DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2018 - 2019

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module studies both generic issues and the nature of fiction in relation to the short story and the novel. It defines key concepts and theories of fiction and shows the development of those concepts as the forms developed in Britain, Ireland and America from the early eighteenth-century to the contemporary moment. The module will trace the development of the novel considering its relationship to history, realism and fantasy. The relationship between the centrality of individual characters to the wider issues of nation and community will be explored. A chronological overview of the short story will be provided with a focus on the most prominent practitioners of the form from different countries. The course concentrates on the form of short fiction and looks at its different characteristics including the following: unity of impression, narrative voice; tributary forms such as the fairytale; the contention that the short story deals with marginal figures of society, ‘submerged population groups’.

Learning Outcomes

1. Engage closely with primary texts.
2. Understand a range of methods and a critical language that will help analyse prose fiction in the short story form and the novel form.
3. Recognise the form of short fiction and its development from the early nineteenth century up until the present day.
4. Recognise the form of the novel and its development from the early eighteenth century up until the present day.
5. Distinguish genre and characteristics of the short story and the novel
6. Understand the national contexts: Irish, British, and American, which influences the forms of fiction.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Independent Study101Independent Learning
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Daniel Defoe

Jane Austen

Charles Dickens

Richard Ford

Katherine Mansfield

Frank O'Connor

E.A. Poe

James Joyce

Herman Melville

Patrick McCabe

Alice Walker

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Eagleton, Terry.: 2005, The English Novel: An Introduction, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford,
  • Dorothy J. Hale: 2006, The Novel: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory 1900-2000, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford,
  • Moretti, Franco: 2006, The Novel: Volume I: History, Geography, and Culture, Princeton University Press, Princeton,
  • Moretti, Franco: 2006, The Novel: Volume 2: Forms and Themes, Princeton University Press, Princeton,
  • Ian Watt: 1981, The rise of the novel: studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding, London,
  • Walter Allen’s: 1981, The Short Story in English, London,
  • Charles May: 2002, The Short Story: The Reality of Artifice, London,
  • Frank O’Connor: 1962, The Lonely Voice, Cleveland,
  • Sean O’Faolain: 1948, The Short Story, London,
  • Valerie Shaw: 1983, The Short Story: A Critical Introduction., New York,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes