Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module QXE-4015:
Literary Theory & Research

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Maureen McCue

Overall aims and purpose

  1. to introduce students to key ideas in modern literary theory;
  2. to introduce students to the complexities of scholarly writing and documentation;
  3. to introduce students to a range of research methodologies, emphasizing the processes involved, and providing information about relevant resources in each area;
  4. to enable students to develop the research skills appropriate for postgraduate study;
  5. to encourage students to present complex material in a clear and precise manner

Course content

This module will introduce students to various literary theories and research methodologies. Topics may include: Scholarly Methodologies I: Creative & Critical Research Processes; Scholarly Methodologies II: Reading, Writing, Editing; Organising Your Text: Notation and Bibliography; The Reader Response Theory; Genre; Gender/Queer Theory; Freud & Psychoanalytic Criticism; Culture & Cultural Memory/Material Culture; Rhetoric; Literature, Post-Colonialism and Globalisation; Marxist Criticism; Writing and Race.

Assessment Criteria


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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Write lucidly in an academic register, to compose footnotes to reference the most common kinds of material referred to in literary-critical essay and to produce a Works Cited, using the MHRA system.

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the major trends in literary studies

  3. Gain a good understanding of literary research methodologies;

  4. Present sophisticated ideas orally and textually.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY PG Essay - 5000 words 90

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 278

11 x 2-hour weekly seminars.


Transferable skills

  • 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: