English Literature MA

English Literature Dissertation ENGLIT4117P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The Dissertation in English Literature provides the opportunity to carry out a more sustained piece of independent research and to produce a more developed and lengthier piece of academic writing than previously attempted in undergraduate study. It can be on any aspect of English literary studies.


1 x 1hr lecture, 1 x 1hr workshop, as scheduled on MyCampus.

3 x 30min supervision sessions TBA.

Excluded Courses

ENGLIT4005P English Literature Dissertation (30 credits)


Annotated bibliography and prospectus (1500 words): 10%

Dissertation (12,000 words): 90%

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 for students to:

■ identify an appropriate project in a specific area in English Literary Studies

■ carry out individual, independent research, using library resources and other research tools

■ develop good academic practice regarding use of sources and references to sources

■ undertake a literature review and construct an appropriate annotated bibliography

■ evaluate and implement the most suitable method and approach for their chosen topic and summarise this succinctly in a research prospectus

■ conduct a sustained research project under individual supervision

■ construct and present sustained arguments on a larger-scale specialised topic.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify an area of research and appropriate research methods

■ evaluate a critical field and write succinctly about it in an annotated bibliography

■ use an academic style guide accurately

■ formulate research questions and integrate them within a focused research prospectus

■ write knowledgeably at length and in-depth on a chosen topic using independent critical thinking and analysis

■ mobilize individual research skills, including appropriate and critical use of a range of sources

■ use appropriate IT skills and web resources with confidence

■ manage and produce a substantial, carefully researched and well-presented dissertation

■ work effectively as an independent researcher.

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.