Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

School for Scandal: The Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century

Module summary

Module code: ENGL1133
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Katarina Stenke


Pre and co requisites



This course aims to:

• Provide students with in-depth knowledge of key literary developments from 1688 to 1832.
• Enable students to understand the relationship between advances in the print marketplace and advances in literary form.
• Develop in students a sense of the relationship between eighteenth-century literary forms and modern-day literary concerns.
• Enable students to evaluate with confidence the relative strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical and critical approaches to eighteenth-century literature.
• Provide students with a historically contextualised and nuanced understanding of the concept of ‘scandal’ and its significance for literature.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Demonstrate an understanding of different historical narratives regarding literary advances in the long eighteenth century (for instance, ‘the rise of the novel’).
2 Critically and creatively engage with key moral and social concepts of the period (for instance, scandal).
3 Show a sophisticated appreciation of the relationship between the long eighteenth century and later periods of literary production.
4 Analyse and interpret eighteenth-century texts, taking into account specifics of form, structure, language and context.
5 Demonstrate enhanced skills of essay construction, argument and research.

Indicative content

This course will provide students with a strong understanding of key themes, genres and stylistic developments in British literature of the long eighteenth century, as well as a detailed knowledge of some of the major works of the period. Students will build on understandings of literary forms and traditions gained in years 1 and 2 as they deploy close textual analysis and historical research to study a wide variety of eighteenth-century genres, such as the novel, the oriental tale, and verse satire. The course will be organized around themes (such as scandal and disguise) that will enable students to draw links between eighteenth-century cultures and literatures and those of the present day, with a particular emphasis on representations of gender, religious and cultural identity.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught predominantly through lectures and seminars. It will normally incorporate a number of gallery and museum visits, and theatre trips where suitable.


Essay 1 - 30% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 - 5.
Essay on term 1 texts. 2500 words.

Creative Project - 25% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 2 - 4.
Creative assignment demonstrating understanding of forms, techniques and themes prevalent in literature of the long eighteenth century. For instance, composition of a poem in the style of Alexander Pope's satires, with a critical commentary explaining how the imitation relates to the original. 1500 words.

Essay 2 - 45% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 - 5.
Essay on term 2 texts. 3000 words.

Students are not required to pass all elements of assessment in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessment - A Review Essay of 1,000-1,500 words offering critical evaluation of primary or secondary source OR museum / gallery visit.