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Classic Detective Fiction

Develop detailed knowledge of one of the most popular and widely read literary sub-genres of crime fiction

3,033 enrolled on this course

Classic Detective Fiction
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
This course is part of the program Crime Fiction, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Bachelor of Arts. Find out more.

Are you the next Hercule Poirot? A budding Sherlock Holmes? Embrace your inner Dick Tracy and dive into the world of detective fiction!

Explore the back-stories of some of the earliest examples of crime fiction

This course delves deep into the evolution of the crime fiction genre from the early nineteenth century to the present day with a focus on detective novels. Many of these novels shaped the way we think about reading, and have engaged generations of readers from childhood through to our twilight years.

Did you know that over 2 billion copies of Agatha Christie’s detective novels are estimated to have been sold? [1]

On this course you will develop advanced skills in analysing and contextualising crime fiction texts from the UK, the US, Australia and beyond.

Join us and embark on the fascinating tale behind the twist.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds Here we are - the crime fiction section, home to some of the greatest murder mysteries and heists of all time. Have you ever wondered how the authors got away with it - the inspirations, the tactics, what they wanted to achieve? Me too! Come on, I’ll show you what I’ve dug up.

What topics will you cover?

  • The early history of detective fiction
  • Detective fiction sub-genres
  • Reading detective fiction
  • Plots and narrative structures
  • Classic detective fiction devices

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the history of crime fiction and some of the key crime fiction subgenres.
  • Explore the key formal, thematic and contextual characteristic of individual crime fiction texts.
  • Investigate crime fiction texts in relation to their genre and the idea of genre evolution.

Who is the course for?

This course is made for anyone looking to improve their knowledge of crime fiction.

Avid readers and true crime connoisseurs should find a lot to engage them here.

Who will you learn with?

I'm an Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Newcastle, Australia. I'm also a specialist in - and avid reader of - crime fiction and have published extensively in this area.

Who developed the course?

The University of Newcastle Australia

The University of Newcastle is a world-class university distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Ranked in Australia’s Top 10 universities, and 197th in the world (QS rankings, 2021).

  • Established

    1965
  • Location

    Newcastle, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 200Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Advance your career with a degree

Since 2017 you have been able to take a degree on FutureLearn. This free course is a bit like a starter course for a degree — it should give you a flavour of the degree subject but can also be your first step towards a degree qualification.

If you enjoy this course you can apply to join the program it’s part of to start working towards a degree on FutureLearn.

Don’t worry, you can still take the course without doing a full degree!

Do the free course
Join and complete the program
Get academic credit for an online degree from The University of Newcastle Australia
This course is part of the program Crime Fiction, which is one of the building blocks that leads to a degree in Bachelor of Arts.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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