Reading contemporary Gothic Horror writing

Key facts

  • Cost: £95
  • Credits: 5


From ‘Stranger Things’ to Stephen King, gothic horror writing continues to be a popular form in the 21st Century inspiring many film and TV adaptions and cult followings. It both probes at the underbelly of our contemporary concerns and draws on long traditions of horror writing. But what are the common literary features of gothic horror writing today, if any? How are we scared, why and what role does it play?  


This brief course explores the development of gothic horror literature over the course of the 21st century so far. Through a series of talks and discussions, it provides an in-depth analysis of a selection of recent texts to help chart the diversity of styles, structures, themes and techniques since the turn of the century. Students will discuss the recent social and literary context of these stories, and also explore their abiding historical connections. As to be expected for a horror course the texts on this course can feature graphic violence and distressing incidents, they include: 

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

  • key distinctive literary features of gothic horror writing in 21st Century through close textual analysis of a range of notable examples, such as those above 
  • their social background and literary context  

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 gothic horror as a literary mode and the rewards of close reading 
  • more about how these texts are written, received and influence others 
  • more about the broader social context of these texts 

Who is this course for?

Anyone new to studying literature and interested in: 

  • gothic horror as a literary genre or mode of writing 
  • contemporary 21st century literature 


10 credits at SCQF 7 / Level 1 

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


Short 7 minute or 750 word presentation (100% of final grade) 

Mode of study

This 5-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