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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL1286 Drama: Reading and Interpretation

20 creditsClass Size: 152

School of English

Module manager: Dr Brett Greatley-Hirsch

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module invites you to think critically about drama as a genre of literature as well as performance, drawing on a range of plays (in English or translation) from different cultures, theatrical traditions and historical periods. By approaching the plays thematically (e.g., the body and gender, place and space, language and voice), you will explore how dramatic texts work on both page and stage, developing skills in close reading and a basic understanding of the mechanics of the theatre -- the relationship between actor and audience, blocking and the layout of the stage, the use of lighting, costuming, props, movement, gesture, and so on.


On completion of this module, students should be able to read plays as works of literature and as blueprints for performance, with an awareness of historical, cultural, and theatrical contexts. Students will have acquired the fundamental critical skills and terminologies required to produce close readings of drama and demonstrate familiarity with a range of critical approaches to dramatic literature, complemented by introductory skills in dramaturgy and theatre practice.

Learning outcomes
Students will develop:
1. their abilities in working towards critically informed theatre analysis;
2. the ability to use written communication effectively;
3. the capacity to analyse and critically examine diverse forms of discourse;
4. apply key strategies for exploring and analysing contemporary theatre practice;
5. the ability to come to creative solutions,
6. the ability to critique and reflect upon performance methods in critical prose.


There will be a close focus on five dramatic texts, which will be introduced individually and examined in relation to their critical, intellectual, historical, linguistic and social contexts. The texts are drawn from a range of cultures and historical periods and demonstrate the cosmopolitan dimension of the development of theatre in English, including important dramatic works in translation. There will be at least two texts chosen from periods before 1900, and the others from the 20th or 21st century.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours70.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to devote 100 hours of private study time to this module, with the following suggested breakdown:
- Reading, preparation and follow-up for lectures, seminars and other sessions: (30x1.5=) 45 hours;
- Preparation for assignments: 55 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly discussion in seminars; scheduled discussion and tutor response to group collaboration in performance and workshop sessions; opportunity to meet tutors during consultation hours; opportunities to develop skills with writing mentors; written feedback on assignment and on essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Assignment1,000 words33.00
Essay2,000 words67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 07/12/2022


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