Scottish Literature 2A: Early Scottish Literature & Language SCOTLIT2001

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course deals with Scottish Literature from c.1375 to c.1540 as well as with the development of Scots as a language in that period, introducing key medieval texts, including the poetry of 'makars' Henryson and Dunbar, the work of King James I and that of anonymous comic writers. It will introduce central concepts of medieval thought as well as the history and development of Scottish literature and identity.


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 12 noon; 9 literature seminars (choice of times) as scheduled on MyCampus

Requirements of Entry

A grade D3 or above in one of the following: SCOTLIT 1001, SCOTLIT 1002, SCOTLIT1013, SCOTLIT 1012, ENGLIT1011 ENGLIT1010, COMPLIT1001, COMPLIT1002, COMPLIT1011, or at the discretion of the Head of Scottish Literature.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words) - 30%

Three x 400-500 word seminar reports - 5% each

Language exercise (1000 words) - 15%

Examination (90 minute duration) - 40%

Main Assessment In: December

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. 

seminar reports are not available for reassessment

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ introduce students to key Scottish texts of the medieval period;

■ provide an introduction to the history and structure of the Scots tongue;

■ enable students to analyse Older Scots texts, using the appropriate literary and linguistic critical terms;

■ introduce several key literary concepts that are essential to an understanding of medieval and early modern literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ translate and analyse sample texts of Older Scots

■ identify and evaluate medieval literary themes and concepts

■ analyse the primary texts in their own right and in their cultural and historical contexts

■ identify medieval literary genres and assess their functions

■ exercise close reading skills in written form, both in wider historical, linguistic and cultural analysis and in individual reflection on seminar discussion.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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