Outer Worlds: Literature, 800-1750 (Q3305)

30 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

We will explore the representation of real and fictive worlds in literature from the early medieval period to the eighteenth century. Focusing on works by authors such as Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe and Aphra Behn we will ask how writers understood the relationship between truth and fiction and how they imagined their own world in terms of others, both real and invented. How did medieval and early modern authors use genres such as fantasy, romance and travel writing to explore ideas about racial and religious difference, colonialism, international trade and adventure? How do writers use drama and utopian writings (about imagined ideal communities) to investigate radical political and social questions? Texts studied have included Beowulf, The Faerie Queene, Utopia, Tamburlaine, Oronooko, and other works.


29%: Lecture
13%: Practical (Workshop)
58%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 31 hours of contact time and about 269 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: