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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary British Drama (ENLI10223)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to provide a clear overview of the range of contemporary British drama, and to assess this controversial but significant area critically and constructively. Since the mid-1960s, dramatists have experimented relentlessly with form and material in order to respond to changes in culture and society, as well as to confront audiences, challenging their political and ethical beliefs and expectations. A central focus of the course will, therefore, be to investigate the different ways in which contemporary drama has explored the range of possibilities inherent in the medium of live theatre.

The course will cover a broad spectrum of work by living dramatists, from the major plays of established writers from the second half of the twentieth century such as Harold Pinter, Edward Bond and Caryl Churchill, to work by playwrights of the twenty-first century including David Greig and Gregory Burke. The approach will be informed at all times by contemporary critical and theoretical thinking, and will also include some investigation of contemporary theatre practice, including new ideas about staging and new techniques of acting. Students will thus be encouraged to explore practically issues of staging and performance, as well as to think theoretically about questions of representation, style and politics.

Please note: in order to understand the ways in which a play┐s use of theatrical conventions are central to the communication of meaning in performance, some time in class will be devoted to getting up and acting parts of the texts studied. Students won┐t be marked on their acting ability, but getting involved will be necessary.

Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 24, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 course essay of 2,500 words (30%);

Class participation (10%)

1 take home exam of 3,000 words (60%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Construct original, clear and coherent arguments about the production of meaning and effect by contemporary British dramas both on the page and in performance;
  2. Analyse dramatic texts using recognised methodologies of literary criticism and performance analysis to substantiate and illustrate those arguments;
  3. Extrapolate, evaluate and assess ideas from a range of non-literary sources in order to bring them to bear on their analyses of the drama;
  4. Evaluate the ways in which themes and ideas in a written dramatic text can be communicated to an audience in theatre performance;
  5. Orally present the results of research undertaken individually and as part of a small group, respond judiciously to such research undertaken by others, and critically evaluate the importance of such material for an understanding of the chief themes of the course.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited, with priority given to students taking degrees involving English or Scottish Literature and Visiting Students placed by the Admissions Office. Students not in these categories need the written approval of the Head of English Literature before enrolling. In the case of excess applications places will be decided by ballot.
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 hour(s) per week for 12 week(s): and attendance for 1 hour a week at Autonomous Learning Group - times to be arranged
Course organiserDr Simon Malpas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3596
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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