ENG20410 Reading Medieval Literature

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module traces both the development of English literature and the development of Medieval English society, as we trace the transition from a shame culture to a guilt culture. Through the course of the trimester, you will read a selection of outstanding literary works of the early and late medieval period. Beginning with some Old English literature in translation, we will consider the heroic ethos in Old English literature and its consequences for personal relationships and societal structures. We will then look at a variety of key Middle English texts, including some works by Marie de France, Chaucer, and the Pearl-poet, while we trace first the transition to feudalism and the later medieval rise of the middle class.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completing this module, you will have gained an understanding of and access to some of the key cultural texts produced in English in the early and late medieval period. You will also be able to demonstrate a critical knowledge of a wide range of writing on the course, and to identify and engage in key critical and theoretical debates. You will engage in class discussion, and write a research essay.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, small group tutorials including peer feedback on draft essays, critical engagement with material. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
ENG20010 - Middle Ages I, ENG20620 - Reading Middle Ages (EVENING), ENG30020 - Reading the Middle Ages II

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Participation and Module quiz Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Essay (1500 words) Week 7 n/a Graded No


Examination: End-of-Trimester Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will have the opportunity to prepare a draft plan for their mid-term assignment, which they will discuss in class in groups. The Tutor will offer guidance and feedback in the classroom. Post-assessment, the tutor will offer individual feedback to each student on their mid-term assignment.

Name Role
Dr Darragh Greene Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Juliet Mullins Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Niamh Pattwell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Rebecca Stephenson Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Alan Armstrong Tutor
Dr Darragh Greene Tutor
Mr Mark Ronan Tutor