Reach back into the past and discover the bard Reach back into the past and discover the bard

Academic Lead: Ms Elizabeth McDonald

Accreditation: 20 UCU/10 ECTS

Level: Undergraduate level 5

Where better to study the works of the Bard than in the second city of Shakespearean England? Norwich offers a perfect backdrop, with the medieval city making up the spine of the modern landscape, and the many theatrical performances offering students the chance to see the plays being performed. Students are invited to reach back into the past and read Shakespeare’s plays in their original historical, cultural and performance context.

This module not only invites its students to develop their understanding of the exquisite linguistic and dramatic qualities of Shakespeare’s plays but also to consider these works in light of the peculiarities of the historical and cultural moment in which they were first written and performed.  To aide this, there is a residential field trip to Stratford-Upon Avon, Shakespeare’s home, giving students a greater insight into the background to his plays.  The module will also take the plays from the page to the stage as we watch productions and consider the ways in which Shakespeare’s theatre functioned.

The module will develop students’ ability to read and analyse the rich language of the plays as well as gaining a more detailed appreciation of how they relate to the turbulent and dynamic period of history in which they were first written and performed. There will be seminars with leading academics where there will be the chance to discuss and question Shakespeare’s plays.

Field trips may include:

Seeing a Shakespeare play at The Globe Theatre London and a residential visit to Shakespeare's birthplace Stratford-Upon-Avon, including seeing a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

By the end of the module students will:

  • Have developed their ability to communicate effectively in verbal and written exchanges.
  • Have developed their ability to gather information from a variety of sources and synthesise that information.
  • Have developed their ability to collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
  • Have developed independence of thought and initiative.


Students should bring a love of reading and learning about the past and a willingness to engage with Shakespearean language. No specific knowledge or experience is required.


A £300.00 supplement applies for this module. Please see our fees page for further information. 

Student Experience:

"UEA has an amazing atmosphere. I immediately felt welcomed, and everyone was willing to help – whether it be about visas or which are the best bars in Norwich! The campus is gorgeous, and the size of the campus (much, much smaller than my university at home) definitely helped with the close-knit vibe of the university". Emma, Australia 2013.

Module Outline

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