MLitt in Modern Scottish Writing

University of Stirling

Program Description

MLitt in Modern Scottish Writing

University of Stirling

MLitt in Modern Scottish Writing

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.

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.


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.

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.


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

Academic 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 have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

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.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 16, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
12 - 27 months
Part time
Full time
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Stirling, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 12 - 27 months
Price Request Info