstream rehearsal-room practice. The students will develop a practical and usable understanding of a contemporary approach to the Stanislavskian system. Students will explore approaches concerning the use of detailed textual analysis when preparing a naturalistic role for performance and concepts to be introduced will include text analysis and uniting, actions and activities, objectives, obstacles, stakes, and given circumstances. On some level, this course will allow the student to explore varied and contradicting ideas from the world of actor training.



All of these concepts will be explored in practice through a combination of physical and text exercises, improvisation and close textual analysis. Students will be encouraged to adopt a critical overview of the work and to evaluate for themselves, both via class discussion and through reflective analysis on paper, the strengths and weaknesses of the techniques to which they are introduced.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR575 - Victorian and Edwardian Theatre (30 credits)

This module offers an opportunity to explore an exciting and important period of British Theatre: a period which laid the foundations for the organisation, values and forms of British Theatre throughout much of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Encompassing the Victorian and Edwardian years, as well as WW1, this was a time of radical change in British society and the module examines the theatre's relationship with this changing historical, social and cultural context.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR612 - Shakespeare's Theatre (30 credits)

This module engages with the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries as texts for performance; approached through a variety of critical, theoretical and practical methods. It considers the theatrical, cultural and historical conditions that produced and shaped them; examines the role played by the drama in a violent, volatile and rapidly-changing society; investigates and applies the principles of early modern playing spaces and performance practices, and considers the variety of ways in which these works have been encountered and reinvented in the modern period.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR594 - Popular Performance (30 credits)

Students' learning will be organised around research-based performance projects. These will be

based on detailed examinations of particular popular performance genres (for example, variety theatre, slapstick, cabaret, pantomime, radio comedy). Initially, students develop relevant performance skills, which might include, for example, addressing an audience, developing a stage persona, dance, singing, and/or simple acrobatics. In addition to this, they will be set weekly research tasks relevant to the particular genre they are studying. These tasks will lead towards a research essay, which will typically relate to the piece they go on to perform in the final assessed show. They will work independently on devising and rehearsing material related to both the research and the skills acquired in workshops, testing this material in front of an audience made up of other students on the module in their weekly all student practical session. Subsequently, they will develop their material to create a show in the style of the assigned popular performance genre, which will be performed to a public audience.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR663 - Physical Theatre 1 (30 credits)

This module studies different approaches to physical training for performance. It covers examples from around the world, though developments in Europe during the twentieth century provide a focus for the module. The module is oriented towards training for 'physical theatre' – a term which emerged at the end of the twentieth century and refers to a shift away from script, playwright and linear narrative. As such naturalism and the work of Stanislavski do not fall within the remit of this module, and are covered by ‘Acting’ in Stage II.



Students will gain valuable practical experience of physical training in weekly workshops where they will explore the fundamental principles of training the body. These include:

Posture, centre, balance, energy, space, tension, relaxation, sound within the body.

Precision and clarity in movement

Presence, spontaneity and improvisation

The module makes elementary investigations into the relationship between training and performance composition, an aspect which will be further explored in Physical Theatre 2(DR664).



Practice will be contextualised by historical and theoretical reading that explores the landscape from which the term ‘Physical Theatre’ emerged in the twentieth century. Key historical figures include: Jacques Copeau, Antonin Artaud, Edward Gordon Craig, Jerzy Grotowski, Eugenio Barba, Rudolph von Laban and Jacques Lecoq, among others. Grotowski’s term ‘Poor Theatre’ is a crucial starting point for the module, and we explore how a performer might be prepared for a performance style that focuses so fully on the performer’s body in space, and the demands that come with that style. Eugenio Barba’s ideas about ‘pre-expressivity’ and the study of performer training across different cultures and disciplines are also important.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN681 - Novelty, Enlightenment and Emancipation: 18th Century Literature (30 credits)

Before 1660 there was no English novel, and by the end of the eighteenth century there was Jane Austen. This module asks how such a literary revolution was possible. It investigates the rise of professional authorship in an increasingly open marketplace for books. With commercial expansion came experiment and novelty. Genres unheard of in the Renaissance emerged for the first time: they include the periodical essay, autobiography, the oriental tale, amatory fiction, slave narratives and, most remarkably, the modern novel. Ancient modes such as satire, pastoral and romance underwent surprising transformations. Many eighteenth-century men and women felt that they lived in an age of reason and emancipation – although others warned of enlightenment’s darker aspect. Seminar reading reflects the fact that an increasing number of women, members of the labouring classes, and African slaves wrote for publication; that readers themselves became more socially varied; and that Britain was growing to understand itself as an imperial nation within a shifting global context. It asks students to reflect, as eighteenth-century writers did, upon the literary, cultural and political implications of these developments

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN697 - Chaucer and Late Medieval English Literature (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to a range of writing from the late medieval period. It will focus on a number of central genres in English literature that emerge between the late fourteenth and early sixteenth centuries (from romance, tragedy and fabliaux through to morality plays and devotional prose) and will explore some key topics and themes in medieval literature, such as authority, gender, sexuality, piety, chivalric identity, narrative and voice, truth and destiny. Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales will offer an accessible introduction to these core genres and themes, and initiate students in issues that are pertinent to less familiar writers and texts from the period, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, and The Book of Margery Kempe. During the course of the module you will also learn about the historical and cultural contexts of the fourteenth, fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, and how such contexts influenced the literature of the period.

The themes and theories covered by the course will vary in response to the lecture programme and the emphasis and research specialisms of individual teachers. Previous topics have included: gender and sexuality; authorship and patronage; history of the book; manuscripts and the printed texts; piety and devotion; iconography; social relations; performance cultures; audience, reading and reception; the body, corporeality and experience.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN692 - Early Modern Literature 1500-1700 (30 credits)

This module offers a survey of early modern literature from 1500 to 1700. Looking at a wide range of literature including poetry, prose and drama, students will consider the relationship between literary debate and form on the one hand, and political change, social identity and religious transformation on the other. We will consider how important debates surrounding political, social, gender and religious identity inflect and are reflected in the literature of the period, including works by Baldwin, Donne, Lanyer, Marvell, Milton and Behn. Students will also explore the boundaries of the literary canon, encountering pamphlets, sermons and conduct books, and consider the ways in which literary and non-literary texts both mirror and influence culture and society.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN694 - Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama (30 credits)

The drama of early modern England broke new literary and dramatic ground. This module will focus on key plays across the period, exploring the development of dramatic writing, playing companies’ home within the London theatres, drama’s links to court entertainment and its relationship to the provinces. Dramatic and literary form will be a central preoccupation alongside issues of characterisation, culture, politics and gender. Shakespeare’s work will be put into context in relation to the plays of contemporary dramatists as well as the various cultural, historical and material circumstances that influenced the composition, performance and publication of drama in early modern England.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN695 - Empire, New Nations and Migration (30 credits)

This course will introduce students to the field of postcolonial literature, focusing on the period from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The course will be divided into three consecutive areas: empire and colonisation; the processes of decolonisation; and migration and diaspora. Centred primarily on canonical British colonial texts, the first part of the course will explore issues surrounding language, cosmopolitan encounters, Orientalism, modernism and the genres of imperial fantasy. The texts in the second part of the module will be drawn from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The intention is to allow students to bring these disparate regions and texts into a productive dialogue by reflecting on their common engagement with colonial and liberation discourses, as well as the legacies of partition. The course further aims to sketch a narrative of empire and decolonisation that links these issues to the context of narrating migration in our contemporary postcolonial world, a subject taken up more directly in the final part of the course.



Some brief extracts from critical material on colonial discourse and history, decolonisation, postcoloniality and migration will be considered alongside the primary text each week. Together with a broad primary textual arc that stretches from the British empire to the contemporary metropolis, the course will give students a coherent intellectual narrative with which to explore changing conceptions of culture, history and postcolonial identity across the modern world.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN677 - The Contemporary (30 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of contemporary literature written in English, where ‘contemporary’ is taken to refer to twenty-first century work. It will equip students with critical ideas and theoretical concepts that will help them to understand the literature of their own time. Students will consider examples of a range of genres: poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and the essay. They will also be selectively introduced to key ideas in contemporary theory and philosophy. Over the course of the module, students will be encouraged to read texts in a number of contexts. They will consider writers’ responses to, for instance, questions of migration, environmental change, and financial crisis. They will also consider a range of aesthetic developments and departures, for example: new conceptualism and the claim to unoriginality; the turn to creative non-fiction; the re-emergence of the political essay. The module will not focus on a given national context. Instead it will set contemporary writing against the background of identifiably international issues and concerns. In so doing it will draw attention to non-national publishing strategies and audiences. Overall, the module will aim to show how writers are responding to the present period, how their work illuminates and reflects current cultural concerns. The module will alternate, week by week, between thematic and formal concerns.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN689 - Modernism (30 credits)

This module features key modernist texts, for example the work of Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, H.D., Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Jean Rhys. It also makes substantial reference to key philosophical theories of modernity and textuality. The literary works are taken mostly from a restricted period 1910-1939. Other texts which might form part of the curriculum may include a limited selection of works by F.T. Marinetti, Mina Loy, D.H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Samuel Beckett, Mikhail Bakhtin, Georg Lukács, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno and Jacques Derrida. One focus in the module will be the notion of the artist as applied to the writer as an art-practitioner. Other topics include modes of representation, textuality and identity, the relationship between language and experience, war and democracy, class and politics, notions of exile, cosmopolitanism and bohemianism, sex, morality and city life. This material requires both theoretical and historical orientation, as well as skill in distilling significance from complex literary artefacts with regard to the network of mediations which both bind such works to their apparent context and appear to dislocate them.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN721 - American Modernities: US Literature in the 20th Century (30 credits)

This module is a study of twentieth-century American literature and culture organized conceptually around the idea of modernity. Students will explore the interconnections between modernity in the United States and the literary and philosophical ideas that shaped it (and were shaped by it) from the start of the century to its close. At the core of the module will be a necessary focus on two versions of American modernity, broadly represented by New York and Los Angeles respectively. Novels, works of art and critical texts will be read alongside one another to explore how these major regional hubs of aesthetic and cultural output developed competing conceptions of "modernity", “American culture” and the place of “the urban” in twentieth-century life, with important effects on contemporary perceptions of the USA. Moving beyond a sense of “modernism” as simply an aesthetic challenge to nineteenth-century modes of romanticism and realism, to consider the embeddedness of “modernist” literature within the particularities of its cultural and historical moment, students will be asked to develop a more nuanced approach to critical reading that pays close attention to the role of differing conceptions of modernity in the USA. The rise of mass culture, the L.A. film industry, the importance of Harlem to the history of race, the role of the intellectual, the urban challenges of the automobile, the birth of the modern American magazine, and questions of conservation and “creative destruction” in cities will all be considered through readings of key novels and critical texts from what Time Magazine editor Henry Luce famously called “The American Century”.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN672 - Reading Victorian Literature (30 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to a wide range of Victorian literature. It will equip students with critical ideas that will help them become more skilful and confident readers of texts in and beyond this period. Students will be encouraged to read texts in a number of contexts: environmental (for example, considering the effects of urbanisation and the Industrial Revolution); imaginative (examining a range of genres such as poetry, novel, short story); political (class conflicts, changing gender roles, ideas of nation and empire); and psychological (representations of sexuality, parent-child relationships, madness, dreams). Students will be made aware of concepts such as modernity and will be encouraged to think about various developments of literary form in the period.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN675 - Declaring Independence: 19th Century US Literature (30 credits)

When the Long Island-born poet Walt Whitman proclaimed in 1855 that the “United States” were history’s “greatest poem” he made an important connection between national political culture and literary expression. In some ways this was no exaggeration. As a new experiment in politics and culture, the United States had to be literally written into existence. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s dramatic Declaration of Independence in 1776, followed by the drafting of the Constitution after the Revolutionary War with Britain, the project of shaping the new United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was essentially a literary one.

In this module we will explore how American writers in this period tried in numerous, diverse ways to locate an original literary voice through which to express their newfound independence. At the same time, the module includes the work of writers who had legitimate grievances against the developing character of a new nation that still saw fit to cling to such “Old World” traditions as racialized slavery, class conflict and gender inequality.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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You have the opportunity to select wild modules in this stage


Year abroad

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability. 

All students within the Faculty of Humanities can apply to spend a Term or Year Abroad as part of their degree at one of our partner universities in North America, Asia or Europe. You are expected to adhere to any progression requirements in Stage 1 and Stage 2 to proceed to the Term or Year Abroad. 

The Term or Year abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. Places and destination are subject to availability, language and degree programme. To find out more, please see Go Abroad.

Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

DR664 - Physical Theatre II (30 credits)

The module explores ‘physical theatre’ as a complex and rich term which describes works focusing on the primacy of the body in performance rather than text or character. It will focus on how Physical Theatre practitioners have deployed compositional techniques, and the principals that underlie such work. It differs from Physical Theatre 1 in focussing less on training for performance and much more on composition and different possibilities of structuring Physical Performance, using space, sound, movement, rhythm and the body.

Students will conduct in-depth investigations into the relationship between training and performance and devising techniques and compositional approaches through weekly practical workshops.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR610 - Performing Lives: Theory & Practice of Autobiographical Theatre (30 credits)

This module explores critical and creative approaches to working with real lives in performance. You will examine how auto/biographical material is used and manipulated to construct identity in and through performance. You will question the concept of the 'true story' and explore the ethics and practicalities of using the personal in performance. You will also work creatively to produce a practical project on auto/biographical theatre. In this module you will work with a range of dramatic material and forms, studying, for example, play texts, performance art, verbatim and documentary theatre. You will also engage with a range of theoretical approaches and perspectives.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR619 - Playwriting I: For Beginners (30 credits)

Through weekly lectures, seminars and practical workshop sessions, the course will allow students to write scenes and experience the results and effects of their playwriting as performed by others, in the context of on-going discussions about the practice and characteristics of playwriting and with a strong emphasis on the importance of revision and development of evolving work as mediated by the constructive criticism of group and convenor response.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR629 - Cultural Policies in the British Theatre (30 credits)

The period from 1985 has seen theatre move from a neglected area of government policy, surviving with reducing and standstill investment, through to being recognised as not only a popular art form, but as an element of the glue that creates and binds communities. This ushered in a period of greater intervention by politicians and policy makers from the local to the central government level.



This module will look at the policy and public funding structures for Theatre and Drama, including the formation of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and the Arts Council and its various models of operation since 1947. It will debate the current changes being introduced and the funding environment.



The module draws on external speakers, including artistic directors and managers from theatres and funding experts, to help develop an understanding of the arts funding environment and explore what makes a successful arts funding application. Those taking the module will develop their own creative idea and gain an understanding of how this idea can achieve Arts Council support. The module assesses the ability to deliver a creative idea, including how audiences will be developed and how the project will be financed and managed, to help achieve the Arts Council’s mission of Great art and culture for everyone.



Overall, this module serves to place Theatre and Drama production within the context of who makes policy and how it is formed, while acting as an introduction to arts funding and the application and measurement process.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR636 - The Shakespeare Effect (30 credits)

This module engages with Shakespeare by considering its unique resilience as a body of plays, focus of cultural mythology, and source of inspiration within modern theatrical culture. As well as surveying the Shakespeare work of major practitioners (The RSC, National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe), the module will involve at least two theatre visits, as well as hands-on engagement with performance-making, performance reconstruction, and historical research.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR648 - Applied Theatre (30 credits)

This module offers students the opportunity to understand and apply workshop techniques, planning and management in an Applied Theatre context. Practical work will be based on a theoretical understanding and grounding in the historical and social contexts of Applied Theatre. The module will be structured in 2 distinctive parts:

Part 1:

The first six weeks of the module will introduce and consider the historical development of applied theatre, current debate, methodologies and case studies within the field. This stage of the module will include a range of lectures, seminar discussions, and exploratory/task based workshops

Part 2:

The second stage of the module will focus on developing the practical skills to include project planning, management, workshop and facilitation skills. During this stage students will work in groups within a community context and culminating in a workshop that they will lead with a designated client group in the final weeks of term. Each group will present plans and be expected to evidence these in the form of a company profile. Students will be required to reflect and evaluate the process through a written piece of work focussing on a particular area of research related to the workshop (3,500-4,000 words).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR659 - Performing Classical Texts (30 credits)

The aim of this 12 week course is to introduce students to the specific acting challenges presented by the classical texts and his contemporaries and to facilitate, through practice, an in depth examination of proven analytical and practical approaches to these challenges. Instruction in the analysis of language structure and verse forms, verse structure, style, metre, imagery and language texture forms a key component to this course.

Through a classical repertoire, the student will be taught a systematic analysis of verse structure which, they will learn, is an integral part of an actor’s development. This work on unambiguous structural matters will enable the student actor to articulate experience in time, avoiding the risk of leaving performance at the level of the pursuit of feeling and expression. Focus will also be placed on how this analysis can direct the performer, facilitating discovery in both action and character.

The course will also create an awareness of the vocal, physical and emotional demands placed on the performer when working with these plays and through practice, promote knowledge of how the actor’s instrument can meet these demands.

The module will run in two parts with weeks one to four focusing on the demands of the verse monologue and its performing challenges, culminating in a solo performance assessment. The remaining weeks (6 – 11), will explore performance text analysis when working with group scenes and how this analysis can direct the performer. The course will close in week 12 with assessed practical scene performances taken from classical texts accompanied by a written scene analysis for later submission.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR592 - New Directions (30 credits)

This module engages with a diversity of approaches to theatre directing through a series of workshops, lectures, seminars, videos, and practical experiments. The module opens with a programme of lectures and exercises that explore the relations between directing and performance, design, writing and composition. This culminates in an assessed group project to be performed in which students will engage with and interrogate directing as practice. The module continues with a series of theme based workshops on such topics as 'interrogating the classics', 'directing vs devising' and 'directing with new technologies'. Practitioners studied will vary each year but an indicative list might include Augusto Boal, Tim Etchells, Robert Lepage, Katie Mitchell, Ariane Mnouchkine, Frank Castorf, Romeo Castelluci and Robert Wilson. The module will consider directing in relations to live art and new performance and will explore issues of gender, race, culture and sexuality within the practice of directing. In terms of its content, delivery and assessment, this module is designed to be innovative, collaborative and student-centered.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR548 - Theatre & Journalism (30 credits)

The aims of this module are to allow students the opportunity to extend their knowledge of theatre by encounters with contemporary performance as a live, time-based experience rather than as the experience of reading/text, and to enable them to develop the skills of analysis and journalistic writing about live performance. The module introduces students to contextual knowledge on contemporary theatre and performance journalism in the UK, including aspects of editing and copyediting. It develops analytical and writing skills while considering the role of the critic, the demands of theatre reviewing as a craft and the basics of journalism in general. Where possible, sessions will be conducted by professional theatre critics. The module trains students on how to make formal presentations, write reviews and features, copyedit/subedit their own or other people’s work, pitch to an editor, and tailor one’s writing style according to different readerships and publications. Each seminar group will work towards the publication of a blog, in which coursework will be published.



The central part of the module is focused around 5 or 6 visits to live performances. At least two of these will be visits to theatres in London, and the visits will cover a range of different types of international as well as national contemporary performance. Students must expect to pay up to £60 for the cost of theatre tickets, plus around £15 for each return journey to London. In total, including tickets and transport, this module will cost students around £90. Before or after each visit students will undertake relevant research, and write a review of the performance. This process of research and writing will focus the thoughts for the group discussion of the performance in the seminars. Students will then develop a feature idea and pursue it through research and several writing drafts.



There will be a strong emphasis in this module on developing writing and verbal skills in order to articulate the experience of live performance through effective theatre criticism. In particular it is aimed to develop students’ skills in public speaking about performance [in seminar debates and in the professional-standard presentation students will give in class], and their ability to write lucidly and stylishly about performance in theatre reviews and in an independently research article suitable for publication in a good quality broadsheet or theatre journal.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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ART500 - Independent Project (30 credits)

Students who wish to take the module must approach a permanent academic member of staff with a proposal, typically in advance of module registration, during the Spring term of the previous year. Students pick a research topic of their choice; however, students are only allowed to register for the module with the permission of a staff member who has agreed to supervise the project, and who has the expertise to do so. Potential supervisors must also ensure before they agree to supervise a project that the resources required to complete the project will be available to the student, and that adequate supervisory support will be available to the student throughout their study on the module.



Students will be supported in the preparation and submission of their work by their supervisor, although a central expectation of the module is that students will take increasing responsibility for their learning, consistent with expectations of H-level study.



On application, students may take this 30 Credit Year Long module. Admission is subject to approval of a project proposal. Proposals must be submitted to the Module Convenor, Prof. Nicola Shaughnessy (N.Shaughnessy@kent.ac.uk) by 10/04/2016. Within your proposal you must state a preferred supervisor. The proposal form can be downloaded from the School of Arts website, see http://www.kent.ac.uk/arts/current-students/undergraduates.html and click on module availability. Alternatively you can request a copy at Jarman Reception. The Module Convenor will contact you in the summer term to confirm whether your proposal has been accepted. Students wanting to change into ART500 at a later stage may do so but should contact the Module Convenor and submit a proposal at the earliest opportunity. Proposals will not be accepted after 19 June 2016. For more information please speak to the Module Convenor at the School Fair.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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ART501 - Arts Internship (30 credits)

The student(s) engage in a work-based situation of their choice [the student will be responsible finding the work-based situation though support from the School and CES will be available] which bears relevance to their subject of study or a career they expect to pursue upon graduation. The total of 300 hours will be divided as required for purposes of preparation, attendance of work placement and reflection/completion of required assessment.

Issues covered by the course include:

• Work based systems: Nature of organisation; organisational structure; type of work, work practices and procedures, induction, health & safety, training, quality assurance; communication channels and systems

• Performance of professional activity: identification of professional activities, selecting formulating schedule and action plan, perform activities, health & safety, training requirements, support and supervision.

• Potential Improvements: new technology and new/changed work practices or system. Suggestions and evaluation of effects

• Portfolio: methods of gathering, analysing and recording evidence, types of evidence, witness statements, diaries, internal and external correspondence, observed performance; referencing systems; presentation written and verbal

• Self-Presentation: methods of ensuring an effective presentation of personal research, relevant professional skills, communication skills, confidence etc.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR675 - Theatre and War (30 credits)

The primary aim of the module is to introduce students to the principles and practices of theatre history, and therefore in order to make best use of the staff team’s research specialisms, the historical focus of the curriculum will vary. The module offers not only a study of dramatic texts and other forms of documentation from the period in question but also a detailed exploration of the societal conditions and theatrical realities of its time, and its engagement with the conditions of modernity, allowing for an understanding of theatre as an artistic product of a particular culture.



This module introduces you to a fascinating area of theatre largely ignored by historians and theatre practitioners: the theatre of the First World War (1914-1918). Over the course of the module as well as studying and practically exploring plays of and about WW1, you will examine the social, theatrical, and political context of the war. Throughout you will be exploring the different answers to the question 'How does the theatre respond to the First World War?'. As part of this we might explore the different ways in which plays represented the trenches for people at home and soldiers who had experienced the real thing; the ways that theatre cultivated a spy hysteria at the start of the war; and the different techniques that playwrights used to criticise the war without being banned. In exploring these topics, throughout the module you will undertake a variety of research and performance tasks and will have a chance to work with a diversity of archival sources in exploring these long-forgotten theatrical works. This work will all lead towards a final group performance workshop in which you will present your findings from your research.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR676 - Introduction to Stand Up (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to practical and theoretical aspects of stand-up comedy. Initially, they will analyse the work of individual comedians, exploring such issues as comic theory, traditions of stand-up, and historical context. Later, they will work on creating their own short stand-up acts, generating original material and developing key performance skills such as developing persona, working an audience, improvisation, and characterisation.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR678 - Creative Project (30 credits)

The module will offer students the chance to work on an independent creative project of their own devising, which will be a culmination of practical elements of their degree programme. Performance, workshop, design, stagecraft, producing or other creative skills encountered in earlier modules will be developed, extended and explored in autonomous work, which will be supported by regular group supervision sessions. Projects will also involve research which will contextualise the practical elements.



Three is the minimum number of students that may be involved in a project, and no project involving fewer than three will be accepted.



Supervision will take place in timetabled teaching slots, in which students involved in several projects will be supervised together. Typically, the number of students involved in a timetabled supervision session will be 15-18 (like a seminar group). Practical outcomes might take the form of performances, workshops or public interventions; some projects might culminate in one big practical outcome, whereas others will involve a series of smaller events.



The practical elements will be supplemented by a portfolio which will document the creative process. Typically, this will collect contextual research, include analytical reflection and may include audio and/or video material, photographs, drawings, etc.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR683 - Theatre and Ideas (30 credits)

This module will ask students to critically engage with fundamental questions about theatre, such as 'what is performance?', 'who decides what a performance means?', 'why do we care about the fates of fictional characters?', 'why do we enjoy watching tragic events on stage?', 'what ethical questions does performance raise?', 'can performance be a kind of philosophy?'.

After writing an essay focussing on one of these questions, the class will then turn its attention to a specific performance text and the various conceptual and philosophical questions that arise from it. Once they have engaged with a range of theoretical perspectives on the text the course will culminate in an assessed presentation where the students propose a production which engages with these issues.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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DR686 - Musical Theatre Dance 2 (30 credits)

Students will explore the historical and cultural contexts of mainstream 20th century musical theatre/jazz dance by engaging with the aesthetic, technical and stylistic specifics of seminal choreographers such as Jack Cole and Bob Fosse. Learning will be organised around and oriented toward demonstrated understanding of the influences on influential figures and on jazz and musical theatre dance at large of different dance cultures and styles (Indian, African and Latin dance) and the genres of ballet, modern dance, social dance, cabaret, and burlesque theatre. This understanding will be demonstrated through students' creation of dance choreographies in the style of choreographers covered within the module, contingent on skill level.

The module differs from Introduction to Musical Theatre Dance (DR684) in its focus on the development of enhanced dance technique and style and in its creative element of composition.



Weekly workshop sessions will include a comprehensive isolation-based musical theatre/jazz warm-up, followed by movement studies focused in depth on the technique and style of the choreographer(s) covered. In addition, students will view filmed musical theatre dance numbers and present critical analyses of these, as well as of assigned readings, in small groups during seminar classes. Viewing or attendance of two full-length musical performances (at least one live) will also be required; provision for zero-cost options will be offered. These tasks will lead towards the composition and performance of student choreographies in small groups and a reflective research essay detailing the process through which the choreography was developed.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN676 - Cross-Cultural Coming-of-Age Narratives (30 credits)

If the Bildungsroman has been criticised for being outmoded and conservative, how do contemporary writers interrogate and expand its scope and importance? Are coming-of-age narratives merely private stories or can they be read in ways which highlight their social functions, and what kind of theoretical, aesthetic and cultural perspectives can we apply to scrutinise these functions? This module will bring together a range of texts and films from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that can be read within and against the literary tradition of the Bildungsroman or the coming-of-age narrative. Drawing on material from the US, the Caribbean, Asia and Europe, we will spend time analysing the representation of the coming-of-age experience in terms of content and form and assess the ideological functions of the Bildungsroman in a cross-cultural context. Particular attention will be given to questions of racial and ethnic identity, migration, colonialism, memory, trauma, belonging and sexuality. We will also explore the connection of the Bildungsroman with genres such as autobiography, memoir, young adult fiction, travel narrative, graphic novel, and film.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN684 - Clouds, Waves & Crows: Writing the Natural, 1800 to the Present (30 credits)

This module will look at a variety of texts, in a variety of forms, from the early nineteenth century to the present. The poems, essays, novels, films, paintings and autobiographies all engage with and question our relationship to the world around us. They sometimes look at nature, but more often ask what it is, what do we use it for, what is our relationship to it, what does it mean for us, what do we make it mean and to what ends, or what is the role that language plays in creating or representing our role in the world? Moreover, while nature may be seen to be something ‘out there’ the module seeks to ask how it is connected to our understanding of identity, history, or sexuality.

The module is not arranged around primary creative texts, and their theoretical accompaniments, but has a more ecological approach to the idea of the creative/critical boundary which means that some weeks’ core texts may be theoretical ones (such as John Gray’s Straw Dogs). This approach is reflected in the modes of assessment where students are invited to produce either two essays, or one traditionally critical one, and one work of creative non-fiction that may encompass aspects of memoir, poetry, psychogeography or philosophy.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN702 - Thomas Hardy (30 credits)

This module will explore the range of Hardy's work including his novels, some short fiction poetry, prose, and autobiography, in the light of specifically nineteenth-century concerns such as the emergence of modernity, the impact of science, the beginnings of modernism, and the shift from the rural to the urban. Themes to be explored will include Hardy’s changing position as an author throughout his career; his development of forms of narrative; his views on history and philosophy; the representation of class; anxieties about social, cultural and economic change; the status of the human and the animal; his interest in evolutionary theory and its widespread effect; and finally, his career and position as a twentieth-century poet.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN703 - The 'Real' America: Class and Culture in the American Gilded Age (30 credits)

What is at stake when artists and writers decide to take the "real world" as the subject of their art? In the later nineteenth century, to depict "reality" in fiction and art became a radical act of social protest and critique. In an endeavour to locate the "truth" behind American society, realists moved well beyond pre-existing societal norms to investigate the squalid living conditions of immigrants in the New York slums, participate in Native American religious ceremonies, and probe the psychosexual neuroses of the middle classes. This module explores the American "ideology of realism" (Michael Elliot) in the late nineteenth- and early- twentieth centuries as expressed in a variety of forms and genres, including: the novel, painting, anthropology and photography. We will discuss the reasons behind the emergence of realism in the later nineteenth century, how it interacted with the new "mass culture", whether it critiqued or reinforced dominant racial, sexual, ethnic and class-based prejudices, and, finally, why it declined in the twentieth century as the favoured aesthetic of the American avant-garde. On this module we will move far beyond seeing realism as merely a tame, neutral artistic style to investigate how it pointed to a radical “way of seeing” the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century world. The module includes only 3 longer works (Wharton, Howells, and Twain).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN704 - Discord and Devotion: Society & Spirituality in Middle English Literatu (30 credits)

This module will introduce students to late-medieval models of social order and, against these official representations, explore how established concepts of identity and social status were debated, destabilized and renegotiated. Through analysing texts such as William Langland’s Piers Plowman, the letters of John Ball, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, selected lyrics and a variety of historiographical texts, the course will investigate the ways in which attempts to control social movement were challenged and contested. In a period in which traditional feudal social structures were being supplanted by an emergent proto-capitalist economy, the lower orders were demanding a new political platform and English literature reveals both social aspirations and reactionary anxieties.

In parallel with the political tumult, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries also saw a rise in non-official, heterodox forms of spirituality, licensing individual devotional practices that similarly challenged the perceived hegemony of the Church. Investigating works of affective devotion, like The Book of Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, and a variety of religious lyrics and plays, in addition to Wycliffite and Lollard sermons, the module will uncover the growing popularity of devotional forms predicated upon a personal relationship with and experience of the divine. These practices (like their political counterparts) decentred spiritual authority and reveal a theological ambition which problematised orthodox religion in multiple ways.

Within these reimagined visions of social and religious structures are the seeds of new ideas that would shape the future of the English nation; in such visions the common man gains power and authority, women are empowered as spiritual leaders, and the authority of Church and State is subject to lay criticism and intervention.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN706 - The Love Poem, from Thomas Wyatt to Charli XCX (30 credits)

The Love Poem will tell a history of English poetry through the lens of its most important and singular genre. Students will interrogate the characteristics of modern poetry itself through an investigation of love, desire, gender and intimacy as they have been articulated through the changing lyrical tradition of the language. The module will examine key canonical writers from the beginnings of the English lyric, including Thomas Wyatt and William Shakespeare, through complications in metaphysical poetry, the ballad and Romanticism, up to present day representations of homosexual love, popular song and avant-garde expression. Poets will be studied alongside theorists such as Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes and Judith Butler, exploring the possible ways in which poetry can be said to challenge dominant modes of love, interact with their social environment through love poetry, and investigate, express and explain the experiences of attraction, attachment and loss.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN708 - Virginia Woolf (30 credits)

This module examines the development of Virginia Woolf's writing across the span of her life. It explores Woolf’s most important modernist texts alongside some of her lesser-known writings, and considers a range of literary forms she wrote in (novels, essays, short stories, auto/biography). As well as paying close attention to the distinct style of modernist literature, there will be consideration of various historical, cultural, philosophical, political and artistic contexts that influenced, and were influenced by, Woolf’s writing. Students will be introduced to the key critical debates on Woolf, featuring discussion of topics as diverse as feminism, visual art, the everyday, war, sexuality, gender, class, empire, science, nature and animality. With Woolf as its central focus, this module therefore seeks to understand the lasting significance of modernist literature.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN709 - Animals, Humans, Writing (30 credits)

What is the relationship between ‘animal’ and ‘human’, and how is this explored through writing? This module seeks to examine creaturely relations by focusing on literature from the 18th century up to the present, alongside key theoretical and contextual material that engages with questions concerning animality and humanity. We will focus on how writers imagine distinct animal worlds as well as how they understand the role of animals in human cultures. A range of novels, short stories and poems will raise questions about how we look at, think with, and try to give voice to animals, and topics covered will include ‘Becoming Animal’, ‘Listening to Animals’, ‘Animal Experiments' and ‘Tasting Animals’. Students taking this module will gain a firm grounding in the diverse critical field known as ‘animal studies’, whilst also considering the broader cultural, philosophical and ethical implications of how we think about the relationship between humans and animals.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN713 - The New Woman: 1880-1920 (30 credits)

The New Woman, a controversial figure who became prominent in British literature in the late nineteenth century, challenged traditional views of femininity and represented a more radical understanding of women's nature and role in society. She was associated with a range of unconventional behaviour – from smoking and bicycle-riding to sexuality outside marriage and political activism. This module will examine some of the key literary texts identified with the New Woman phenomenon including women's journalism in the period. The module's reading will be organised around central thematic concerns such as: sexuality and motherhood; suffrage and politics; career and creativity. We will consider to what extent the New Woman was a media construction or whether the term reflected the lives of progressive women in the period. This module will also examine how the New Woman became a global phenomenon, beginning with the plays of Henrik Ibsen, before spreading to literature produced around the world by writers from Britain (eg Amy Levy, Evelyn Sharp) America (Charlotte Perkins Gilman), Australia (George Egerton), and New Zealand (Katherine Mansfield). The module will also consider the legacy of the New Woman into the early modernist period, through studying Virginia Woolf’s novel that depicts the suffrage movement, Night and Day.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN714 - Utopia: Philosophy and Literature (30 credits)

The module examines some key texts in the theory and literary presentation of utopia. In the first part of the module we will examine classic early utopian texts (Plato, More) and will set these in the context of the modern theory of historical progress (Hegel) the failure of that progress to materialise (Agamben) and the nature of hope for the future (Bloch). In the second part of the module, we will examine modern classics which look at the failure of the communist utopia (Zamyatin, Huxley, Orwell) and at later texts which revived the genre of utopia (LeGuin, Atwood).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN716 - Marxism, Literature and Culture (30 credits)

This module offers students a synoptic perspective on Marxist cultural criticism from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day in Europe, Russia and North America. It begins with an analysis of a selection from Marx’s own writings, with the aim of introducing key terms, such as “alienation,” “ideology,” and “dialectic.” Students’ understanding of these terms and their critical uses for literary and cultural studies will develop during the course of the module, as they encounter a range of important Marxist thinkers and their writings.



Throughout the module students will be invited to interrogate and transgress the boundaries separating literary from critical texts, and theory from practice. They will be invited to consider creative practice and Marxist criticism in dialogue with one another at particular historical moments. Although anchored in the literary and the textual, the module will also offer opportunities to think critically about the term “culture” itself in its broadest senses, encompassing a range of aesthetic and social practices, such as sport and music. Progressing through the great class conflicts of the early twentieth century, the Frankfurt School, New Left and anti-racist decolonization movements of the postwar period, up to the contemporary neoliberal moment, the module aims finally to offer students a set of tools with which to understand their own cultural encounters in the present as well as to reconfigure and re-evaluate the cultural knowledge they have accumulated in stages one and two of their degree programmes.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN717 - The Graphic Novel (30 credits)

This module focuses on the exploration of the graphic novel as a visual and literary medium. The module will interpret the term ‘graphic novel’ broadly, and incorporate discussions of comic books, political cartoons, as well as film and television adaptations as a part of its curriculum. The module will begin with an examination of the more mature aesthetic that became increasingly popular for graphic novels during the late 1980s, and examine how these developments have continued to evolve to the present day. Strong emphasis will be placed on readings informed by sociological and political discourses. Students will be encouraged to relate their close analysis of texts to topics such as the distinctions between art and popular culture, and the connections between literary and social history, as well as contemporary concerns such as identity politics, neo-liberal capitalism, protest, and anarchy. As such, the module will demonstrate how the study of graphic novels directly relates to several key concerns in the study of undergraduate English.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN580 - Charles Dickens and Victorian England (30 credits)

The module will take a chronological, developmental path through Dickens’s career, including 'The Old Curiosity Shop', 'David Copperfield', 'Bleak House', 'Great Expectations' and 'A Christmas Carol'. Particular topics to be highlighted will include: changing views of childhood and the family; the city and Victorian modernity; gender and class; genre, narrative form and the narrator.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN583 - Postcolonial Writing (30 credits)

The module raises your awareness of contemporary issues in postcolonial writing, and the debates around them. This includes a selection of important postcolonial texts (which often happen to be major contemporary writing in English) and studies their narrative practice and their reading of contemporary culture. It focuses on issues such as the construction of historical narratives of nation, on identity and gender in the aftermath of globalisation and 'diaspora', and on the problems associated with creating a discourse about these texts.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN588 - Innovation and Experiment in New York, 1945-2015 (30 credits)

The module is structured around poetry and fiction produced in New York since the war. The emphasis is primarily upon New York's experimental and avant-garde traditions, and one organising principle is the inter-connectedness of the arts in New York. The module introduces students to some of the main areas of culture in the city, from the New York school of poetry through Abstract Expressionism, early Punk and on to post-modern fiction. Writers to be studied will include John Cage, William Burroughs, John Ashbery and Paul Auster.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN604 - The Unknown: Reading and Writing (30 credits)

The Unknown asks you to think creatively and analytically and to learn by a combination of careful reading and experimental writing. You will be able to use the skills of critical analysis and close reading developed elsewhere in your degree in new ways and to take a fresh look at the study of literature. The course draws on the ideas writers have about writing, as well as on psychoanalysis, literary theory, fiction, poetry, drama and film. It asks you to think deeply about how, and why, you read and write.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN623 - Native American Literature (30 credits)

The module focuses on the literary production of North America’s indigenous peoples, drawing on the historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts of one tribe, the Anishinaabeg, or Ojibwe. Students will be encouraged to explore aesthetic and intellectual developments in Native literature and theory; to examine the nature of indigenous status in relation to both North America and the wider world; and to draw on their understanding of canonical literature and literary theory to isolate points of intersection and divergence between Native American and American literatures. We will cover a wide range of literary forms, from transcriptions of oral traditions, through autobiography, to the postmodern novel; and scrutinize and employ a number of strategies of reading the unfamiliar, from ethnological discourse to tribal literary nationalism.



The relationship between Native American literature and art will be a key feature of lecture/workshop discussion and, where appropriate, film screenings will be offered.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN633 - Bodies of Evidence: Reading The Body In Eighteenth Century Literature (30 credits)

This module explores the eighteenth-century fascination with bodies and the truths (or lies) bodies were supposed to reveal. The course focuses on the ways in which the body is read and constructed in eighteenth-century literature and how these readings and constructions reflect various concerns about class, race, gender and sexuality. Through the course of this module we will examine a range of literary representations of the body which seek both to control the body and to celebrate its destructive potential. We will read texts from a variety of genres, including medical literature, misogynist satire, sentimental novels, popular fiction, travel writing and pornography alongside recent critical work by Thomas Lacqueur, Michel Foucault, Roy Porter, Stallybrass and White, which illuminate the ideological stakes writers played for when writing about the body. Topics for discussion will include disability and deformity, race, the sentimental body, dress and the body, the body as a text and the relationship between the body and the body politic. The primary focus of this option will be literature, but we will also examine visual representations of the body in caricature and satire as well as in the portraiture.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN655 - Places and Journeys (30 credits)

This module explores places and journeys shaped by key modern historical processes: migration, travel, immigration, dispossession, colonial conquest, and post-colonial independence. From immigrant arrival and dislocation to national journeys and political fantasy, the course explores connections between journeys, locations, and literary production. The main objective is to think about places and journeys as sites and processes of negotiation and contradiction, convergence and discord, clash and reconciliation. Specific locations include: London, East Africa, and the Caribbean. Writers and texts include: Merle Collins (Angel), Naguib Mahfouz (Cairo Modern), Jean Rhys (Voyage in the Dark), and Sam Selvon (The Lonely Londoners).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN657 - The Brontes in Context (30 credits)

While the so-called ‘Brontë myth’ remains potent in popular culture today, the lives-and-works model associated with it continues to encourage readers to seek partially concealed Brontë sisters in their fictions. Beginning and ending with the problematic of mythmaking – its origins in Gaskell’s 'Life of Charlotte Brontë' and its subsequent perpetuation in film and other rewritings - this module will restore attention to the rich literary contribution made by the sisters through an intensive focus on their novels and selected poetry in the context of Victorian debates about gender and the woman question. Situating the Brontë myth in relation to other forms of mythmaking in the period (for example, ideologies of class, gender and empire), it will consider a small selection of film adaptations and go on to examine the Brontës’s experiments with narrative voice and form, their variations upon the novel of education, the tensions between romance and realism in their writing and their engagement with religious and philosophical questions as well with the political, economic and social conditions of women in mid-Victorian culture. We will also consider a range of modern creative and critical engagements with the Brontës' literary works..

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN658 - American Crime Fiction (30 credits)

This module explores the history and practice of crime fiction in the United States, from the detective stories of Edgar Allan Poe in the 1840s through the evolution of hardboiled narratives in the early and mid-twentieth century, and on into the 21st century novel. Attention is also paid to developments in film and television which parallel those in fiction, such as the birth of film noir and the contemporary cop series. During the course of the term, our readings of crime fiction will be supported by critical and theoretical texts by Franco Moretti, Tzvetan Todorov and others. Topics we will address include the relationship between high and low culture, how and why genres evolve, and the ways in which crime fiction addresses questions of race and gender

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN659 - Contemporary Irish Writing (30 credits)

This module will consider a broad variety of Irish writing from about the 1970s to the present, sampling significant developments in poetry, drama and prose. Seminar discussion will focus on recurrent issues addressed in the texts selected for study, such as history, cultural memory, violence and society, queer sexualities and gender relations, national and cultural identities, and the negotiation of what the historian Roy Foster has called the ‘varieties of Irishness’.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN660 - Writing Lives in Early Modern England: Diaries, Letters and Secret Selv (30 credits)

Who wrote about their lives while Shakespeare was writing his plays and Queen Elizabeth was on the throne? Why did they do it, how and by whom did they intend their writing to be read, and what sort of things did they think were interesting about their lives? This module introduces you to the variety of sources available for exploring early modern life writing. Studying better- against less well-known texts (e.g. Anne Clifford’s Diary and Shakespeare’s plays; early modern wills, letters and recipe books), and literary works alongside more pragmatic writings, the module will offer you an opportunity to investigate the private thoughts of the men and women of this crucial period of English history. Writing Lives is for anyone who has ever thought, even briefly, about keeping a diary – it encourages you to consider big questions like the nature of writing; the status of individuality; the forms which identity might take; but also stranger questions such as how the way you wrote a letter might have related to Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ speech.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN661 - The Stranger (30 credits)

This module takes the figure of ‘the stranger’ as a starting point for exploring the different ideas and contexts of belonging that have shaped the novel over the last century. Contexts will include modernity and the Holocaust, race and gender in modern America, and contemporary fictions of exile and encounter. Among the writers considered will be Joseph Conrad, Toni Morrison, and J M Coetzee. The course will also draw on a variety of twentieth-century cultural, social and psychological conceptions of belonging, from the work of Sigmund Freud through to the more recent ideas of Homi Bhabha, Stuart Hall and Zygmunt Bauman.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN667 - Harlem to Hogan's Alley: Black Writing in North America (30 credits)

This module will bring together works of poetry and fiction by a number of black writers in the USA and Canada in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. With a particular emphasis on migration, music, and urban space, we will explore the intellectual, political, and aesthetic imperatives that drive these writers to address questions of race, ethnicity, gender, belonging, representation, poverty, privilege, and trauma.

Beginning in Harlem in the 1920s, the moment when “the Negro was in vogue”, students will examine the ways in which black Americans and Canadians have sought to make their impact on the literary landscape, by turns exposing and employing the power structures of the dominant culture. This comparative look at US and Canadian literatures, however, also challenges students to scrutinize the construction of literary and other categories, and to consider the commonality and distinctive difference between black experience north and south of the 49th parallel.

Lectures/workshops will emphasise discussion of key moments and movements in African American / African Canadian arts; the significance of linguistic distinctiveness; the cultural self-categorisation of black, African American, Africadian and Halfrican identities; and the rise of African American literary theory.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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EN669 - Marriage, Desire and Divorce in Early Modern Literature (30 credits)

This module focuses on the theory and practice of marriage and divorce in early modern England and its treatment in the literature of the period. Examining a wide range of texts (drama, poetry, prose works and domestic handbooks alongside documentary sources such as wills, legal records and letters), it will explore the ways in which representations of marriage and its breakdown both reflected and informed the roles of men and women in early modern society. The relationships between discourses about gender, politics and the historical evidence about men and women's married lives in the period will be explored both through reading in the extensive secondary literature of gender, women's history and masculinity as well as through the study of primary sources such as wills, court records, advice books, popular literature (ballads and pamphlets, for example), literary texts (poems, plays and tracts), diaries and personal memoirs and material objects such as wedding rings and scold’s bridles, for example. From Shakespeare and Fletcher's dramas of happy and unhappy marriage and Spenser's poetry of marital bliss, to argument surrounding men and women's roles in marriage in the poetry and pamphlets of Milton and his contemporaries, we will also go in search of the personal accounts of women and men's experiences of marriage and its breakdown and the material artefacts which are testament to them.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & Assessment

Drama

Teaching is through workshops, seminars, lectures and practical projects. Drama and Theatre modules are continuously assessed based on coursework, projects and presentations, performances, essays and dissertations.

English and American Literature

Modules are taught by weekly seminars. Core modules include a weekly lecture, plus individual supervision is offered for the Long Essay. Assessment at Stage 1 is by a mixture of coursework and examination. Some modules may include an optional practical element.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • produce independent, motivated graduates with a base of knowledge and analytical competence in drama and theatre who are equipped to meet the needs of, and to contribute creatively to the theatre and associated media and professions
  • develop critical judgement and the skills and competencies of self-management and personal organisation to enable graduates to respond positively to the challenges of further study or training, and employment in career destinations including professional theatre, the arts and cultural industries, applied arts, community and education work, academia, and the media
  • enhance the learning experience of our students through the use of a range of teaching and assessment methods which reflect and respond to the values and diversity inherent in drama and theatre studies
  • produce graduates of value to the region and the nation, in possession of key skills, who have been enabled to develop their capacity to learn, and are prepared for employment or further study
  • provide teaching that is informed by research and current developments in the drama and theatre as well as theatre practice and the arts
  • offer an education in drama and theatre studies that provides a broad grounding in the subject in the early stages of study, becoming increasingly specialist in the later stages
  • provide students with some creative competence and understanding grounded in and preparing for professional practice
  • offer an education which provides a range of historical, conceptual and practical approaches to drama and theatre studies, introducing key practitioners, practices, and discourses, along with some practical skills required for making performance.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • key practitioners, practices and theorists of performance, which may include writers, critics, directors, actors, artists, designers, and producers
  • historical and contemporary contexts of the production and reception of performance
  • the relationship of performance (its making and reception) to its material, cultural and historical context
  • histories, forms and traditions of performance (and other disciplines contributing to performance), and theoretical explanations of their impact
  • traditional and contemporary critical perspectives on performance, and of relevant theories, issues and debates informing performance and the academic subject
  • the interplay between theory and practice
  • the processes and components by which performance, or elements of performance, are created, realised and managed: including the reading of written text and other source material; processes of rehearsal; writing and dramaturgy, devising, directing, design, stage and technical management, and producing
  • the impact of theatre and performance within a range of social, educational and community contexts
  • the reading, analysis, documenting and interpreting of performance
  • the role of the audience: the performance and production skills necessary to communicate with audiences.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • read, understand and engage analytically with a range of texts, performances and other source material
  • research, evaluate, and productively apply information from a number of sources (written, visual, aural) in order to develop and present a coherent understanding of the theory and practice of performance
  • critique performance events and processes, both your own and of others 
  • undertake and manage extended independent and creative research
  • understand processes of creativity and deploy and critique these in their own work
  • record, document and analyse processes of making performance
  • understand and apply appropriate interdisciplinary practices, concepts and skills
  • present coherent arguments, verbally and in writing
  • understand the relationship of performance to a range of critical, historical and cultural frameworks for its production and reception.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • read and evaluate scripts, performance texts, and other theatre documents from a range of critical and practical perspectives
  • envision the performance possibilities of a play text, script and other textual or documentary sources
  • realise performances derived from a range of starting points, including a script, a theoretical position, documentary material, specific location or other stimuli, and to use a range of techniques, structures and working methods to develop those performances
  • engage in the production and performance (and collaborate on the creation of performance) through one or several of: devising, directing, dramaturgy, design, stage management, sound and lighting, performance, production management and administration, and deploy the skills required of these disciplines
  • engage with current debates on theatre arts, productions, cultural policy and funding
  • practise creative, physical and vocal skills for practice-based work, including appropriate warm-up exercises and techniques
  • use technical apparatus and associated resources necessary to realise the demands of production in live and recorded performance safely, efficiently and effectively
  • document performance processes and events
  • engage in research, whether independent, group or practice-based
  • consider theories of spectatorship, developing an awareness of the audience or client group for performance and an ability to respond and adapt to it through flexible means.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • working with others, collaboratively, utilising a variety of team structures and working methods, and understanding group dynamics and handling interpersonal issues
  • developing and pursuing creative projects within specified resource constrains of time, space and/or budget, thus developing problem-solving skills
  • managing workloads to meet deadlines, and sustaining focus for extended periods working on independent creative projects, developing autonomy and self management
  • using information retrieval skills, involving the ability to use information resources and technology, gathering and critically evaluating material
  • applying critical and creative skills in diverse forms of discourse and media
  • identifying health and safety issues and undertake risk assessments
  • negotiating effectively with a variety of agencies (inside and outside the programme) developing interpersonal skills
  • communicating effectively, to a professional standard, coherent arguments and propositions in a variety of media, verbally and in writing, using appropriate communication and presentation technologies
  • undertaking basic design, engineering, construction, and technical work
  • demonstrating numeracy: using scale, simple equations, simple geometry, basic arithmetic, data collection, presentation and analysis
  • reflecting on your own learning and development, identifying strategies for development, exploring strengths and weaknesses and developing, as the programme progresses, autonomy in learning and continuous professional development.

Careers

Drama

The Department has developed partnerships with some of the major players in theatre in the UK including: Battersea Arts Centre, the RSC and The Gate. Selected programmes offer you the opportunity to go on work placements which can lead to future full-time employment, while the range of modules we offer ensures you develop key skills such as planning and organisation, teamworking, adaptability and leadership.

Past graduates have become theatre producers, actors, literary managers, journalists, authors, directors, performers, scriptwriters for television, stand-up comedians, casting agents, event managers, arts administrators, community theatre officers for local councils, drama teachers, and many have gone on to postgraduate study. We also support past students to set up companies and remain in Kent with the Graduate Theatre Scheme.

English and American Literature

Throughout your studies, you learn to think critically and to work independently; your communication skills improve and you learn to express your opinions passionately and persuasively, both in writing and orally. These key transferable skills are essential for graduates as they move into the employment market.

Our graduates have gone into: journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management; or on to further study for postgraduate qualifications.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB including English Literature or English Language and Literature grade B

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 at HL including HL English A1/A2/B at 5/6/6 OR HL English Literature A/English Language and Literature A (or Literature A/Language and Literature A of another country) at HL 5 or SL 6

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised. However, details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.  

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Details of the scholarship for 2017 entry have not yet been finalised. However, for 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page. 

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Read our student profiles

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £13810

As a guide only, UK/EU/International students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay an annual fee of £1,350 to Kent for that year. Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. Please note that for 2017/18 entrants the University will increase the standard year in industry fee for home/EU/international students to £1,350.

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets


The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000