English Literature and Society

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Angus Wrenn TW3 6.01A


Available as an outside option to all undergraduate and General Course students. Students can take this course in any year of their studies following approval from the teacher responsible and subject to their own programme regulations. This course is capped at 32 students.


An A-level pass or equivalent is recommended but not required (especially for General Course students).

Course content

(a) Study of 20th century British literature (prose, poetry and drama) in its socio-political context; Study of individual authors (in weekly lectures) - these form the basis of the examination assessment (b) Study of major cultural themes running through the century e.g. Literature of War; Imperialism; Feminism; Modernism; Postmodernism; Political writing - these form the basis of the student's extended coursework essay. (c) Several trips to theatre productions during the year; (d) Extensive use of archive recordings of authors, and video; (e) Students encouraged to draw upon background in their main discipline, and to read widely.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Two hours per week, featuring: (a) Lectures on a range of authors and themes; (b) Classes including students' presentations; (c) Revision Workshops; (d) Tutorials. Structured activities during the reading week

Formative coursework

Two essays per year; presentations.

Indicative reading

(Primary texts) Conrad Heart of Darkness; T S Eliot The Waste Land; Virginia Woolf Mrs Dalloway; James Joyce Portrait of the Artist Forster Passage to India George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four; Larkin Collected Poems; Heaney Collected Poems; (Secondary text) Malcolm Bradbury, The Modern British Novel.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 18.6
2:1 78.6
2:2 0
Third 0
Fail 2.9

Key facts

Department: Language Studies

Total students 2015/16: 27

Average class size 2015/16: 7

Capped 2015/16: Yes (32)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information