English Literature MA

The Fantastic History of the Twentieth Century ENGLIT4110

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • 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

Short Description

The twentieth century was a golden age of fantastic fiction in English. This course invites you to ask yourself why so many writers of the period chose to respond to the modern world by turning away from it, and to write the history of their time through representations of the bizarre and the impossible.


1 x 90min seminar per week over ten weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

5 x 1hr workshops over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


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

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4006  Fantastic History


Essay (2000 words): 35%

Essay (3000 words): 50%

Seminar presentation of 7 minutes: 15%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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:

■ study a range of fantasy fiction written in the twentieth century

■ consider these texts in the light of influential critical and theoretical approaches to fantasy

■ understand the relationship between fantasy and history

■ develop independent research skills through formulating and researching essay topics with appropriate guidance

■ develop skills in the art of critical writing at the appropriate level.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ write an assessment of available theories of and critical approaches to fantasy, and identify the theories and approaches best suited to their research

■ write in a critical and informed way about genres and techniques in twentieth-century fantasy fiction

■ engage in independent study, identifying, researching and writing on fantasy-related topics

■ communicate responses to the material studied on the course both orally and in written form through coherent and sustained argument.

■ demonstrate resilience and time management through effectively planning, undertaking and submitting coursework.

■ deal with change and new challenges by applying their disciplinary skills and knowledge to previously unfamiliar research areas and questions.

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.