Reading classic short stories from the 19th Century

Key facts

  • Cost: £150
  • Credits: 10


It wasn’t until the 19th Century that short stories began to appear regularly in print and in dedicated collected editions across the UK, USA, Germany, France and Russia. A ‘golden age’ of short story writing emerged portraying unforgettable characters, innovative plots and timeless philosophical themes.  

Join this course to chart the development of the short story as a literary art form during this important period. Focussing on in-depth analysis of a range of short stories, this course tracks the extraordinary proliferation of new styles, structures, themes and techniques during this time. Students will also learn the historical and literary context of these stories and explore their lasting impact on readers and writers to the present day. 

Over a series of talks and collective close-readings, our expert tutor will explain: 

  • key distinctive literary features of the short story form over the course of the 19th century through close textual analysis of a range of notable examples from UK, USA, Germany, France and Russia. 
  • their historical background and literary context  
  • their philosophical views on life 

You will also have the chance to discuss and reflect on what you learn with other students and the tutor in seminars 

Choose this course if you want to learn: 

  • more about the short story form and the rewards of close reading 
  • more about how short stories are written, received and influence others 
  • more about some classic 19th century short story writers as a literary figures 
  • more about the broader historical context of the short story 

Who is this course for?

Anyone new to studying literature and interested in: 

  • Short stories as a literary form 
  • 19th century literature 
  • Russian literature 


10 credits at SCQF 7 / Level 1 

Can contribute towards the attainment of Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education 

Mode of study

This 10-week course will be delivered online via 2-hour seminars led by a tutor over Zoom. 

Course materials will be provided via our online learning platform Moodle 


  • Can begin your study of literature at university level  
  • contribute towards a Certificate or Diploma in Higher Education 
  • can inform your personal reading list and introduce you to some literary classics  

Find out more

The University holds open days throughout the year where you can meet with staff to discuss our short course provision. Find out more about University of Glasgow open days