Module code: ELIM041

Module Overview

This module introduces students to the huge variety of medieval and Early Modern romance from the twelfth to the early-seventeenth centuries. The texts will be read either in Middle English or in translation (languages covered will be Latin, French, Middle English, Arabic, Spanish, and Welsh). The module explores the genre with a particular interest in gender and sexuality, instances of transgression, multi-culturalism, and multilingualism. It also investigates the traditional connection of romances with female readership. The module is subdivided into three interconnected areas: stories of knightly chivalry, tales of the supernatural, and reactions to romance. As well as the primary texts, students will study examples of contemporary historical material to help them contextualise both the romances and these three thematic areas. This module will compliment other level 7 modules by allowing students to continue to develop their interests in literary history, the development of romance as a genre, and examining literature through key critical and theoretical lenses such as gender theory, queer theory, critical race theory, and ecocriticism. After taking this module, students will have a detailed understanding of the fluid and expansive nature of medieval and Early Modern romance and its changing historical and social contexts. They will also have been afforded the opportunity to develop their critical thinking, research, writing, and communication skills in ways that will benefit them on their chosen career path.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

BOLTON Kirsty (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 67

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 55

Captured Content: 6

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to Medieval and Early Modern Romance

Chronicling Medieval Chivalry

Arthurian Romance

Arabic Romance

Supernatural Welsh Narratives

Supernatural Breton Lais

Chivalry and Chaucer

Reactions to Romance


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Essay (4500 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 in addition to the development of employability skills, digital capabilities, global and cultural capabilities, and resourcefulness and resilience.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills including independent learning, time management, and the ability to structure and communicate complex arguments in written and oral communication. It also assesses subject knowledge in the focus on genre and multilingualism and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in the close reading of literary texts.

The essay assesses subject knowledge in the genre of medieval and Early Modern romance and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and the close reading of literary texts in the periods covered. It also assesses professional skills in expressing ideas and critical analysis in written communication. It also assesses transferable skills in working independently, demonstrating the ability to conduct research for written work in an organised and critical fashion, and communicating complex, rigorous arguments.  

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

* Essay (4500 words)


Formative assessment and feedback

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussion and tutor feedback in seminars.

Students receive both written feedback and verbal feedback in seminars that informs the final summative assessment, i.e. the essay.

Module aims

  • This module will: deepen and expand students' understanding of: a range of medieval and Early Modern literary texts
  • allow students to think across global and cultural thresholds, developing their understanding of the relationships between English and other languages in the pre-modern era
  • enable students to think critically about differences and similarities between the distant past and the present day
  • advance students' ability to read and understand Middle English and encourages them to engage with the texts in their original languages
  • develop and strengthen students' skills in close reading and analysis of literary texts
  • improve students' oral and written communication
  • enhance students' ability to undertake independent research as well as to work effectively as part of a group during the lecture-seminars
  • introduce a range of critical and theoretical scholarship which provide illuminating ways to engage with the study of medieval literature and deepen students' research and critical thinking skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Over the course of this module, students will: demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of medieval and Early Modern writing and related significant historical, social, and religious contexts KC
002 Critically compare and analyse translations of Middle English, French, Latin, Spanish, Arabic, and Welsh texts, and understand their relationship to the romance genre KC
003 Demonstrate advanced critical thinking by engaging with and responding to scholarship on medieval and Early Modern romance and cultural artefacts C
004 Have acquired advanced skills in the close reading and analysis of literary texts CPT
005 Develop their ability to effectively communicate complex ideas and arguments in written and oral formats PT
006 Demonstrate advanced independent research skills through in-class research tasks and the development of a robust argument for the final essay 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 ensure that students achieve the module learning outcomes and further develop their competencies in employability, digital capabilities, global and cultural intelligence, and resourcefulness and resilience. It will enable students continue to develop on their journey as independent researchers and will support them in developing transferable, practical, and professional skills which will prove essential across numerous career pathways.

The delivery of the module through two-hour weekly lecture-seminars places an emphasis on student-led discussions which prioritises group work and collective discussions to build upon the communication and teamworking skills students have developed over the course of their degree. Interactive tasks will also be utilised to develop cognitive/analytical skills in analysing medieval and Early Modern litrature and the relevant social, environmental, global, political, and cultural contexts, specifically those relating to the genre of romance, and to further develop skills in communication and in working individually and as part of a group. The content of the module is research-led and enables students to develop a sophisticated understanding of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of the medieval and Early Modern periods which will enhance both their analytical research skills. The module will introduce students to a range of diverse global perspectives through the study of global medieval literature and encourage an appreciation for the diversity of cultural experience and the differences and similarities in texts produced in different countries. The lecture-seminars also provide students with instruction on planning and implementing timetables for work and on presenting ideas coherently under time constraints

The learning and teaching methods include: a combination of lecture-seminar content and materials, guided learning, independent learning, as well as one-on-one essay drop-in sessions at the end of the module This will enable them to strengthen their research planning skills, time management skills, and analytical skills. It will also enable them to fortify the argument of their final essay and focus their ideas..

The virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, will be fully utilised to capture content, guide learning, introduce additional materials, and help student to navigate their independent study.

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: ELIM041

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Writing MA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2025/6 academic year.