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BA (Honours) English Literature - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

Your studies will:

  • provide you with a wide-ranging introduction to writing in English (and texts translated into English) and relevant cultural and historical contexts 
  • develop your skills of textual analysis and interpretation and your awareness of the range and variety of current critical and theoretical approaches to the study of English literature
  • enable you to develop conceptual ability, communication skills, and a capacity for creative and independent thinking.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

When you have completed this degree you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • a substantial number of texts in English (or translated into English) from a wide range of different genres
  • the central and complex role of language in the creation of meaning
  • key critical and theoretical approaches to the study of English, including an awareness of how language and texts negotiate cultural change and difference
  • how texts are produced, disseminated and interpreted within different cultural and socio-historical contexts
  • how the study of English literature can benefit from interdisciplinary work.

Cognitive skills

When you have completed this degree you will be able to:

  • analyse a wide range of texts in an appropriate critical vocabulary
  • synthesise information and ideas drawn from a variety of sources
  • evaluate different interpretations of texts
  • engage with literary texts from the past and from other contexts and cultures.

Practical and/or professional skills

When you have completed this degree you will be able to:

  • plan and write analytical texts, following the conventions of scholarship in this subject, and acknowledging the work of others.

Key skills

When you have completed this degree you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • ability to communicate complex ideas and arguments clearly and in ways that are appropriate to your subject, purpose and audience
  • information literacy skills in finding, evaluating and using online data
  • competence in the use of appropriate digital tools
  • ability to work independently, and develop your own learning strategies.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will gain knowledge and understanding through study of published distance-learning materials, including specially written teaching printed and online texts, audio-visual materials, set books, study guides, assignment guidance, and written feedback on assignments. Learning outcomes are assessed by means of assignments including short written answers, essays and extended essays. 

You will develop and practise your cognitive skills through interacting with the study materials, which include self-assessment questions, audio-visual materials, associated study guides, assignment rubrics and guidance notes. These skills are also taught and practised through group discussion (face-to-face and online) and through carefully monitored written feedback by tutors on your assignments.

You will be taught practical, professional and key skills by using printed teaching materials, detailed tutor feedback on written work, working with online resources and by participation in study events such as tutorials and day schools. You will practise and develop these skills throughout the modules that make up the degree. While independent study is a feature of all levels, there is greater emphasis on it at OU level 3.