English Literature MA

English Literature 1B: The Novel & Narratology ENGLIT1010

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course develops students' understanding of the history and development of the novel and other narrative forms in English at University level. Covering a substantial range of novels, drama and other narrative forms from different literary periods, it engages students imaginatively in the process of reading and analysing narrative, fostering the knowledge and critical skills necessary for students to express their understanding with sophistication.


Lectures: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11am or 12 noon;

10 x 1 hour seminars as scheduled on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses



Assessed Essay (2,500 words) - 60%
Set Exercise (1,000 words) - 30%

Seminar contribution - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

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. 


Reassessment is not available for seminar contribution.

Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ introduce students to the history and development of the novel and other narrative forms of writing in English in different periods of literary history

■ introduce students to generic conventions (narratology, story/discourse, mimesis/diegesis, realisms, dramatic narrative, characterisation, control of time, mise-en-abyme, performativeness) and literary features (narrative voice, epistolary features, word play, trope, scheme) of novels and other narrative forms of writing

■ enable students to reflect critically and theoretically ('narratology') upon textual production and reception both in history and in their own practice

■ develop students' capacity for sensitive and detailed close-reading of narrative prose

■ develop students' ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of novels and other narrative forms through writing and in group discussion.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify distinctive generic conventions and literary features of a range of novels and narrative forms.

■ apply theories relating to the study of novels, narratology and dramatic narratives and English studies more broadly to the course novels.

■ use precise critical terminology and, where appropriate, linguistic and stylistic terminology related to the study of narrative and English studies more broadly.

■ undertake close reading of narrative prose so as to give an account of the thematic context of a text with reference to how that content is presented.

■ construct viable arguments about texts or aspects of texts, showing an awareness of alternative points of view.

■ express themselves with clarity and economy in tutorial discussion and written assessment.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examination) of the course's summative assessment.