Scottish Book History (PGT) SCOTLIT5014

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This masters level course provides the opportunity to explore Scottish Book History and the rich tradition of printing and publication within Scotland from the coming of print to the digital age. Building on staff expertise in textual scholarship and online and blended learning, and drawing from archival material in the University library, this course will introduce students to the fundamentals of book history and the resources, methods, and concepts central to researching, understanding and critically analysing that history. Through a series of online lessons, it allows students to trace the evolution of printing and the book trade in Scotland, its engagement with the wider world, and distinctive Scottish contributions to the history of print in areas such as such as fine printing, the periodical press, and chapbook publication. Special case studies around key authors and editions allow students to hone their skills of research, bibliography, and literary, historical and cultural analysis.


10 x 1hr seminars/workshops over 10 weeks (online live) as scheduled on MyCampus.

10 x 1hr engagement with asynchronous online learning (online anytime).

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





■ Bibliographic Exercise (1000 words) - 20%

■ Case Study (2000 words) - 40%

■ Essay (2000 words) - 40%

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Familiarise students with the history of printing and the book trade in Scotland;

■ Introduce students to the fundamentals of book history, including the development of print, the composition of books, and the elements of bibliography;

■ Trace the evolution of print forms and different type of print from the medieval period to the digital age;

■ Give students the opportunity to explore specific case studies in publication history and understand their significance within a wider global culture of print; 

■ Engender advanced skills in bibliographic research and book history. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Analyse the history of print in Scotland and its relation to other parts of the world;

■ Identify and critically evaluate sources for Scottish Book History;

■ Identify and analyse different types of publication, situating them within their wider historical and cultural context;

■ Apply skills in book history and bibliographic research through the completion of practical exercises and course assessment; 

■ Critically examine book history in the digital age.

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.