Medieval Multitudes: Exploring Middle English Texts ENGLANG4041

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

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 Honours 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

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into English Language & Linguistics and English Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4008 Medieval Literature 1 

ENGLANG3001 Medieval Literature 1 Level 3




Essay (3,000 words) - 50%

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

Set exercise (1,000 words) - 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

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;

■ discuss and locate select texts within the culture, society and linguistic and literary milieux in which they were produced;

■ apply the approaches and techniques available to and used by critics and commentators in the interpretation of these texts.

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.