Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL1250 Prose: Reading and Interpretation

20 creditsClass Size: 500


Module manager: Dr David Higgins

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

Grade B at A level in English Language or Literature or equivalent.

Module replaces


This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

From William Beckford's fantastical vision of 'the Orient' to the Asian-American communities described by Maxine Hong Kingston, from Virginia Woolf's urban dreamscapes to the repressed violence of Dickens's "Great Expectations", from Henry James's ghosts to Karl Marx's spectres, this module provides you with the opportunity to experience the pleasures, possibilities and challenges of reading, interpreting (and writing) prose. It explores the fundamentals of narrative form, theoretical approaches such as Marxism and psychoanalysis, and topics like race, politics, authorship, and gender difference. Exploring a wide range of genres, it asks what is at stake when writers take prose into the realms of experiment, fantasy, and critique. Taught through a combination of lectures and small group work, it will enable you to understand and engage with what happens when modern writing seeks to represent life in all its complexity, anguish, and beauty.


On completion of this module, students should be able to read prose texts with an awareness of historical context; they will possess the fundamental critical skills and terminologies required to produce close textual readings of both fictional and non-fictional writing and be familiar with range of critical/theoretical approaches to prose and to literature and culture across history more generally.

Learning outcomes
Students will have developed:
- the ability to use written and oral communication effectively;
- the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
- the ability to manage quantities of complex information in a structured and systematic way;
- the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
- critical reasoning;
- research skills, including the retrieval of information, the organisation of material and the evaluation of its importance;
- IT skills;
- efficient time management and organisation skills;
- the ability to learn independently.

Skills outcomes
Skills for effective communication, oral and written.
Capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse.
Ability to acquire quantities of complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.
Capacity for independent thought and judgement.
Critical reasoning.
Research skills, including information retrieval skills, the organisation of material, and the evaluation of its importance.
IT skills.
Time management and organisational skills.
Independent learning.


This module introduces students to number of different kinds of prose texts. It invites an exploration of the mechanics of prose writing-especially the specifics of genre, modes of representation, forms of narrative, fictional and non-fictional registers-while also enabling a critical and conceptual consideration of some of the major issues often raised when reading prose in English. The module proceeds through an enquiry into four related and interlinked areas which are considered important in the reading and study of prose texts, and which are investigated in the following order: Narrative and Form; Representation and Realism; Nationhood; Subjectivity.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

To include preparation and reading for each weekly seminar; additional reading from the indicative reading list; preparation of any unassessd tasks as required.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Seminar contribution
Two assessed essays

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,500 words25.00
Essay1,500 words25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/08/2008


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019