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Module QXE-4050:
Material Texts & Editing

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Michael Durrant

Overall aims and purpose

strong textThis module will aim to help students achieve 1. A sophisticated understanding of the concepts and textual discussion of how texts can and should be edited, and of the conditions in which the texts were produced. 2. An informed critical understanding of selected authors and anonymous works and how editorial editions affect the experience of reading a text. 3. A sophisticated understanding of differing editorial approaches to the set texts, including issues of authorship and textual transmission.

Course content

This module will explore the complex inter-relationships between texts and the editorial methods which lead to the production of editions. It will expose students to issues pertaining to textual transmission and authorship from the medieval to the contemporary period and difficulties posed by factors such as anonymity or translation and adaptation, among other. The students will have the opportunity to study the methods employed in the editing of scholarly journals, and of texts from the medieval to the contemporary period, including elements relating to the history of publishing in these periods, with a view to better understanding the influence of the editorial process on the history of textual reception. Manuscript as well as print history will be related to the shaping of the canon of literature, and students will be encouraged to learn about as well as view critically norms practiced and adopted by editors across time.

Assessment Criteria


A Pass (C/50%) 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.


B/60%+: 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.


A/70%+ 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

Learning outcomes

  1. understand and discuss critically the selected course set texts and methods of editing applied to them.

  2. consider differing critical and editorial attitudes to course set texts and be able to reflect this in their writing.

  3. show an awareness of the interrelationships of text, context, authorship and textual transmission.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Essay 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 278

11 x 1-hour seminars weekly, focusing on the analysis of a chronological range of texts from the medieval to the contemporary period.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • 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
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in


Resource implications for students


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: