French MA

The Brothers Grimm and the European Fairy Tale COMPLIT4017

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Modern Languages and Cultures
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will examine some of the tales written down by the Grimms and others, and students will

discuss various interpretations to which they have been subjected. By focusing on various interpretations

of tales (for example, psychological, literary, folkloristic, formalistic, feminist, Marxist) students will begin to see how this simplest form of narrative can carry so much importance for informing just how it is that we humans make meaning through telling stories.


20 1-hour seminars at days and times to be arranged.

Excluded Courses





Class exam (1.5 hours) in the examining period of semester 1 (50%); class essay (c.2000 words) to be submitted by the end of semester 2 (50%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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

·to provide an introduction to the folk or fairy tale as a literary genre
·to investigate the conditions surrounding the production of a literary tradition, said to be replacing an earlier, oral one
·to examine critical interpretations of various tales
·to compare and contrast versions of well-known and less well-known tales from the Renaissance to the present day

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students should be able to:
demonstrate an understanding of the folktale as a genre
provide plausible interpretations of the tales studied and demonstrate the basis of their interpretations
demonstrate an understanding of the origins of the written, literary tradition of the tale
demonstrate an understanding of the theories about the origin of the oral tradition of tale-telling

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.