BA Culture, Literature and Politics


Our Politics courses offer students a broad range of options and opportunities – from politics to international relations, media and popular culture to public policy and management, and beyond. Our students benefit from an excellent research programme, regular guest speaker seminars and a range of exciting internship opportunities to build experience and employability.

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In their words

Dan Youmans, BA Politics


Meet Luke Wright. A poet and a theatre writer who graduated from UEA with a BA English Literature. Hear about his experience at UEA and how the societies, extracurricular activities and course gave him the skills to pursue his dream career.

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This degree, taught jointly with our world-renowned School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, allows you to combine the study of literature with an exploration of its social and political context.

From Shakespeare to Salman Rushdie, literature has played a powerful part within society. It has been censored and sponsored, employed as propaganda and used for protest. This degree programme gives you the opportunity to study the ways in which society and its cultural forms of expression are linked. Examining the two together and in depth gives you a unique perspective on contemporary politics and culture.

Drawing from a wide range of optional modules in politics, media and literature, you will be able to reflect on and explore questions such as: How are political events and conflicts reflected in literary texts and influenced by cultural developments? In what ways is literature political? How can literature help us expand our knowledge and understanding of politics?


This degree, taught jointly with UEA's world-renowned School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, allows you to combine the study of literature with an exploration of its social and political context.

From Shakespeare to Salman Rushdie, literature has played a powerful part within society. It has been censored and sponsored, employed as propaganda and used for protest. This degree programme gives you the opportunity to study the ways in which society and its forms of expression are linked, examining these aspects in particular depth to give you a unique perspective of contemporary Politics.

Drawing from a wide range of optional modules in both Politics and English Literature, you will be able to study modules that explore questions such as: How are political events and tensions reflected in literary texts and influenced by literary developments? How do literature and culture influence or underpin the political world?

Course Structure

This degree programme is comprised of compulsory modules to give you a solid grounding in Politics, Culture and Literature, along with a range of optional modules so you can tailor your degree to your own interests. You will also have the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad in your second year.

Year 1

In the first year you will be introduced to key debates and essential content and knowledge through the compulsory modules in literature, media and politics. Modules that we currently offer are ‘Literature in History’, ‘Introduction to Contemporary Politics’, ‘Introduction to Cultural Studies' and Media, Society and Power.’

You will also have the option of studying a modern language.

Year 2

In the second year you can select modules in politics, culture and literature from an optional range, giving you the opportunity to shape your own syllabus according to your own interests.

During this year you will also have the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad. This could be at one of our partner universities in North America, Australasia, Japan, Hong Kong and Europe. For further details please see the Year Abroad tab.

Year 3

In the final year you have the opportunity to write a dissertation, carrying out substantial research in a topic of your choice. This includes some basic training in research methods and you will also receive one-to-one individual supervision by a member of the academic faculty with relevant expertise.

You will also continue to shape your own curriculum with your choice of advanced optional modules. For further details of compulsory and optional modules we currently offer in each year of the programme, please see the Course Profile tab.

We also offer a limited number of work placements and internships. This gives you the chance to get hands-on experience of what it means to work in the EU, but also local and national government. Students on this course have carried out research projects for think tanks and members of parliament. There are also opportunities for work shadowing and short placements in the media industry.


The majority of teaching is carried out through a mixture of lectures and seminars. Lectures are an opportunity for you to get an introduction to a topic, and seminars are an opportunity for in-depth discussion of a topic led by a member of staff. Many of the modules you study are assessed continuously, through essays and other methods, but you will also be expected to complete an examination at the end of each year in contribution to your assessment.

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PSI Graduate comments:

Emily Harmer – BA Culture, Literature and Politics

"I spent my three years in PSI studying for a BA Culture, Literature and Politics, in which I had the opportunity to study an extremely varied programme of study, in conjunction with the School of LIT. I enjoyed my course very much because it allowed me to combine different elements from literature, sociology and politics. There was a lot of choice in the areas of study which meant that I was able to pursue my own interest. I liked the way in which the individual units were structured differently, so that there was an opportunity to develop a wide range of skills that would be useful for most graduates in the future, for example, the use of presentations, research reports, as well as essay writing. I found the participation in seminars very useful not merely to clarify anything that I was unsure of but also because it allowed me to develop my confidence so that I am now able to engage in debate with a wide range of people that I might not have felt comfortable talking to before. This was all made possible by the friendly and approachable faculty members who clearly care about the students. I also like the way that the variety of units made if possible to engage with students that were studying a wide range of disciplines, which meant that I was offered a whole new perspective on certain things."

Study Abroad

Students who are enrolled on 3-year programmes in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have the option of applying to study abroad at one of UEA’s Partner Universities, for one semester of the second year. Please see our Study Abroad website for further information and criteria.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module introduces students to some of the key contemporary debates and issues in the disciplines of Politics and International Relations. The central theme of the module is liberal democracy, its nature, scope and potential strengths and weaknesses. We consider forces which have had an impact upon western liberal democracy - such as globalisation and the media - and examine case studies which illustrate the success and failure of liberal democracy in practice. The case studies change from year to year, but currently include Weimar Germany, Northern Ireland, Britain and the Middle East, and the US.




This module seeks to foster an interdisciplinary awareness by examining literature as cultural response. It will introduce students to some landmark texts and theories of cultural studies, using Victorian and early modernist writing to explore these ideas, and examine cultural and historicist readings of both literary and popular prose. While it is a core module for those in Literature and History, it is suited to all those interested in interdisciplinary study. It is taught through seminars.'




Literature in History II shifts our attention to writing from the 19th century to the present. Although we are still interested in historical context, our focus turns to the history of an idea about literature. Literary realism, or the idea that the novel can, and should, reflect real life, will be our central concern: after establishing what literary realism is and why it was such an important idea in the 19th century, we will examine how writers might agree with, or react against literary realism at different times, and finish by exploring the possibility of literary realism now. The module will allow you a full semester to grapple with a key aesthetic debate about the novel, engage with it through literary and critical texts, and help you to think about the implications of the question of what a novel can - or ought - to do. The module will be taught by weekly lecture and seminar, both of which are compulsory.




This module introduces first year students to the main theories of mass communications and provides them with the key skills of academic reading and writing. Students will reflect on the importance of reading for academic research and learn how to assess and discuss the relevance and impact of milestones in mass communications theory from the nineteenth century to the present. The module explores theoretical approaches to media content, production, regulation and reception, including key themes such as freedom of speech, public sphere and political economy.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


From Salsa to Samba, football to fiesta, Candomble to Capoeira, telenovelas to Tex Mex: Latin American popular cultures combine indigenous, African and European elements in unique ways found nowhere else on earth. In this module, we will examine the origins of a number of Latin American popular cultural forms, the contexts in which they are enjoyed, and the significance they have for Latin Americans. The module is divided into two parts: the first focuses on the historical and social processes which have shaped modern Latin America, while the second examines specific forms of popular culture including popular music genres, popular art, film, media, television and football. The module aims to elucidate the historical, religious, social and political factors that have shaped modern Latin America, and to examine the meanings that Latin Americans themselves attach to popular cultural forms in the region. Note: you do NOT need to speak Spanish or Portuguese to take this module.




This module is for students at beginners' level who have little or no prior experience of French (if you have a recent French GCSE grade C or above, or an international equivalent, then this module may not be appropriate for you). The module will develop students' reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The aim is to equip them with the linguistic understanding of a number of real life situations, as well as the ability to communicate effectively in those situations. There will also be opportunities to explore aspects of the cultures where French is spoken. Particular emphasis is placed on acquiring a sound knowledge of grammar. Please note that very occasionally subsidiary language modules may be cancelled due to low enrolment. Please note that students who are found to have a level of knowledge that exceeds the level for which they have enrolled may be asked to withdraw from the module at the Teacher's discretion.




This module is for students at beginners' level who have little or no prior experience of Japanese. The module will develop students' reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The aim is to equip students with the linguistic understanding of a number of real life situations, as well as the ability to communicate effectively in those situations. There will also be opportunities to explore aspects of the cultures where Japanese is spoken. Particular emphasis is placed on acquiring a sound knowledge of grammar. Please note that very occasionally subsidiary language modules may be cancelled due to low enrolment. Please note that students who are found to have a level of knowledge that exceeds the level for which they have enrolled may be asked to withdraw from the module at the Teacher's discretion.




This module is for students at beginners' level who have little or no prior experience of Spanish. The module will develop students' reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The aim is to equip students with the linguistic understanding of a number of real life situations, as well as the ability to communicate effectively in those situations. There will also be opportunities to explore aspects of the cultures where Spanish is spoken. Particular emphasis is placed on acquiring a sound knowledge of grammar. This is a repeat of module PPLB4022A for those who wish to start their course in the Spring. This module is not available to language and communication students. This module is NOT open to students who have GCSE Spanish (or GCSE equivalent). Please note that very occasionally subsidiary language modules may be cancelled due to low enrolment. Please note that students who are found to have a level of knowledge that exceeds the level for which they have enrolled may be asked to withdraw from the module at the Teacher's discretion.




This module focuses on the role of discourse in the structuring of social relations. Its aim is to show that the linguistic features that make up our texts and verbal exchanges reflect the purpose language is put to in a specific context. Particular consideration is given to the discourse of the media, advertising and politics and how it affects and is affected by ideology and socio-cultural assumptions and by the relationship between individuals and social groups. Students are introduced to the main concepts and essential analytical tools and are encouraged to select their own material for analysis (class practice and formative exercises) on the basis of relevance to their studies and interests. This module equips students with the necessary skills to undertake their own critical analysis of any texts encountered in the course of their studies and beyond and is, therefore, suited to students majoring in political and social sciences, media and cultural studies, literature, philosophy and languages. Students attend a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar.




This module revolves around the close reading of four classic texts from the distant or the recent past, which offer profoundly original perspectives on problems that must constantly be faced and reflected upon by mankind. The specific problem we shall focus on in Spring 2017 is the opposition of liberty and oppression, seen in particular from the point of view of the relation between freedom and revolution. Our main task will be to explore a genealogy of the idea of revolution and then devote ourselves to philosophically central conceptions of revolution, beginning with Marx (and looking at his influence on thinkers and political figures such as Lenin or Rosa Luxemburg) and continuing with critics of Marx who made an effort to reconceive the very idea of revolution, notably the French philosopher and mystic Simone Weil and the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber. These figures and their ideas will naturally attract a number of other texts, some philosophical and some literary (authors may include Homer, LaBoetie, Landauer, Levi, Melville, Todorov), which will be discussed to broaden the context in which our four classics can be situated and explore their theoretical resonance with other classics.




This module provides an introduction to the key debates over media and cultural theory. In the process, it focuses on the key movements and theorists and covers key debates over the concept of mass culture and the mass media, structuralism and poststructuralism, high/low culture, the culture industries, and hegemony. The module will be taught by lecture and seminar.




This module fundamentally deals with ideas about the power of the media and the ways that various political actors use that power. It will examine this in terms of how political actors use the media in political communications. Students will cover ideas about media effects, branding in politics, and soft power in international relations, as well as the tools used by various political actors, such as political parties and resistance or civic movements. These will be discussed in relation to the roles of journalists and public opinion, communications in elections, as well national building and branding and the communication of transnational actors. Students will get practical experience analysing and producing communication strategies.




This module introduces students to the history of modern philosophy by studying the work of a number of major philosophers from the period 1650 to 1950. Philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Sartre and de Beauvoir may be studied. We look at the different answers they give to a common set of problems, beginning with problems in epistemology, i.e. problems about the nature and limits of human knowledge, about what we can know and how we can know it. These problems connect with questions about what the world must be like in order for us to know it and what we (our minds) must be like in order to know the world, what sort of properties we possess and what this means for our freedom and actions. The module is taught through a detailed reading of original texts by these philosophers, and close reading of texts is developed in the formative exercises and the summative essay work; there is also an examination. The module is suitable for students with little or no prior experience of philosophy, and can be taken by students on other degrees, as your first or sole philosophy module.



Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


The UK's relationship with its continental European neighbours has historically been fraught with tension and difficulty. This module investigates and attempts to explain Britain's ambivalent attitude towards European integration and considers competing visions of Britain's post-war destiny. It tracks, through examination of internal debates in the two main political parties, the UK's changing European policy from aloofness in the 1950s through the two half-hearted applications for membership in the 1960s to accession in 1973 and the development of its reputation as an 'awkward partner'. It also examines the impact of EU membership on British politics and the British political system, assesses the success of Britain's efforts to shape the EU agenda, and critically evaluates the arguments for and against British membership, including those concerning British exceptionalism. This module is recommended for those students who intend to progress to the European Studies with Brussels Internship' module in Year 3




The aim of this module is to introduce students to the key theoretical issues and debates that underpin the discipline of political science so that students understand the main methodological and ideological approaches to political science. It will also be of relevance to international relations students. The module will provide important foundations for the remainder of the politics major degree. It will be one of two compulsory modules for single honours Politics students. The first part of the module will focus on understanding basic political concepts ('building blocks') such as a rational choice, culture, and institutions, and critically examine these concepts and their application, linking to key empirical debates in political science about power, representation, accountability and policy making in western democracies. The second part focuses on meta-theoretical concerns such as how to compare political phenomena and systems, ideas and material explanation, structure and agency, epistemology and ontology.




The aim of this module is to enable students to develop understanding of political systems in advanced Western states. Students graduating from the module will be able to demonstrate: - critical understanding of the main theories, models and concepts applied in the analysis of political systems and their comparison - knowledge of national political systems and their institutional dynamics, political processes and debates concerning the emergence of new political regimes, the politics of territory, parties and party systems, political leadership, legislatures, interest groups, the state and public policy, and identity and citizenship; - critical awareness of current debates in comparative politics - key skills, including critical evaluation, analytical investigation, written presentation, and oral communication.




This module considers how the concept of democracy has changed since it originated in ancient Greece and looks at the critiques of democracy advanced by its opponents. The ideas and values underpinning democracy will be examined. The first part of the module focuses on texts by the major democratic thinkers including Locke, Rousseau and Mill. The second part concentrates on contemporary theories of democracy and examines the problems which democracy currently faces and evaluates the solutions proposed, including "electronic democracy" and "cosmopolitan democracy".




The module focuses on European political and economic co-operation and projections for the future. Issues include: the EU's attempts at foreign policy in international conflicts such as Iraq, former Yugoslavia, Georgia, co-operation with other International organisations, as an economic superpower vis-a-vis the United States, China and Japan, as aid-donor to the Developing World and a pioneering force behind environmental policy and energy policy - as a hesitant superpower in security and defence (Islamic State, Africa, Asia, etc.). It is advisable - but not compulsory - to know a few basics as to the make-up and workings of the EU before embarking on this module.




Providing a conceptual overview of feminist research approaches, this module examines contemporary gender and power relations. It examines both the formal and informal power structures that shape the experience of gender. Bringing together the fields of media, sociology, politics and international relations, the module explores a variety of themes and case studies including: gender, representation and the media, feminist methodologies and international relations, gender and IPE.




Few areas of international politics which remain unregulated by international organisations or international norms. This module examines the historical development of international organizations and regimes, including the UN, NATO, European Union, and international financial institutions. It also assesses their design and evolution, and the extent to which their operation reflects underlying power and interest. It critically evaluates the main theories to explain cooperation between states, the role played in security, trade, finance, gender and environmental policy, and asks whether the structure of international organisation amounts to global governance.




This module explores issues within, and perspectives on, international security. In the first part of the module, we explore the continuing salience of violent conflict and the use of force in world politics. While some have theorised that the advent of globalisation and spread of liberal democracy would make the use of force and violent conflict less relevant to the world, war and conflict have remained an integral part of the international system. The module examines the ways in which violent conflict and the use of force are managed in world politics. It surveys a variety of perspectives on the causes of war and peace in order to examine the roots of violent conflicts and security problems in the present day. Additionally, the responses of the international community to violent conflict including terrorism will be explored, looking broadly at the contested notion of the "Just War". Drawing upon historical and contemporary examples of war and violent conflict, it assesses the contributions of different actors and processes to the achievement of regional and world peace and security. The module's second part turns to contemporary 'critical' debates around international security. These will include constructivist, feminist, and sociological perspectives on what security is, how it is achieved, and whether it is desirable. We will also investigate the host of seemingly new security challenges that have increasingly captured the attention of policymakers and academics. How useful is it to think of issues such as pandemics, environmental degradation, poverty, and undocumented migration as security issues? What is gained and what is lost by so doing?




This module examines the development, structure, nature and functions of the European Union and looks at the history and theories of European integration from the 1940s to the present day. The module concentrates on the institutions and processes which run the EU, demystifies its main policies, examines critically the role of the Euro, and assesses the positions of the member-states on the EU's constantly developing agenda. The significance of the European Union in relationship to the rest of the world, its democratic credentials and its importance for understanding politics and governance are also considered. This module is recommended for those students who intend to progress to the European Studies with Brussels Internship' module in Year 3




The module looks at the linkage between language and politics, at propaganda and the (mis)representation of the world. It places particular emphasis on the acquisition of linguistic tools that will enhance your ability to analyse varieties of political discourse in action, including the numerous forms of media involvement in political processes. Presentations of the main concepts and examples are linked with practice sessions in which students have the opportunity to design and produce political texts. In addition we use analytical exercises to test and challenge the theories of language use and the practices of politics focusing on both historical and contemporary situations and data. The module encourages students to develop, practice and test a range of skills, including: being able to consider, analyse and challenge critically the ideas and practices of themselves and others; taking part in teamwork; presenting ideas and analytical outcomes. By the end of the module, you should be able to understand and engage with politics (and language itself) in a significantly different way to before.




The module introduces students to the role of media and communications in processes of globalisation with a particular focus on questions of cultural change. It discusses the cultural implications of global media images and cultural products by exploring audience practices and media representations in different contexts. The first weeks of the module introduce the main theoretical approaches to mediated globalisation. The rest of the module discusses and assesses these approaches by critically exploring the connections between global media products and cultural transformation; changes and continuities in audience practices around the world; and the potential of media representations to transform social interaction across geographical borders.




Students acquire knowledge of the theory and practice of a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods. A variety of skills can be acquired - interviewing, observation, focus groups, taking fieldwork notes, computerised data analysis, report writing, etc. Assessment is via two individual research reports, one quantitative and one qualitative, the data being either provided to students or collected by them as part of a collaborative piece of primary research. This module is compulsory for students taking degrees in Politics and Society, Culture and Media. These two group of students will be taught in separate streams, and the material in each will be tailored to their subject-specific needs.




For better or worse, new digital technologies are hyped at having revolutionised society. This module will provide students with an introduction to the ways in which the internet and other digital technologies are (and are not) affecting society from theoretical and empirical perspectives, and how society shapes technology. Topics covered include: the evolution of the internet; the "network society"; regulating new media; the radical internet and terrorism; social networking, blogs and interactivity; culture and identity in the digital age; and how the internet affects politics and the media.




Media is an inescapable part of contemporary political life. This module examines the many dimensions of media's political involvement. We start with arguments about media power, and then go on to look at questions of media bias, before turning to the ways in which political communication has changed (and is changing). We look at the role of the state in using and controlling media and the new techniques of media management. This leads to a discussion about media effects. We end by asking what is meant by a democratic media and how new media are changing the relationship between politics and media. This module links closely to Level 6 modules such as International Communication and Politics and Popular Culture.




This module introduces students to key perspectives in 19th and 20th century social and political theory. Central to this module is an interest in the relationship between economic, social and cultural structures and individual agency and identity. Areas explored include the following: social conflict and consensus; conceptions of power and domination; Marxism and neo-Marxism; critical theory; structuralism; poststructuralism; ideology and discourse; postmodernity; the self and consumer society.




The School of PPL has various arrangements with overseas Universities where it is possible to spend a semester studying abroad. For more information on this please contact Dr Elizabeth Cobbett (International exchanges), Dr V Koutrakou (ERASMUS exchanges) - or the Study Abroad Office. Assessment types may vary, depending on university abroad.




Drawing on a range of theoretical approaches in the field of media and cultural studies, this module explores the relationship between media culture and social identities. Discussing the representation of identity in media content, as well as issues of media production, regulation and consumption, it critically reflects upon the relationship between media culture and social power and considers how social and technological changes impact on the ways in which identity is experienced in everyday life. On successful completion of this module, students should be able, at threshold level, to critically reflect upon the ways in which media texts construct social identity and should be able to discuss the relationship between media and identity with awareness for social, institutional and technological factors that shape both media production and consumption.




Some people are arguing that British politics is in crisis - tumbling electoral turnouts, decline of political parties, cynicism about the political class, high levels of apathy etc. We examine and make sense of this problem (if it is a problem), by examining in depth three or four topics. Recently these have included: changing patterns of electoral behaviour and campaigning; the issue of electoral reform; the evolving role of political parties in the face of social and technological change.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module considers texts by Austen and the Brontes in relation to a wide variety of literary and historical contexts: feminisms, colonialism, impact of war, the social status of the woman writer, representations of governesses, madness, mad women and mad men, rakes, foreigners and strangers. We investigate the forms of communication which seem to be offered by and in the romance novel and the ways in which the lives of these authors have been told and read as romances. Opportunities will be available to work on film versions and students will also have, as part of the assessment, the opportunity to produce their own piece of creative writing in response to the primary texts.




This module aims to take an open snapshot of different modes of writing in the recent British scene, not a post-war history of the novel. We'll concentrate on more adventurous examples of contemporary fiction, looking at specific aspects of form and style, and thinking about how such aspects speak to broader matters of history and ideology. We'll also consider also what it might mean to be or to call oneself contemporary.




Through a combination of lectures and seminars, this module will explore the theory and practice of literary criticism from the origins of the study of English literature as an academic discipline to the present. In order to do this, we examine not only the work of literary critics and theorists, but also engage with developments in linguistics, economics, psychoanalysis and philosophy, tracing the ways in which these overlap with, and inform, literary study.




This module reads fiction, poetry, nonfictional prose, and drama of the eighteenth century, as a means with which to identify the dominant concerns of the epoch (class; gender; the politics of party; increasing secularisation), and to explore some of its debates (aristocracy versus middle class; prose versus poetry; classical or ancient versus modern or contemporary; religious versus secular). We read popular novelists, such as Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, and Henry Fielding; popular dramatists (Fielding especially); verse both well-known and more obscure (Pope, Gay, Smart); and excerpts from other contemporary sources (didactic, philosophical, political, religious). By the end of the module you will have acquired a knowledge of and sensitivity to the literary genres of the eighteenth century (novel, poetry, prose, drama); a knowledge of the political and cultural landscape; and a knowledge of the conditions of writing (print culture, the beginnings of literary criticism, the professionalization of literature).




This module examines examples of twentieth-century European writing (all read in translation). Rather than (merely) place writers in their national contexts, we will deal with topics, issues and formal experiments that complicate, sometimes transcend, national boundaries. In fact we will interrogate what 'European' might mean in relation to literature - where are the borders? Are continental Europeans fundamentally 'other'? And if so, how does this otherness manifest itself aesthetically, thematically, tonally and formally? We'll look at how writers from different countries frequently challenge the conventions of genre and the conventions of reading and interpreting. Among a range of important innovations (or continuities), we may explore varieties of 'European' modernism, New Objectivity, the absurd, the nouveau roman, noir, or magical realism. We will also ask how European writers have responded to the challenges, upheavals and catastrophes of the twentieth century and how they deal with the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity within Europe. The module includes a weekly lecture. Assessment is by means of an individually chosen project (3500 words) which is supported by individual and group tutorials, a dedicated guidance session and a formative proposal.




This module offers students the opportunity to study some of the great works of nineteenth-century Russian fiction by authors such as Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Russian writers were convinced that their country's literature had been too dependent on European models and they set out consciously to create a distinctly 'Russian' tradition. What did this involve and why subsequently were the works of the authors like Dostoevsky and Chekhov received so rapturously when they became available in English translations at the beginning of the twentieth century? We will also examine this writing in its social, historical and political context, which raises questions regarding the significance of gender, censorship and empire.




This module will offer a series of different approaches to the question of how Literature and Philosophy can speak to each other as academic disciplines, demonstrating the breadth and diversity of the two fields, as well as acquainting students with the research in literary criticism and philosophy currently being pursued at UEA. As well as examining the ways in which literature can illuminate and trouble philosophical argument, it will explore literature and 'the literary' as a topic for philosophical analysis, and the kinds of thinking such a topic would demand. Setting literature and philosophy into dialogue in this way will engender a more capacious understanding of the particular philosophical issues, and literary techniques, under discussion. The course will allow students to develop an awareness of the limits and advantages of various modes of literary and philosophical expression, and to foster more sophisticated skills in both literary and philosophical criticism. The module will be made up of a lecture circus, with two weeks given to each lecturer on a particular topic related to their current research (there will be five in all, David Nowell Smith (module convenor) plus two from PHI and two from LDC). The seminars will discuss issues arising from these lectures, working with texts set by the lecturer. The module is compulsory for VQ53 English Literature with Philosophy students, but is also open for other students in the English Literature and Philosophy degree courses.




This module aims to provide an introduction to the study of medieval literature. We shall explore together a range of medieval texts (the lyric, allegorical narrative, romance, fabliau, dream vision, 'mystical writing', 'life writing', moral fable, political verse), working slowly both to familiarise ourselves with the difficulties and differences of Middle English and to introduce the distinctive richnesses and complexities of medieval literature. The module falls into three basic parts. The first, which turns to works by Chaucer, Julian of Norwich, and Margery Kempe, is organised generically and topically: close reading of Chaucer's 'Clerk's Tale', 'Merchant's Tale', and 'The Book of the Duchess' and of excerpts from Julian's 'Revelations of Divine Love' and from 'The Book of Marery Kempe' will allow us to introduce medieval allegory, the play of the sacred and the secular in medieval culture, medieval dream vision, and the terms of affective piety and medieval visionary writing. The second and third parts then turn, in more sustained fashion, first to the 'Morall Fabillis' of Roberty Henryson, perhaps the finest poet of the fifteenth century, and to medieval Romance, concentrating on the remarkable poem, 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.




The purpose of this module is to study the literature of the early decades of the twentieth century - roughly 1900-1930 - in particular the work of those authors who attempted to break with received norms of literary style and content. The module is organised as a series of thematic and formal explorations that include attention to at least some of the following: the dissolution of character and gravitation towards psychological states such as fantasy and desire, with the emergence of the unconscious; narrative and temporal disruption, obtrusion of language and other sources of modernist difficulty, the afterlife of religion, as in interest in the unseen and supernatural; the significance of the city, the mass media, and other modern cultural forms; gender and the politics of modernism. The sequence of guiding lectures focuses discussion on a set of specific texts and themes, with their contexts, and these are taken up for consideration in the accompanying seminars. 'Modernism' is thus constructed gradually over the semester as a mosaic of closely related issues, each one reflecting on the others. As well as providing an overview of defining textual features, in prose and poetry, the module is concerned also with the critical reading of modernism in the light of contemporaneous criticism and theory as well as current analyses.




This module examines the use of theatre and performance - by the State, by oppositional groups, by political activists and by theatre and performance practitioners - to solidify or challenge structures of power. The course looks at specific examples of how theatre and public spectacles have been used in the twentieth century to control or contest the political stage. Examining American, South America, African, Russian, and Eastern European performance in the twentieth century, this class will document and explore through specific performances, videos, dramatic texts and theoretical essays, how performance in theory and practice can be used to explore issues to race, ethnicity, gender, political upheaval and social change within a society.




Romantic Literature is often thought of as poetry, primarily work by Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and Bryon. But the signs and forms of Romantic sensibility can also be found in a much broader constituency of writing practice: the novel, letter writing, the essay, political and aesthetic theory, and writing of all kinds taken as social critique. This module is taught through a combination of lectures and seminars.




This module introduces you to the poetry, drama and prose of one of Britain's most exciting and turbulent periods of cultural, political and intellectual transformation: the seventeenth century. The module works through lectures, which establish larger questions we might ask of the week's material, and seminars, in which we close read passages of texts together intensively. We begin in the early-seventeenth century by exploring the ways English writing was transformed by its encounters with classical texts and by religious experience, before turning to explore women writers' complicated relationship to early-modern literary culture. In the module's second half, we ask how literary forms were transformed by the extraordinary upheavals of the English civil war and the execution of the monarch. Throughout, we learn how knowledge of the circumstances of texts' publication and readership can help us to interpret literature. Authors we study include famous figures such as Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell, and John Milton (including a look at his masterpiece, Paradise Lost), as well as many lesser-known writers, including women like Lucy Hutchinson and Amelia Lanyer, and Norwich's greatest writer, Thomas Browne. You will have the chance to read translations of several of the classical authors (including Horace and Martial) who influenced them. The module includes a visit to the Norfolk Heritage Centre (in the centre of Norwich) to see their remarkable collection of seventeenth-century books.




The aim of this lecture-seminar module is to help you become a better reader of Shakespearean drama. He was writing between about 1590 and about 1610; obviously his plays speak to us over a great cultural distance, and we can find fresh ways of reading them by exploring the theatrical, generic and historical frameworks in which they were written and staged. The lectures, then, will introduce a range of contexts, and the seminars will seek to turn them to account in the reading of the dramatic texts themselves.




This module aims to equip you with a knowledge of writing from across the nineteenth century, in a variety of modes (fiction, poetry, science, journalism, cultural criticism, nonsense). We will examine authors such as George Eliot, Tennyson, Dickens, Darwin, Arnold, Charlotte Bronte, and the Brownings. You will thus develop an awareness of how different kinds of writing in the period draw on, influence, and contest with each other. Likewise, you will acquire a sense for the cultural, political and socio-economic contexts of nineteenth-century writing, and some of the material contexts in which that writing took place (serial publication, popular readership, periodical writing, public controversy).



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module provides a broadly chronological view of American poetry from the start of the twentieth century to the present day. It wonders about what the consequences might be if we consider seriously Emerson's claim (made in 1844), that America might be seen as a poem.




This module explores both America's fascination with crime fiction, and crime fiction itself as an American genre. From its emergence in the mid-nineteenth century writings of Edgar Allen Poe, this module will investigate the ways in which American crime fiction has traced and exposed a wide range of social and cultural anxieties in America. Moving through the early twentieth century hard-boiled detective narratives of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Chester Himes, and into the postmodern concerns of late twentieth and early twenty-first century writers such as James Ellroy, Patricia Highsmith, Sara Paretsky, Carl Hiaasen and Patricia Cornwell, we will examine the ways in which American crime fiction asks a series of searching and troubling questions about contemporary American society. Central to our analysis will be the ways in which crime fiction represents a range of American concerns including individualism, the 'hero', race, gender, class, regionalism, the city, and the environment.




The first book published in the New World was a hymn book. Music, sacred and profane, has been at the centre of American lives ever since. Accordingly, this module will explore the history of American music - but it will also examine the way that its development tells a larger story. Focusing largely on the vernacular musical traditions we will encounter a wide range of musical styles and musicians, each of which has something vital to tell us about the shaping of America. After all, as Plato knew, "When the mode of the music changes, the walls of the city shake."




The purpose of this unit is to expose students to a range of works by American women writers in the 20th century. We will looks at some of the best known women writers in the American tradition, as well as works or writers you are not likely to encounter in other units, because either the author or the work is sidelined.




The purpose of this module is to expose students to a range of prose works by important contemporary American writers. We will identify a number of key concepts associated with contemporary American fiction, such as (but not limited to) postmodernism, metafiction, historiography, identity, globalisation, place, and memory. At the same time, though, we will explore why it is challenging to describe, and make fictions about, contemporary American culture.




The module will examine America in the1980s. It will look at youth culture, post-Vietnam revisionism and the 'remasculinization of America', yuppie culture, and the impact of both AIDS and drug addiction. Core factors of study in this module are the effects of both New Right morality upon the American socio-cultural landscape, and Ronald Reagan as postmodern president administrating to a 'celluloid America' of his own fantastic imagining. Overall, the module will offer the chance to analyse the tensions and contradictions of the decade as they were played out in both the content and structure of contemporary American film.



LIVING ON THE HYPHEN: Multi-ethnic American Literatures

America has long been interpreted as the location of social possibility founded upon a desire to assimilate and negate ethnic 'others'. This module traces the literary responses of distinct 'American' cultures: including Native American; African American; Asian American; and Latin American. Each group of texts engage with the specific historical, cultural and political relationships between the US and each author's country of origin or national/cultural history, across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics will include race and racism, exile, return, family, belonging, identity, language and memory, colonisation, imperialism, slavery, segregation, immigration, and illegality/invisibility, with an emphasis upon contemporary experiences.




This module aims to introduce students to strategies and techniques for analysing photographs and, more specifically, uses the visual record to study and illuminate the history of the USA. Viewed here as sites of historical evidence, photographic portraits, family albums, anthropological illustrations, lynching postcards, advertisements, food packaging, fashion photos are just some of the pictures that will be "read" and evaluated. Students will explore how visual texts can contribute to an understanding of nationhood, class, race, sexuality and identity in the USA, with an emphasis on the nineteenth century. Opening sessions will focus on ways of "reading" visual texts. [No previous experience of working with images is necessary]. Most of the semester will be devoted to analysing how photographic images both reflect and contribute to constructions of American identities and culture.




On this module we will explore Beat literature, tracing its origins in American rebellion and avant-garde experimentation, and the subsequent impact of the Beats on American literature and culture. We will examine how the Beats developed a counterculture which both engaged with and struggled against the limits of writing, identity, and society in mid-century America. Through close readings of texts and a sustained examination of key critical concepts, we will not only develop an understanding of the Beats in context, but also interrogate the limits of Beat literature itself through critical reflection on the tensions of race, gender, and "consensus culture" which surround and inform Beat writing.




What was the Cold War? How did it start, where and how was it fought, and why did it last so long? This module analyses these issues by exploring the contest waged by the U.S. and Soviet Union in every corner of the globe during the twentieth century. It considers nations and peoples who aligned with the superpowers or, as was increasingly the case, with neither. It looks at the multiple ways in which this unique 'war short of total war' influenced all aspects of life, from diplomacy and politics, to economics, to culture and values, to bombs and warfare, to societal norms, to questions of race and sexuality. With attention to a range of state, private, and transnational actors, it analyses the global and international nature of the Cold War. It explores the place of the conflict amid other transformative historical narratives during the century and, finally, considers the changing ways that historians have written about the Cold War.



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

If you select PPLX6042Y from this Option Range you cannot take it from Option Range B

Name Code Credits


Would an ideal society have no more crime? Who would be wealthy? Would politics be outlawed? Do utopians wish to impose their views on the rest of us? This module explores questions such as these, which are central to political and social theory, through the prism of selected utopian and dystopian novels and other utopian texts ranging from Thomas More's Utopia (1516) to the present. It focuses on themes such as property, social control, gender, work, the environment and politics. A major question which the module addresses is the political significance and effects of utopian ideas - often derided as frivolous or impractical in their own time - and the historical role of utopian ideas in political theory and social reform.




The dissertation module gives students the opportunity to undertake research on a project of their own choosing under the supervision of a member of staff. The goal is to produce an extended essay of approximately 8,000 words, which relates in-depth research on a specialist topic to wider issues in politics, media and culture, sociology and international studies. A limited number of parliamentary internships are also available as part of this module. There is a series of lectures and workshops that all students will be expected to attend (four in the first semester, three in the second) as well as meeting their supervisor on a regular basis




IN TAKING THIS MODULE YOU CANNOT TAKE PPLM6097A Students are advised that they should ideally have previously taken a media-related module before choosing this one. This module explores media and communication at the international level and focuses on the major issues in international communication within the contemporary global society. Combining theory and empirics, it explores how the media address regional and global issues beyond the nation-state, global media infrastructure, international flow of information, global news production, the role of media in international situations of conflict and war, political propaganda, public diplomacy, and the transnational media cultural consumption. By successfully completing this module, students will be able to understand the role of media and communication in global society and critically evaluate the process of international communication in the political, social and cultural aspects of contemporary world.




This module explores a variety of matters relating to language and its relationship to questions of gender and sexuality. Do men and women use language differently? Are the genders represented differentially in language and what might this show about socio-cultural ideologies and power structures? Is linguistic behaviour used to create and construct gender and sexual identities? Consideration will include such issues as stereotypical ideas of gendered language, sexist language, how same-sex conversations differ from mixed-sex conversations, how children are linguistically socialised into their gender categories, whether men are from Mars and women from Venus, and so on. Discussion and reading will be informed by a wide variety of ideas from fields such as anthropology, psychology, biology, sociology, and politics (especially feminism). This is a 30-credit variant of PPLL6035A and it may not be taken by language and communication students.




Popular culture links to politics in a variety of ways, some obvious, some less obvious. There are the politicians who seek the endorsement of film stars; there are the politicians who were film stars; and there are the rock performers who pretend that they are politicians. And then there are the states that censor popular culture to those that sponsor it and use it as propaganda. This module explores the many ways in which popular culture and politics are linked. It aims to introduce students to competing theories of the politics of popular culture; to look at how popular culture features in political communication; to explore developments in the political economy of popular culture, especially in relation to globalisation, new media and power within the cultural industries; to consider the main debates about the censorship of popular culture and state subsidy of it; and to explore arguments about the value and effect of popular culture, and about its role in personal and collective identity.




Political activity involves a lot of talking, discussing and debating, speechifying, speaking and listening. In Parliaments, from public platforms and through many forms of media people try to persuade others to see things their way, to take their side and to adopt their proposals. Naturally, therefore, the form, function and implications of different forms of public argument are an important concern of political theorists and scientists. This course will explore some contemporary theorists who, in different ways, help us think through the politics of public speech and persuasion (Arendt, Dryzek, Laclau, Ranciere and others). It will also introduce you to the rhetorical tradition. Rhetoric, according to Aristotle, is "the ability to identify in any given case the available means of persuasion". In studying political rhetoric we learn about the different ways in which political arguments may be made and about how we might try to persuade particular people, about particular things at particular times.



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

If you select PPLX6042Y from this Option Range you cannot take it from Option Range A

Name Code Credits


The module focuses on the qualitative analysis of political discourse in the press, TV and computer-mediated communication. Specifically we investigate how topics such as International Relations, EU politics, immigration and climate change are construed and interpreted by the media, and how this "social construction of reality" impacts on agenda-formation in public opinion and political decision taking. The methods we adopt include Systemic-Functional Linguistics, Cognitive Semantics and Multimodal Analysis. The aim of the module is to bring together theory and hands-on analysis and research in media products.




This module examines the history, structures and key institutions of Australian government and their broader relationships with Australian society and culture. It has been argued Australia was manacled to its colonial past, and lacked innovation and proactivity. At the same time, the phrase, 'lucky country', has been used to project Australia as uniquely stable, politically, socially, and economically. Is this accurate? Some think so, attributing it to Australia's system of government: are they right? This module addresses such questions and, in its later stages, considers some of the challenges Australia faces, both internal such as multiculturalism and Aboriginality, and external, for example, regionalisation and globalisation.




The aim of this module is to enable students to develop an understanding of capitalism and its political and social impact. Students graduating from the module will be able to demonstrate: -critical understanding of the main theories, models and concepts applied in the analysis of capitalism -critical understanding of normative debates about capitalism -knowledge of the arguments made by advocates and critics of capitalism, with an awareness of their strengths and weaknesses.




This module seeks to critically examine consumer cultures within Euro-American societies. It understands consumer culture as a specific form of material culture that is not restricted to commerce, but is both an economic and cultural phenomenon. It is divided into three sections. The first two will explore the main theoretical and conceptual foundations which underpin the study of consumer cultures. The final applies these debates to specific case studies. The themes explored as a part of the module will intersect with larger questions of identity, modernity and globalisation. The main aims of the module are to challenge previous claims that production determines consumption and engage with broader ideas about the negotiation of power, and how individuals use goods to construct their own cultural identities.




The dissertation module gives students the opportunity to undertake research on a project of their own choosing under the supervision of a member of staff. The goal is to produce an extended essay of approximately 8,000 words, which relates in-depth research on a specialist topic to wider issues in politics, media and culture, sociology and international studies. A limited number of parliamentary internships are also available as part of this module. There is a series of lectures and workshops that all students will be expected to attend (four in the first semester, three in the second) as well as meeting their supervisor on a regular basis




The module examines one of the fundamental and enduring questions of normative political theory and applied ethics: who should get what and why? The module focuses on some of the leading contemporary theorists of distributive justice, including Rawls, Nozick, Dworkin, Elster, Pogge and Sen. As well as exploring macro questions of justice (e.g. What principles of justice for the basic institutions of society?, Equality of what?, What's wrong with global poverty?) the module also spends time on a range of micro questions about just allocation (e.g. How should scarce donor organs be distributed? Should prisoners pay for their own food and accommodation? What compensations do governments owe to citizens when they frustrate their legitimate expectations?) In addition to this, the module also addresses several methods of studying the nature and practice of justice: specifically, looking at contractualist reasoning, conceptual analysis, hypothetical cases, the interpretation of the purpose of social practices and institutions, the use of public opinion surveys, and citizens juries. Finally, the format of the module will be a one-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar each week, comprising research-led teaching, seminar discussions, practical exercises, textual reading, balloon debate, and essay writing and research-skills mini-sessions. The module will rely heavily on formative feedback on presentation and essay writing skills, building to one assessed long essay and a seminar performance mark.




This module is restricted to students from PPL and HIS who are nationals of a European Economic Area (EEA) member state (UK, other EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein), and who have undertaken a level 5 PPL EU related module. This module, PPLI6087B, will focus on preparing enrolled students for a training placement in Brussels by developing a practical understanding of how the EU works and it will provide knowledge of 'domestic' EU public affairs such as regional policy, public health, sport, business promotion, trading standards, energy and environmental policy, funding and regulation. It does NOT offer experience of foreign affairs, diplomacy or security, although broad experience of working in Brussels is an important addition to any CV. There will be seminars, workshops and briefings during the Spring Semester and the four week training placement in Brussels will be taken between Easter and late Autumn at dates set by the school and the host organisation in Brussels. The placement is optional and not tied to successful completion of the module. A substantial contribution will be made towards the costs of accommodation and travel for each placement. There are a limited number of places and selection will be by competitive interview from those eligible to apply. Selection will be based principally on the judgement of the interviewing panel of which applicants will (a) gain the most from the training placement and, (b) the extent to which candidates demonstrate real drive and commitment.




This module looks at the political implications of the rise of multicultural societies in Europe and North America since the end of World War II. (Canada is given consideration because of its importance to these debates both as a practical model as well as a source of influential theorists.) The aim is to introduce students to a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives on multiculturalism and facilitate critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of such approaches in the face of competing political discourses such as nationalism and alternative forms of liberalism. Theorists under examination will include; Parekh, Kymlicka, Levy, Taylor and Modood as well as major liberal alternative views; Barry, Rawls and Raz. Among the module themes the following will be addressed; group differentiated rights; institutional racism, Islamophobia, recognition vs toleration and cultural offence. The module will also look at divergent policies adopted within European states (eg: France and Germany) and give attention to the attempts to operationalize multiculturalism in the UK in particular via the Parekh Report.




Students graduating from this module will have a sound understanding of the multi-level nature of politics and governance in Britain, how government works and is delivered, and where public policy decisions are made and by whom. They will also understand how interest intermediation and public affairs interacts with the political process at local, national and international levels, in a variety of settings, and the 'rules' for ensuring probity and transparency. New skills will be developed and awareness raised of what it takes to secure a career in politics, public services and/or public affairs with opportunities to enhance employability such as through optional 'real world' professional practice projects - the aim being to help students to build contacts, increase confidence, gain relevant experience and demonstrate their skills.




This module will explore the relationship of the war in Vietnam to US culture, history and politics. It will place the war within the discourse of US cultural values, from questions of American colonialism to an exploration of the iconography of the war, and it will further examine how the war has had a dynamic and long-lasting series of effects upon the US.




Although the term terrorism goes back to the French revolution, it was rarely employed until the 1970's. Contrast this with today when terrorism, it seems, is everywhere we look: in foreign policy decisions, military interventions, homeland security measures, legal frameworks, newspaper headlines, speeches and sermons, films and video games, and, of course, university modules such as this. In this module, we engage in a critical exploration of terrorism, counter-terrorism, and the academic field of terrorism research. We will begin by exploring the history of terrorism, and engage in debates around the definition and character of terrorist violence. Is it possible, necessary, or even desirable to separate terrorism from other forms of violence, for instance? The module will then introduce different perspectives on the causes, types and threat of non-state terrorism. This leads into an examination of a range of strategies for countering terrorism, and their political and normative implications. The module finishes by exploring the emergence and contribution of critical terrorism studies, examining issues including state terrorism, gender and terrorism, cultural representations of terrorism, and the production and influence of terrorism 'experts.'



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module offers students the chance to learn about children's literature and its development. It starts with the history of children's literature, looking at its use as a pedagogical tool, moving through Aesop's fables, fairy tales, Mother Goose, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and examining other authors who may include A.A. Milne, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, Sherman Alexie and Nancy Garden, amongst others. The course looks at issues of genre and content as well as historical context. Theoretical readings on children's literature are also closely engaged with, possibly including work by Perry Nodelman, Jack Zipes. Maria Nikolajeva, and others. By studying the development of children's literature, this module also analyses the development of the concept of childhood in Western society. This module also includes presentations and a writing workshop.




The history of twentieth-century literature is often told from the perspective of the metropolitan avant-garde. Modernist writers and intellectuals by turns celebrated or abominated the modern metropolis, but they tended to agree that the urban and the modern were inextricably linked. They were also often united by a hatred of suburbia, which they associated with the rise of a pooterish middle class and in turn with an irredeemably philistine, socially conservative middlebrow culture. Wyndham Lewis famously blasted 'the purgatory of Putney'. Yet in certain respects the twentieth century was the suburban century, as the cities continued their horizontal expansion and the separation of 'life' and 'work' that is the suburban response to industrialism became widespread. The growth of suburbia from the late nineteenth century to the present day has provoked a fascinating variety of cultural responses, including, but not limited to, hostile denunciations. Writers, artists and filmmakers found much opportunity for comedy in suburban habits, values and aspirations. They considered the emergence of the suburban housewife and the implications for this for women and for feminism. They debated the architecture and planning of the suburbs, notably through engagements with the Garden City and Garden Suburb movements. They speculated about the political implications of the growth of a literate, home-owning suburban middle class. They depicted the effects of mass immigration on suburbia and the development of suburban multiculture. They pointed to the uncanny and even the surreal aspects of suburban life. This module explores the literature and cultural geography of suburbia in Britain and the United States, and in so doing it suggests an alternative history of modernity, told not from the centre but from the periphery. Writers covered might include: George and Weedon Grossmith, Arthur Machen, William Morris, C.F.G Masterman, Ebenezer Howard, H. G. Wells, Dorothy Richardson, George Orwell, Stevie Smith, Elizabeth Bowen, Doris Lessing, Richard Yates, Hanif Kureshi, J. G Ballard and Julian Barnes. We will also consider examples of suburban film and television.




In an interview with Derek Attridge, Jacques Derrida describes literature as 'this strange institution which allows one to say everything'. This module explores the writings of Derrida and related thinkers alongside a range of literary texts, including works by Keats, Shakespeare and Joyce. Through a combination of lectures and seminars, we will think about the strangenesses of literature, look at the ways in which it is an 'institution' and consider the kinds of freedom - of speech, writing and thinking - it permits. Our aim throughout will be to establish the possibilities for literary criticism opened up by deconstruction. The module is open to everyone, but may be of particular interest to those who studied critical theory in the second year.




The module will incorporate a historical survey of Western lyric, looking at its inception in the poetry of Pindar and Sappho, and the Aristotelian division of poetic arts in lyric, dramatic and epic. It will cover lyrics from Provencal troubadour poets through the Italian and English renaissance to Romantic lyric. Finally, it will cover the fate of lyric in the present day, from 'conceptual writing' and 'post-humanism' which offer a thoroughgoing rejection of lyric, to the embrace of lyric in contemporary young poets. The module will start by considering the question: 'What is lyric'? The purpose is not to establish a transhistorical concept of lyric as genre or mode, but rather to see how different thinkers at different times have approached it. This is a particularly timely question for literary criticism and poetics. We will isolate certain tropes, ethics, and focal points that are taken to be characteristic of lyric, whilst at the same time probing the historicity of lyric as a concept, especially regarding the ideology of the lyric 'I' that is associated with romanticism. This module fulfils the pre-1789 requirement.




This module will study late 18th-century and early 19th-century writings in the context of scientific and medical innovation. We consider whether it may be appropriate to view the work of novelists such as Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen and Mary Shelley as a response to, and even a protest against these newly (or, more correctly, nearly) professionalised, male-dominated worlds. These women writers often concern themselves with the 'consumers' as well as the providers of the services offered by these professions; this module considers why that might be and how this kind of contextualisation might impact upon our readings of their work.




This module explores writing as a site of resistance and protest and considers representation itself as inherently political. Does this make the work of a reader radical, or how can that work be radicalised? Taking a lead from the thinking of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari the module will ask what does it mean to write or speak a dominant language in such a way that it stutters or stammers? What would such writing or speaking look or sound like? Deleuze and Guattari suggest that minor literature (minoritarian form in general) takes a dominant, hegemonic, major language and force it to 'say' something different, and to do so differently, dislocating (deterritorialising) it so that a new voice (speaking from a new constituency) can be heard. They use the works of Kafka, a Czech Jew writing in 'official' German, as a representative example of how a dominant, major language can be pressed into the service of a minor literature, as a way of inscribing new constituencies, while other critics have considered sub-cultures' re-appropriation of language, post-colonial writing back, musical subgenres and alternative/underground cinema as also being iterations of minoritarian impulses. This module explores various aspects of writing or speaking back, writing against the grain, saying the things major language finds itself unable or uncomfortable to speak about, and articulating the unheard. Writers and texts might include Kathy Acker, William Burroughs, Elias Khoury, Dana Spiotta, Jennifer Egan, along with punk 'zines, samizdat writing and manifestoes.




'We all say it's nerves, and none of us knows what it means', says a character in Wilkie Collins' 1860 novel, The Woman in White. Our aim is to think about how a discourse of the 'nerves' - the 'nervous temperament' and nervous illness - can be both so pervasive culturally and so slippery in its meaning. This interdisciplinary module takes you from the late 17th century, when the concept of 'neurologie' first emerged, to the 21st century, linking literary, medical and philosophical writing to explore the representation of the 'nerves'. The historical range of the module is not meant to imply a transhistorical understanding of nervous illness or temperament, but rather will enable us to analyse the historically specific nature of the nervous body and what it is made to mean, culturally, within different contexts. In this way, we will be working with issues as diverse as religious 'enthusiasm', hysteria and hypochondria, sensibility, sensation, fear of modernity, manliness and effeminacy, shell-shock, PTSD and the concepts of the healthy or fragile body of the nation. Spanning time and genre, the literary texts studied will take us from the earliest, Jonathan Swift's satire, A Tale of a Tub (1704) up to the contemporary: Siri Hustvedt's novel, What I Loved (2003) and her analytical memoir, The Shaking Woman, Or, A History of My Nerves (2010).




How do we negotiate the darker aspects of our past, particularly when individuals' experiences clash with official history? This module explores the public and private practices of remembering and forgetting in the aftermath of civil war, totalitarianism, colonialism or otherwise repressive rule. In particular, we will examine the writer's role as collaborator, witness, archivist or dissident: how does the writer facilitate access to, and debate about, contentious, painful or obfuscated history? Our approach to the politics of commemoration is interdisciplinary and draws on ideas from philosophy, historiography, memory and cultural studies as well as heritage and museum studies. The primary material encompasses a range of fictional, non-fictional and visual material from a wide range of genres; most of it postwar and relatively recent. Since this is a global issue you will encounter writers from formerly colonised nations in Africa, from Central and Eastern Europe, South America, and the Near and Asia.




This module seeks to cover some 'canonical' texts of the Gothic Novel (1764-1820) in Walpole, Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, and to consider some later developments of the gothic mode in later 19th and 20th centuries: Poe, Le Fanu, Stevenson, MR James, Elizabeth Bowen, David Storey and Angela Carter. The course also seeks to introduce students to some of the theoretical and historical arguments around the contested nature of the term 'gothic', the Uncanny, the subversiveness or otherwise of this kind of writing, and its relation to the novel genre.




This interdisciplinary module explores the idea of 'the city' through a selection of writings (fiction, poetry, essays, theory), visual (painting, photography, film) and, occasionally, other sensory material (sound, smell), spanning 1850 to the present day and focused on two great capitals of modernity, Paris and London. In this period, the growth of the great European cities created a new and diverse set of environments and possibilities. Utopias, dystopias, sites of ruin and construction of all kinds; what different, contradictory or coherent versions of urban experience do these texts and images offer? We'll investigate what kinds of writing, art, discourses and attitudes cities seem to generate. Along the way, we'll test out Malcolm Bradbury's assertion that modernism found its natural habitat in cities, was indeed 'an art of cities'. How do textual and pictorial techniques intersect, for example, in the case of nineteenth-century Impressionist art and writing, twentieth-century surrealism and situationism, or contemporary street art and photography? In the company of the flaneur/flaneuse and other urban wanderers, we'll consider aspects such as space, place, urban being and time, love and eroticism, hauntings, memory and the presence of the past, the individual and the crowd, the role of consumer capitalism, nature and the natural, psychogeography, and the pressures, preoccupations and thrills peculiar to urban living. Writers to be studied may include Balzac, Dickens, Poe, Baudelaire, Zola, Gissing, Conan Doyle, Aragon, Breton, Woolf, Maureen Duffy, Iain Sinclair, Peter Ackroyd and China Mieville alongside a selection of theorists, poets, artists and photographers, as well as Patrick Keiller's film, London and a selection of other city films. There will be scope to include creative (including visual) responses as part of your assessment.



Students will select 30 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This seminar will explore the boundaries between drama and other genres (kinds, art-forms, media) in an attempt to investigate a number of interrelated theoretical questions. We shall explore these issues via various types of activity - practical criticism, critiques of literary theory, performance analysis, personal theatrical adaptations. The set texts are works of literature which do not quite fit generically - particularly plays that seem to be in some sense 'epic', or novels in some sense 'theatrical', ranging from Shakespeare in the 17th century through to Gay and Fielding in the 18th and Dostoyevsky and Chekhov in the 19th.




We are witnessing an upsurge in feminist activism which some claim is forming the fourth wave of feminism. It is timely then to reconsider how feminist writing (literary texts, literary theory and literary criticism) has helped to shape, influence and articulate debates about gender, sexuality and society in the past and how contemporary feminist writing is continuing to be part of that conversation now. This course offers an opportunity to read and analyse some of the most influential feminist literary texts and literary theory. Writers studied on the course may include Kate Chopin, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Atwood, Henrik Ibsen, Angela Carter, Alice Walker, Jeanette Winterson, Edith Wharton, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, Ali Smith, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as well as writings from an anthology of feminist writings from Arab women, Students will study the ways in which feminist criticism and theory (including Kristeva, Cixous, bell hooks, Irigaray and Showalter) has reshaped the canon, challenged the ways literature is taught as well as making us consider what literature can, might and ought to be. Feminism has also exacted different forms of writing and challenged dominant modes of representation. We will take a particularly close look at the relationship between feminism and the gothic, the short story and experimental writing. Assessment will be by course work and project and students will be required to be assessed in both critical and creative modes. Male and female students are equally welcome.




This module presents an opportunity to study in depth a number of key works of 20th century German literature and to explore ways in which they respond to, and reflect, the upheavals of 20th century history. While the focus will be largely on works of prose fiction, this does not preclude the study of other genres. Starting with the modernist crisis of language ("Chandos-crisis") we will look at works by authors such as Kafka, Rilke, Benjamin, Thomas Mann, Joseph Roth, Elias Canetti, Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Christa Wolf and W. G. Sebald. All works studied are available in translation so a knowledge of German, while always welcome, is not a requirement.




The Statue of Liberty is emblematic of the democratic ideals espoused since the American Revolution. Yet, the feminine figure that stands aloft in the New York skyline is also symbolic of discourses of gender: the ideals and expectations shaping men and women's lives as gendered beings. This module will consider how traditional discourses of gender have shaped the identity of Americans and the American nation. Focusing on a wide variety of case studies including debates around the body, citizenship, representations of gender in iconographical form and visual culture, in addition to reflecting on gendered rhetoric in the political arena, the workplace, and institutions such as the military, the module will consider how particular ideals of gender have been articulated in various contexts and how this has informed wider discourses central to the American nation.




From protests against torture and censorship to justice and reconciliation trials, from the Holocaust to Apartheid, from testimony to the postcolonial novel, a distinctive literary sensibility informs our contemporary sense of rights. This module traces the emergence of human rights as a cultural and literary idea from their revolutionary conception in the eighteen century, through the United Nations of Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to the present, taking in key literary responses to injustice, suffering and atrocity. We will ask how literature has contributed to understanding human rights and examine how writing has been thought of as a form of 'righting'. This module suits students who enjoy the challenges of literary theory and politics, and who are interested in thinking seriously about the relationship between literature and its 'real world' applications and significance. You will also be encouraged to develop your own writing practice in relation to contemporary rights debates.




From Welsh folklore to Monty Python, the tales of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have excited and intrigued generations. Why? To answer this question we explore the development of the legend from its twelfth-century Celtic roots through to a number of twentieth-century film adaptations. How the legend has been translated across form, genres, cultures and ages will be studied through creative and critical exercises, including examples from Middle English Arthurian manuscripts, translations of the Welsh Mabinogion, of Monmouth's Latin chronicle and French romance texts. This module will enable students familiar with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to enhance their awareness of the wider Arthurian traditions within which this text belongs, but is also suitable for students who are encountering medieval literature for the first time.




It has been suggested that science fiction was the authentic literature of the twentieth century, yet it has also been seen as a genre cut off from the literary mainstream, its provenance, tropes and generic limits contested. Are there distinctions betwen science fiction, speculative fiction and even sci-fi? This module aims to explore science fiction as a mode by investigating various definitions of science fiction and asking: what possibilities does it offer to writers? How does it mediate the relationship between literature and science (and technology): And how have writers gone beyond the conventional limits of the genre (and we will also consider other media)? The module will look at thematic clusters of texts, often pushing the boundaries of the conventional sci-fi canon and encouraging students to think across different literary periods about the antecedents of science fiction. We will consider such themes as interplanetary travel, time travel, ecological catastrophe, speculative fiction, experiments with scale, and steam punk and writers studied might include H.G. Wells, John Wyndham, Ursula K. Le Guin, J.G. Ballard, Margaret Atwood and China Mieville.




This module offers students the chance to learn about LGBTQ literature and its development in English-speaking countries, as well as approaches to queer theory. This means analysing sexuality and gender and the representation of such identities in literature and also connections between literature and the broader culture. Authors studied may include James Baldwin, Alison Bechdel, Gore Vidal, and Sarah Waters, as well as children's books and young adult novels by Alex Sanchez, Nancy Garden, Ellen Wittlinger, and Marcus Ewert. Authors of theoretical texts looked at may include Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Leo Bersani, and Teresa de Lauretis. Understanding how LGBTQ characters are featured in literature also helps us to see how queer people are understood in a given society in general. This course also aims to look at a variety of genres in order to see how these different text types work and how they approach similar material in different ways. This module also includes presentations and a writing workshop.




'Satire is problematic, open ended, essayistic, ambiguous in relation to history, uncertain in its political effects, resistant to final closure, more inclined to ask questions than provide answers, ambivalent about the pleasures it offers' (Dustin Griffin).The aim of this module is to investigate the problematic territory of satire. Using examples from modern and contemporary fiction and journalism alongside early modern and classical satire, we will formulate a critical and conceptual map, which will in turn allow us to discuss some of the problems of satire (those of genre, of gender, of politics, of morality, of history), and to explore some of the paradoxes of its strategies and functions (freedom versus limits; subversion versus conformity; transformation versus stasis).Writers under discussion will include Juvenal, Horace, Swift and Pope; John Dryden, Eliza Haywood, Delarivier Manley, Evelyn Waugh, and Jonathan Coe.This module offers the opportunity for one or more of the assessments to e a creative writing piece. This module counts towards the pre-1789 requirement.




Platonist epistemology permeated Elizabethan culture: the aim of this module is to explore the relationship of Shakespeare's topic of the world as a stage to Neoplatonic conceptions of perception, politics, poetry and love.




The poetry of T.S. Eliot has a unique place in modern verse as a body of writing that combines mass popular appeal with intense intellectual challenge. The first half of this module will take students chronologically through the various stages of Eliot's Collected Poems, from the nineteenth-century influences that combined to produce 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' (1915) to the wartime contexts of his final major poem, Four Quartets (1943). It will also offer an introduction to Eliot's literary criticism as well as criticism written about him. The first coursework essay will take the form of an editorial commentary on a chosen poem or passage, giving students an opportunity to follow up allusions and interpretations through wider reading. The second half of the module will look more broadly at Eliot's influence as a poet, critic, and editor. Beginning with his own views of the need to reinvent poetry's cultural significance for the twentieth century, we will consider the importance of Eliot's example to later poets in Britain (W.H. Auden, W.S. Graham, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, J.H. Prynne, Lynette Roberts, Rosemary Tonks) and America (John Ashbery, John Berryman, Peter Gizzi, Jorie Graham, Susan Howe, Sylvia Plath). The final project will be a 3,000-word essay on any Eliot-related topic of the student's choosing, and may take the form of a creative-critical poetry portfolio and self-commentary in response to the reading for the course.




According to Roland Barthes, emotion is 'a disturbance, a bordering on collapse: something perverse, under respectable appearances; emotion is even, perhaps, the slyest of losses'. This module takes this 'perversity, under respectable appearance' as the starting point for asking how an attention to our emotions - our feeling, affects, and intimacies, as well as our aversions - can make us rethink what it means to be critical and creative readers and writers. Drawing on a range of theoretical and critical work from literary studies, cultural theory, art, philosophy, sociology, neuroscience, psychology, creativity and creative writing studies, cognitive science, history and anthropology, we will ask what it means to read, and write, 'with feeling'. What is the relationship between language and feeling? Between the body and emotion? How does literature touch and move us? Are our 'aesthetic' emotions real? How does technology - the digital, virtual, prosthetic and online - affect our ideas about emotion? Are emotions universal and timeless, or historically and culturally specific? Private and personal, or collective and public? How do emotions construct gender, class, race, nationality, and other kinds of identity? Why do some feelings attract more critical interest than others? How does an attention to emotion affect our work as readers and writers? We will begin by building a theoretical and critical literacy for thinking feeling, before focusing our inquiry around specific themes that might include: Animal Passions; Psyche, Pathology and Resistances to Psychoanalysis; Feeling Texts: Touch, Texture and Fictional Fabrications; Moving Fictions: Cinema, Virtuality, and E-motion; Zombies: Can Dead Subjects Feel?; Affective Economies; Queering Feeling; and Feeling Human: Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Clones. We will engage with a range of literary texts and other aesthetic forms (such as art, film, etc.) chosen to correspond with our critical concerns. You will have the opportunity to engage both as critical and creative readers and writers, and there will be critical and creative assessment options. This module is open to all students. It will complement level 3 options such as 'Literature and Deconstruction', 'Nervous Narratives', 'Traumaturgies', ' Literature and Human Rights' and 'Queer Theory'.




For something to be reborn it must first die. The Italian Renaissance ('rebirth') sought to disinter the past in order to reanimate the present, but in order to do so the present had to come to terms with its loss - as Petrarch asked, 'who can doubt that Rome would rise again instantly if she began to know herself?'. How can we best understand this process of loss and reanimation? How did Renaissance writers understand it, and how did they bridge the gulf between death and rebirth? And can we do the same? In order to answer these questions this module examines the twin practices of imitation and translation in English responses to some of the most exciting and influential texts of the Italian Renaissance. It does so in two ways: through a sustained analysis of those practices in their diverse forms and genres (sonnets, epic, dialogue, drama), and by imitating the process of creative imitation ourselves. In other words, we step into the shoes of the Renaissance imitator. The module allows us to understand how Italian poets such as Dante, Petrarch and Ariosto responded to the classical past (and each other), and how English poets and playwrights such as Wyatt, Spenser, Shakespeare and Jonson responded to Italian models. By imitating the imitators - for example by writing sonnets - we gain a deeper understanding of how imitation is both a creative practice and a critical process, both a reading and a rewriting. Students are not expected or required to know any Italian in advance. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.




The eighteenth-century reading public eagerly devoured narratives of travels around the world. In this course we will survey the diverse range of travel literature this century produced. We will read accounts of actual and fictional travels, as well as narratives that fall somewhere between the real and the imaginary. Key questions for us will be how travellers' identities and ideas are reshaped through the experience of journeying, how our texts both articulate and question the ideologies underpinning Britain's maritime empire, and how voyage literature connects to other literary genres, including the novel, romance, history, utopia, and anecdote. Texts include Aphra Behn's Oroonoko, James Cook's Endeavour Journal, Mary Wortley Montagu's Letters from Turkey, Olaudah Equiano's The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, and Janet Schaw's Journal of a Lady of Quality. THIS MODULE FULFILS THE PRE-1789 REQUIREMENT.




This module focuses on Virgil's great classical epic, the Aeneid, and it medieval reception. The module falls into two parts: for the first five weeks we concentrate on the Aeneid itself, exploring its structures, contexts and discursive complexities. We shall attend particular closely to the manner in which Virgil constructs his poem by reworking passages from the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. We shall, by and large, focus on a single book in each week, as a way not only of introducing the Aeneid itself but also of looking forward towards the cruces that later readers and rewriters of the poem were drawn to resolve. In the second part of the module, we turn to the reception of the Aeneid in the Middle Ages, for the Aeneid is not only one, an especially rich work in its own right, but also one of the central cultural artefacts in the Western tradition. This is a measure not only of its quality as a poem, but also of its importance as a Roman poem and of Rome's place at the heart of classical and Christian culture. We shall explore the manner in which later readers and rewriters work to reimagine the Aeneid within new cultural horizons, rendering its pagan authority available for new Christian uses and working to resolve its tensions and problematics in a revealing variety of ways.




How do writers attempt to capture 'life' in all its various forms? What, if any, are the different requirements in writing the life of a famous (or not so famous) person and that of a city or landscape? What about the 'life' of travel or food and how do you approach writing about the natural world? These are just some of the questions that this module sets out to address. We will be reading a wide variety of texts, from the 'traditional' biography to some of the more experimental examples of creative non-fiction. From Samuel Johnson to essays in The New Yorker, all human (and non-human) life will be there! Students may choose between writing their own piece of Biography or creative Non-Fiction as their final project or submitting a critical essay.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB including English Literature or the combined English Language and Literature
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including 5 in HL English
  • Scottish Advanced Highers ABB including English
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB including English Literature or combined English Language and Literature or 2 subjects at H1 and 4 at H2 including English Literature or combined English Language and Literature
  • Access Course An ARTS/Humanities/Social Science pathway preferred. Pass with Distinction in 30 credits at Level 3 including modules in English Literature and Merit in 15 credits at Level 3
  • BTEC DDM alongside a GCE A-Level or equivalent in English Literature
  • European Baccalaureate 75% including 70% in English

Entry Requirement

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall  (with no less than 6.0 in any component)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

If you do not meet the University's entry requirements, our INTO Language Learning Centre offers a range of university preparation courses to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study.


The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact directly to discuss this further.


The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: Home and EU Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for Home and EU students and for details of the support available.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

Home/EU - The University of East Anglia offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships.  To check if you are eligible please visit the website.


Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: International Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for International Students.


We offer a range of Scholarships for International Students – please see our website for further information.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Service prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Service
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Please click here to register your details via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515