Great Books - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: No
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment - Short Answers (20%) , Essay 1 (25%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

Great Books examines the allure of the literary. For centuries humans have recited poetry, enacted drama and, more recently, written novels that all speak to the human condition in ways that exceed the everyday even as they somehow capture it. In thematic terms this units asks: what does it mean to be human? What are the immortal themes that recur in any genre of great literature? In terms of readers' experiences of literature, what is it that makes a work 'literary'? How have people managed to express themselves in way that outlast the span of a single lifetime? What formal approaches have been taken to understanding and promoting 'the literary'. Perhaps most importantly of all, though, what does literature offer in a world full of images, a world apparently driven by economic issues, Join us to ponder upon such issues as you discover, or revisit, a fine range of literary texts.

At the completion of this unit students will have:

  1. a solid foundation for later units in Literary Studies
  2. an improved ability to read closely, carefully, and attentively and with ethical, imaginative and emotional engagement
  3. an improved ability to see continuities and discontinuities between past cultures (as embodied in the works studied) and contemporary culture
  4. an improved ability to think clearly and logically about literature-and to express those ideas with civility and courtesy in online discussions
  5. an improved ability to express critical appreciation of literature in clear, cogent, and well-constructed essays.
  • Assignment — Short Answers (20%)
  • Essay 1 (25%)
  • Essay 2 (25%)
  • Online Discussion (30%)

There are no prerequisites for this unit.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Medea - love and marriage, revenge, gender roles, alienation, otherness
2Heart of Darkness - the nature of evil, alienation, race and colonisation
3Metamorphosis - humanity, hierarchy, postmodernism, vulnerability
4Jane Eyre - gender roles, alienation, love and marriage, class, vulnerability
5Frankenstein - medicalisation and science, the monstrous, parenthood, creation

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Quizzes
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Euripides' Medea


    ISBN: 9781107652217


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • The Metamorphosis, In the Pen al Colony and Other Stories: T

    By:Kafka, Franz

    ISBN: 9780684800707


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Jane Eyre

    By:Bronte Charlotte

    ISBN: 9780141441146


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Heart of Darkness (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

    By:Conrad Joseph

    ISBN: 9780143106586


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus

    By:Mary Shelley

    ISBN: 9780141439471


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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