ENG20770 Advanced Old & Middle English

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module offers students the unique opportunity to do a close line-by-line reading of linguistically difficult Old and Middle English texts. The course will begin with Old English texts like the Riddles, The Dream of the Rood, the Wanderer, and continue onto some of the more challenging Middle Engilsh texts like the writings of the Pearl-poet. These texts are often read in translation or skipped over entirely due to their linguistic difficulties, but in this module, we will build the linguistic expertise and confidence to tackle not only the language of the texts, but their complex interpretations as well.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Student completing this module should:

1. be familiar with the key texts of Old and Middle English literature beyond Chaucer
2. perform a close reading of an Early English text accounting for linguistic, literary, and cultural details
3. write a critical essay on Early English literature
4. be able to identify, evaluate, and use scholarly materials
5. master Early English language, both Old and Middle English.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Active classroom-based learning. Peer review and group work. Daily homework. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Continuous Assessment: Translation exercises over the semester Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: Old English exam Varies over the Trimester No Graded No


Examination: Middle English Exam Week 12 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, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Daily translation exercises will be given. These will be reviewed in class allowing for opportunities for self-assessment and peer review. The first exam will cover the Old English section of the course and usually occurs in week 6 or 7. The Middle English exam will occur in week 12.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Niamh Pattwell Lecturer / Co-Lecturer