also available in 2018
A Level Requirements
see all requirements
see all requirements
Full time 4 Year(s)
Lancaster’s joint German Studies and English Literature degree is taught by the Department of Languages and Cultures in conjunction with the Department of English and Creative Writing. The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017 ranks Lancaster 2nd for German and 11th for English.
Your German Studies programme enables you to acquire high-level language skills while gaining a thorough understanding of the country’s historical, cultural, social and political background in a global context. In English Literature you will study a wide range of authors, genres, historical periods, literary movements, techniques and critical approaches.
Your first year comprises an exploration of the German language and its cultural context, as well as a core module in English Literature. Alongside this, you can choose another English module such as World Literature or Creative Writing, or alternatively a minor subject from another department.
Building on your language skills in Year 2, you will study the culture, politics and history of Germany and Austria in more depth, as well as selecting modules which are international in scope and promote a comparative understanding of Europe and beyond. You will combine these with the core English module, ‘The Theory and Practice of Criticism’ and choose options such as ‘British Romanticism’, ‘Literature and Film’ and ‘American Literature to 1900’.
Spending your third year abroad in a German-speaking country makes a major contribution to your command of the language, while deepening your intercultural sensitivity. You can study at a partner institution or conduct a work placement.
In your final year, you consolidate your German language skills, and study specialist culture and comparative modules, such as ‘Mirrors across Media: Reflexivity in Literature, Film, Comics and Video Games’. You will also select English Literature modules such as the full-year ‘Shakespeare’ and ‘Contemporary Literature’ as well as choosing from a variety of specialist half-year modules.
A Level AAB
Required Subjects A level English Literature or A level English Language and Literature grade A. A level German, or if this is to be studied from beginners’ level, AS grade B or A level grade B in another foreign language, or GCSE grade A or 7 in a foreign language. Native German speakers will not be accepted onto this scheme.
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, and appropriate evidence of language ability
BTEC Considered alongside A level English Literature or A level English Language and Literature grade A, and appropriate evidence of language ability
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 is designed for students who have already completed an A-level in German or whose German is of a broadly similar standard. The language element aims to enable students both to consolidate and improve their skills in spoken and written German. A further aim is to provide students with an introduction to the historical and cultural development of Germany in the twentieth century, and also to contemporary institutions and society.
There are three language classes per week, of which at least one is normally conducted by a German native speaker. Tutorials are based on a textbook, and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of German grammatical structures. Listening and speaking skills are developed under the guidance of German native speakers using audio and video materials.
The culture programme consists of a combination of lectures and seminars over 20 weeks. The module looks at how key moments in German history have shaped contemporary German culture (films, plays, novels etc.).
This module is designed for students having little or no knowledge of the German language. Consequently, a substantial part of the module is devoted to intensive language teaching aimed at making the student proficient in both written and spoken German. At the same time, students will be introduced to aspects of German history, culture and society in the twentieth century.
There are four language classes per week, of which at least one is normally conducted by a German native speaker. Tutorials are based on a textbook, and emphasis is placed on the acquisition of vocabulary and a firm grasp of German grammatical structures. Listening and speaking skills are developed under the guidance of German native speakers using audio and video materials.
What has it meant to be German since the country was left in ruins at the end of World War II? Introducing students to key debates about the country's fascist past, East-West relations, and the changing understanding of gender roles from the 1950s to the present, this module is designed to help deepen students’ understanding of the contemporary German-speaking world while systematically enhancing their skills of cultural analysis in diverse media. The module will introduce students to the prose fiction of two highly controversial Nobel laureates, Günter Grass and Elfriede Jelinek, as well as exploring ways of analysing newspaper texts, popular ballads, short stories, and film. The texts we will study are united by their common concern with the identity issues raised by the fast-changing society in which they are set, and they use a fascinating array of techniques to provoke, challenge, and entertain. The main aim of the module is twofold: to build students’ reading knowledge of German while giving them a flavour of the rich cultural output that has defined the German-speaking realm over the past sixty years.
This module comprises of both oral and aural skills, to be taken alongside the Written Skills module. It builds upon skills gained in the first year.
This module aims to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency in spoken German in a range of formal and informal settings (both spontaneous and prepared). Specific attention will be given to developing good, accurate pronunciation and intonations well as fluency, accuracy of grammar, and vocabulary when speaking the language.
This module also aims at broadening students’ knowledge about different aspects of modern society, politics and culture, and contemporary issues and institutions in order to prepare them for residence abroad in their 3rd year.
By the end of this module, students should have enhanced their comprehension of the spoken language, as used in both formal speech, and in everyday life situations including those that they may encounter in German-speaking countries.
This module comprises of both oral and aural skills, to be taken alongside the corresponding Written Language module. It builds upon skills gained in the first year. Students who have taken the Intensive language course in their first year, normally follow this course throughout the second year.
The module aims to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency in spoken German in a range of formal and informal settings (both spontaneous and prepared). Specific attention will be given to developing good, accurate pronunciation and intonations well as fluency, accuracy of grammar, and vocabulary when speaking the language.
This module comprises of reading and writing skills to be taken alongside the Oral Skills module.
This module aims to consolidate skills gained by students in the first year of study, and enable them to build a level of competence and confidence required to familiarise themselves with the culture and society of countries where their studied language is spoken.
The module aims to enhance students’ proficiency in the writing of German (notes, reports, summaries, essays, projects, etc.) including translation from and into German; and the systematic study of German lexis, grammar and syntax.
The module aims to enhance students' linguistic proficiency, with particular emphasis on reading a variety of sources and on writing fluently and accurately in the language, in a variety of registers.
The module aims to enhance students’ proficiency in understanding spoken German, as well as in the writing of German (notes, reports, summaries, essays, projects, etc.) including translation from and into German; and the systematic study of German lexis, grammar and syntax.
DELC200 is a non-credit bearing module. All major students going abroad in their second or third year are enrolled on it during the year prior to their departure, and timetabled to attend the events. These include: introduction to the Year Abroad and choice of activities; British Council English Language Assistantships and how to apply; introduction to partner universities and how they function; working in companies abroad; finance during the Year Abroad; research skills and questionnaire design; teaching abroad; curriculum writing and employability skills; welfare and wellbeing; Year Abroad Preparation Week in the Summer Term. Materials are uploaded on the DELC200 Moodle pages.
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.
This course is divided into four key areas across the two terms: Revolution and Romanticism; Romantic Education: Women and Children; Politics and Poetics; the Gothic.
In the first term, we will begin by examining the relationship between Romanticism and revolution, particularly in terms of the events of the French Revolution which help to define the period. We will then consider how ideas generated during the period related to issues of gender, developing this theme to examine poetry by women, and considering the importance of re-educating as a means for bringing about change within the period. In the first half of the second term, we examine the relationship between politics and poetics for the major second generation poets, examining some of the more complex underlying ideas about the workings of the mind, of identity, and of the imagination as they find expression in the major writers of the period. In the second half, 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. The course aims to give students a well-rounded sense of Romanticism as a full development of earlier eighteenth-century ideas and movements as well as a distinct period in itself. We will work out of close knowledge of key texts in order to begin to tackle some of the wider, more abstract ideas such as: nature; imagination; the sublime. We will also consider literary ideas within a broader social, historical and philosophical context.
What is world literature? How have writers engaged with the concept? How have they explored their role as a writer in the 20th century?
This module explores a range of texts written in a range of languages and genres, examining the engagement of writers with their role in different social, political and historical contexts. Lectures will provide an introduction to the genre being studied and address the question of the role of the writer in the context of world literatures. Workshops will focus on a range of set and optional texts of global importance, which will be considered as examples of the literary genre and in relation to material covered in the lecture.
The module is divided into five sections, each focusing on a specific genre. Each section will comprise three texts, two of which are optional. All texts explore the role of the writer in different social, political and historical contexts of the 20th century, and the ways their writing engages with these contexts.
This module explores how post-war economic change has affected European societies, and how socio-political factors in turn have influenced the patterns and outcomes of economic development, over the second half of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty first century.
The module is structured on the basis of three country-specific modules (France, Germany and Spain), examining how these countries have confronted key moments of economic change, and what the longer-term consequences of that change have been. While the module emphasis is on broad national developments, discussion also covers examples relating to particular industries and major companies.
In lectures, workshops and seminars we will explore the context of reconstruction after World War II and the pattern of subsequent economic development; the relationship between social and economic policies; the development of the three country's economies; the changes of the 1980s and their impact on subsequent years; and the consequences of specific momentous events, such as the re-unification of Germany and how the financial crisis of 2008 affected, and still affects, France, Germany and Spain.
This module will introduce second-year students to the role that the language used by institutions plays in shaping individual perceptions of identity. It will provide them with a basic theoretical framework that allows them to understand the relationship between language and power as reflected in current language policies at regional, national, and supranational levels. It will enable them to recognise forms of prestige and stigma associated with varieties of the three main languages under study. It will therefore raise critical awareness of the portrayal and representation of linguistic variations in the media and in the sphere of literature.
The main topics covered in the course include Language and Power; European language policies; German as a pluricentric language and ‘Gastarbeiter’ language and policies; regional variations of France: Linguistic Diversity: A threat to French National Identity?; The languages and language attitudes of Spain (Castilian Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Galician).
This module is taught in English.
This module surveys formal, generic, historical, cultural, narrative, and theoretical relationships between literature and film across a range of periods, genres, topics, and cultures, paying particular attention to the practice and analysis of literary film adaptation. It also addresses some other modes of literary adaptation (e.g. television, graphic novels, tie-in merchandise, mobile phone applications, etc.).
This module seeks to support students to apply their linguistic and cultural understanding in a specific professional context. Students will develop, reflect on and articulate both the range of competences, and the linguistic and cross cultural skills that enhance employability by working in language-related professional contexts and reflecting on key issues in relation to their placement organisation. Students will typically spend between 25-30 hours over a period of 10 weeks engaging with a placement organisation in Lent. Alternatively students may undertake a 'block' placement over a two to three week period during the Easter vacation (this will allow placements abroad). We have developed a number of local work placements and students can also source placements (subject to departmental approval). There will be some preparation for the module before Lent. This will consist of short interviews and the sourcing and confirmation of placements. For students undertaking schools placements, there will also be some training. Workshops in Lent will provide preparation for placements and guidance on reflective academic work. Students will share their experiences and learning with each other by means of end-of-module presentations.
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.
How do films deal with topics like terrorism, immigration, resistance and city life? Do they entertain viewers, instruct them, or both?
This module explores European and Latin American films in their social and historical contexts. The main aim is to make connections between the films and such contexts not only on the level of narrative, characterisation and dialogue, but also on that of form and technique.
To these ends, there will be introductory lectures on cinema and society and on film aesthetics and content in the first week of the module. The connections mentioned will be the focus of seminars and presentations within the four core topic areas: terrorism, migration, the city and resistance.
The module consists of four two-week strands on cinema and society: Terrorism, Migration and Hybrid identities, The City and Collaboration/Resistance.
Each strand will be introduced with a lecture and followed by seminars on the set films. Students will give a presentation on a short sequence within their allocated film.
This module aims to give students a background to and insight into the diversity of twentieth and twenty-first century thought and contemporary definitions of culture.
Some key questions explored on the module include: What is 'culture' and how does it work? How do 'art' and 'culture' relate to each other? What do we mean when we talk about the production and consumption of culture? Why does popular culture arouse conflicting responses? What role does the body play in our understanding of culture? How does culture define who we are? Can a work of culture be an act of resistance?
With these questions in mind, this module focuses on texts which raise questions about class, race, gender, and subcultures.
This course aims to introduce students to a wide range of Victorian literature, including novels, poetry, short stories, drama, and social criticism. It seeks to give students an understanding of the role played by that literature in the defining cultural debates of Victorian Britain, as well as explore literary conventions, innovations and debates. The course is structured around four major themes: ‘Progress’, ‘Community and Outsiders’, ‘Scandal, Sensation and Spectacle’ and ‘The Fallen Woman’. The aim of the course is to explore and interrogate the complexity of 'Victorian' attitudes within and across these areas.
The Year Abroad is compulsory for Single and Joint Honours Language students, who must spend at least eight months abroad in their third year.
The module also aims to enhance and develop students' language skills, with all assessments being written in the target language.
Students who started a language as a beginner in Part I must spend a minimum of four months in a country where that language is spoken.
Joint Honours students studying two languages may choose to spend the year in either of the two countries concerned or, if appropriate arrangements can be made, can spend a semester in each country.
This module is a half unit and is integrated with the German Language: Written Skills module.
This module together with the written skills module consists of three hours tuition per week. Both the oral and the written language modules focus on particular topics of cultural and contemporary interest. The general aim of these half unit modules is to develop further the abilities the students gained during their second year and the year abroad.
By the end of this module, students should have developed an informed interest in the society and culture of the German-speaking world. They should also have acquired almost native-speaker abilities in both spoken and written language.
This module is a half unit and is integrated with the German Language: Oral Skills module.
This module together with the oral skills module consists of three hours tuition per week.
This module has two main aims. The first one is to enhance students’ linguistic proficiency with emphasis on understanding of spoken and written German, the speaking of German (prepared and spontaneous) in both formal and informal settings, the writing of German, and the systematic study of German lexis, grammar and syntax. The second aim is to increase students’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of contemporary Germany.
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 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.
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 introduces students to major themes that shape the experience of contemporary city dwellers: gender, social inequality, and practices of citizenship. These interlinking themes will be introduced through novels, poetry and films on the following European, North American (with the emphasis on immigrant communities within its cities) and Latin American cities: New York, Mexico City, Santiago de Chile, Barcelona, Berlin, and Los Angeles.
Each topic will be covered though an introductory lecture and a core text, followed by a range of additional texts for students to analyse. During workshops students will share their findings and opinions, emphasizing on identifying links between the topics studied, aiming to encourage discussion.
The format of the module encourages cross-referencing between the themes of the module (for example, gender and sexuality are relevant to an analysis of social inequality, and vice versa).
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.
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 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 module examines Austrian national identity as manifested and debated in cultural representation. Is Austrian national identity really best understood by listening to Mozart, watching The Sound of Music, or holidaying in the Alps?
Students will analyse ways in which texts and cultural phenomena present, promote, or criticise accepted notions of post-war Austrian identity.
A range of sources will be used for this module, such as film, drama, novels, cabaret, essays and journalistic pieces, as well as tourist information, websites, and the linguistic specificities of Austrian German. The module aims at providing understanding of the ‘flashpoints' in the history of the Second Republic, spanning its baptism as the ‘first victim of Hitlerite aggression' in 1943 to its international pariah status, following the 2000 coalition government with an extreme right political party.
This module is taught in English, but most texts are only available in German, so a working knowledge of the language is required.
This module aims at exploring the nature of the relationship between the individual and society, notions of progress and economic justice, as these are still widely debated topics in contemporary Europe in light of the current economic and political crisis.
This module will use the concepts of utopia, dystopia and ideology as a forum for discussion on the relationship between individual imagination and social discourse in the nineteenth century, as well as the relationship between fiction and political discourse. Students will look at the major intellectual debates which influenced the contemporary European thought after the French Revolution.
Students will explore the development of major ideologies and cultural movements such as Romanticism, Marxism, Socialism and Positivism, spanning from the period immediately following the French Revolution to the middle of the nineteenth century.
In this module students will discover what it is like to be a famous author in today’s modern, media-driven Germany.
The module examines the cultural and political expectations placed on high-profile German authors from the 1960s onwards. Students will analyse sources ranging from press cuttings to internet articles. The module also considers the different strategies developed by well-known authors for responding to this interest in both their private personae and their public function.
Discussion will focus on the different self-presentation strategies the authors have developed: in the spheres of the media and in their writing. The module examines relevant theories of media and literary communication and develops a methodological framework to underpin our critical analysis of the authors and their work.
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 has the following Subject Specific aims:
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 will provide an introduction to the visual aspects of the science fiction film. The course will integrate themes such as encounters with the alien or other (War of the Worlds, 2001, Monsters), the imagination of dystopia (The Dispossessed, Code 46, Moxyland), the future of humanity (Mad Max 2, 2001, Code 46) and questions of human subjectivity, 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 issues 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 module examines the work of three of the great writers of the Romantic period, the poets Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, and the novelist Mary Shelley. Famously, these three writers lived and worked together during the summer of 1816, an episode that produced two of the dominant myths of modern literature, Frankenstein and the Vampire. Throughout their careers these writers were engaged in a creative and critical conversation with each other that addressed major themes including: conceptions of the heroic; the possibilities of political change; literary, scientific and biological creation; the East; transgressive love; gender roles; and the Gothic. The module will provide an opportunity to study these writers’ works in detail and to consider them within their historical, cultural and intellectual contexts.
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 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.
What makes a good translation and how do translations do good? This module helps you understand the practice of translation as it has evolved historically from the 18th century to the present across European and American societies. The materials we study include historical textual sources (philosophical essays on the craft of translation from French, German and Hispanic authors of the 19th and 20th centuries), representative fictional texts reflecting on translation processes, and contemporary documents from the EU directorate on translation, PEN and the Translators' Association. We will also make considerable use of contemporary online resources as exemplified by Anglophone advocates of intercultural exchange such as Words Without Borders. Our aim is to look at translation as both a functional process for getting text in one language accurately into another and a culturally-inflected process that varies in its status and purpose from one context to another. We will pay particular attention to the practical role that literary translators play within the contemporary global publishing industry and consider the practicalities of following a career in literary translation in the Anglophone world.
It is currently very difficult to imagine the future other than in dystopian terms, as climate disaster and social apocalypse (perhaps with a nuclear holocaust thrown in for good measure). It would seem, then, that we have great need of a literary form that would speak up for hope, justice and human perfectibility; and that form has traditionally been the genre of utopia. This course tracks through the history and transformations of the genre of utopia, from the Renaissance founding fathers (Thomas More and Francis Bacon), through such late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century practitioners as Edward Bellamy, William Morris, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and H.G. Wells, to the great utopias of the 1960s and 1970s and beyond: Ursula Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Marge Piercy, Ernest Callenbach and Kim Stanley Robinson. We shall look at utopian theorising – such concepts as ‘kinetic utopia’, ‘critical utopia’ and ‘ecotopia’ – as well as the texts themselves. If you want to leave a decent human future to your grandchildren, start here!
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, 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 the typewriter) 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.
This module will explore the relationship between witchcraft, heresy and inquisition in regard to the prosecution of the 'otherness', focusing specifically on their literary representation in medieval and Renaissance Europe. Students will engage in the study of the socio-historical events and features of European society from the 14th to the 17th centuries, as well as the literary mechanisms utilised by authors of each one of the texts under study. The course will cover texts and events occurred in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and England. Specific authors, such as Dante Alighieri, François Villon and Miguel de Cervantes, and masterpieces such as 'The Divine Comedy', 'La Celestina', and 'Don Quijote de La Mancha', will be analysed together with genres such as 'Geisslerlieder', balade, and drama. In addition, we will have a special week studying our neighbours, the Lancashire witches, and how the successful trial from 1612 is still perceived all along our city.
In A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf famously asks ‘what would have happened had Shakespeare had a wonderfully gifted sister?’, and goes on to explore the obstacles to literary success that she might have encountered. This course follows Woolf’s lead by seeking to redress the historical marginalisation of women writers in the English literary canon through an exploration of how women have come to writing at different historical moments, what they have chosen to write, and how. A selection of texts from the 17th century through to the 21st, encompassing autobiographical forms, the novel, poetry and drama, are used to examine relationships between gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and literary production, and to explore continuities, connections and disparities between representations of female experience. The course is historical in terms of both the range of primary texts it addresses, and also the history of feminist theoretical and critical approaches it provides.
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.
As well as language and subject-related skills, a degree in languages develops rich interpersonal, intercultural, cognitive and transferable skills. Combined with the communication, self-expression, research and critical understanding skills gained studying English Literature, a wide range of business and public-sector roles will be open to you. Graduates go on to work in publishing, journalism, librarianship, television and the media, IT, business development, civil service, events management, finance, research and sales, as well as teaching and translating both in the UK and abroad.
For the last ten years, languages graduates from Lancaster have been in the top ten universities in the country in terms of their employment prospects. The Complete University Guide 2017 ranked English 6th in the UK for graduate prospects.
Many graduates continue their studies at Lancaster, making the most of our excellent postgraduate research facilities. We offer Masters degrees in Translation, Languages and Cultures, English Literary Studies and Creative Writing, as well as a range of PhD research degrees.
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 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.
Typical time in lectures, seminars and similar per week during term time
Average assessment by coursework