Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module ENGL51730: Narrative and Vision: Chaucer and his followers

Department: English Studies

ENGL51730: Narrative and Vision: Chaucer and his followers

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to introduce students to the literature and thought of Chaucer and a selection of his fourteenth- and fifteenth-century followers (e.g. Lydgate, Hoccleve, Henryson, Dunbar);
  • to study a range of their writings in depth at an appropriate level for MA students;
  • to place the writings in their cultural contexts - socio-political, moral and philiosophical, and literary;
  • to consider medieval literary genres;
  • to explore the development of Chaucer's poetic career, and those of his successors, in relation to the literary and social culture of their time;
  • to explore contemporary critical perspectives on the medieval period;


Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • to gain knowlegde of a range of Chaucer's writings (e.g. dream-vision poetry, Troilus and Criseyde, Canterbury Tales) and of a selection of later courtly writers;
  • to gain a knowledge of medieval literary genres;
  • to gain knowledge of the central issues within the period (e.g. romance, chivalry, courtliness);
  • to gain experience of the Middle English Language;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • to offer critical analysis of texts, and assess the critical ideas of others;
  • to place these works in their cultural contexts;
Key Skills:
  • to write competent essays;

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Through a variety of teaching activities and approaches, seminars will facilitate the development of communication and critical skills. Sessions will introduce broad topics and genres, contexts and frameworks to aid conceptual understanding and specific texts for analysis as well as encourage individual interpretation and enquiry. Formative written work and consultation with the module tutor will operate as learning tools, allowing the investigation and testing of ideas and readings. Two summative assignments will assess the competencies and outcomes outlined above and foster advanced independent study.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 9 Fortnightly 2 hours 18
Preparation and Reading 282
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 3000 words 50%
Essay 3000 words 50%

Formative Assessment:

One essay (2,000 words maximum).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University