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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL5345M Reading (with) Psychoanalysis

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Nicholas Ray

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is an introduction to psychoanalytic theory and to its deployment as critical strategy in the reading of cultural texts. We study a range of key ideas developed by the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, as well as by other clinicians and thinkers who followed in his wake. We also seek to illustrate and explore these ideas through interpretative readings of works of literature and film.


This module aims to transmit substantial knowledge of a range of key works of psychoanalytic theory and a range of key ideas and concepts. It aims to help students develop their ability to bring psychoanalytic critical strategies to bear on a range of cultural texts, such as fiction, poetry, and film.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge of a range of key psychoanalytic texts and critically deploy a range of concepts fundamental to the discipline of psychoanalysis.

2. Identify valid and original connections between theoretical concepts and non-theoretical texts

3. Engage psychoanalytic concepts in the close reading of cultural texts

4. Articulate complex ideas about psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic criticism orally

5. Produce effective written work in the area of psychoanalytic theory or psychoanalytic criticism


This module focuses on psychoanalytic theory and on reading creative works from psychoanalytic perspectives. It examines a range of theoretical texts by Freud, and by post-Freudian thinkers in the Continental and British psychoanalytic traditions, and introduces a number of key concepts. It also places these concepts into critical conversation with several creative texts, including works of poetry, fiction and film. Topics addressed on the module may include: subjectivity and the unconscious, psychical defence, desire, fantasy, mourning, and play.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours280.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- Preparatory reading for seminars
- Independent research for assessed essays.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

One 2000-word unassessed essay, mid-semester.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4000 words100.00
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: 16/08/2023 09:45:40


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