Scottish Literature MA

Crime Writing in Scotland SCOTLIT4032

  • 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

Short Description

This course deals with the rise of crime fiction from a Scottish perspective during the 19th & 20th centuries. It also addresses the origins of the 'true crime' genre in Scotland. A range of fiction-authors and two real-life case-studies are dealt with.


1 x 2hr seminar per week over 9 weeks and 1 x 3hr workshop, as scheduled on MyCampus.


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

Excluded Courses



1 examination of 2 hours duration: 50%

Group presentation (individual grade), within which each student in the group will talk for c4 minutes: 15%

Individual reflective report on presentation (1500 words): 35%

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 development of crime fiction in Scotland;

■ understand aspects of the history of the 'True Crime' genre;

■ compare real-life police procedure with fictional writing through examining two key real-life case-studies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ in both written and oral formats, evidence knowledge of the history and style of crime fiction in Scotland;

■ critically discuss the history and style of true crime writing in relation to prescribed texts;

■ assess the relationship of fiction and true crime writing to real-life police procedure.

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.