Module code: ELI3049

Module Overview

This module explores the relationship between national and imperial identities in novels from the 1850s to 1890s by writers including Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins. The module introduces students to contextual debates about the nation-state and its imperial engagements, and seeks to understand how novelists respond and contribute to these ideas through literary fiction. The module engages with these themes through a focus on concepts of space and mobility, using literary journeys as a way into understanding how novelists construct a dialogue between national and imperial spaces in literary texts.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DOVE Danielle (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 40

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 55

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes novels by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins and H. Rider Haggard, along with supplementary non-fiction from the period. 

Novels studied in previous years include Bleak House, Cranford, Daniel Deronda, and The Moonstone.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (3000 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 as part of a group. It also assesses subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the study of Victorian literature. Seminars also assess cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in the analysis of literary form and language.

The 3000 word essay assess subject knowledge relating to formal, contextual, critical, and theoretical approaches to the analysis of literary form and language, cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking, and professional/practical skills in communicating ideas in writing. The essay also 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 in a sustained format.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 3000 word essay

Formative assessment and feedback

500 word blog post assignment (deadline mid-semester). The blog post can discuss any aspect of interest within the reading and/or reflect on relevant contemporary resonances of the reading, with a suggested list of topics provided as a guide. Other feedback mechanisms include formative ‘feed forward’ feedback which is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars.

Module aims

  • Broaden and deepen contextual knowledge of nation and empire in the Victorian period
  • Develop understanding of how literary texts respond to and inform contextual debates
  • Introduce concepts of space and mobility as theories to engage with literary texts
  • Develop and strengthen skills in close reading and analysis of literary texts
  • Advance students’ critical thinking and application of theoretical frameworks to literature
  • Improve oral and written communication skills
  • Strengthen students’ ability to undertake independent research, including using digital and online materials for research

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of contexts of nation and empire in the Victorian period K
002 Understand how to locate analyses of the Victorian novel in these broader historical and socio-cultural contexts, and use detailed close-reading to support this KC
003 Demonstrate advanced critical thinking and application of theoretical frameworks to literature C
004 Be able to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in oral and written formats, including online writing T
005 Work independently in conducting research P
006 Demonstrate skills in independent research, including competency in using digital tools and materials for writing and research PT

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. The delivery of the module through two-hour lecture-seminars places an emphasis on student-led learning to develop cognitive and analytical skills in analysing fiction in its historical, socio-political and historical contexts, and enables students to develop skills in communicating and debating ideas. The module content is research-led and makes use of an online blog platform to support and advance students’ independent study through the integration of digital resources.


This relates to the programme learning and teaching strategy, which, at FHEQ Level 6, is designed to develop subject knowledge through extended two-hour seminars and to develop transferable, practical, and professional skills, with an emphasis on sophisticated student-led involvement, critical analysis, discussion, and rhetorical ability.


The learning and teaching methods include: a combination of lecture-seminar content and materials, guided learning, independent learning, as well as 1-1 revision/essay writing appointments in week 12.


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: ELI3049

Other information

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the International Engagement Office email:

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
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with German BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French 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 2022/3 academic year.