Module code: ELI2033

Module Overview

This module is designed to build on ELI 1024: ‘Understanding Drama’. It will both deepen and broaden students’ understanding of twentieth-century British and American drama and its social, political and philosophical concerns. Over the module students will be encouraged to draw connections between the plays and and their immediate historical and political contexts. The module will span the whole of the twentieth century taking in eleven plays from 1929 to 1996 across a range of genres including the well-made play, realism, agit-prop and ‘In-Yer-Face’ theatre. These plays have been sequenced in three thematic groupings – murder, money, and marriage – and through these lenses the students will be encouraged to make linkages between the plays and ultimately recognise that a set of enduring wider concerns – honesty, the nature of reality, capitalism, class, sexual politics, agency and personal identity – are common to all of these plays.


The module will be taught in two-hour seminar / workshops. The first six weeks will start with introductions to the key contexts of the play in focus before breaking into group activities and class discussion. From week seven onwards, seminars will be led student-delivered group presentations followed by group activities and class discussion.


Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

PARVINI N Dr (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: T720

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator..

Module content


Part 1: Murder

Week 1: Patrick Hamilton, Rope (1929)

Week 2: J.B. Priestley, Dangerous Corner (1932)

Week 3: Anthony Shaffer, Sleuth (1970)

Week 4: Sarah Kane, Blasted (1995)


Part 2: Money

Week 5: Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (1949)

Week 6: Employability Week

Week 7 : David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross (1984)

Week 8: Mark Ravenhill, Shopping and F**king (1996)


Part 3: Marriage

Week 9: Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955)

Week 10: Shelagh Delaney, A Taste of Honey (1958)

Week 11: Edward Albee, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ESSAY (2000 WORDS) 75
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PRESENTATION 25

Alternative Assessment

Journal report exercise - 25%

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achieve-ment of the module learning outcomes.


Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills in communicating ideas orally and in working individually and as part of a group. It also assesses subject knowledge in drama. Seminars also assess cognitive/ analytical skills in critical thinking and in analysis of literary form.


The essay assesses subject knowledge in drama. It also assesses research skills, cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in analysis of literary form, and transferable skills in communicating ideas in writing. The essay further assesses professional/practical skills, namely the ability to plan and implement timetables for essay deadlines.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

2000-word essay

Group presentation


Formative assessment and feedback

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions and tutor feedback in seminars. Students receive both written and verbal feedback on the first summative assessment (group presentation) which informs the final summative assessment, i.e. the essay.

Module aims

  • To deepen and broaden students' understanding of twentieth-century drama
  • To examine the key social, political and philosophical concerns of twentieth-century British and American drama
  • To train students further in researching and evaluating sources, debates, and ideas, and in communicating their conclusions clearly and accurately in writing
  • To help students to think and learn independently, and to manage and organise their time efficiently
  • To sharpen students' ability to develop complex and informed arguments

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 A deep and broad knowledge of twentieth-century British and American drama K
2 A sound understanding of the relationship between plays and their historical, political, social and philosophical contexts C
3 A detailed knowledge of said contexts K
4 The capacity to research, interpret, and evaluate sources, debates, and ideas PT
5 The capacity to advance complex and informed arguments both verbally and in written form CPT
6 Skills in independent learning and time management PT
7 Skills for effective oral communication PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Seminar Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills. Specifically, the weekly lectures deliver subject knowledge relating to individual plays, approaches to them, and their historical contexts.. The weekly seminars involve student-led discussions that develop skills in communication and in working individually and as part of a group. The seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints.


This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 5, is designed to continue the delivery of subject knowledge via SurreyLearn, and more in-depth skills development through seminars. Optional modules are delivered either through a one-hour (usually more interactive) lecture and one-hour seminar or through a two-hour seminar instead of lectures. There is therefore a greater emphasis on student-led involvement and greater opportunity to develop critical analysis, discussion and rhetorical skills in seminars at this level.


The learning and teaching methods include:

2-hour seminar per week x 11 weeks


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.