Lyric Voices 1340-1650

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Lyric Voices 1340-1650

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    English, Literature, Poetry

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Non-modular pre-requisites: English Part 1 or A-Level (A*, A or B)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Summary module description:
    This module will explore the development of lyric poetry from anonymous medieval songs, to complex courtly verse inspired by French and Italian fashions, to the great variety of lyric poems written by men and women in the seventeenth century. It will examine the construction of lyric personae and their characteristic voices, including the lover, the sinner, the courtier, and the social commentator. Attention will be given to the varied contexts in which lyric poetry appeared, and to the emergence of modern ideas of authorship. Seminars will be grouped around such topics as: love; religious experience; audiences and authorship; soical satire.

    This module aims to provide students with an understanding of many of the major developments of English lyric poetry from the medieval period to the seventeenth century. It is designed to develop students' skills of close textual analysis, and to equip them to recognise a number of the main topics in, and chief influences upon, the poetry of the period.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    Assessable outcomes

    By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
    ? analyse in detail the language and other distinctive features of the poems studied
    ? identify the influence of major movements and some of the effects of changing
    manuscript and print technologies in the period
    ? demonstrate an understanding of how the verse interacts with the social
    milieux in which it was written
    ? engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or
    secondary materials
    ? organize and articulate a coherent written argument, both in coursework essays
    and under timed examination conditions.

    Additional outcomes:
    Oral and written communication skills will be developed, together with critical, interpretative and analytical abilities. Students will also enhance their IT competence through the use of relevant web resources in a critically informed manner.

    Outline content:
    Students will explore the development of lyric poetry from the fourteenth to the seventeenth, the lover, the sinner, the courtier, the social commentator), the varied and changing contexts in which lyric poetry appeared, and the emergence of modern ideas of authorship. Seminars will focus on such topics as: love; religious experience; audiences and authorship; social satire. Texts will be taken from The Norton Anthology: Volume 1, supplemented for the medieval period by a collection of lyrics produced for the module and available from the Department of English.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    A combination of five lectures and fifteen seminars consisting of structured group discussion, for which students are required to do preparatory reading, with occasional oral presentations by students. Students are also entitled to a half-hour tutorial on their formative essay. With the consent of the module convenor, students may also undertake a placement, through which they will learn how to apply the knowledge and skills gained in studying for this module in a professional context outside the University.

    Summative Assessment Methods:

    Written exam 67%
    Written assignment including essay 33%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    Summative Assessment Methods (%) - work which always contributes towards the overall module mark:

    Formative assessment methods:
    Formative Assessment Methods - work which provides opportunities to improve performance (e.g. through feedback provided) but which does not necessarily always contribute towards the overall module mark:

    Students write one formative essay, of approximately 1500 words. Feedback will also be provided on the assessed essay of 1800-2000 words, or on the equivalent placement report.

    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of at least 40% overall.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.