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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ENGL5550M Writing Places and Identities

30 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr José A. Pérez Díez

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

MA Research Project (semester 1 part)

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module explores how literary works engage with notions of space and locations, real and fictitious. We examine a diverse range of texts and genres, canonical and controversial, from across English literary history. Each year, the module focusses on particular geographical locations, charting and critiquing their literary representations. You will gain experience in communicating postgraduate-level academic ideas to both popular and scholarly audiences, and develop an original research idea from proposal to academic paper.


You will gain a deeper and advanced understanding of how place informs and is shaped by literary texts, considering the intersection of places and identities through the lens of authorship, audience, socio-historical context, afterlives, and other facets of literary craft and reception. Through this theme, you will accrue experience in working with texts of different genres and time-periods, working on diverse materials that encourage a breadth of perspectives and creativity in your interpretation. The module encourages the development of relevant information-gathering, analytic and writing skills. The assessments recognise and seek to support academic progression of MA students in the first semester and anticipate the kinds of thinking and skills needed for independent research in the MA Research Project module.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
1. Develop an understanding of diverse literary texts, drawing on theories and frameworks relevant to the module themes of ‘place’ and ‘identity’
2. Apply analytic frameworks to literary texts, testing viability and evaluating usefulness for understanding the module themes.
3. Develop your research skills, formulating, applying, testing and critiquing approaches used in literary studies to understand place and identity
4. Select appropriate communication style and delivery for different audiences.

Skills outcomes
Masters (Taught), Postgraduate Diploma & Postgraduate Certificate students will have had the opportunity to acquire the following abilities as defined in the modules specified for the programme: 
 - the skills necessary to undertake a higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity; 
- evaluating their own achievement and that of others; 
- self direction and effective decision making; 
- independent learning and the ability to work in a way which ensures continuing professional development; 
- to engage critically in the development of professional/disciplinary boundaries and norms. 


This module investigates shifting and complex relationships between literature and geographical place. It covers a broad range of genres, time-periods and authorial voices, ranging across fiction, poetry, drama, non-fictional prose, correspondence, political tracts and religious works.

The approaches to these texts may feature theoretically-informed readings of authorship, audience, creativity and rhetoric, language ideologies, and social justice. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in research visits and excursions.

Teaching methods

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

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Blog post draft – to revise and submit for the summative assessment

Short essay proposal outlining plans for assessment 2, following a pre-set template using academic writing conventions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written Work1000 words blog post25.00
Essay3000 words75.00
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: 13/09/2023 14:32:25


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