Scottish Literature 1B: Stories We Tell Ourselves SCOTLIT1012

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course considers the ways in which history is retold and reimagined through literature in Scotland. Exploring the past 250 years of Scottish literary history it focusses on poetry and prose, and feature historic battles, royal beheadings, corruption and conspiracy, family dramas, playground bullies, and tinpot dictators. It charts this territory by considering both landmark works and less-celebrated texts, though all are concerned one way or another with power and agency. This focus on the currency of stories means confronting the nation's histories and myths - their heroic and patriotic ideals, their accidents and arbitrariness, their crimes and complicities.


Lectures on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 2pm over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus; weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) over 9 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Essay (2000 words) - 30%

Set exercise (500 words) - 20%

Examination (90 minutes duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Present to students some of the main themes and writers of Scottish literary history and features of Scottish literary criticism.

■ Cover different literary genres within cultural, political, linguistic, and historical themes and contexts.

■ Introduce students to the vitality of contemporary writing.

■ Develop the essential skills of literary criticism.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Describe Scottish literary history and some of its key writers and ideas and articulate an understanding of Scottish literary criticism.

■ illustrate basic skills of literary criticism, by analysing different literary genres and demonstrating an awareness of form and other key literary characteristics.

■ deploy key literary / theoretical concepts and explain these within the context of discussing and writing about the texts on the course.

■ demonstrate skills of research and presentation in written form, both in terms of close reading of texts, and in wider critical / cultural analysis.

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.