Centre for Continuing Education

HSC English Advanced Preparation Course - Module B: 'Emma'

HSC English. The smart way to prepare for your HSC.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

This one-day HSC English preparation course focuses on Jane Austen’s Emma for the Advanced English Module B: Critical Study of Literature.

As part of a small class, you will be encouraged to explore the relationship between the novel and its Regency context, particularly in terms of the social and economic status of women. Passages from the novel will be used as a stimulus for analysis along with extracts from selected critical essays on Austen and Emma.

Note: The tutor’s own article, published in the Jane Austen Society of Australia’s journal, ‘Sensibilities’, will be introduced to provoke discussion of Austen’s ironic comment that ‘I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.’ (Austen-Leigh, 157).

Original material from lectures written by the tutor and delivered to undergraduate English students in April 2018 will be drawn upon, in modified form, to enhance HSC Advanced English students' understanding and appreciation of Jane Austen’s transformative novel, its textual integrity and enduring significance.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • analyse and discuss the distinctive aesthetic and textual integrity of the novel
  • make informed judgements about the ways in which the personal and historical contexts of the composer inform the innovative style of the novel set for study
  • evaluate the influence of context on key ideas and perspectives in the novel. Evaluate your own and other’s arguments and points of view.


  • Review of how to apply knowledge of language forms and features in responding critically to the novel.
  • Use of appropriate language and terminology of critical expression.
  • Recognition of shifting points of view and structural devices in the novel in order to identify and explain the ways in which meaning is shaped by Austen’s use of irony and free indirect discourse.
  • Evaluation of critical readings of the novel in light of a personal view of its aesthetic qualities and concerns that draws upon close reading of Emma along with engagement with Austen’s representation of the social and economic status of women in Regency England.

Intended audience

HSC English Advanced students studying Jane Austen’s Emma for the Advanced English Module B: Critical Study of Literature.

Delivery style

The tutor will analyse extracts from the novel in a blended learning environment that integrates online activities and resources with supplementary materials in a concise course booklet. Guided group discussion of Austen and Emma will be supported by comment from the tutor to encourage personal, informed and critical readings in the context of Module B.

The tutor will provide detailed individual feedback and work with you to establish personal writing goals and strategies for achieving these, for optimal success in HSC Extension English. We will also read and discuss the sample HSC examination question provided by NESA.


You will be provided with a course booklet (electronic copy). Please bring along your own copy of the text.

Bring your own device

You are required to bring your own device (Windows or Mac) and a power chord. Please ensure your device is fully charged as access to power is limited.

Please note that University does not carry any responsibility for your lost, stolen, or damaged devices whilst on the University premises.

Getting Through Your HSC: A Practical Guide

While you progress through this journey and also the conclusion of your schooling life, we know you’ll have a lot on your mind – exams, future study, careers – but remember, while keeping focused on these bigger goals and aspirations, it’s also important not to forget your own health and well-being.

For tips on staying motivated and keeping focused, dealing with anxiety, keeping healthy, relaxation, pre-study exercise and more, read our article Getting Through Your HSC: A Practical Guide.


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