The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.050  Thursday, 9 January 2003

From:           Thomas Larque <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 8 Jan 2003 18:19:24 -0000
Subject:        Stand-Alone University Courses

Please E-Mail any responses to these questions directly to me at
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , as I do not think they are likely to be of
interest to the list as a whole.

Does anybody know of any Universities or Colleges that run stand-alone
courses (without requiring a student to enroll for a full Degree course,
and without requiring graduate status) that could give academic credit
for research work (something like a long essay, thesis or dissertation)
on Renaissance Theatrical, Literary or Historical topics?  Or even
courses that would supervise such research without awarding academic

Alternatively, does anybody know of any Universities or Colleges that
run stand-alone courses on Theatrical, Literary or Historical topics -
from any period - that give academic credit at the equivalent to a CATS
level 2 (the British "Credit Accumulation and Transfer System" at the
level of the 2nd year of a 3 year degree; so I suppose an equivalent
would be the 2nd or 3rd year of a four year non-British degree)?

I should perhaps explain exactly what I am looking for, although I do
not know whether it exists.  I am a 29 year old "mature" Part-Time
undergraduate student at the University of Kent.  I have just completed
enough work to obtain a "Certificate in English Literature" (a 2 year
Part-Time course, equivalent to the First Year of a Full-Time British 3
year BA) which, unless some problem arises, I will be granted in June
2003 (although I finished the necessary work in December), but health
problems which are affecting my ability to work mean that I will not be
able to return to the next stage of the course (the Diploma - equivalent
to the 2nd year of a Full-Time British 3 year BA) until September 2004
at the earliest.  This leaves me with a gap of almost two years without
being able to work on my formal degree course.

If it is possible, I would like to be able to take an additional course
(to keep myself in practice and test my recovery) which - if I am
successful despite my health problems - I could add to my CV or even use
by Credit Transfer as part of my University of Kent Diploma, but which
would not affect my University of Kent qualification if I was forced to
drop out or received a poor mark as a result of my illness.  As far as I
am aware the Continuing Education departments of most British
Universities only offer CATS "Level 1" courses, which are the equivalent
to modules from the First Year of a Full-Time British BA degree, and do
not offer anything equivalent to the Second Year of a Full-Time degree
or above.  The only exception to this rule that I know of is Birkbeck
University's "Diploma" courses - which are both level 2 and can be based
on research work, but which unfortunately require a Birkbeck Certificate
as pre-qualification, which I do not possess.

I live in Kent, England, a short journey from London, and courses that
would be most useful to me would either be within travelling distance
(although as far as I know no such courses are run at any of the local
Universities) or would have limited residential requirements (I might be
able to attend a Summer School, or a course that only required a week or
two of residency for a module and was otherwise based on distance
learning - even if these were based in other countries - but anything
requiring full-time residence away from Kent for a term or a year would
be unrealistic).

I would be particularly interested in courses - at whatever academic
level - that allowed me to carry out a research project of same kind
based on Renaissance Drama or related Literary or Historical topics, or
courses equivalent to CATS "Level 2" that I could possibly transfer to
my Kent degree.  Due to my health problems, I am unlikely to be able to
cope with 3 hour examinations or the equivalent, and would hope to be
able to find courses which were assessed on coursework or similar

I realise that I am probably looking for the impossible, and that no
course is likely to exactly fit my rather exacting requirements, but I
would be very grateful if anybody could suggest anything that might even
possibly be suitable, or any similar alternatives.

Thomas Larque.

"Shakespeare and His Critics"

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