Medieval Multitudes: Exploring Middle English Texts (PGT) ENGLANG5101

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • 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 Masters 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.


10x2hrs session (1hr lecture and 1hr seminar) and 2x2hrs seminar over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

This course may be taught in conjunction with ENGLANG4041, as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the MSc options for English Language & Linguistics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





Essay (3000 words) - 50%

Text identification exercise with translation and commentary (1000 words) - 25%

Set Exercise (1000 words) - 25%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ gain the specialist skills to translate English texts from the Middle English period;

■ critically analyse and contextualise medieval English literature

■ reproduce, synthesize and critically assess literary developments in the Middle English period in the light of a range of contemporary theories and approaches

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ translate and comment on select passages of Middle English and Early Modern literary texts;

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

■ critically assess a range of specialised theoretical approaches and analytical techniques available to and used by current 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.