English Literature MA

Dickens and the Popular Imagination ENGLIT4093

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines the major works of Charles Dickens in light of their impact on Victorian and contemporary popular culture. The course will study nineteenth-century responses to the works and their subsequent reception in various media, together with theories of popular culture, adaptation and book history.


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

1 x 2hr library session and 2 x 90min film screenings TBA.


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

ENGLIT4056  Dickens and the Popular Imagination


Essay (2200 words): 35%

Essay (3500 words): 50%

Seminar contribution: 5%

Seminar presentation of 7 minutes: 10%

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 the major works of Charles Dickens

■ develop and practice advanced level research and critical writing skills

■ evaluate Victorian popular culture as a context for Dickens' work

■ analyse the reception of his work in the light of theories of popular culture, adaptation and book history

■ access material and digital archives relevant to the study of Dickens' writing and Victorian popular culture.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ engage critically with the major works of Charles Dickens with reference to Victorian popular culture

■ write knowledgeably about the literary genres practised by Dickens and his adaptors

■ reflect on contemporary approaches to Dickens and Victorian popular culture studies

■ use Victorian print culture resources, both digital and material

■ write knowledgeably about the reception of Dickens' work in Victorian and contemporary media

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

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.