Scottish Fiction under Late Capitalism SCOTLIT4037

  • 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

Beyond 'fat cats' and the 'rat race'; from office politics to climate catastrophe; family fights to cosmic conflicts, this course examines the implications of late capitalism in the Scottish literary imagination. It asks how fiction writers have imagined the individual's relationship with the broader political and social structures of their times, and it sets out to scrutinise how ideology governs our understanding of history and our place in it.


1 x 2 hour seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled in 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





Set exercise (1,000 words) - 20%

Oral presentation (15 minutes) - 20%, of which 10% is a group mark and 10% an individual mark

Essay (2,500 words) - 60%

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 fiction in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the context of the

development of late capitalism over the same period.

■ Understand elements of the role of ideology and political economy in the conception and reception of literature.

■ Interpret recent fiction in relation to pressing political issues of the day.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Discuss the history of contemporary Scottish Literature in relation to the history of late capitalism.

■ Situate literary works in historical, political, and ideological contexts that reinforce their relevance in the present.

■ Assess the relationship between the literary imagination in Scotland and the conditions of life under capitalism since the Second World War.

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.