Modern Scottish Writing (MLitt)

Scottish Literature Masters - MLittleaf

MLitt, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma

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Modern Scottish Writing (MLitt)
  • Type Full-time, Part-time
  • Duration Full-time: MLitt-12 months, PG Diploma-9 months, PG Certificate 4 months Part-time: MLitt 27 months, PG Diploma-21 months, PG Certificate-9 months
  • Start date September

Dr Scott Hames School of Arts and Humanities
Division of Literature & Languages
University of Stirling
Stirling
FK9 4LA
Scotland
UK
+44 (0) 1786 466205 www.stir.ac.uk/arts-humanities/graduate-study/

As the question of independence is posed directly, Scotland’s national status ‘is both dangled before us and tantalisingly withheld’ (Don Paterson).

The Stirling Master's course views Scottish literature in the light of this ambiguity from a perspective shaped by critical theory as well as traditional literary history. Our focus is the unusually strong role played by literature in sustaining the reality and difference of Scottish culture over the past three centuries – not forgetting the role of novelists and poets in integrating Scottish identity into the project of Britishness. As debate intensifies over Scotland’s political status, the time is ripe to examine the role of writing in shaping the image and reality of the nation.

Course objectives

This course explores modern Scottish literature in relation to the ambivalent condition of Scottish history and identity.

We focus on writing from Robert Burns, Walter Scott and James Hogg, through Victorian and late 19th-century writers (Galt, Buchan, Stevenson) to the modernist experiments of Hugh MacDiarmid and his followers, and on to provocative 20th-century experiments in language, textuality and historical re-telling (Welsh, Galloway, Kelman, Spark, Gray, Saadi, Robertson).

No previous experience in studying Scottish literature is required. Leading Scottish writers and critics feature prominently in assigned reading, as do theorists of cultural modernity.

Entrance requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

A sample of work (e.g. English Essay) is required.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 (5.5 inall bands).

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Our range of pre-sessional courses.

Course start date

September

Structure and content

The Autumn core modules provide a thematic and historical overview; the Spring core module explores Scottish Romantic and Modernist writing in relation to specific themes of authenticity, representation and democracy.

Option modules allow students to pursue deeper knowledge of specific texts and issues. Full-time students take one option in each semester; part-time students take options in Year 2 of their course. 

It is now possible to study Modern Scottish Writing jointly with Creative Writing; students on this pathway do ‘critical’ modules in Modern Scottish Writing alongside Creative Writing workshops.

Delivery and assessment

Dissertation
The most significant piece of work on the course will be a dissertation of 15,000 words, written during the summer on a subject of your choosing in consultation with a member of teaching staff. You may choose to develop work initiated on one of the modules you have studied. Those who do not embark on the dissertation may be awarded a Diploma. The work of the best students completing the course may be deemed worthy of an MLitt with Distinction.

Module titles

Academic Year 2014/15

Option modules include:

  • Enlightenment Scotland and the Historical Novel: An examination of the ‘invention’ and development of the historical novel in Scotland, and the powerful influence of this genre in the structuring of cultural memory.
  • Language and Scottish Poetry: An exploration of a series of paradoxes surrounding orality, tradition and cultural identity in modern Scottish poetry.
  • Writing Difference: Scottish Women Writers and Tradition: A study of the place and function of women’s writing in the formation of a national canon.
  • Scottish Gothic: Focuses on the contribution of Scottish writing to the emergence of the Gothic as a counter-discourse within Enlightenment modernity.
  • Writing Home: Scottish Landscape and Narrative: Explores questions of home, territory and ‘place’ in modern Scottish writing by examining literary representations – and productions – of distinctive cultural and national geographies.
  • Comparative Approaches to Vernacular Texts: An exploration of vernacular, non-standard and ‘foreign’ English writing in relation to Scottish, American, and post-colonial cultures.

Students studying Modern Scottish Writing jointly with Creative Writing do option modules in Creative Writing.

Academic Year 2015/16

Full-time

Autumn

Enlightenment to Empire (20)

Scottish Renaissance (20)

Option module (20)

Spring

Romantic/Modernist Engagements (20)

Option module (20)

Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities (20)

Summer

Dissertation (60)

Part-time

Autumn

Enlightenment to Empire (20)

Scottish Renaissance (20)

Spring

Romantic/Modernist Engagements (20)

Option module (20)

Autumn

Option module (20)

Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities (20)

Spring/Summer

Dissertation (60)

Option Modules as follows:

  • Writing Difference: Scottish Women Writers and Tradition
  • Writing Home: Scottish Landscape and Narrative
  • Writing Poetry
  • The Art of Fiction
  • Nineteenth-century American Gothic
  • The Female Gothic
  • Gothic Radicalism in the 1790s
  • Enlightenment Scotland and the Historical Novel
  • ScottishGothic
  • Writing the Short Story: From Gogol to George Saunders 
  • Writing Poetry (Advanced)
  • The Writing Life
  • Visual Storytelling: An Introduction to Screenwriting
  • Transmutations of the Vampire
  • Monstrosity

Creative Writing Pathway (full-time)

Autumn

Enlightenment to Empire (20)

Scottish Renaissance (20)

MSW Option module (20)

Spring

The Writing Life (20)

Writer’s Workshop C (20)

Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities (20)

Summer

CRW or MSW Dissertation (60)

Creative Writing Pathway (part-time)

Autumn

Enlightenment to Empire (20)

Scottish Renaissance (20)

Spring

MSW Option module (20)

Training for Masters in the Arts and Humanities (20)

Autumn

The Writing Life (20)

Writer’s Workshop C (20)

Spring/Summer

CRW or MSW Dissertation (60)

Why study Modern Scottish Writing (MLitt) at Stirling?

Course Director

Dr Scott Hames and Dr Suzanne Gilbert

RAE rating

Over half of our submissions in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) were found to be ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading’.

Our students

Fiona Robertson

After completing my first degree, I was lucky enough to find a job quickly in my chosen sector – museums and the arts. I then moved into a range of wider public sector management roles. However, I always planned to return to postgraduate study at some point if I could.


I chose this programme as it was an area I'd always wanted to understand in more depth. The core modules provided an overview of how Scottish writing has developed since the 18th century and the option modules were directly relevant to the research questions in which I was particularly interested.


As a part-time mature student, I found the University environment very welcoming. Support was always available from my tutors when I needed it and the mix of perspectives and experience from other students was extremely stimulating.


Completing my Master’s Degree has given me a lot of personal satisfaction.

Fiona Robertson, MLitt in Modern Scottish Writing, graduated November 2011

 

Career opportunities

Completing a Master’s degree as a prelude to further academic research is an increasingly common pattern of study for young scholars and is a route encouraged by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Advanced education in the Arts, the practical experience of research and the production of a dissertation are significant transferable skills for many careers in business and the professions.

Skills you can develop through this course

An English degree is acknowledged by potential employers as providing important skills, such as motivation, intelligence and the ability to meet deadlines. Although English is not a specifically vocational degree it offers a number of important transferable skills, such as the ability to write clearly, effectively, accurately and persuasively.

Seminar discussion and oral presentations (required by many of our modules) help to develop your spoken communication skills. The critical and reflexive study of a variety of texts (literary and non-literary) teaches you how to analyse and interpret complex information and to apply abstract concepts and theories. Our criteria for assessment also requires students to be able to synthesise conclusions, to assimilate existing research and to construct and defend an argument clearly and cogently.

Throughout their degrees, our students are also trained to use library and bibliographic resources effectively and appropriately to reference accurately, and to present their work professionally. All of these skills are essential to many kinds of work, which is why so many employers recognise the value of an English Degree.

In a recent report, graduates of English were as likely (if not more) to be in professional or managerial jobs three to three and a half years after graduation than graduates in other subjects (including science and social science subjects). Almost fifty percent of English graduates pursue further education within three years of graduating from their undergraduate degree, often as a route to a professional career, such as teaching or law.

Chances to expand your horizons

During the semester, the department runs a number of lively literary seminars for students and staff alike, in which writers, staff members, postgraduate students and distinguished visiting scholars give papers on their work and special interests.

We are fortunate in that the macrobert Arts Centre is at the centre of the University, presenting a widely varied programme of film, drama and music throughout the year. Small magazines are published on campus and the Literary Society organises visits from distinguished creative writers each year, along with theatre trips to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Finally, the University Drama Society is very active, producing about seven plays a year, including performances at the Edinburgh Festival. 

Where are our graduates now?

In a recent report, graduates of English were as likely (if not more) to be in professional or managerial jobs three to three and a half years after graduation than graduates in other subjects (including science and social science subjects). Almost fifty percent of English graduates pursue further education within three years of graduating from their undergraduate degree, often as a route to a professional career, such as teaching or law.

Here are a few examples of the sorts of careers graduates of this course have gone on to, in recent years:

 

 

  • Teaching and Research Assistant
  • Doctoral research
  • Teaching
  • Freelance content editor
  • Photographer
  • Journalist

Completing a Master’s degree as a prelude to further academic research is an increasingly common pattern of study for young scholars and is a route encouraged by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). 

Find out more about the sorts of careers available to English graduates at http://www.afterenglish.ac.uk/


 

Fees

2016/17 Overseas £12,450
2016/17 Home/EU £4,500
2015/16 Overseas £11,900
2015/16 Home/EU £4,500

 

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Funding

information on possible sources of funding

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Master's course or £1,000 for part-time study. Further information on scholarships is available here.