Scottish Literature 1A: The Fantastic and the Real SCOTLIT1013

  • 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 introduces students to the past 250 years of Scottish literary history through a combination of celebrated and neglected texts. Focussing on poetry and prose, and featuring pirates, fairies, monsters, devils, and the full gamut of loves, joys, sorrows, and traumas, this course examines the range of ways in which people have imagined themselves in, through, or otherwise associated with Scotland. This means confronting both the comfortable stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and the horrors we are liable to reveal.


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: December

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to some of the main themes and writers of Scottish literary history.

■ Present texts and writers within cultural, political and historical contexts.

■ Focus on the generic literary forms and languages of the set texts.

■ Enable students to 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

■ illustrate basic skills of literary criticism, grasping concepts such as literary genre and form, narrative point of view, the use of irony, figurative language, etc, and be able to use these in practical criticism and essays

■ identify key literary / historical periods and movements

■ 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.