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Module QXE-4031:
Post-Medieval Arthur

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Raluca Radulescu

Overall aims and purpose

This module will aim to help students achieve 1. A sophisticated understanding of the concepts and textual discussion of Arthurian myth in the post-medieval period, and of the conditions in which the texts were produced. 2. An informed critical understanding of selected authors and anonymous works. 3. A sophisticated understanding of differing critical approaches to the set post-medieval texts, including issues of authorship and textual transmission.

Course content

This module explores the transformation and adaptation of medieval Arthurian myths and legends in the post-medieval period, from the sixteenth century to the twenty-first. Emphasis will be placed on cultural and linguistic change alongside political uses of the legends in Britain, Ireland and Continental traditions from the Reformation to the nineteenth-century revival and beyond, in modern and contemporary international culture. The effect of the printing press on literary and cultural production will be investigated in relation to religious reform and state formation, articulated in both broad cultural agendas and localised, community interests in preserving the stories of Arthur. Textual traditions will include, but not be limited to, the work of English writers (e.g. Spenser, Dryden and Drayton); non-canonical writers from Welsh and English literary backgrounds; the Romantic revival of bardic culture in the British Isles and Europe; leading figures of the nineteenth-century revival (including Tennyson and Morris, and European traditions, including classical opera); the birth of literary canons across Europe; the modern fantasy genre and modern media. Specialists from English, Welsh and Continental literature, film and media will be involved in teaching and supervision on this module. The module will complement knowledge acquired in semester 1 for postgraduates on the MA in Arthurian Studies, while it will offer students on other programmes (the MA in Medieval Studies, the MA Celts, the MA in English literature and the MA in Creative Writing), who might take it as an optional module, the opportunity to engage with textual traditional from a transhistorical thematic and theoretical perspective.

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 (B) 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 an (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.

  2. consider differing critical 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.

  4. display a mature command of the presentation and referencing skills pertaining to PGT level.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Final Essay 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy


11 x 2 hour seminar, weekly.

Private study

Private study


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.
  • 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

none unless the students wish to own their own copies of the primary texts.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: