Realism and Fantasy in Victorian Literature ENGLIT4101

  • 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

This course examines a range of Victorian texts including fiction, criticism, drama and poetry, and investigates the ways in which realist and fantastic genres shaped one another. Authors studied may include: George Eliot, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Aubrey Beardsley, Anthony Trollope, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Ellen Wood, Olive Schreiner, George Gissing, and J. R. Planché.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over ten weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in English Literature and may not run every year. Options running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours English Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4040 Realism and Fantasy in Victorian Literature


Essay (1500 words): 25%

Seminar contribution: 10%

Seminar presentation of 7 minutes: 15%


Time-limited essay (2500 words) to be completed over a 4-day period after the standard submission deadline: 50%


Essay (3000 words): 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ study a range of texts illustrating the growth of realist and fantastic genres and modes

■ develop your understanding of some key critical concepts including genre and readership

■ deepen your knowledge of Victorian literary history.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ reflect critically on the historical development of realism and fantasy in Victorian literature

■ explain contrasting critical approaches to concepts of realism and fantasy in literature

■ write a research essay using professional standards of referencing and presentation

■ prepare and deliver an oral presentation using Powerpoint or Prezi in a professional manner

■ communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument.

■ develop resilience and time management through effectively planning, undertaking and submitting coursework.

■ deal with change and new challenges by applying their disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions.

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.