Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitEnglish
OfferedNot offered in 2013
Coordinator(s)Patrick Spedding


The unit is designed to introduce students to the origins of modern high fantasy via a range of major English texts selected to illustrate the range and popularity of fantastic literature from the early-Modern to the late-Modern period. The course will include a selection of texts that develop elaborate mythological (Classical and British) and supernatural machinery texts representing an idealised and imagined past, heroic romance and adventure, folk tale and fairy literature


Students successfully completing this subject will be able to identify:

  1. key characteristics of fantasy;
  2. the historical development, and the range of historical manifestations, of fantasy;
  3. the literary, social and cultural roots, and the impact, of fantasy;
  4. key critical debates concerning a range of fantasy genres;
  5. the relevance of these debates to the course-texts as well as to modern works of high fantasy.

Students successfully completing this subject will also be able to:

  1. argue their interpretations clearly and persuasively in oral and essay form;
  2. communicate fruitfully in discussion;
  3. demonstrate skill in identifying and using a range of original texts, scholarly editions and digital archives.


Written work (2250 words): 50%
Test (1 hour, 1800 words): 40%
Tutorial participation (450 words): 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture per week
One 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first-year sequence in Literary Studies, English or Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies