Module code: ELI2043

Module Overview

This module aims to explore a variety of neo-Victorian texts to examine how the legacy of the Victorians continues to inform contemporary culture. Students will be asked to consider the significance of neo-Victorian writing in the context of postmodernity and will analyse the literary, cultural and commercial impacts of the genre. The module will begin by considering early examples of neo-Victorian texts that emerged in the 1960s before exploring the expansion of the genre in the twentieth and twenty-first century. It will cover a range of neo-Victorian productions including novels, film and TV adaptations that are informed by well-known Victorian texts in order to examine the wider cultural impact of contemporary engagements with the Victorian period, and will ask students to analyse issues of race, class, gender and sexuality interrogated and challenged by neo-Victorian works.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

PULHAM Patricia (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 98

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)
John Fowles, The French Lieutenant¿s Woman (1969)
Peter Ackroyd, Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem (1994)
Sarah Waters, Fingersmith (2002)
Park Chan-wook, The Handmaiden (film; 2016)
Stephen Moffat, Sherlock: A Study in Pink (BBC; screened 2010)
Gaynor Arnold, After Such Kindness (2012)
Dickensian (BBCTV, screened 2015)
Hallie Rubenhold, The Five (2019)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Critical Essay (2500 words) OR Creative Portfolio (2000 words) plus Critical Commentary (500 words) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes.
Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed to assess professional/practical skills in communicating ideas orally and transferable skills in working individually and collaboratively. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature. Seminars also assess cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in the analysis of literary form and language.
The 2500-word critical essay assesses subject knowledge relating to the close analysis of form, meaning and language, as well as cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature. The 2500-word essay further assesses transferable skills, namely the ability to conduct research for written work in an organised and critical fashion and to develop and communicate imaginative and rigorous arguments.

The 2000-word creative portfolio and 500-word critical commentary encourages the development of students¿ skills in creative writing (prose fiction, drama and/or poetry) and their understanding of the context of their work in historical and cultural terms, as well as in terms of other creative writing in the field. Productive and informed critical reflection on both the literary writing itself and the secondary material that surrounds it will provide a context for their creative writing on themes related to developments in the literary and creative industries.
The summative assessment for this module consists of:
¿ A critical essay (2500 words)
¿ A creative portfolio (2000 words) + critical commentary (500 words)
Formative assessment and feedback
Formative ¿feed forward¿ is provided through seminar discussion and tutor feedback in seminars.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to neo-Victorianism and to analyse its emergence in the context of postmodern culture
  • Assess the influences and intertextual relationships between Victorian and neo-Victorian writings
  • Equip students to identify and interrogate the ways in which neo-Victorian works challenge the cultural primacy of the Victorian novel
  • Enable students to hone their critical and analytical skills through the examination of source and critical texts focussed on neo-Victorian cultural production
  • Encourage students to develop their own writerly styles and abilities in the light of neo-Victorian literary and creative developments

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Recognise the cultural importance of neo-Victorianism K
002 Identify the intertextual resonances between Victorian and neo-Victorian texts K
003 Demonstrate advanced critical thinking and engagement with theoretical debates that inform neo-Victorian cultural production CT
004 Analyse key issues challenged by neo-Victorian writers CK
005 Develop a creative project connected to one of the strands of neo-Victorian cultural production explored in this module [Creative Writing students] CKP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

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, through taught, guided and independent learning processes. The delivery of the module through two-hour lecture-seminars places an emphasis on student-led learning, and enables students to develop their skills in analysing, communicating, and debating ideas. Students will also be expected to engage with 11 hours of guided learning including reading secondary material, watching film/TV episodes in preparation for seminars, and listening to relevant podcasts, Lectures will be recorded each week providing 11 hours of captured content, and 8 hours of tutorials will be offered for assessment preparation. Students will be expected to commit to 98 hours of independent learning which will include reading primary texts, research and essay development and writing. The module content is research-led and asks students to develop a broad understanding of formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of neo-Victorian literature. This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 5, is designed to continue the delivery of subject knowledge through lectures, seminars and SurreyLearn content to develop subject knowledge and to develop transferable and professional skills, with an emphasis on student-led involvement, critical analyses and discussion.

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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2043

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 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 2021/2 academic year.