Medieval Multitudes: Exploring Middle English Texts (Non Honours) ENGLANG3001

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Medieval literature is a wide and varied field, encompassing such things as (slightly fantastical) histories, romance, saints' lives, and children's literature. In this course students will have the opportunity to explore a range of texts from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when English literature exploded into life. The texts selected will be contextualised within their cultural and social milieux and will include poetry by Chaucer and his contemporaries. The course will engage with current critical themes and concerns, such as authorship, patronage, gender, piety, personal identity, historicism, legend, medievalism, audience and readership.


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Level 3 options in English Language & Linguistics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Grade D3 or above in either English Language & Linguistics 2A and 2B, or English Literature 2A and 2B, or Scottish Literature 2A and 2B, or at the discretion of the Head of English Language and Linguistics.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4041 Medieval English Literature 1




Essay (2,000 words) - 50%

Text translation and commentary (1,000 words) - 25%

Set exercise (1,000 words) - 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ give students the opportunity to translate English texts from the Middle English period;

■ analyse a range of English texts from the Middle English period; 

■ familiarise students with the range of text types written in later Middle English;

■ consider English texts from the Middle English period in the light of contemporary literary criticism.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ translate select passages of late medieval English literary texts;

■ comment upon select passages of late medieval English literary texts;

■ contextualise select texts within the culture, society and linguistic and literary milieux in which they were produced.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.