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Last modified: 28 Jun 2018 10:27

Course Overview

An introduction to late medieval-literature, challenging modern assumptions about the medieval and exploring the diverse range of medieval literary culture, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the autobiographical narrative of Margery Kempe and surprising profanity of medieval lyric.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Elizabeth Elliott

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Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course offers an introduction to late-medieval literature, challenging modern assumptions about the nature of the 'medieval' and opening up the dynamic cultural scene that gave rise to some of the most entertaining and thought-provoking works in the literary tradition. Texts and authors studied range from the popular to the courtly and from the sacred to the (very) profane. Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales features prominently on the course, with narrative poetry also represented by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Meanwhile, the great civic Mystery play cycles represent the beginnings of the vigorous vernacular dramatic tradition inherited by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Students will become familiar with Medieval language and be introduced to themes and genres ranging from courtly love and chivalric romance, to mysticism and autobiography, from comic tales (fabliaux) to drama and lyric verse. The course will also examine Chaucer's cultural influence, and include work by Scottish writers Henryson and Dunbar.

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

1st attempt: 1 two-hour exam (40%), continuous assessment: 2000-2500 word essay ( 40%), presentation (10%) seminar work(10%) Resit: 1 two-hour examination

Formative Assessment

Throughout the course students will be encouraged to ask for formative assessment from the tutor on their achievements. Individual and group discussions with the tutor will also give students a chance to develop their undertanding of what is asked of them and how they can produce this.


Detailed written feedback on the essays. Detailed oral feedback on the presentations.

Course Learning Outcomes


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