Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Medieval English Literature 2 ENGLANG4042

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course concentrates on Middle English literature produced between 1066 and 1500 and focussed on a particular topic, genre or author. For example, topics, genres or authors offered might be: Piers Plowman and Poverty in Late Medieval England; Women and Religion in Middle English Texts; Middle English Romance; the Middle English Dream Vision. The texts selected will be contextualised within the cultures and societies in which they were produced and received.


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in English Language & Linguistics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into English Language & Linguistics and English Literature, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4009 Medieval Literature 2

ENGLANG3003 Medieval Literature 2 Level 3




Essay (3,000 words) - 50%

Text translation and commentary (1,000 words) - 25% 

Set exercise (1,000 words) - 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ give students the opportunity to analyse texts from the Middle English period in the original language;

■ interpret the ways in which texts from the Middle English period engage with contemporary historical events and/or linguistic developments in the period;

■ consider texts from the Middle English period in the light of contemporary literary criticism about them;

■ give students an understanding of the major works of a single author or representative works of a genre or theme;

■ trace a theme throughout a series of varied works by various authors, by a single author, or that occur in a single genre.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ translate and comment on select passages of Middle English literary texts;

■ analyse and locate select texts within the culture, society and the linguistic and literary milieux in which they were produced;

■ discuss the approaches and techniques available to and used by critics and commentators in the interpretation of these texts.

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.