module specification

SJ5017A - Publishing and the Book part 1 (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Publishing and the Book part 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   1000 word written assignment
Coursework 60%   1500 word written assignment
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

Publishing and the Book part one is a level 5 Autumn semester module which examines literary and publishing culture through, firstly, the development of writing and reading technologies from antiquity through the medieval period to the era of print, and then samples how creative writers have experimented with digital tools and platforms to innovate their literary practice. Students will examine how literary creativity is rooted in material media and consider how this might apply in their own creative practice.

The module aims to give students a historical understanding of publishing and the opportunity to respond critically and creatively in writing to this, and further to give students an understanding of the historical processes of taking a manuscript from author to publisher, bookseller and reader.

The module is taught through a combination of lecture/seminar, and is assessed by critical essay, or critical and creative portfolio.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level. Available for Study Abroad? YES


The module provides a series of contextualised investigations of the history of the book up to and including various genres of digital-born literature (LO1). Classes will focus on critical discussion and analysis of exemplary primary texts, together with formative experiments in students’ own writing, such as using hypertext-authoring tools (LO2). Students will be introduced to key concepts and related debates, for example concerning: orality and literacy, comparative media studies, the post-digital, media affordances, branching and ludic narratives, storytelling for mobile devices (LO2/LO3).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

LO1 Cognitive intellectual abilities
Articulate understanding of the role of writing and publishing media in literary expression and culture

LO2 Knowledge and understanding
Evaluate and/or demonstrate literary experimentation in terms of thematic, conceptual or technical innovation and the imaginative qualities of textual worlds

LO3 Behaviours and values
Reflect analytically on the material basis of their own writing practice in a post-digital era.