• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject English
  • Areas of interest English

This interdisciplinary course will focus on five novels by Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Each novel will provide a starting point from which we will explore the representation of broad themes of historical and literary significance relating to late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Britain. We will examine the ways in which knowledge of the period in which Austen wrote enriches our understanding of her fiction and how the novels in turn participate in certain crucial debates and developments of the period. Topics to be covered will include the representation within the novels of the following: the Navy, marriage and adultery, fashion and consumption, slavery and empire, the landed estate, Bath, the concept of 'improvement', the female reading public and its institutions, leisure, the Gothic, ideas of the family and domesticity, music, the theatre, female friendship, philanthropy and science. We will also examine the significance of the Austen 'craze' with reference to film and television versions of the novels as well as Austen's presence on the internet.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completionof the course students will able to:
  1. Apply knowledge of the historical contexts of Jane Austen’s fiction to specific novels by Austen (as well as film texts).
  2. Identify key elements that are distinctive of Austen’s narrative style and artistic achievement.
  3. Reflect, discuss and write analytically about what Austen’s fiction tells us about the society of her time.
  4. Develop their own critical analysis thinking about the relationship between the historical Austen and the complex cultural phenomenon that is Austen at the beginning of the 21st century.

Indicative Assessment

One 2,000 word essay (40%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4]

One 2,500 word essay (50%).%).[LO 1, 2, 3, 4]

Tutorial participation (10%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


One lecture (1.5 hours), one tutorial (1 hour) and 7.5hours of associated reading/study time per week.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 Units of English (ENGL) Courses. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed HIST2006. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility,
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice,
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park,
Jane Austen, Emma,
Jane Austen, Persuasion.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4617 15 Feb 2016 26 Feb 2016 31 Mar 2016 27 May 2016 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions