EN3MCP-Modern and Contemporary British Poetry

Module Provider: English Literature
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1 or A-Level (A*, A or B)
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Steven Matthews

Email: s.matthews@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module will provide the opportunity for students to study a broad range of poets and poetries, and thereby to encounter some of the key trends in that poetry’s engagement with changing circumstances in England, Wales, and Scotland across the twentieth century and beyond. We consider issues including the aftermaths of modernism; gender and poetry; British poetry and post-war retrenchment; the ‘poetry wars’ of the 1970s; the perpetuation of ‘Movement’ ideals down to the present.

This module will provide students with knowledge and critical understanding about selected British poets across a roughly 80 year span, 1930-present. We will read the poetries closely in seminars, whilst also seeking to mediate them through a range of literary and social contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
•Analyse in detail distinctive features of the poetry selected for study
•Discuss interactions between the poetries and social, political, and cultural contexts
•Engage orally in seminars, and through essays, with the issues raised by primary and secondary
materials presented
•Construct their own developed opinions and arguments about the poetries through the assessment

Additional outcomes:
Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner. The students will also be enabled to develop their close reading skills with respect of poetry from Parts I and II.

Outline content:
This module is chronologically arranged, in order for students to obtain a cumulative sense of the major trends and issues developed through the poetry across a span of roughly eighty years. The reading will be structured around certain ‘highlight’ poets and collections, but students are encouraged to read as broadly as possible in the British poetry of the modern and contemporary era. Seminars will focus discussion upon the work of poets who may include W.H. Auden, Robert Graves, Lynette Roberts, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, Philip Larkin, Robert Crawford, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Three seminar hours weekly, for which students are required to do preparatory reading. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative written work. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30 1
Tutorials 0.5
Guided independent study 129.5 39
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

Students write one formative essay, of between 1500 and 2000 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 2250-2500 words, or the equivalent placement report.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22 August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


    Things to do now