Scottish Literature 2B: Early Scottish Literature & Language SCOTLIT2002

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

Short Description

This course concentrates on the poetry of the 16th and 17th centuries, with special focus on the poetry of Alexander Scott, Alexander Montgomerie, William Fowler, Mary Queen of Scots and William Drummond of Hawthornden, as well as the drama of David Lindsay. The course continues with an exploration of the 18th-century 'vernacular revival' in Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson and Robert Burns alongside an analysis of the 18th-century Scottish novel, through the example of Tobias Smollett.


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, SCOTLIT1012, ENGLIT1011 ENGLIT1010, COMPLIT1001, COMPLIT1002, COMPLIT1011, or at the discretion of the Head of Scottish Literature.

Excluded Courses





Essay (2,000 words) - 30%
Close Reading Exercise (1,000 words) - 15%

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

Examination (90 minute duration) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

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 from the early modern period to the eighteenth century

enable students to analyse the period's texts, using the appropriate literary and linguistic critical terms

introduce several key literary concepts that are essential to an understanding of early modern to eighteenth- 

  century Scottish literature

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ outline the development of literature in Scotland from c1550 to 1800, and demonstrate an awareness of historical and cultural contexts

■ analyse texts of Scottish ballads and explore the differences between oral and literate cultures

■ evaluate issues of nationality and identity in 18th century Scottish fiction and poetry

■ provide an account of literary genres and their functions in the period

■ use 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.