module specification

IF3068 - Writing London: A World City (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Writing London: A World City
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
90 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Digital journal
Coursework 60%   Creative or critical writing assignment
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North To be arranged -

Module summary

This module aims to introduce students to traditions and currents in London writing and to examine the ways that the city’s changing economic, social and cultural life is expressed and represented in creative non-fiction, poetry and prose. The module will focus on London’s identity as a world city, a place of migration and of cultural creativity and innovation.  The module is divided into three parts where students will be introduced briefly to historical London writing, to creative non-fiction studies of the contemporary city and, the major part of the module, to representations of contemporary London in poetry and creative prose. The module will be delivered in weekly lecture format followed by creative writing workshops and literary critical discussions in seminar. 

Students will practise and develop skills central to undergraduate study such as workshopping external creative work, keeping study and creative journals, note-taking, listening, speaking and participation skills for seminar, library and online research strategies, critical approaches to the immersive long read and developing written arguments at length.

The assessment for this module will involve students keeping a digital journal on weblearn and developing this into assignment submissions midway through the module and at the end.

Module aims

1. To introduce contemporary London writing in poetry and prose
2. To place the study of literature into its cultural and social context
3. Introduce students to subject-specific study skills
4. Improve student awareness of digital research
5. Develop critical and creative writing skills


Content will be provided through academic criticism, contemporary journalism, creative fiction and non-fiction and poetical works.

The module seeks to develop undergraduate study skills for lectures and seminars, develop digital literacy by focussing on student-centered learning, with ideas generated and developed through extensive discussion, reading, viewing and reflection.

Students will be encouraged to develop and expand their own ideas through active participation and engagement with the lectures, seminars and workshops, reading and reflective writing activities in their digital journals.

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered through a series of teacher-led lectures, seminars and workshops, with students contributing to discussion, group work and tutorials (60 hrs).

Students will also engage in ongoing guided self and online study to enable them to improve their reading and writing skills and complete required assessment components (90 hrs).

Module information including module booklet and assessment details is available on WebLearn. Blended learning resources such as homework tasks, reading resources, study support resources and web links are also on WebLearn.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should know how to:
1. discuss key aspects of London’s post-war literary history
2. focus critically on creative and academic writing skills
3. critically respond to creative fiction and non-fiction in terms of argument, theme and form
4. access the range of text and online material available to students
5. keep and develop a study journal that supports the submission of academic and creative work

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed by a digital journal and a final essay or creative piece.


Anna Adams (ed.), London in Poetry and Prose, Enitharmon Press, 2002
William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience - online

Peter Ackroyd, London: A Biography, Vintage, 2001
Rachel Lichtenstein, Diamond Street: The Hidden World of Hatton Garden, Penguin, 2013
Rachel Lichtenstein, On Brick Lane, Penguin, 2008
Iain Sinclair, London Orbital, Penguin, 2003

Contemporary fiction and poetry (extracts)
Bernardine Evaristo, Mr Loverman, Hamish Hamilton, 2013
Xiaolu Guo, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, Vintage, 2008
Chimene Suleyman, Outside Looking On, Influx Press, 2014
Various, An Unreliable Guide to London, Influx Press, 2016
Stephen Watts, Ancient Sunlight, Enitharmon Press, 2013
Alex Wheatle, The Dirty South, Serpent’s Tail, 2009