Robert Burns SCOTLIT4030

  • 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 examines the celebrated life, correspondence, poetry and songs, and also the cultural after-life of Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns.


8x1hr seminar over 11 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus; viewing of online lessons in students' own time. 


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

SCOTLIT1014 Robert Burns (Online Distance Learning)




Essay (2,500 words) - 40%

Blog-entry exercise (750 words) - 10%

Examination (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:

■ examine the life and works of Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

■ interpret the poetry, song and prose of Robert Burns in the context of Scottish history and culture

■ facilitate engagement with diverse cultural materials and foster understanding of the construction of Robert Burns's reputation as a universally recognised literary figure.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ discuss the significance of Robert Burns both in terms of his stature as a poet and song-writer and his status as a national and, indeed, international writer;

■ situate Burns in the context of his own period and Scottish literature and culture in general;

■ critically examine the nature of the Burns cult and its manifestation beyond the text and in popular culture.

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.