Module code: ELI2037

Module Overview

This module explores a range of literary texts produced in England at the end of the Middle Ages, paying particular attention to issues of language, gender, race, social status, travel, and religion. It explores the relationship between the self and the other, focusing on ideas of perfection and monstrosity, and the divine and the demonic. The module explores three interrelated themes that speak to the historical, social, and religious contexts of late Medieval English literature: 1) Monstrous Masculinities and Femininities 2) Travellers’ Tales: Encountering the Other and 3) Visions of Another Order.

Alongside analysing examples the literature of the period, you will practice translating passages from late medieval literary texts in the workshops. In addition to the set primary texts, you will examine relevant examples from historical texts and visual that help to further illuminate these three thematic strands.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

WATT Diane (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 60

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 68

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 54

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


Monstrous Masculinities and Femininities

Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


Travellers’ Tales and Visions of Another Order

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville

The Revelations of Julian of Norwich



Revision and Conclusion

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Critical Commentary and Translation Exercise (45 lines of translated poetry/prose plus 1000 words) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy comprises three parts: 1. Weekly formative assessment in the form of translation workshops;  2. formative assessment submission; and 3. summative assessment after Week 12. Through this strategy, this module empowers you to build self-evaluation into assessment process and creates space for you to reflect on your own performance whilst reviewing feedback.

Weekly translation workshops with peer and tutor feedback are designed to develop transferable skills in working as part of a group and practical/professional skills in expressing ideas and critical analysis in oral communication. They also develop subject knowledge in the focus on translation and the history of the language and in the different forms of critical theory used in English literature and they develop cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in using theory in the close reading of literary texts. The formative nature of these workshops enables you to develop these skills in a supportive context.

The final summative assessment is a Critical Commentary and Translation Exercise (45 lines of poetry/prose plus 1000 words)

The 250-word Commentary Plan exercise is designed to develop your analytical and planning skills. The formative nature of this assignment, for which the tutor will supply written feedback, enables key skills to be developed in a supportive context, which can be applied to the summative assessment in this and other modules.

The summative Critical Commentary and Translation Exercise is designed to enable you to demonstrate subject knowledge in the focus on translation and the history of the language and in the different forms of critical theory used in English literature. You will also demonstrate your cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in using theory in the close reading of literary texts. The summative exercise will also enable you to demonstrate practical/professional skills in expressing creative ideas and critical analysis in written communication and to demonstrate transferable skills in working independently.

The formative assessment is a 250-word Commentary Plan exercise during term plus weekly translation work.

Module aims

  • This module aims to deepen and expand students' understanding of: a range of late medieval English poetry and prose
  • key global, cultural, historical, social and religious contexts for understanding late medieval literature
  • Middle English and the history of the English Languages
  • a range of genres in late medieval literature, including romance, devotional literature and visionary writing
  • This module aims to develop and strengthen students' skills in: reading and translating Middle English
  • close reading, analysis, and critical thinking
  • oral and written communication
  • independent work and group work in seminars
  • time management through assignment submission and revision planning

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will be able to: describe and analyse the global, cultural, historical, social and religious contexts of late medieval English literature, and connect these changes to relevant textual features KC
002 Critically compare and analyse translations of Middle English texts, and connect these to developments in the history of the English Language KC
003 Understand and analyse an array of literary texts with an awareness of and engagement with critical materials and cultural artefacts KC
004 Describe and analyse a range of different genres of late medieval literature KC
005 Use critical and contextual material in relation to close textual analysis and critical thinking KC
006 Communicate orally in class discussions and in written form in the Formative Commentary Plan Exercise and the Critical Commentary Exercise CT
007 Plan and implement timetables for assignment deadlines as well as work both individually and as part of a group PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module provides you with a working knowledge of tools on used by researchers and writers examining and engaging with: historically remote literatures and cultures, building on modules addressing global literatures and theories of gender and sexuality. These tools include not only the ability to analyse and critically evaluate texts and ideas, but also to understand them within their wider global, cultural, historical, and social contexts. They also include practical tools of reading and translating Middle English texts. These skills will be developed in subsequent modules on the programme.

The learning and teaching methods include a combination of workshops, captured content, guided learning and independent learning. Captured content is made available to you prior to workshops. You are encouraged to be active participants in workshops, enabling them to develop as informed, confident and engaged independent learners. You are also expected to extend your reading beyond the lectures and to make use of additional material provided to support each topic. Translation coursework and feedback provides an opportunity for self-directed and peer-supported learning.


The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

* Enable you to integrate and further develop the skills and critical thinking you have learnt in previous modules, for example, relating to historical periods and cultures, forms and genres, global contexts and theoretical approaches.

* Equip you with the translation skills necessary to read texts from a historically-remote period.

* Enable you to engage with different learning backgrounds and maximise your learning by drawing on your own experiences and contributions to group discussions.

* Enable you to develop skills in communication and in working individually and as part of a group.

* Enable you to develop skills in planning and implementing timetables for work and in presenting ideas coherently under time constraints.


In this module you will develop skills in Global and Cultural Capabilities and Resourcefulness and Resilience.  


The module focuses specifically on texts from the distant past. You will develop an understanding of the literature and culture of the period and its social, religious and global contexts.  You are encouraged to share experiences and knowledge from their own cultures and backgrounds, and to respect and value differences in experience.

The module will expose you to texts and languages that reflect the varied and diverse experiences of people in history. In so doing it will encourage reflection on yourself and your own community and society. Studying these texts writing will enable you to see parallels as well as differences between the past and the present day, and to understand the origins of many current ideas, beliefs, views and assumptions.  You will gain a greater understanding of your place in the world.  

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: ELI2037

Other information

The University is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow you to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in Global and Cultural Capabilities and and Resourcefulness and Resilience as illustrated in the Learning and Teaching and Assessments sections above.


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and Spanish 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 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 2024/5 academic year.