MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA Literature and Sociology options

Year 1, Component 05

Option from list or Outside Option
CS111-4-AU
The World Transformed: The Enlightenment and Its Critics
(15 CREDITS)

Ours is a world that seems to be shaking at its very foundations. Ideas that have shaped the way we see ourselves and the world around us – ideas like democracy, free speech, citizenship, political authority, individualism, free markets, and human rights – are contested at every turn. These ideas took their definitive modern form during a period of political and intellectual upheaval known as the Enlightenment (ca. 1650-1800). If we want to navigate our way through the chaos of today, then we need to return to the roots of our contemporary world – the Enlightenment. This interdisciplinary module explores this revolutionary period so that we can better understand our world today and bring about the world we want tomorrow. We will focus on political revolutions, on societal inequality, sickness, and control, and the dark side of technology. Graduating students often rank it among the most useful modules they've taken.

CS112-4-SP
The World Transformed: The Enlightenment and Its Critics
(15 CREDITS)
CS220-4-SP
Navigating the Digital World
(15 CREDITS)

What does it mean to be a "digital citizen"? How are digital technologies transforming society? To what extent do digital technologies curb or enhance our rights? Some say that we live in a "post-truth" era filled with "fake news" that traps us in a digital "bubble" or "echo chamber". Others see digital technologies as the key to unlocking social change and finding new ways to bring people together across geographical boundaries. Which view is right? What are the actual legal, ethical, social, political, creative, and economic implications of living in an increasingly digital world? This module gives you an opportunity to explore these important issues, and it also provides you with hands-on training from experts in the practical skills required to navigate the digital world.

LT109-4-SP
Contemporary Texts and Contexts
(15 CREDITS)

What is contemporary writing? And how is it characterised? Don’t just study known “traditional” genres of literature, what about the emerging new genres of writing that are challenging readers? Analyse contemporary English writing, published within the last ten years, looking at themes, forms, issues and language.

LT123-4-FY
Contemporary Television
(30 CREDITS)

This module aims to introduce you to a range of critical approaches for analysing contemporary television. Looking at television from the US and the UK from the last 30 years, you will gain an understanding into the ways in which scholars have investigated and interrogated these texts through key theoretical and conceptual frameworks. The module will consider our understanding of television through key issues in production, distribution, consumption, reception and representation. The module is broken into four parts. Part one examines television as text, particularly considering the role of broadcasters, networks and platforms in creating this text. Part two examines key genres in television, such as the police procedural and the sitcom. Part three examines the ways in which ideologies, for example, gender, race, sexuality and class, are taken up in contemporary television. Finally, part four examines the future of television, considering key issues which are challenging television as a form, such as convergence culture and transmedia storytelling.

LT137-4-SP
The First World War in Literature
(15 CREDITS)

Some of the most emotional and powerful literature of the 20th century was written by combatants and non-combatants during the First World War. Looking at writings in English and translation, as well as subsequent literary representations of the conflict, we will examine the unseen side of conflict. In this module you will investigate the lost voices of war, the writings of women and civilians as well as soldiers; you will explore the formation of poetic canons of the First World War; and you will critically analyse images of homecoming, shellshock and memories of war in drama, poetry and narrative. This module includes material on such topics as war, trauma, and bereavement.

LT151-4-AU
Shakespeare Across Media
(15 CREDITS)

Screen adaptations of Shakespeare form a significant part of our cultural experience of his plays. Global Shakespeare on Film takes a comparative approach and unites our departmental disciplines of literature, film, drama and creative writing to examine how interpretations of Shakespeare have developed across time and cultural boundaries. We will study several adaptations of Shakespeare's plays from around the world, focusing on films in languages other than English. Through a close study of the relationship between the plays and the films, we will investigate not only what Shakespeare offers to filmmakers, but how these directors, actors, writers, and designers enhance and evolve our understanding of Shakespeare.

LT161-4-AU
Introduction to United States Literature
(15 CREDITS)

What is US literature? What makes it different from other writing in the English language, particularly work from the UK? Study classic texts that have established US literature as a distinct tradition in itself and gain an understanding of the issues surrounding this.

LT171-4-SP
Introduction to European Literature
(15 CREDITS)

This module is an introduction to some of the most influential European writers from the Enlightenment period up to the present day. You study significant works of literature that sparked particular movements or represent crucial literary innovation. The works selected are novels, novellas, short stories and plays, and we examine these texts within their historical and political contexts. This module will help you to build understanding of the development of genres, forms, styles, content and ideas.

LT182-4-AU
Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism
(15 CREDITS)

How do you read a text closely? What is involved in close reading? With emphasis on you to active do the close reading, learn how this approach can contribute to your appreciation of meaning and significance in a diverse range of texts.

LT191-4-AU
The Writer's Toolkit
(15 CREDITS)

How do you get started as a writer? How do you practise your writing? And how can you make improvements? Using exercises and texts, focus on your basic skills and essay writing. Cover topics like characterisation, dialogue, point of view, plotting, suspense, and metaphor and imagery.

LT705-4-SP
The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways
(15 CREDITS)

This interdisciplinary module serves several functions. Firstly, you will develop an understanding of your degree in the context of the wider world and specifically the graduate jobs market. You will come to understand the employability and career-development opportunities that are available to you during and after your time at Essex, and you will begin the life-long process of continuous professional development with a firm grounding in the practical skills and reflective practice involved. The module is divided into two parts: career-development learning; and Speaker Weeks, when a member of staff will interview guest speakers about their careers in fields that are allied to the arts and humanities. These will cover a range of career areas that may be of interest to humanities graduates in general: from media, arts, journalism, education, publishing, to entrepreneurship in related areas. These weeks are intended to be inspiring but also full of practical tips and ideas, with an emphasis on showing how careers develop over time, and what pathways students can explore to get to where they want to be; as well as what kinds of extra-curricular activities students can engage in now to open more doors professionally before and after graduation. In the career-development learning part of the module, you will cover topics such as the Graduate Labour market, the Humanities graduate, self-reflection and personal development, and how to research and apply effectively for jobs. Skills such as CV writing and interview technique will be covered. Two-hour interactive lecture/seminars will introduce students to careers resources and ideas, but will also include discussion and group work.

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