University of the West of England


(Template Revised October 2005)

Code: UPGPTF-30-3 Title: Fiction in Britain since 1970 Version: 3

Level: 3 UWE credit rating: 30 ECTS credit rating: 15

Module type: Standard

Owning Faculty: Social Sciences and Humanities Field: English

Valid from: September 2008 Discontinued from:

Contributes towards: Awards up to BA (Hons)

Pre-requisites: UPGPDC-60-1

Co-requisites: None Excluded combinations: None

Learning outcomes:

On completion of the module the students should be able to demonstrate:

    • Familiarity with the variety of cultural, ideological, and literary concerns of post-1970 fiction in Britain (assessed through all elements of assessment);

    • Awareness of the relationship between popular culture (including genre fiction) and literary production (assessed through all elements of assessment);

    • Critical understanding of the political, social, and cultural context to post-1970 British fiction (assessed through all elements of assessment);

    • Familiarity with the critical and theoretical approaches to contemporary British fiction (assessed through all components of the assessment);

    • Ability to relate the critical and theoretical approaches to the reading of literary texts (assessed through all components of the assessment);

    • Ability to construct an argument discussing the material on the module, and to communicate it with a measure of articulacy and concision (assessed through both elements of Component B);

    • Increased confidence in discussing the complex interactions between texts, between text and context, and between literary and theoretical aspects of fiction.

Syllabus outline:

This module will examine fiction written since 1970 primarily by British but also by a small number of Commonwealth writers resident in Britain. The focus of the module will be the interaction between the text and its cultural and theoretical context. The module will explore the broad themes of history, identity, and the nation, as these reflect the variety of issues with which the fiction of this period engages.

Teaching and learning methods:

Weekly lectures and weekly seminars. Lectures may include audio and visual materials. The seminars will involve close analysis of texts, discussion and application of issues and approaches introduced in the lectures or suggested by students as a result of pursuing independent secondary reading. Students will also be encouraged to set and prepare the topics for the seminar discussions. The reading of primary texts will occasionally be supplemented by relevant contextual written material (such as reviews, newspaper articles, non-fiction writing by the authors studied in the module), which aim to enrich the students’ understanding of the literary texts on the module.

Reading strategies:

It is essential that students have constant and in-depth access to the primary texts studied on this module. They will therefore be expected to purchase available editions of these works. The primary texts are supported by a range of critical materials available to students in digitised form (key chapters from books and articles), as well as through access to full-text databases such as Literature Online and J-STOR. These sources are flagged up in the module handbook, where they are accompanied by instructions on how to use the library resources effectively. The module handbook also offers an extensive bibliography and guidance in locating and using effectively a range of materials. Further sources will be provided throughout the module by lecturers and seminar

tutors. By exploring the range of sources available to them, and gauging their relevance to each assignment, students will further develop and put into practice their research skills.

Indicative sources:

The following list is offered to provide validation panels/accrediting bodies with an indication of the type and level of information students may be expected to consult. As such, its currency may wane during the life span of the module specification. However, as indicated above, CURRENT advice on readings will be available via other more frequently updated mechanisms.

Connor, Steven

The English Novel in History 1950-1995 (London: Routledge, 1996)

Gasiorek, Andrzej

Post-war British Fiction: Realism and After (London: Arnold, 1995)

Head, Dominic

The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction 1950-2000 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Lane, Richard J. et al.

Contemporary British Fiction (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003)

Lee, Robert A. (ed.)

Other Britain, Other British: Contemporary Multicultural Fiction (London: Pluto, 1995)

Lodge, David (ed.)

Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader (London: Longman, 1988)

Mengham, Rod

An Introduction to Contemporary Fiction (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999)

Morrison, Jago

Contemporary Fiction (London: Routledge, 2003)

Procter, James

Dwelling Places: Post-war Black British Writing (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)

Tew, Philip

The Contemporary British Novel (London: Continuum, 2004)


Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction (Washington D.C)


Twentieth-Century Literature (Hofstra University)


Weighting between components A and B (standard module only) A: 45%B: 55%


First Assessment Opportunity

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Examination (2 hours), seen 45%

Component B

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Essay (3,000 words) 30%

2 . Essay (1,500 words) 20%

3 . Attendance and participation at seminars 5%

Second Assessment Opportunity (further attendance at taught classes is not required)

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Examination (2 hours), seen 45%

Component B

Description of each element Element weighting

1. Essay (3,000 words) 35%

2. Essay (1,500 words) 20%

SECOND (OR SUBSEQUENT) ATTEMPT: Attendance at taught classes is required.

Specification confirmed by ……………………………………Date ……………………………

(Associate Dean/Programme Director)

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