Critical Theory, Practice and Research
Run by School of Arts, Culture and Language
30.000 Credits or 15.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Andrew Webb
Overall aims and purpose
- to introduce students to key ideas in modern literary and critical theory;
- to introduce students to the complexities of scholarly writing and documentation;
- to introduce students to a range of research methodologies, emphasising the links to practice, the processes involved, and providing information about relevant resources in each area;
- to enable students to develop the research skills appropriate for postgraduate study;
- to encourage students to present complex material in a clear and precise manner
strong textThis module will introduce students to various critical and creative theories and research methodologies relevant to the study, and the production, of literature, film and culture. It will emphasise the links between theory and practice, showing students how to involve theory in practice-based and practice-led research. It will also teach key skills for postgraduate-level assessments. Critical topics may include: reader response theory; genre; gender/queer theory; race; psychoanalytic criticism; cultural memory; materiality; postcolonialism; sociological criticism; ecocriticism; globalisation; Marxist criticism.
50-59% A Pass (C) candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities: • A satisfactory level of knowledge, analysis and expression. • Some familiarity with, and understanding of, relevant theoretical issues. • Generally sound organisation of argument, with some critical ability. • Accurate expression. • Competent use of quotation and references.
60-69% A candidate’s work reaching Merit will show many of the following qualities: • An advanced level of factual knowledge. • Significant [substantial] knowledge of relevant theories and types of analysis. • Some evidence of original thought. • The ability to organise and argue effectively, make balanced judgements, and demonstrate critical thought. • Fluent and accurate expression. • Competent use of quotation and references.
70% and above Typically, the work of a candidate reaching Distinction will show many of the following qualities: • Thorough knowledge and understanding of relevant theories and types of analysis. • Thorough knowledge of a range of sources and the capacity to engage these critically. • Introduction and discussion of original ideas. • Relevant, well-organised and sophisticated argument. • High ratio of analysis to exposition. • Maturity, clarity and cogency of expression. • Excellent handling of quotation and references.
Write lucidly in a form and register appropriate to the task (e.g. in a literary-critical essay, there should be a formal register, and the essay should contain footnotes and a bibliography, using the appropriate reference system).
Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major trends in critical studies, and how these may inform practice, or offer new understanding of texts
Gain a good understanding of research methodologies relevant to the production of literature, film or culture;
Present sophisticated ideas in an appropriate form
Teaching and Learning Strategy
11 x 2-hour weekly seminars.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- Q3AJ: Diploma Creative Writing (English) year 1 (DIP/CWE)
- Q3AC: Diploma English year 1 (DIP/E)
- Q3AK: MA Creative Writing (English) year 1 (MA/CWE)
- Q3AS: MA English Literature year 1 (MA/EL)
- W6AG: MA Film Studies year 1 (MA/FILM)
- W9AE: MRes Creative Practice year 1 (MRES/CP)
- W6AF: MRes Film Studies year 1 (MRES/FILM)
- W6AE: MRes Film and Visual Culture year 1 (MRES/FVC)
- P5AC: MRes Journalism year 1 (MRES/J)
Optional in courses:
- Q2W9: MArts English Literature with Creative Writing year 4 (MARTS/ELCW)
- Q321: MArts English Literature with International Experience year 4 (MARTS/ELIE)
- Q320: MArts English Literature year 4 (MARTS/ELIT)