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.

The Scottish Enlightenment: Ideas And Influences SCOTLIT4006

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Repeated in Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This is an interdisciplinary course which introduces visiting students to the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment and their lasting influence.


One x 1 hour lecture and one seminar per week.

Requirements of Entry

This course is open in the first instance ONLY to visiting students from the Principia Consortium (consortium of US Liberal Arts Colleges). In the event of the course being undersubscribed, places MAY be made available to other visiting students at the discretion of the Department of Scottish Literature.

Excluded Courses



Along with this course, Principia students will be required to choose and undertake other University courses to satisfy their credit requirements.


One critical essay (40%)

Extended essay (60%)

Main Assessment In: December and 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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ introduce students to key themes, issues and ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment with particular emphasis upon exploring their continued relevance.

■ examine the legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment in diverse areas of culture and intellectual enquiry.

■ make students aware of the current approaches being taken by scholars towards the Enlightenment and of areas of particular controversy and debate

■ enhance critical, discursive and analytical skills through completion of written assessment

■ provide a unique learning experience through excursions and site visits to libraries and museums in Scotland's other important cultural centres.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ have achieved some knowledge and understanding of key themes, ideas and issues related to the Scottish Enlightenment

■ demonstrate an awareness of the intellectual and cultural legacy of the Scottish Enlightenment

■ have acquired a knowledge of the latest critical thinking on the subject, including areas of particular controversy and debate

■ have enhanced their critical, discursive and analytical skills through completion of written assessment

■ be able to demonstrate awareness of historic and cultural dimensions of Glasgow and Scotland

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