also available in 2018
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 3 Year(s)
Lancaster’s Theatre and English Literature degree gives you the opportunity to study contemporary theatre, drama and performance alongside works spanning Shakespeare, film and twenty-first century writing. Theatre is part of the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA) a vibrant, contemporary arts environment with excellent facilities. Our Department of English and Creative Writing offers both traditional and state-of-the art approaches to English Literature. In English Literature, you’ll explore texts of different periods and genres and develop a deeper critical understanding of the role of literature in society. You’ll receive a full introduction to Theatre Studies and will learn about innovative twentieth and twenty first century theatre and performance through an exciting and varied mix of theoretical and practical approaches, taught by internationally esteemed, award winning theatre practitioners and scholars. You’ll begin your degree with modules that develop your understanding of your core subjects. In your second year, you’ll study subjects such as The Theory and Practice of Criticism, Literature and Film, Theatre Techniques, Performance Composition, Applied Theatre Practice, Contemporary British Theatre and Post War European Playwrights before completing your degree with final-year modules including a Dissertation unit and a full Theatre production module. There is also a dedicated Work Placement module in second year and a Creative Enterprise module in third year to enhance your employability after graduation.
You also have the opportunity to spend your second year abroad at one of our partner universities in North America or Australia. The year abroad counts fully towards your Lancaster degree.
A Level AAB
Required Subjects A level English Literature or A level English Language and Literature grade A
IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component. For other English language qualifications we accept, please see our English language requirements webpages.
International Baccalaureate 35 points overall with 16 points from the best 3 Higher Level subjects including 6 in a HL Literature subject
BTEC Considered alongside A level English Literature or A level English Language and Literature grade A
We welcome applications from students with a range of alternative UK and international qualifications, including combinations of qualification. Further guidance on admission to the University, including other qualifications that we accept, frequently asked questions and information on applying, can be found on our general admissions webpages.
Contact Admissions Team + 44 (0) 1524 592028 or via email@example.com
Many of Lancaster's degree programmes are flexible, offering students the opportunity to cover a wide selection of subject areas to complement their main specialism. You will be able to study a range of modules, some examples of which are listed below.
This module introduces you to some of the most vital debates in an English literary tradition that is constantly being rewritten and challenged, especially in the multicultural, postmodern era of the late twentieth century and beyond. The module starts by concentrating on poetry from the late sixteenth century to the present and examines the rich canonical tradition and how each generation of writers has responded to it. A range of literary genres is also covered including plays, films, short stories and novels in addition to poetry in order to develop the practice of close analytical reading Throughout the module attention is given to the working-class, women, black and Irish writers as well as mainstream English authors. The module also includes a Study Skills component and an introduction to some of the general theoretical issues of reading and interpretation.
This module offers students a theoretical and practical foundation for study in years two and three. Students are introduced to a variety of forms and genres of drama, theatre and performance. These range from Shakespearean tragedy, Naturalist theatre, Epic theatre and Artaudian theatre up to and including contemporary works drawn from physical theatre, dance and postdramatic performance. Approaches to these works include the analysis of different modes of acting/performing, uses of space and sites and the creative processes and forms of dance and physical theatre, as well as considerations of historical, social and cultural context. Teaching is by lecture, seminar and practical workshops and the module culminates in a practical project in which students present performances inspired by the practitioners studied during the year.
LICA100 examines the ideas and events underlying the revolutions in the arts which began about the end of the nineteenth century and continued throughout the twentieth. These are still the focus of frequent debate, and have a powerful influence on the arts today. Seminal works and thinkers in art, design, film and theatre will be examined, with particular emphasis on ideas of cross-over and integration between different art forms. Consideration is given to both 'high art' and the popular. You will acquire an understanding of modernism in the arts, enabling a richer appreciation of recent art works and of the context for contemporary arts practices.
For LICA students, this course will sit alongside a module in your particular discipline as a general introduction to study of the contemporary arts. It will emphasise the common background for the developments in Art, Design, Film and Theatre through the 20th century which so profoundly affect our culture today, enabling you both to better understand your particular discipline, and to take certain courses in other disciplines within LICA in your second and third years to broaden your studies, if you wish.
This is the core course of English at Lancaster. It is designed to enable students to reflect on the ways in which they approach literature and to introduce them to key concepts in contemporary literary studies. By examining major thinkers like Marx, Freud, Foucault and Derrida, and examining key ideas like ideology, the unconscious, discourse and biopolitics, this course asks fundamental questions about the status and function of literature in society: What is literature? What makes it an object suitable for an academic discipline? Who reads it, produces it, and why? How is literature connected to the critical movements that seem to define literature even as they seek to appreciate and explain it? We ask questions about the relationship between author, text and reader, we analyse various theories about the process or practice of writing and reading as students, as critics, and in general as ‘consumers’ of literature in the culture of today. In relation to the English degree as a whole, 201 aims to equip students with the knowledge, experience and skill necessary to bring a greater sophistication, care and rigour to their literary studies in their final year.
This course considers how American Literature has evolved from its colonial origins, with particular emphasis on key figures of the nineteenth century. What we call ‘American Literature’ and how we define America and ‘the American experience’ depends on who is writing and to whom. We shall encounter many different voices, many conflicting and contrasting views, a diversity of complex experiences and a great range of writing in form and style (don’t expect the poetic and novelistic forms you are used to in British literature). The course will be broadly thematic in its approach, aiming to build up through recurring themes, images, questions and stylistic features, an increasingly complex picture of the literature created by English-speaking Americans.
Course Aims and Objectives:
This course is divided into key areas across the two terms: Revolution; The Self; Politics and Poetics; and the Gothic.
We will begin by examining revolutionary writing of the Romantic period, including the poetry of Anna Barbauld, William Blake, and William Wordsworth, and the prose of Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and Mary Wollstonecraft. We will then consider ideas of the self in the poetry of Charlotte Smith and Letitia Landon, Lord Byron’s Manfred, and the labouring-class writing of John Clare.
We also examine the relationship between politics and poetics for the second-generation poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and then, the slave narratives of Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince, and the orientalism of S. T. Coleridge and Thomas de Quincey. Finally, the course will turn its attention to the popular literary movement of ‘Gothic’ which emerges during the Romantic period, exploring its manifestation in a range of texts from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Joanna Baillie’s play De Montfort, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
The course aims to give students a sense of the diverse range of writers in this period. We will use the close knowledge of key texts to tackle some of the wider, more abstract ideas such as: nature, the imagination, and the sublime. We will also consider literary ideas within a broader social, historical and philosophical context.
This module focuses on the shifting landscape of British theatre in the twentieth century, approached through the conceptualising lens of the state of the nation. It aims to: introduce a decade-by-decade overview of British theatre from 1945 to 2000 by presenting key playwrights and plays; introduce readings of the works which embrace an understanding of both dramatic form and content; situate the works socially and politically. Assessment is by group presentation and written examination.
This course provides an introduction to critical theory in the arts and its application to aesthetics and art. The first term concentrates on 'structures' in artworks and the second on 'identities'. The structure of the course is six three-week blocks: (1) Form and Structure, (2) Semiotics and Authorship, (3) Phenomenology and Spectatorship, (4) Sex/uality and Gender, (5) Race and Ethnicity, and (6) Class and Society. Weekly plenary lectures make connections across the arts, and weekly two hour seminar/workshops allow students to work in their subject groups (art, film, theatre, design) on ideas and examples specifically tailored towards these disciplines.
This module will enable students to develop a range of graphic skills to allow them to approach and represent ideas, issues and experiences in a documentary manner. The module is designed to be relevant to creative practice in Theatre, Film and Fine Art. It will enable students with a specific interest in drawing to expand their knowledge and experience of observational and on-site drawing, and develop their learning and experience by engaging in further technical training and by introduction to drawing beyond the studio and 'in the field'. On completion of this module it is expected students will have significantly developed their drawing skills and ability to select a meaningful topic, demonstrate ability to engage in independent study and develop a substantial personal project for assessment.
This core module has two main objectives. Firstly, it is designed to develop further your analytical skills in order to examine individual films in greater detail. Secondly, it is intended to encourage you to understand world cinema in relation to a variety of social, cultural, political and industrial contexts. The module will explore such issues as the relationship between film form and modes of production (from industrial film-making through to low-budget art film), theories of film style and aesthetics, and the political function of cinema. In the first term, we focus wholly on various modes of American film production, and in the second term we explore some broader theoretical questions through an analysis of films from a number of different national traditions. Across the whole module, you will gain a thorough grasp not only of the historical factors shaping various national and international cinemas, but also of some key critical and theoretical concepts within the field of film studies.
The module will enable you to understand how a work environment functions and how you can contribute to this. It will enable you to develop a range of transferable skills and apply your knowledge and understanding to a project linked to your placement organisation.
You will work with an external organisation for between 45 – 60 hours and attend lectures and seminars which will provide you with guidance and support. The placement will take place in a cultural organisation (such as a Gallery, Theatre or Studio) or a schools-based placement in Primary, Secondary or Special Needs dedicated school. The module will provide you with the opportunity to combine practical work and develop your interest in relation to a specific subject related issue. The module will prepare you for placement by providing you with the academic skills that will enable you to reflect upon your experiences.
This module surveys formal, generic, historical, cultural, narrative, and theoretical relationships between literature, film, and other media across a range of periods, genres, topics, and cultures, paying particular attention to the practice and analysis of literary film adaptation, while also addressing some other modes of literary adaptation (e.g. television, graphic novels, tie-in merchandise, mobile phone applications, etc.). Specific topics in 2018 include theories of adaptation, how to read graphic novels, how to read films, how to read television, literature and classical Hollywood cinema, novels and TV serialization, prose fiction and film, poetry and film, theatre and film, various genres across various media (Gothic, crime, war, science fiction, romance, westerns), the author on screen, adaptation and animation, and a screenwriting workshop.
This module aims to introduce key issues and practical skills in the production of video for media, performance, new media art and documentary film. The module will introduce the historical and practical applications of media technologies in art, theatre and performance by presenting the key practitioners in the areas of installation, multimedia performance, video, and new media art.
A group practical project will introduce the use of video cameras, filming and editing, project planning, team work and the practical use of installation technologies. The module offers students the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams to produce a short film, performance, installation or documentary, including video and other media where appropriate.
This module combines theoretical and practical approaches to provide an introduction to some of the greatest American and German modern dance pioneers of the twentieth century. It compares their systems of technical training, choreographic methods, signature dance works, and considers the relationship of those systems, methods and works to the social context and philosophical ideas of their time. Assessment is through the choreography and performance of a short trio, and an essay. The module prepares students for more advanced dance and physical theatre projects in later modules.
This practical module provides a comprehensive understanding of compositional strategies and methodologies used in making theatre and performance, whether as a performer or as a director, writer or designer. Particular emphasis will be placed on investigating notions of form and structure and on how performance material can be generated through creative strategies of sourcing, developing and editing material towards a completed work. Assessment is through the production of a performance score and a group practical project.
This module combines theoretical and practical approaches to explore the historical avant-garde. Key examples from each of the selected movements (e.g. Futurism, Dada, Surrealism) allow for an examination of the ways in which the avant-garde engaged with the disciplines of performance, fine art, film, design and sound in creating its diverse practices. Assessment is through practical workshop and essay.
The course will take us from the closing decades of the Tudor monarchy (1580-1603) to the episodes of power, revolution and restitution that characterised Stuart rule (1603-1688). During this time, English culture saw upheavals in politics that were accompanied by shifts in discourses such as those of gender, religion, sex, science and education. ‘Renaissance to Restoration: English Literature 1580-1688’ will thus examine the literature of change in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, for example Spenser’s provocative Elizabethan verse epic The Faerie Queene, the brilliant and edgy theatre of the likes of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton, and the prose writings of revolutionaries like John Milton and monarchist libertines like Aphra Behn. Our readings will mainly be focused on four topics designed to provide us with ingress into the literature, culture and historical vitality of the period: ‘Love, Sex and Death’, ‘Court, Country, City’, ‘Power and Politics’ and ‘Heaven and Hell’. We will be reading cross-sections from works by many authors to explore these themes from as many angles as possible. We will consider the similarities between a wide range of primary texts but we will also be keen to observe and analyse differences.
This practical module is designed to allow students to work collectively to produce an original performance piece informed by material studied in the second year as a whole. Students are supported by a supervisor who will provide feedback on progress throughout the module.
This practical module provides training in two key areas of technique essential to theatre and performance: firstly, movement and voice, and secondly, lighting and sound. Students begin the module by receiving a short three-week introduction to skills in movement and voice and then spend a further three weeks studying basic concepts and techniques in lighting and sound design (or vice versa), before choosing to focus on one of those two areas for the remaining four weeks of the module. Assessment takes the form of a short practical exercise and then a more substantial practical project in the chosen area of study.
The years of Queen Victoria’s reign (1837-1901) saw great social, political and cultural change. New technologies and scientific developments altered the ways in which Victorians thought about themselves and their environment, and the literature of the period responded to these changes in all sorts of ways. Examining a wide range of Victorian literature, including novels, short stories, poetry, drama and non-fiction prose, the course is structured around four major themes: ‘Personal Experience and Perspective,’ ‘Socio-Political Change,’ ‘Realism, Idealism and Fantasy,’ and ‘Falls and Losses.’ The aim of the course is to explore and interrogate the complexity of 'Victorian' attitudes within and across these areas.
In 21st Century Theory, we will build upon the general introduction to critical and cultural theory given on ENGL201 by focusing on one specific theme in contemporary theory: biopolitics. To explore biopolitics – or the politics of life itself – we will examine a selection of classic theoretical works by Michel Foucault, Georgio Agamben and others and then read them alongside some key literary and filmic texts from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go to the Batman Trilogy. This course will seek to address the following questions. What exactly is biopolitics? How have theorists, novelists and film-makers imagined such concepts as sovereign power, bare life, the state of exception and so on? To what extent might it be possible to resist the biopolitical hold over our political imaginary?
This practical module stands at the pinnacle of the whole Theatre programme. Students work in groups on an intensive practical project that will lead to public performances in the Nuffield Theatre at the end of the Lent Term, although performances in alternative locations are possible. Groups work with the support of the module convener and with a supervisor.
This course examines some of the literatures which have spoken to, from and for the African continent, mostly since 1950 when the great era of decolonization began. It is impossible to provide a comprehensive survey of this diverse field, and the course therefore covers mostly canonical material. The primary reading list refers to sub-Saharan African contexts, from black, white and Islamic perspectives and, of course, by women as well as men. These texts present an extraordinary fictional world, which opens immediately onto urgent realities, including the brutal 'Scramble for Africa', anti-colonial struggles and the state of nations thereafter.
Topics studied will normally include:
Introduction – Hollywood breakdown (Easy Rider, Medium Cool)
The future of allusion: New Hollywood’s nostalgic mode (The Godfather)
Popular feminism (Klute, Woman Under the Influence)
Politics and conspiracy (The Parallax View, All The President’s Men)
Disaster movies (The Poseidon Adventure)
Comedy (Annie Hall)
Exploitation cinema I: blaxploitation (Coffy, Foxy Brown)
Exploitation cinema II: horror/body genres (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Blockbuster cinema and the franchise film (Star Wars)
The end of the New (Apocalypse Now)
The course will begin with writing that looks back to the First World War and end with writing that anticipates the Second World War. In between the students will explore and interrogate the inter-war ‘moment’ through close attention to a number of other texts. The course will focus on many of the great themes of the period such as exile, unemployment, Englishness, eugenics, militarisation, and political commitment, as well as many of the great cultural motifs of the period such as borders, radios, planes, cars, trains, cameras and telephones. Close attention will also be paid to many of the great intellectual debates of the period such as the nature of history, the role of the State in everyday life, and the place of literary experimentation in time of war.? The course will not, though, be limited to what these texts are ‘about’ but will also attend to what these texts ‘do.’ In other words, we shall explore how inter-war writing both reflects the period and indeed participates in the period. The students will, then, be expected to understand the ways in which the texts under consideration exist not only ‘between the acts’ but are themselves acts – acts not only of mourning and warning but also agitation, provocation, resistance, despair, and even (therefore) hope.??
In this unit we will look at a selection of biblical texts alongside literary works that appropriate, rewrite and subvert them. We will be thinking about the Bible as literature; the reciprocal relationship between the Bible and literature; and what the Bible does to a literary text. By the end of the course you should be more familiar and knowledgeable about the Bible, its genres, ideas and narratives, and be able to appreciate its literary qualities. You will develop skills of exploring the relation between a literary text and the biblical text it invokes: in what ways does knowledge of biblical texts provoke more profound readings of literature? Do rewritings refine or subvert the Bible? Throughout the course we will also have in focus issues related to reading, interpretation and adaptation that will be relevant to your wider studies.
This module will cover British and American crime writing. It traces the development of crime fiction from the 1840s, clarifying its basic formulas, looking at the evolution of contrasting narrative structures and considering the historical significance of forms ranging from the classic whodunit to the hard-boiled thriller. Beginning with Poe and Doyle, the module moves on to the Golden Age of the detective story (Christie, Sayers, etc.), American tough guy crime stories (Hammett, Chandler, Jim Thompson, etc.), the contemporary noir thriller (British and American), black and feminist crime fiction (Chester Himes, Gillian Slovo) and the detective story’s postmodernist variants (e.g. Hjortsberg). The reading of novels and stories will be supplemented by a selection of films directed by Hitchcock, Mike Hodges, Carl Franklin, and Coen brothers and the Wachowski brothers. Sessions will consist of seminars, small group discussions and occasional mini-lectures.
This module is designed to provide you with a chance to explore one of America's most significant cultural contributions to the twentieth century - the motion picture. You are introduced to the American cinema through a genre approach to a series of selected films. This entails that you frame the formal and aesthetic aspects of Hollywood filmmaking in an appropriate social, historical, cultural, and industrial context. In considering why certain popular narrative formulas (such as the Western and the Gangster) are so deeply associated with American commercial screen art, lectures and seminars will attend to movie production as a dynamic process of exchange between the film industry and its mass audience.
This module combines theoretical and practical approaches to explore important European writers, directors and companies by studying their innovative dramaturgies, scenographies, uses of ‘no longer dramatic’ text, and new acting/performing styles. These aesthetic forms are also discussed in relation to the performances’ thematic and political concerns with developments such as globalization and late capitalism, increasing mediatisation, (anti-)immigration, terrorism and the war on terror and ecological concerns, as well as with the enduring memories of the Second World War and a European history of colonialism. Teaching is through lecture, seminar and practical workshop and assessment is by practical presentation and by seen examination.
This half-unit will examine the relationship between British fiction and literary theory as it has developed over the past thirty or so years. The course will examine a range of contemporary fiction upon which theory has had a formative impact. Novels by Julian Barnes, Malcolm Bradbury, A. S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Patricia Duncker, and David Lodge will be read in tandem with the theoretical writings from which they have drawn inspiration. There will be a particular emphasis on the leading French theorists, including Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida and Michael Foucault. The course aims to assess the creative possibilities opened up by radical literary theory, and to trace the ethical and cultural controversies which have surrounded the assimilation of French theory into English culture.
Information for this module is currently unavailable.
Contemporary Literatures focuses on different kinds of (postmodern, postcolonial/world, Gothic, post-9/11, feminist/queer, experimental) contemporary literature. The course consolidates student knowledge of ways in which writers redress notions of ‘English literature’, including ways in which they both respond to and stimulate critical theory. Beginning in the 1950s, we consider the explosion of new literatures from the decolonising/newly postcolonial world and the rise of new literary forms in the post-war period. The course also emphasises work from the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries, foregrounding, at all stages, English literature in its international dimensions: we read texts from Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and Australasia, as well as from multicultural and devolved Britain. Recurrent themes include borders, margins, haunting, apocalypse, rewriting, migration and metamorphosis; these terms also reflect formal qualities of the texts studied (i.e. aspects of genre, structure and style). The course considers inter-generic forms (e.g. the graphic novel) as well as a range of more standard literary genres (novels; short stories; poetry), highlighting literary experimentation and critically reflecting on notions of ‘the contemporary’.
This module provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of the innovative ways in which creative practitioners produce and deliver their work. It will provide an overview of the challenges faced by freelance practitioners, producers and small cultural companies within the creative industries. You will also develop a working understanding of the key management and enterprise skills involved in delivering creative projects. Working in groups you will put your learning into practice through the delivery of your own live creative arts project. This will enable you to understand the skills, knowledge, attributes and behaviours relevant for employment in the arts and creative industries.
This core module is directed towards completion of an independent research project on a topic of the student’s choice, presented in the form of a dissertation. The course is taught through lecture/seminars focused on research skills and one-to-one supervision.
This unit is compulsory for all English Literature majors, and is taken in the Third Year. The course is intended to give students the opportunity to pursue a topic of their choice in intensive detail, developing research, extended writing and bibliographical skills in a programme of directed independent study. Students will complete a dissertation of 10,000 words, which must be word processed and properly annotated and have an appropriate bibliography. The final assessment will take into account presentation (including annotation and bibliography) as well as the academic content of the dissertation.
From Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow (2003) to Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood (2010), notions of outlawry haunt twenty-first century popular culture and recent academic debate. A fascination with renegade figures is also found in the early modern period. Developing first and second-year work on critical and theoretical approaches to literature, the module examines representations of Robin Hood and pirates in a range of generically distinct sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts.
The aims of this module are to…
This third-year core course will add to the theoretical, historical and cultural aspects of film investigated in Years 1 and 2, while focusing more closely on the challenging aesthetic and critical debates surrounding the concept of modernity. It will look at films made in the silent era, in post-war Europe and in Britain and the US. Key writings on film will be considered in conjunction with viewings of particular films, close analysis of specific filmic techniques and methods, and historical and theoretical approaches to film. The course will also pay attention to the debates of classical and contemporary film theory, feminist approaches and other critical traditions (semiotics, structuralism, formalism, cognitivism). Building on the approach to film taken in LICA251 (Film Cultures), this course focuses on film theory as students are introduced to key debates in classical and contemporary film theory, with topics exploring the relations between film and art, cinema and politics, cinema and psychoanalysis, and, above all, the question of how films produce meaning(s).
Is it possible to ‘read’ a painting? Can an artist interpret a poem in paint? This course addresses the complex relationship between literature and the visual arts, tracing key debates in aesthetic theory from Romanticism to the twenty-first century. Literature and the Visual Arts will begin with an introduction to key critical terms and an examination of the painting-inspired poetry of, for example, John Keats and W. H. Auden. Subsequent seminars will explore the work of figures such as William Blake, John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites who blur the distinction between literature and art; the revival of the Pop Art tradition and postmodern narrative practices; and, finally, the fusion of word and image in graphic novels including Art Spiegelman’s Maus and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The course will draw on the unique resources of the University’s Ruskin Library and rare book archive.
Using a range of texts and genres from 1790s to the 1820s this course will consider the importance of the physical human body, in health and sickness. Examining the historical context in which these texts were written, we will look at such topics as illness, death, doctors, medical treatments, recreational drug use, pregnancy, disability, physical strength, sexuality, sensuality, health, race, gender, physiognomy and phrenology. How did Romantic poets and prose writers imagine the body? What did they think of the distinction between the mind and body or between the body and soul? How was the body understood medically? How are people made ‘monsters’ in the period and for what political purpose? The course will explore how bodies are not to be thought of as neutral or ahistorical but instead as historically-contingent sites of discourse.
This module will be concerned with a selection of difficult but fascinating Victorian texts which in various ways violate the dominant realist code of their day and thus explore the borderland between sense and non-sense, seriousness and laughter, centre and margin. In this respect, the texts are written by those whom, after Michel Foucault, we might call 'Other Victorians.' Indeed, a unifying theme or motif will be the philosophical notion of ‘the Other,’ as first formulated by Hegel at the beginning of the nineteenth century and subsequently reworked by such contemporary theorists as Levinas and Derrida. The module will explore how, in Victorian writing, otherness is staged and imagined in all sorts of ways – including, for example, place, religion, science, consciousness, the future, thought, matter, dimension, tears, boats, and the face. Given that the texts under discussion all, in one sense or another, challenge conventional or rationalist modes of realising the world and do so in ways that raise a number of philosophical questions, students will be encouraged to respond to the texts both imaginatively and philosophically.
This module looks at how acts of desire, murder, fake and ‘real’ deaths are represented on stage in early modern drama. It explores how experiences of death and desire are always gendered. In early modern theatres, the playing of female roles by boy actors frequently demonstrated the performativity of gender for all – on stage and beyond. The course will explore how the bodies of boy actors dramatized a range of sexual orientations, representing female desire and staging same sex desire at the same time. We will consider how modern films and productions of early modern plays create similar (and different) gender-effects. We will study texts by Marlowe, Lyly, Heywood, Middleton, Webster, Wroth using a mixture of discussion, analysis of films / productions and short practical explorations (getting the text ‘on its feet’). The module will ask when and how can death be comic in performance? Does outlawed desire always lead to tragedy? How did drama help to shape human experiences of desire and violence? No previous experience of (or expertise in) acting is necessary but you will be required to think in terms of performance because the module will culminate in a series of short presentations and performances by the group.
The course aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to John Ruskin, a key interdisciplinary figure from nineteenth-century cultural history. On the basis of his critical writings, Ruskin's thought and judgements will be pursued from their foundations in landscape, painting and architecture to their applications to moral, social, religious, scientific, educational and ecological issues. A particular and distinctive opportunity of the course will be its on-site access to the actual manuscripts and drawings held in the world-famous Ruskin Library here at Lancaster University
This module will run as a partnership between the Department of English and Creative Writing and the LUSU Volunteering Unit. It will give students planning to go into teaching a chance to experience teaching and classroom practice first-hand, at either primary or secondary level, in a local school during the Lent Term. The 10 week part-time placement will involve classroom observation and teacher assistance, and, in most cases, an opportunity to teach the class or to work with a designated group of pupils. It will also allow students to develop skills around a special project or activity carried out in the school related to the teaching of English. There will be interviews, presentations, and a rigorous training requirement with LUSU Volunteering Unit, including police vetting, and the actual placement in the school, arranged by LUSU staff, will then follow in the second term of your third year.
This course will trace the development of science fiction (SF) in literature and film, providing an insight into the conventions of the genre and, in particular, how the key themes of the science fiction genre have been successfully adapted for the screen. Texts have been chosen from a range of historical periods to enable a consideration of the cultural and historical contexts in which key science fiction texts were produced, and how this effects their development. The course will analyse in detail the formal and generic characteristics of the science fiction novel and short story, and will provide an introduction to the visual aspects of the science fiction film. The course will be organised through a thematic concentration on the theme of time. It will encompass narratives of time travel, evolution, temporal dislocation and also stories that formally incorporate atemporality. It will offer discussions about questions of human subjectivity, gender, race, transcendence, love and loss. The module will also constitute an ongoing investigation of the relationship between science fiction film and ‘literary’ SF texts, considering both how the genre is represented through the cinematic form and what happens in terms of narrative structure, plot and characterisation when presented in an audiovisual format.
Ben Jonson claimed of Shakespeare ‘he was not of an age but for all time.’ This course examines Shakespearean drama and poetry in its own time: as a platform in which early modern debates about agency and government, family, national identity, were put into play, and in relation to how we perceive these issues now. The stage was and is a place in which questions of gender, class, race, gain immediacy through the bodies and voices of actors. By examining texts from across Shakespeare’s career, we will explore their power to shape thoughts and feelings in their own age and in ours. We will consider Shakespeare’s manipulation of genre (poetry, comedy, history, tragedy and romance) and the ways the texts make active use of language (verse, prose, rhyme, rhythm) and theatrical languages (costume, stage positions) to generate meaning. The course will consider how, in the past and in the present, Shakespeare’s texts exploit the emotional and political possibilities of poetry and drama
This course offers an introduction to the broad area of silent cinema and to a range of critical approaches to this rich area of study. You will have the opportunity to view and analyse a number of important films. We will also explore a number of critical questions raised by this material with regard to the writing and study of histories of cinema (and popular culture in general), the relationships between technology and form, the economics of film production, distribution and reception, the relationship between cinema and national identity, the social and cultural impact of new (entertainment) media, the study of cinema audiences.
The module will be taught through a combination of seminars and workshops. Earlier weeks will be focussed on introducing students to the key elements of adapting for radio and theatre; there will be specific tasks relating to the weekly subject. As the term progresses, students will develop their own longer pieces for assessment. Specific adaptations will be analysed in script form, in broadcast form and (where possible) through viewing live recording archives. Topics covered will include:
The module aims to enable students to write script adaptations for the stage and radio. Students will explore the effects of choice when it comes to source text (prose fiction, poetry or non-fiction) and the medium for adaptation (radio or theatre). They will experience the editorial demands of the adaptation process, and will engage with both the overlapping and different strategies for realisation in theatre and radio.
This module examines the representation of sleep and sleep-related states in literature and culture. Most of us will spend about a third of our lives asleep – which is to say that we will spend more time sleeping that doing anything else in our lives. But if sleep is arguably the most common human activity, it is also the least describable. Can sleep – a state that separates us from all sense of time, from language, and from rational self-awareness – even count as a region of human experience? Or is it simply a void that separates one day from the next? How, if at all, can the ‘void’ of sleep be represented in literature and culture? In what ways has literature shaped itself to fill this void? And how has literature responded to the erosion of sleep by modern industrial and post-industrial cultures?
This module introduces students to a selection of genres of contemporary popular performance and explores the implications of the aesthetic overlap and cross fertilisation between these forms and modes of performance usually defined as political, ‘avant-garde’ or experimental. Exemplary case studies may include Stand-up, Musical Theatre, New Burlesque, New Circus, Immersive Theatre and Fairground attractions. These case studies will be explored with reference to the historical development of these forms, their contemporary elaborations and in relation to issues such as gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class and globalisation. Teaching is through lectures, seminars and practical exercises and assessment is by group presentation and exam.
This module will be of interest to students wishing to explore Anglophone fiction in another national context and in an international frame. The Indian novel in English is a fascinating, prolific domain of world literature that, particularly since the publication of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981), has generated a great deal of critical excitement.
The module explores chronologically a range of Anglophone Indian (or 'Indo-Anglian') novels, placing Rushdie's work in literary, historical and cultural context. We will explore, in particular, the relationship between nation and narration, or ways in which writers use different forms and styles to grapple with the diverse realities of modern India, its histories, and its diasporas. Engaging a range of perspectives (gendered, religious and regional), we will consider how and why fiction reflects key aspects of twentieth-century history, such as the legacies of colonial rule, the independence struggle, 'untouchability', Partition, women's rights, democracy, communalist tensions, and migration.
The course aims to give a detailed overview of the various ways in which the genre of literary utopia developed from the Renaissance to the present, including its ‘migration’ into science fiction in the later twentieth century. A unifying theme throughout will be: how can literary texts plausibly speak of hope, justice and human perfectibility without falling into mere sociological exposition, or falling foul of the accusation that, in literary terms it is ‘the devil who has the best tunes’. Students will be encouraged to unite a historically contextualised approach, for example looking at the political issues specific to the original moment of each utopian work, with one that is theoretically and generically informed. We shall pay particular attention both to the ways utopias build upon and contest what their predecessors have achieved, and to the complex interaction of ideological content and literary form within each individual work.
In the Victorian period, the decaying castles, corrupt priests and ancestral curses that were so prominent in the first phase of the Gothic novel gave way to an increased emphasis on spectral and monstrous others: ghosts, witches, werewolves, vampires, mummies and other creatures of the night. The course will explore these phenomena in their historical, cultural and literary contexts, with particular focus on emerging discourses of gender, sexuality, colonialism and class. The course will pay special attention to visual aspects of the Gothic, examining book illustration, painting and photography from the period and their relationship with Gothic texts. Students will be asked to consider the relationship between newly emergent forms of modernity (from medical discourses to photography) and the preoccupation with history and the past that is a generic feature of the Gothic. Texts will comprise a selection of novels and short fiction, with additional images and extracts from contextual works provided on Moodle and in class.
This module will be centred upon three genres which emerge in the mid-late Victorian period: Detective Fiction; Adventure Stories; Children’s Fiction. It will focus on key texts and writers within the emerging genres by looking at how certain conventions, principles and core concerns develop, as well as considering issues of literary status and canonicity.
The module studies one key text each week but will make connections across texts. Within each session you will explore texts in terms of overlapping themes within a genre, and the issues raised for how subjects are interpreted; as well as thinking about issues of narrative structure and voice, and the involvement of the reader. At the start of each three week period there will be a short introductory lecture establishing themes/ideas and generic issues for the form.
The module will also encourage you to consider the differences made by different forms of representation (e.g. serialisation for adventure stories; illustrations alongside the story for Holmes; initial dramatic representation of Peter Pan).
This course will be attractive to anyone interested in the creative process and how we can respond to it. The course aims to teach you to think in a radically new way about texts by looking at how they come into being, and studying the process of creativity through draft and manuscript materials from famous Romantic writers (Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, Byron, Mary Shelley). The published text will never look the same again!
We will explore the processes of composition in major Romantic and Victorian writers from the earliest stages to the production of the published text and its first reception. As well as thinking about the habits, anxieties and strategies of individual writers (male and female) we will also be looking at the problems such issues create for later readers and editors. At a textual level the course will engage with a number of different forms: contemporary journals, letters, diaries and review articles, considering how to make best use of these forms. The course will trace the changes made to a text through different draft versions and will draw upon manuscript (transcription) material in order to teach you how to respond to such material.
Lancaster University offers a range of programmes, some of which follow a structured study programme, and others which offer the chance for you to devise a more flexible programme. We divide academic study into two sections - Part 1 (Year 1) and Part 2 (Year 2, 3 and sometimes 4). For most programmes Part 1 requires you to study 120 credits spread over at least three modules which, depending upon your programme, will be drawn from one, two or three different academic subjects. A higher degree of specialisation then develops in subsequent years. For more information about our teaching methods at Lancaster visit our Teaching and Learning section.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Our Theatre and English Literature graduates have strong communications, team working and creative skills, which open doors in a wide range of sectors. Many of our graduates find jobs within theatre - as performers, directors, writers, dramaturgs, producers, technicians or administrators - and in associated fields such as journalism, the media, publishing and advertising. Lancaster’s alumni work in many areas concerned with the social applications of theatre and drama such as teaching, social work, community arts and drama and dance therapy. Others use the managerial and interpersonal skills they have developed through the course in jobs like personnel and the Civil Service. A number of our graduates go on to postgraduate study at Lancaster or elsewhere.
Lancaster University is dedicated to ensuring you not only gain a highly reputable degree, but that you also graduate with relevant life and work based skills. We are unique in that every student is eligible to participate in The Lancaster Award which offers you the opportunity to complete key activities such as work experience, employability/career development, campus community and social development. Visit our Employability section for full details.
We set our fees on an annual basis and the 2019/20 entry fees have not yet been set.
As a guide, our fees in 2018 were:
Some science and medicine courses have higher fees for students from
the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can find more details here:
For full details of the University's financial support packages including eligibility criteria, please visit our fees and funding page
Students will require clothing for practical classes, especially dance classes such as track suit trousers, sweatshirts etc. and will be required to buy or hire costumes and props for their performances. Students will also need to purchase tickets to see professional performances at Lancaster Arts and, very occasionally venues further afield. The purchase of DVDs may also be required if unable to borrow them from the library during vacations. Criminal record Bureau checks may also be necessary if students undertake projects with school groups.
Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews.
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Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework