This course will introduce you to the key skills of English Studies, in particular close critical analysis and the use of contextual information.
In this course we shall hone our skills of close critical analysis of prose, poetry, and drama. Through exercises in the analysis of nineteenth- to twenty-first-century narrative fiction as well as poems and plays in English, you will learn how to develop your opinions about literary texts into informed and convincing arguments. You will be introduced to key concepts and movements in literary criticism, and to key terms of the critical idiom. We shall also consider how placing texts in their literary, historical, and cultural contexts can help us to understand them.
Term Starts: 19th April
Week 1: What is literature?
Week 2: Analysing fiction 1: narrative voice and characterisation
Week 3: Analysing fiction 2: dialogue and monologue
Week 4: Figurative language
Week 5: Poetic form 1
Week 6: Poetic form 2
Week 7: Free Verse
Week 8: Drama
Week 9: Using the critical idiom and contextual material
Week 10: A sense of an ending
Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, 5th Edition (Routledge, 2016)
Margaret Ferguson et al. (ed.), The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 5th Edition (Norton, 2005)
Chris Baldick, The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms
Edward Clarke, The Vagabond Spirit of Poetry
If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.
If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.
All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.
There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information.
Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.
Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to do so.
Course Fee: £199.00
Take this course for CATS Points: £10.00
Dr Edward Clarke
Edward Clarke teaches English literature at St Catherine's College and on the Liberal Arts Programme at St Clare’s. His latest book is The Vagabond Spirit of Poetry (Iff Books, 2014) and his work is published in numerous magazines and journals.
To enable students to become more attentive, analytical, and critical readers.
1. To enable participants to gain knowledge of characteristic techniques employed in English literary texts
2. To enable participants to understand the use of contextual information
3. To enhance participants' skills of close critical analysis
Tutor talk followed by discussion; small group work; analyses of extracts provided
By the end of the course students will be expected to:
1. Have confidence in using the critical idiom.
2. Be able to produce effective close critical analyses of literary texts.
3. Have encountered a range of writing in different genres and styles
Formative: oral presentation
Summative: written comparative analysis
Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.
To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.
Level and demands
Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support