Module title: Popular culture

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CLP08100
Module leader: Emily Alder
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Humanities and Culture


2018/9, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Emily Alder
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module is designed to encourage your active learning and collaboration. Class discussion will be particularly effective for nurturing the spirit of debate so central to LO1 and LO2. In addition, the lectures will give the extra detailed information and intellectual frameworks to enable you to engage critically with LO1, LO2 and LO3. The ‘lecture’ moniker is misleading, however, because both hours are highly interactive, complementing a lecture with group work within the larger group, emphasising peer contact and expert input from the module leader. The separate tutorial hour features smaller groups and emphasises supporting you and clarifying concepts, alongside hands-on analytic engagement with the texts under scrutiny (LO1, LO2, LO3). Finally, Moodle is a platform for independent and cumulative learning, and the online logbook assignment encourages you to explore and articulate insights as well as prepare short multimodal pieces of writing (LO4). Your learning is thus enriched with a range of forms of learning experience.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment on this module takes the form of two sample logbook posts submitted in week 5 (minimum length 800 words [400 each]). You are given individual feedback on these posts to help you get to grips with the demands of this cumulative, written assessment which you will work on regularly between weeks 2 and 14. You are encouraged to use your logbook as a way to revise and synthesise the various strands of information on the module (lectures, tutorials, viewings, readings). This assessment, when undertaken as directed, encourages improved note-taking, and encourages deeper learning.

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment takes the form of the online logbook (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4) and a research essay (LO1 2 3 4).

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 20
Face To Face Tutorial 10
Independent Learning Guided independent study 170
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Learning Log 50 1, 2, 3,4 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3600
Essay 50 1, 2,3 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

On this module you will study popular genres such as science fiction, the Gothic, YA fiction, and fantasy, through film and television: such examples of popular culture are recent additions to university syllabi, and even today you may be surprised to see them on a module reading list. This module asks why that might be, and explores whether there can be value in studying the popular. You will begin by exploring different definitions of ‘popular’ versus ‘high’ culture, and will then unleash your analytic skills on an array of particular popular texts. In each case, you will ask yourself: what fears and hopes are implied by this text? How does the text depict human relationship with technology, and changing views of family and kinship? What changing assumptions about gender and class and race does the text reveal? All these questions and more will inform our work throughout this module. You will develop and use your skills of literary analysis and film analysis to unpack the complexities of popular fiction, film, and a graphic novel, and in each case you will be asking yourself what this popular artefact reveals about the social context in which it emerged. We will explore theories of the popular, ideologies of mass culture, theories of cultural production, the heterogeneity of the popular, intersections of culture and commerce, the politics of the popular, and gender and the popular

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to

LO1: consider the validity of distinctions between ‘high’, ‘mass’ and ‘popular’ culture LO2: demonstrate knowledge and understanding of critical perspectives on popular culture texts from a range of genres
LO3: analyse literary, cinematic and/or visual techniques used in specific texts of popular genres
LO4: use multimodal approaches to exploring, presenting and discussing popular texts

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
CLP08100 Popular Culture