module specification

SJ4001 - Romantics to Victorians (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Romantics to Victorians
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
108 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   1000-word thematic reflection
Coursework 30%   1500-word essay
Coursework 40%   1500-word close textual analysis with creative optio
Coursework 10%   500-word report
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Romantics to Victorians is the first of a spine of historical modules running across all three levels of the English Literature programmes. It introduces students to the major transformations of English literature and culture during the mid-18th to the mid-19th century period. Through the study of literary and other primary texts of the period, the module provides a contextual introduction to the study of literature in the late modern period and related critical debates. The module is taught in weekly sessions and is assessed by a series of written coursework pieces. The module will also provide an extended induction to academic study skills.

The module aims to familiarise students with a range of literary material from the period 1750 to 1880; to relate the thematic concerns of literary works to an historical account of social, political and cultural developments within the given period; to develop students’ ability to analyse and write critically about literary texts; and to develop students’ study skills and academic competences as independent learners.

Prior learning requirements



The module will be divided into thematic sections that discuss developments in the period 1750 to 1880. Typically the first part of the module will focus on Romanticism and the second on the Victorian period. The discussion of historical and social topics will be led primarily through the close thematic analysis of literary texts by major novelists and poets of the period, such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, Mary Shelley, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning. Topics will include, for example, the impacts of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution; industrialisation and urbanisation; science, materialism and religion; sensibility, imagination and aesthetics; Gothic and novelistic realism; the growth of Empire. The module will provide opportunities for students to make connections across the period and to reflect on the legacies of Romanticism and Victorianism for literature and culture today. (LO1, LO2, LO3)

The module will incorporate ongoing induction to core skills such as note-taking, essay-writing, referencing and reflective learning. (LO4)

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 and teaching



Learning outcomes

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

Knowledge and understanding
LO1 identify major themes of the literature of the period 1750 to 1880;

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO2 reflect critically on the legacies of Romantic and Victorian literature in the contemporary world;

LO3 situate and critically discuss imaginative literature in relation to its social, political, historical and intellectual contexts;

Subject-specific skills
LO4 demonstrate skills in the close analysis of literary texts and the production of formal academic writing.

Assessment strategy

Summative assessments will be spaced across the year and consist of written coursework. Assignments will require students to address both the Romantic and the Victorian sections of the syllabus and to show skills of contextualisation, close reading and thematic analysis. Assessment will also include an option to produce a creative piece.


Levine, G. L., (2008) How to Read the Victorian Novel, Blackwell

Core textbooks:
Chandler, J. and McLane, M. N. (eds), (2008) The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry, Cambridge University Press
Chaplin, S. and Faflak, J., (2011) The Romanticism Handbook, Continuum
David, D. (ed.), (2012) The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press
Tucker, H. F., (2014) A New Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture, Wiley

Other textbooks:
Adams, J. E., (2009) A History of Victorian Literature, Wiley-Blackwell
Brown, M. (ed.), (2000) The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol.5, Romanticism, Cambridge University Press
Christ, C. T. and Robson, C. (eds), (2006) The Norton Anthology of English Literature: Volume E, The Victorian Age, 8th ed., W.W. Norton
Curran, C. (ed.), (2010) The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism, 2nd ed, Cambridge University Press

James, J. (2006), The Victorian Novel, Blackwell

O’Flinn, P., (2001) How to Study Romantic Poetry, 2nd ed., Blackwell
Spooner, C. and McEvoy, E. (eds), (2007) The Routledge Companion to Gothic, Routledge
Stevens, D., (2004) Romanticism, Cambridge University Press
Warwick, A. and Willis, M. (eds.), (2008) The Victorian Literature Handbook, Continuum

Studies in Romanticism
Victorian Literature and Culture
Victorian Studies

Romantic Circles
Victorian Web

Electronic Databases:
Academic Search Complete

Box of Broadcasts
Credo Reference Academic