Contemporary Scottish Literature SCOTLIT4025

  • 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
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an overview of contemporary Scottish Literature from c.1979 to the present time and engages in an investigation of specific literary genres, political and cultural contexts and priorities and the dispositions of authors in their chosen media throughout the period. One emphasis is on key moments of historical change, the other on the literary continuities running through the period to the present time. Thus the 'modern' (including some earlier 20th-century texts and authors) runs into the 'contemporary', with recently published works by living authors included in the course.


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours courses in Scottish Literature and may not run every year. The options being offered 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

SCOTLIT4002 Contemporary Scottish Literature




Critical assignment (1,500 words) - 20%

Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Examination (90 minute duration) - 40%

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:


■ introduce students to a selection of significant authors of Scottish literature of the period 1979-21st century;

■ introduce students to a selection of significant texts of Scottish literature of the period 1979-21st century;

■ explore a range of significant literary and media forms and opportunities, with their specific limitations and potential;

■ introduce students to the ideological and political contexts of all the above;

■ provide an overview of the historical period and the range of work from various territories of the Scottish geography.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ critically recognise and evaluate significant texts and authors of Scottish literature of the period 1979-21st century;

■ appraise and identify significant traditional Scottish literary genres in the context of mass media genres;

■ question and confidently describe current ideological assumptions about Scottish literature and 'the contemporary world';

■ identify and outline the developing characteristics of post-WWII Scottish literary and artistic sensibilities and priorities;

■ accurately specify what may be the limits and potential of what can be done in literary forms and genres studied in this course.

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.