Modern Scottish Poetry SCOTLIT4034

  • 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

Modern Scottish Poetry introduces the work of major Scottish poets from the 1960s to the 21st century, such as Edwin Morgan, Norman MacCaig, Liz Lochhead and Jackie Kay. The course is an enquiry into different forms of poetry, lyrical, autobiographical, science fiction, sound poetry, feminist poetry, polemical poetry, 'local' poetry, poems of love and politics. Close readings of individual poems are complemented by consideration of the national and international contexts.


1 x 1hr Lecture per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus and

1 x 1hr Seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on 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



Bibliography (1000 words): 25%

Review essay (1000 words): 25%

Essay (2000 words): 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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 development of Scottish poetry through the 20th century;

■ Understand the main themes and the achievements of individual poets in the field;

■ Develop confidence and skill in the literary analysis of poems in the period;

■ Enhance understanding of the relation of poetry to political and historical events of the period.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ write knowledgeably on the work of major poets of the period;

■ articulate major distinctions of form, subject, language and prevailing imageries in the work of poets of the period;

■ be confident in the application of literary analysis in reading the poetry of the period;

■ engage with arguments of national identity and literary expressions of modernity in the poetry of the period.

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.