Scottish literature is the study of the poetry, drama, fiction and prose of Scotland, in English and Scots, from its beginnings in the 14th century to the most contemporary work.
Scottish literature is one of the oldest vernacular literatures in Europe, predominantly written in Scots and English.
There is some work in Latin and contemporary community languages as well.
Initially you will be introduced to the rise of the great tradition of Scottish fiction, looking at work by Scott, Hogg and Galt down to Gibbon, Gunn and the moderns like Spark, Kelman and Galloway. Among the poets you study are MacDiarmid, Muir, MacCaig, Morgan and Lochhead. Twentieth-century drama is also covered.
You will also study two other subjects of your choice in year 1: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
The following year you will explore older Scottish literature and language, including the great medieval Makars (poets), Dunbar and Henryson, and the great morality play Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis. Eighteenth-century writing, including Ramsay, Smollett and Burns, is also an important part of the programme.
You will also study two other subjects in year 2: see Degrees in Arts, Science and Social Sciences.
Years 3 and 4
If you do well in first and second years, you may progress to two further years of study for an Honours degree (years 3 and 4).
You will explore in depth new theoretical approaches to Scottish literature, and study widely in different periods and aspects, from Medieval Scottish literature through the work of Burns and Scott, to the contemporary scene.
The topics offered to students at Honours level include history of Scots (language), history of the Scottish book (language) from beginnings to early modern (pre-1700), Augustans and Romantics, Victorian literature and the 1920s Literary Renaissance, contemporary Scottish literature, Modern Scottish poetry, and beginnings to early modern.
You can spend up to a year of your degree studying abroad, normally in your third year. We have links with the Universities of Lausanne, Mainz and Verona.
An Honours degree in Scottish Literature opens up a wide range of career opportunities. You could find employment in areas including journalism and broadcasting, administration, marketing, publishing, data processing, management and librarianship.
Some of our graduates have gone abroad to teach English as a foreign language: recent placements have been in Ecuador, Japan, Russia and Taiwan.
Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2014
Highers: AAAA or AAABB (including English and a humanities subject or a language (including Gaelic) at grades A/B or B/A) in first sitting = unconditional offer.
Applicants who achieved AAAB or AABBB at their first sitting may receive a conditional offer dependent upon them attaining enough Highers and/or Advanced Highers to bring their total attainment to six or more Highers/Advanced Highers by the end of their second sitting. Please note that Advanced Highers in subjects where grades A or B have already been attained at Higher will not be double-counted. English and a humanities subject/language at grades A or B, if not attained at first sitting, will be required.
Additional offers, either conditional or unconditional, MAY be made to applicants who achieved AABB or ABBB at their first sitting. A decision re these applications will be made in March 2014 once all applications have been reviewed.
Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher AND another humanities/language Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages Higher subjects are listed below.
- Art & Design
- Business Management
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Classical Greek
- Classical studies
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Media Studies
- Modern Studies
- Personal and social education
- Religious Education
- Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
A-levels: Applicants will receive an offer conditional on attaining AAB. Applicants who achieve AAB are guaranteed entry. Applicants who achieve grades less than AAB but higher than BBB will be considered for entry once all results have been received and reviewed in August 2014.
IB: A minimum of 34 points is required to be considered for an offer. Actual offers will specify subjects and grades to be attained at Higher Level.
English language requirements
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): B minimum
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): C minimum
- PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: Elaine.Shortt@glasgow.ac.uk
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
my academic qualifications are below the requirements?
Glasgow International College offers Foundation courses to upgrade your academic qualifications.
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please contact the Language Centre.