Textual Editing in Scotland SCOTLIT5015

  • 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

Scottish literature is currently enjoying a renaissance in textual editing. Many major new editions of Scottish writers' work, such as that of Robert Burns, James Hogg, Allan Ramsay, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, are currently underway or have been recently completed on major academic presses. This masters level course allows students to engage with the theory and practice of textual editing through a critical examination of diverse theories of bibliography and textual editing and a number of practical case studies featuring canonical and non-canonical writers from all periods in Scottish literary history. It draws on the Scottish Literature Subject Area's expertise as a significant centre for Scottish textual editing, and makes extensive use of the University's library resources.


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





■ Bibliographical exercise (1250 words) - 25%

■ Transcription and annotation exercise (1250 words) - 25%

■ Essay (2500 words) - 50%

Main Assessment In: August

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Encourage students to analyse the role of textual editing within literary studies more widely;

■ Enable students to engage critically with a wide range of theories of textual editing and to put these into practice;

■ Familiarise students with the bibliographical skills required in textual editing;

■ Analyse and assess a variety of copy-text materials, from manuscripts to printed texts;

■ Engender practical skills in textual editing through case studies on specific writers and texts from a wide range of periods in Scottish literary history.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Identify, analyse and evaluate a variety of theories of textual editing;

■ Evaluate and apply bibliographical research and description;

■ Critically engage with the process of selecting copy-text;

■ Assess a diverse range of source materials, from manuscript to printed texts;

■ Articulate and analyse the issues in dealing with manuscripts;

■ Apply these theories and skills through practical examples of editing texts from the medieval period through to the twenty-first century.

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.