English Literature 1A: Poetry & Poetics ENGLIT1011

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course develops students' understanding of, and ability to analyse, poetic and poetic-dramatic texts at University level. Covering a substantial range of poets and texts from different literary periods, it fosters wide and varied reading, introduces students to theories of and about poetry ('poetics') and helps students to understand, appreciate and employ the expressive resources of language.


Lectures: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11am or 12 noon;

9 x 1 hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses



Essay (1,500 words) - 30%

Seminar contribution - 10%

Essay (2500 words) - 60%

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

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. 


Reassessment is not available for seminar contribution.

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ introduce students to a substantial range of poets and poetic texts from different periods of literary history

■ introduce students to generic conventions (epic, ballad, tale, lyric, love poetry, elegy, religious poetry, sonnets, dramatic monologue) and literary features (form, prosody, metre, voice, rhyme, stanzas, word play, trope, scheme) of poetic and poetic-dramatic texts

■ enable students to reflect critically upon textual production and reception both in history and in their own practice

■ develop students' capacity for sensitive and detailed close-reading of poetic and poetic-dramatic texts

■ develop students' ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of poetic and poetic-dramatic texts through writing and in group discussion.



Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ identify distinctive generic conventions and literary features in critical and imaginative engagement with a substantial range of poetic and poetic-dramatic texts

■ apply theories relating to the study of poetry and English studies more broadly to the material encountered on the course

■ use precise critical terminology and, where appropriate, linguistic and stylistic terminology related to the study of poetry and English studies more broadly

■ undertake close reading of poetic and poetic-dramatic texts by critical engagement with formal aspects in relation to matters of context, theory, compositional practice and performative procedures.

■ construct viable written arguments about texts or aspects of texts, showing an awareness of alternative points of view, express themselves with clarity and economy in tutorial discussion and written assessment.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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