Science Fiction 1945-present ENGLIT4106

  • 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

The course examines the genre of science fiction from 1945 to the present. Students will learn about the development of the genre, major works within it, and productive theoretical and methodological approaches to it.


1 x 1hr seminar per week over ten weeks OR 7 x 90min seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus

2 x 2-hr lectures (online anytime), 1 x 3hr workshop (online anytime), 1 x 3hr workshop (online live) as scheduled on MyCampus.

This is one of the Honours options in English Literature and may not run every year. The options that are 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

ENGLIT4062  Science Fiction


Close reading exercise 2000 words: 35%

Essay 3000 words: 50%

Seminar presentation of 7 minutes: 15%

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:

■ develop knowledge and understanding of science fiction

■ develop an understanding of the theoretical approaches and methodologies employed in the field of science-fiction criticism

■ critically engage with a range of selected works from 1945-present

■ construct and develop individually selected areas of specialised investigation

■ acquire a wider, transferable sense of the humanistic ethical dialogue with technological and scientific developments.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ write knowledgeably about science fiction from 1945-present as well as specific major works

■ apply appropriate critical approaches and methodologies to works of science fiction

■ relate science fiction to its wider cultural, historical, and intellectual context

■ research independently in the field of science-fiction criticism

■ discuss technological and scientific development with appropriate ethical and humanistic sensitivity

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

■ demonstrate 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.