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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL3012 Modern Literature

20 creditsClass Size: 150


Module manager: Dr Richard Brown

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 or an achieved mark of 56 or above in a Level 1 module in English.

PLEASE NOTE:- This module is restricted to Level 3 students.

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

The modern literature of the first half of the twentieth century included a self-conscious Modernism that consisted in remarkable revolutions in literary form. This was a period of intellectual and social transformations, of political violence and war. The module encourages detailed study of selected texts from each of the first four decades of the century, in poetry, drama and prose fiction. It aims to draw attention to ideas of Modernism in some key critical texts and to invoke cultural discussions of gender and sexuality, questions of the self and of changing national identities. Such relevant contemporary contexts as the World Wars, the crisis of Empires and the Irish Literary Revival may also be discussed.


On completion of this module students should be able to articulate a critical understanding of a range of literary texts and genres produced in British and Irish contexts after 1900, up to the period preceding World War II. The module enables students to gain insights about these texts in terms of their aesthetic character, and in terms of their emerging historical and cultural contexts. This will entail an exploration of revolutionary ideas about the construction of the racial, sexual, gendered and social self, issues of city, nation and empire.

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.


The aim of this core module is to introduce students to the modern literature of the first part of the twentieth century by attention to selected texts across the major literary genres in connection with certain highlighted themes and contexts. English and some Irish early twentieth-century prose fiction, poetry and drama are represented and these works are discussed along with some contemporary critical writings. Works are discussed in relation to certain chosen themes which are supported in lectures and seminars and include various aspects of Modernism and modernity; cities, wars and revolutions; sex, gender and the self.

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

Seminar preparation, reading, essay writing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contribution to seminars.

Unassessed assignment.

Methods of assessment

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

One unassessed essay of approximately 1700 words (including quotations and footnotes) is required, for which the deadline is given in the Undergraduate Student Handbook. This does not form part of the examination for this module, but is a module requirement and MUST be submitted. Students who fail to submit the unassessed essay will be awarded a maximum mark of 40 for the module (a bare Pass).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/04/2008


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