Regulations and guidelines for exchange and visiting students from overseas universities who wish to take level-3 English courses on a non-graduating basis.

  1. The School of Language & Literature offers a large number of courses at level 3 in Literature, Language and Film & Visual Culture, most of which can be taken on a non-graduating basis by suitably qualified students from overseas universities.
  2. Level-3 English courses are taught either in twice-weekly two-hour seminars or by a combination of a one-hour lecture plus a two-hour seminar. Thus a course scheduled for, say, 9am on Monday morning will have a second meeting on Thursday at 9am; and one on Tuesday at 3pm will meet again on Friday at 3pm.
  3. The School also offers a range of courses in Literature, Language and Film & Visual Culture at levels 1 and 2 which, because they are largely lecture-based courses with a weekly tutorial, are often more accessible and profitable to visiting students from overseas whose first language is not English.
    We draw particular attention to:
    - EL2011, which offers a detailed insight into Shakespeare's plays; 
    - EL2512, which looks at a range of poems, plays, and novels to explore the relationship between literature and knowledge; 

    EL2011 and EL2511 carry 30 credit points.

    Level-1 and level-2 courses are each listed with four numbers, starting with 1 or 2 (eg EL1009). See below for the list of those courses. The second digit in the course number indicates the part of the academic year when the course is taught, thus: 0: first semester from beginning, 3: second half of first semester, 5: second semester from beginning. 8: second half of second semester.

    Course information can be found in the department of English pages of the University's Catalogue of Courses.
    Students may also wish to take courses offered by other Schools. See the University's complete Catalogue of Courses for further information. 
  4. Admission to level-3 courses is by permission of the Head of School, who has delegated this responsibility to the School's Adviser of Studies for Overseas Non-Graduating Students before being admitted to any level-3 course or changing from one level-3 course to another, you must first obtain the Adivser’s written permission.
  5. To qualify for admission to a level-3 English course you must have taken at least four semesters of English literature courses. You must also be sufficiently fluent in spoken and written English to participate in seminar discussions of literary and linguistic topics, to read all the set texts for your chosen course in English, to write a 2000-2500 word essay on a prescribed topic and, in the case of 12-week level-3 courses, to answer a two-question examination paper in two hours.
  6. Before being admitted to any level-3 English course, any student whose native tongue is not English will be required to take a two-hour written Diagnostic Test, which has been designed to show whether the student is likely to be able to cope with the literary and linguistic demands of English study at this level.

    It is important to realise that the test examines not only the student's ability to write good clear English, but also examines the student's sensitivity in literary appreciation. As far as the latter is concerned, we will be looking for the student's ability to comment on how language has been used (as compared with neutral or normal English) in order to achieve literary effects, and on what those effects are. Failing the test shows that you are not up to the standard required for level 3, and you will be able to choose courses only from level 1 and level 2.
    Click here for a specimen paper: Diagnostic Test: Literature.

    Students wishing to select only from the language courses offered by the School, ie LN3001: Discourse Analysis, LN3002: Phonetics, LN3008: First and Second Language Acquisition will be given a different diagnostic test to examine their linguistic ability.
    Click here for a specimen paper: Diagnostic Test: Language.  

    If your native tongue is not English, it is very important that you arrive in Aberdeen in time for this Diagnostic Test.
    There will be two sittings on the Tuesday and Wednesday of the first week, prior to the registration meeting with the Erasmus coordinator (see 10 below). Times and places for the diagnostic test will be confirmed in August or September.
  7. The number of level-3 English courses you are permitted to take depends on the rest of your curriculum. If you are studying nothing else, you will be allowed to take courses to the value of 60 credit points in each semester: ie two 12-week courses. If you are taking Level 3 courses in other departments, you will normally be allowed to take only courses to the value of 30 credit points).
  8. Students are not permitted to 'audit' level 3 courses; ie you must be prepared to read all the set texts, participate fully in seminar discussion and perform the written work of the class, including examinations. You may not sit in on a Level 3 course purely for interest in addition to the courses you are taking for credits.
  9. If you wish, provided you pass the Diagnostic Test, to take one or two level-3 English courses in the first half-session, you should select the course(s) you wish to take from the catalogue of Level Three Courses, remembering to check for timetable clashes;

Semester 1

  • EL3009: American Innovation
  • EL30CP: Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1640
  • EL30HK: American Insurrections: Writing, Self and Nation 1776-1865
  • EL30IH: States of Mind: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Writing
  • EL30UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma
  • LN3001: Discourse Analysis
  • LN3002: Phonetics
  • LN3008: First and Second Language Acquisition

Semester 2

  • EL3507: Union, Enlightenment and Modernity: Scottish Literature 1750-1850
  • EL35DQ: Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing
  • EL35EH: Classical Epic
  • EL35GK: Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and the Gothic in the Long 19th Century
  • EL35KM: Perversion of the Interior: Women's Fiction 1925-1975
  • EL35XR: Romanticism
  • LN3503: Language: Variation and Change
  • LN3505: Stylistics

The examinations for twelve-week courses in the first semester are held in December; for the second semester in May.

  1. Students will be given an opportunity to amend their initial selection of courses during the registration meeting with the Erasmus coordinator.

    Students who wish to make subsequent changes to their curriculum should note that they cannot be admitted to level-3 courses later than the Monday of week 2 of the course.

If you fail the Diagnostic Test, you must choose from the following courses at levels 1 and 2:

Level 1 Courses

  • EL1009: Acts of Reading
  • EL1513: Controversial Classics
  • LN1003: English Structure and Use
  • LN1501: Communication and Language in Contemporary Society

Level 2 Courses

  • EL2011: Encounters with Shakespeare
  • EL2512: Tragedy of Knowledge
  • LN2008: Language in Society
  • LN2509: Varieties of English


Plagiarism is defined by the University as follows:

"the substantial use, without acknowledgement and with intent to deceive the examiners or knowing that the examiners might be deceived, of the intellectual work of other people by representing, whether by copying or by paraphrase, the ideas or discoveries of another or of others as one's own work submitted for assessment."

The mere inclusion of the source in a bibliography is not, in the view of the University, sufficient acknowledgement.

All quotations must be acknowledged by placing words copied in quotation marks and by giving the source of the quotation in a footnote or endnote; similarly all paraphrases of other people's words or ideas must be indicated by giving the source in a footnote or endnote; the source must also be listed in the bibliography.

Plagiarism is a form of intellectual theft, whether the person stolen from is a dead critic or a living student; it is also a form of cheating and therefore an offence under the University's Code of Discipline.

Students will be required to familiarise themselves with the contents of the School's handout 'Guidance on Avoiding Plagiarism', which is available from the Department Office.

If a tutor finds clear evidence of plagiarism in a student's work, it will be referred to the Head of School, who will interview the student about the matter. If she decides that there is a case to answer, the matter will be referred to the Senior Vice-Principal for investigation under the University Code of Discipline. If the allegation of plagiarism is upheld, the student is liable to be awarded a NIL mark for the course.