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Victorian Literature

Code: 106298 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504212 English Studies OB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


David Owen

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Sara Martin Alegre


  • In order to take this course, it is highly recommended that students have passed the first-year subject Introduction to English Literature and the second-year subject Literature of British Romanticism.
  • Language level required: C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for LanguagesLearningTeachingAssessment
  • The competences acquired in the first-year subject Cultural History of the British Isles should be kept in mind.

Objectives and Contextualisation


"Victorian Literature" offers an introduction to the fiction published in the United Kingdom during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) by reading, analysis, debate and through the critical interpretation of five texts.

This compulsory subject trains students, above all, in reading and interpreting a selection of texts. The training offered is essential to follow all subsequent English Literature subjects.

On completion of "Victorian Literature", students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate solid reading comprehension of Victorian literary fiction
  • Produce basic literary criticism (academic papers with secondary sources)
  • Use the resources of any university library in relation to Victorian Literature
  • Express an informed assessment of the Victorian literary texts that have been studied


  • Apply scientific ethical principles to information processing.
  • Apply the methodology of analysis and critical concepts to analysing the literature, culture and history of English-speaking countries.
  • Identify and analyse the main currents, genres, works and authors in English and comparative literature.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.
  • Take sex- or gender-based inequalities into consideration when operating within one's own area of knowledge. 
  • Understand and produce written and spoken academic texts in English at advanced higher-proficient-user level (C2).
  • Use current philological methodologies to interpret literary texts in English and their cultural and historical context.
  • Use digital tools and specific documentary sources for the collection and organisation of information.
  • Use written and spoken English for academic and professional purposes, related to the study of linguistics, the philosophy of language, history, English culture and literature.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse and interpret (at a basic level) literary texts in English of the nineteenth century.
  2. Assess how stereotypes and gender roles are present in literary texts of British Romanticism and the Victorian period.
  3. Conduct bibliographic searches of secondary sources related to nineteenth-century Literature using digital technologies.
  4. Correctly contextualise literary texts in English of the nineteenth century in their corresponding historical and cultural environment.
  5. Correctly contextualise nineteenth-century literary texts in English within the History of English Literature.
  6. Demonstrate a solid knowledge of subjects related to the study of Literature and Culture in general.
  7. Demonstrate understanding of a wide range of nineteenth-century literary texts in English and recognise implicit meaning.
  8. Distinguish principal ideas from secondary ideas and synthesise the contents of literary texts of the nineteenth century.
  9. Express oneself effectively by applying argumentative and textual procedures in formal and scientific texts, in the language studied.
  10. Express oneself in English orally and in writing in an academic register and using appropriate terminology in relation to the study of nineteenth-century literature.
  11. Incorporate ideas and concepts from published sources into work, citing and referencing appropriately.
  12. Integrate secondary sources related to nineteenth-century Literature in the production of basic academic criticism.
  13. Locate and organise relevant English-language information available on the internet, databases and libraries, and apply this to work and/or research environments.
  14. Make oral presentations in English of academic content on topics related to nineteenth-century literary texts in English.
  15. Participate in face-to-face and virtual discussions in English on topics related to nineteenth-century literary texts in English.
  16. Write argumentative essays (C2) of medium length and produce textual commentaries in English on topics related to nineteenth-century literary texts in English.


  • UNIT 1 – Reading The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1847) by Anne Brontë. The 1840s–1850s
  • UNIT 2 – Reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. The 1860s–1870s
  • UNIT 3 – Reading King Solomon’s Mines (1885) by H. Rider Haggard. The 1880s
  • UNIT 4 – Reading Dracula (1898) by Bram Stoker. The 1890s


1 credit ECTS = 25 hours > 6 credits = 150 hours

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classroom interaction 20 0.8 1, 5, 4, 7, 6, 8, 9, 14, 15, 2
Lectures 30 1.2 5, 4, 7, 6, 14, 15, 2
Type: Supervised      
Other assesment activities (classroom participation, exam) 25 1 1, 5, 4, 7, 6, 8, 10, 3, 14, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 2
Type: Autonomous      
Personal study 15 0.6 1, 5, 4, 7, 6, 8, 3, 13, 2
Reading 35 1.4 5, 4, 7, 11, 13, 16



Assessment is based on:

  • 1 essay on Dickens' Great Expectations (1500 words, at least four secondary sources): 50% [Submission is approximately in course-week 16]
  • 2 exercises: 40%
    • (Exercise 1) Brontë: 20% (1 question, c. 350 words). On completion of Unit 1, approx. Week 6
    • (Exercise 2) Haggard and Stoker: 20% (2 questions, c. 350 words/question). On completion of Unit 4, approx. Week 15
  • Class attendance and participation in discussion on topics connected with the contents: 10% 

Students' level of English will be considered when grading all three assessment activities.

Guidelines on essay writing, formatting and citing, as well as other information, are available on Virtual Campus

  • Review procedure
  • After each evaluation activity, the lecturer will inform students of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.
  • Students have a right to review their submitted work in a personal tutorial with the lecturer, on the set dates, never later than 2 weeks after the exercise/exam is marked, including re-assessment. Students lose this right if they fail to collect the exercise/exam within the period announced by the lecturer. 
  • Conditions of reassessment
  • Students cannot participate in reassessment if they have passed the subject; reassessment is not intended to facilitate a higher pass grade.
  • Students who present themselves for reassessment must have a final grade of at least 3.5 (maximum 4.9)
  • At least 2 of the 3 assessment exercises must have been submitted.
  • The reassessment exam will consist of a two-hour written exam on matters related to the subject.
  • The exam is awarded a Pass/Fail mark. On passing the reassessment exam, the final grade awarded for the subject will be 5.0.
  • The date and place of the exam will be published by the faculty.
  • Students who can present a doctor's note may opt to take this examination on a day and time agreed with the lecturer.


  • Reading: All compulsory reading must be duly completed. Any indication that the student has not done the required reading may adversely affect assessment.
  • PLAGIARISM: In the event of plagiarism in an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for that activity, independently of any other disciplinary process that may take place. For any further plagiarism, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject. Plagiarism consists of copying text from unacknowledged sources and presenting it as one's own. It includes cutting and pasting from unacknowledged internet sources, presented unmodified in the student’s own text. Students must respect authors’ intellectual property, always identifying the sources they may use; they must also be responsible for the originality and authenticity of their own texts.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Class Participation 10% 4 0.16 1, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 2
Class participaction 50% 17 0.68 1, 5, 4, 7, 6, 9, 10, 3, 11, 12, 13, 16, 2
Exams/Exercises 40% 4 0.16 1, 5, 4, 7, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 2




DO NOT use electronic editions or Project Gutenberg



Moran, Maureen. Victorian Literature and Culture (Introductions to British Literature and Culture). London: Continuum, 2006 (2009).

You may buy this from:



The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1847) Anne Brontë

Oxford World’s Classics edition


- Other recommendations:

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre



Great Expectations (1860), Charles Dickens

Oxford World’s Classics edition


- Other recommendations:

Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South



King Solomon’s Mines (1885), Henry Rider Haggard

Penguin Classics


- Other recommendations:

Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin

Henry Rider Haggard, She, a History of Adventure



Dracula (1898), Bram Stoker

Oxford World’s Classics edition


- Other recommendations:

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Herbert George Wells, The War of the Worlds



-          The Victorian Web, http://www.victorianweb.org/

-          Voice of the Shuttle: http://vos.ucsb.edu/index.asp

-          BUB Link: English Literature General: http://bubl.ac.uk/Link/e/englishliterature-general.htm


There are no specific programmes for this course.