Scottish Literature: Theory and Criticism SCOTLIT4023

  • 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 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with an introduction to, and an analytical survey of, literary theory and criticism in relation to Scottish literature. A variety of critical approaches are studied and a number of Scottish texts of different genres are considered.


10 x 1 hour lectures and 10 x 1 hour seminars, as scheduled in MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in Scottish Literature and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Scottish Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Critical exercise (1500 words) - 50%

Examination of 90 minutes duration - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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 aims to:


■ develop students' understanding of the history of Scottish literary criticism

■ develop an advanced awareness of literary theory in relation to Scottish literature

■ provide opportunities for students to apply selected theoretical approaches to Scottish literary texts of different genres

■ build graduate attributes such as confidence, independent and critical thinking, and ethical and social awareness.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ distinguish between literary criticism and critical theory

■ analyse problems relating to the application of historicist approaches to Scottish texts

■ explain the basic implications for a Scottish text of a number of theoretical approaches

■ describe the major movements in Scottish literary criticism from the 1880s to the present

■ apply the basic concepts of the theories discussed to a range of Scottish texts

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.