Shakespeare's Plays - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 2
  • Availability for 2018: Sess 2
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (30%) , Essay 2 (30%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,563.00
International 2,813.00

The purpose of the unit is to provide an overview of Shakespeare's dramatic achievement, and to engage with it at first hand, by reading and studying a representative selection of half a dozen of his best known plays. The main emphasis will be on reading and responding to each of the plays in terms of their meaning and relevance for the world of the 21st century; but some work will also be done on their relation to the culture and politics of the English Renaissance (when they were first written and performed), and on their 'appropriation' by audiences and readers in later periods. It will attempt to 'demystify' Shakespeare's work while at the same time acknowledging and beginning to appreciate the unique power which gave rise to its mystique.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. write clear and cogent literary criticism
  2. understand and think through complex ethical questions
  3. engage in intellectual reasoning at an improved level
  4. successfully undertake literary-historical research
  5. speak with some authority about Shakespeare's major plays
  6. write and orally communicate effectively.
  • Essay 1 (30%)
  • Essay 2 (30%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam (40%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • HUM7401 — Shakespeare's Plays
  • Additional materials

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Shakespeare's reputation
2Julius Caesar
3Richard II
5Twelfth Night
6Measure for Measure
7The Winter's Tale
8The 'Authorship Question'

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • 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

  • King Lear (new Penguin Shakespeare)


    ISBN: 9780141012292


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Winters Tale

    By: William Shakespeare

    ISBN: 9780141013893


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Measure for Measure

    By:Shakespeare, William

    ISBN: 9780141396552


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Twelfth Night


    ISBN: 9780140714890


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Richard II

    By:Shakespeare, William

    ISBN: 9780141396644


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Julius Caesar


    ISBN: 9780141012391


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Enquire online

    Need to ask a question that's best put down in words?
    Make an online enquiry.

    Enquire now

    Ready to enrol?

    Start studying this unit now.


    Got a question?

    Get an answer from one of our friendly Student Advisors.