Introduction

Studying English at Aberdeen gives you all the advantages of a top class teaching, research and creative hub. You will be taught by internationally renowned academics, writers and poets in the wonderful environment of a historic university with an award-winning library, outstanding literary treasures, and a vigorous calendar of literary events.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
Q300
Pathway Programme Available
Undergraduate Foundation Programme
Degree marketing image

Aberdeen is a leading centre for the study of literature, language and creative writing and assessed as second in the UK for the quality of its research output and third in Scotland for creative writing.

You will study poetry, drama and prose by considering the dynamic relationship between author, reader or audience and literary text. You will study every period from Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton to contemporary English, Scottish, Irish, European and American writing and examine the cultural and critical impact of powerful and controversial modern works.

You will gain inspiration and guidance from dedicated teachers and researchers who have published internationally recognised literary criticism and award-winning creative works. You will also benefit from the presence of several world-class Research Centres located in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture such as the Centre for the Novel, The Grierson Centre and the WORD Centre for Creative Writing.

Our flexible, modular curriculum gives you the core writing, research, computational and presentation skills vital to many careers. You will also be encouraged to pursue your particular interests while ranging widely across the many exciting areas of English studies, with career options as diverse as publishing, teaching, research, journalism, business, or speech therapy.

And you will thrive in our friendly and vibrant international community, on our beautiful medieval campus with great facilities for learning, sports and leisure and many opportunities to develop extra skills and interests and to broaden your horizons through study abroad.

What You'll Study

English at Aberdeen offers a diverse programme that covers all periods of English Literature. The range of courses on offer will enable you to specialise in specific areas of study in your final years. You will gain an in-depth understanding of English by studying topics such as poetry, prose, controversial classics, Shakespeare, Medieval and Renaissance literature, Victorianism and Modernism, including contemporary Scottish and Irish literature.

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses
Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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Acts of Reading (EL1009)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to the study of English by exploring the dynamic relationship between author, reader and text in a series of classic works of fiction and poetry. It covers a broad historical range (from Folk Tales and ballads to 21st century postmodernity) and offers a basic grounding in key elements of literary theory, literary history and the varieties of literary form.

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Controversial Classics (EL1513)

15 Credit Points

Literature can provoke, offend and disturb as well as entertain. This course considers some of the most powerful and controversial works of modern literature. It examines the circumstances of publication, the nature of the controversy, and the cultural and critical impact of each work. The course shows how poems, plays and novels can raise searching questions about national, racial and personal identity, and looks at the methods used by writers to challenge their readers, as well the responses of readers to such challenges.

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Optional Courses

Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Encounters with Shakespeare (EL2011)

30 Credit Points

So you think you know Shakespeare? This course invites you to think again. Studying a range of plays we get behind the mythology of Shakespeare, and rediscover the dynamic inventiveness of the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the principal players in a period of literary experimentation that reinvented the possibilities of literature. Encounters with Shakespeare is your chance to find out more.

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The Tragedy of Knowledge (EL2512)

30 Credit Points

This course traces the use of key Western myths from antiquity to the present to examine the way knowledge is often presented as both dangerous and compelling. As well as introducing students to a range of historical, social, and formal variations on the theme of knowledge, the course also highlights the role of storytelling and adaptation in the formation of knowledge and understanding.

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Optional Courses

Select a further 60 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 3

Year 3

Optional Courses

Select one course from each of the following categories:

Medieval/Renaissance

  • EL30DQ: Knights, Virgins and Viragos, Chaucer and Medieval Writing
  • EL30CP: Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500-1640
  • EL35EJ Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century

Romantic/Victorian

  • EL3009: American Innovation
  • EL35XR: Romanticism
  • EL35SB: Britain and the 19th Century World
  • EL30QA: Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories
  • EL35VB: From Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion: Exploring Genre

Contemporary/Modern

  • EL35KN Haunted Texts
  • EL30FF: Modernism: Make it New
  • EL35UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma
  • EL30UT: Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma

Plus one course from the following, or an outside subject, to make up 120 credit points in total:

  • EL35WC: Queer Times
  • EL35YB: Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft
  • EL30EH: Classical Epic
  • CE3594: Dangerous Liaisons: Love, Sex and Romance in the Celtic West and Old North
  • EL30VC: Fallen Women and Self-Made Men
Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing (EL30DQ)

30 Credit Points

An introduction to late medieval-literature, challenging modern assumptions about the medieval and exploring the diverse range of medieval literary culture, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the autobiographical narrative of Margery Kempe and surprising profanity of medieval lyric.

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Page and Stage: Renaissance Writings 1500 - 1640 (EL30CP)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the poetry, drama and prose of a period often referred to as the golden age of English literature. A period which saw Shakespeare and his contemporaries produce innovative new literary works in which the language of desire took centre stage.

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American Innovation (EL3009)

30 Credit Points

This level-three course offers an introduction to American literature and culture between 1850 and 1950, a century in which the United States was transformed from a rural economy to an industrialised super-power. You will learn about the key writers of this period, the issues that sparked their imaginations, and the literary strategies which they adopted, or at times invented, to express their response to the changing world around them. This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.

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Britain and the Nineteenth - Century World (EL35SB)

30 Credit Points

The Romantic (1782-1832) and Victorian (1832-1901) periods were ones of remarkable activity for British citizens abroad. Imperial expansion, increasing international trade, major conflicts and growing mass migration all drew more British citizens than ever into contact with the wider world. This course explores the footprints left by these interactions in nineteenth-century literature: critically examining how Britain saw the world and how the English-speaking world saw Britain during a century of unprecedented international activity. This course will combine canonical writers of empire and migration with less well-known accounts of the period. Writers covered may include Mary Shelley, Henry Derozio, Fergus Hume, Cornelia Sorabji, Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle. The course will apply a range of critical lenses to this material offering students an introduction to key concepts and debates from nation theory, settler studies and postcolonial studies.

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Sympathy for the Devil: Scottish Short Stories (EL30QA)

30 Credit Points

While the short story is often said to have developed in America, nineteenth-century Scottish writing is in fact instrumental in the emergence of the form. Often drawing on oral and folk traditions Scottish writers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employ the supernatural, or our fear of it, to explore subjects such as guilt, fear, remorse and the extent to which we can control our own destinies. This course will explore the ways in which the short story in Scotland develops from the early nineteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth. It will include writers such as Walter Scott, James Hogg, John Galt, Margaret Oliphant, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Findlater and Lewis Grassic Gibbon

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Romanticism (EL35XR)

30 Credit Points

The Romantic movement swept Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and produced some of the most innovative and exciting literature that has ever been seen. This rule breaking art helped shape the way that we consider art today and underpins many of our ideas about imagination, originality, creativity and self-expression. This course will explore the ways in which the Romantic movement manifested itself across Britain and Ireland and will consider writers such as Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Austen and Byron.

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Modernism: Make IT New (EL30FF)

30 Credit Points

The early twentieth century was a time of great literary experimentation as literary modernists rose to the challenge to make it new. We will explore modernism’s stylistic experimentation while also considering the social contexts and changes that shaped this literature. The course will examine a range of writers, genres, movements and locations which prompt us to consider what, when and where was modernism.

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Haunted Texts (EL35KN)

30 Credit Points

This course offers an overview of a wide range of twentieth-century Scottish literature, focusing on themes of haunting, death, and place. Including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama, the course explores questions of the relationship between self and society, the legacy of the past, and the formation of gendered and regional identities. There are lots of ghosts.

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Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma (EL35UT)

30 Credit Points

How is the artist to respond when the virtual becomes the real and when words cannot carry the weight of trauma? How can an author avoid the accusations of voyeuristic prurience or crass opportunism when he or she attempts to re-present events of public violence? This multi-disciplinary course examines work from a wide range of modes, including fiction, poetry, film and graphic art, and looks at the difficulties of inscribing trauma and the ethics and praxis of remembrance. Key events covered include the Holocaust, the Sabra and Shatila massacre, 9-11, the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans.

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Creative Writing: Creativity and Craft (EL35YB)

30 Credit Points

This course offers students the opportunity, through lectures and interactive workshops, to develop their understanding of, and practical skills in, the writing of prose fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction. Taught by widely published, award-winning writers, it provides a thorough, practice-based understanding of creative process and of the technical challenges involved in developing an original idea into a completed literary artefact, presented to a professional standard. It also contributes to students' future career potential, whether as ‘creative’ or other kinds of professional writers/communicators.

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Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (EL35EJ)

30 Credit Points

Literature has the power to reimagine society. The course will explore how poetry, drama and other literary forms across the century sought new literary approaches to meet the challenges of these times. We will examine different literary strategies adopted by authors to engage with their times, from those who drew upon classical precedent to others who brought new voices, and new publics, into the forum of literature. Texts on the course will vary each year, but will feature such authors as Ben Jonson, John Donne, Katharine Philips, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and Samuel Daniel.

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Bildungsroman to Alien Invasion (EL35VB)

30 Credit Points

This module covers some of the most prominent and popular genres of the Victorian period, including realism, detective fiction, sensation fiction, the ghost story and the social problem novel. We will learn how to identify a genre’s distinctive features, but also how it may overlap with other forms of fiction. By reading authors such as George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and H. G. Wells, we will think about how writers help to create and challenge generic boundaries.

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Art and Atrocity: Representations of Violence and Trauma (EL30UT)

30 Credit Points

How is the artist to respond when the virtual becomes the real and when words cannot carry the weight of trauma? How can an author avoid the accusations of voyeuristic prurience or crass opportunism when he or she attempts to re-present events of public violence? This multi-disciplinary course examines work from a wide range of modes, including fiction, poetry, film and graphic art, and looks at the difficulties of inscribing trauma and the ethics and praxis of remembrance. Key events covered include the Holocaust, the Sabra and Shatila massacre, 9-11, the Gulf War and the conflict in the Balkans.

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Queer Times (EL35WC)

30 Credit Points

This course adopts a cross-period approach, bringing contemporary and premodern texts into conversation in exploring representations of queer experiences and themes in diverse forms. Divided into three sections, queer presents, queer pasts, and queer futures, the course will introduce a selection of theoretical and critical readings in thinking about how representation is shaped by temporal and cultural context. We will consider the relationship between representation of queer experience and formal experimentation, and how queer forms impact on our sense of queer possibilities.

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Dangerous Liaisons: Love, Sex and Romance in Celtic West and Old North (CE3594)

30 Credit Points

The literature of the Celtic and Germanic Middle Ages is famous for tragic tales of forbidden love, and for the frankness with which its poetry approaches the subject of sexual attraction. This course will explore how the interwoven themes of love, sex and romance were dramatized in Celtic, Norse-Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon stories and poetry. Topics covered may include: the love-triangle, maiden-kings, cross-dressing, amorous trolls, the stepmother as temptress, elopements and abductions, otherworldly lovers, unrequited love.

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Fallen Women and Self - Made Men (EL30VC)

30 Credit Points

The Victorian period is often seen as a time of sexual repression and rigid gender roles, in which men and women were expected to perform in accordance with established codes of behaviour that were based on assumptions about innate masculinity and femininity. While this perception of Victorian attitudes may be true to some extent, many Victorians were well aware of the dangers of gender stereotyping, and wrote fiction in order to interrogate and challenge these expectations. Focussing mainly on the novel, but including some poetry and drama, this module explores how Victorian writers engaged with gender stereotypes, and considers the literary tactics that authors used to re-examine, overthrow and sometimes reaffirm them. We will also consider how these stereotypes changed during the nineteenth century in response to public controversies and campaigns that kept questions of gender at the forefront of public consciousness. Figures such as the Fallen Woman, the Self-Made man and the Angel in the House will be explored in texts by authors including Emily Brontë, Christina Rossetti, Robert Louis Stevenson and Thomas Hardy.

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Classical Epic (EL30EH)

30 Credit Points

This course is your opportunity to study four of the most influential and gripping texts of world literature. We begin in the oral culture of ancient Greece, with the Iliad's stark meditation on war and death, and the Odyssey's consolatory reflections on divine justice, poetry and love. In imperial Rome, we see the genre transformed into a monument to political power in Virgil's Aeneid, then thrown into disarray by Ovid's irreverent anti-epic, the Metamorphoses. We end by considering some of the ways these texts have been exploited and adapted across the intervening centuries, in poetry and prose, art and film.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses
English Dissertation (EL4502)

30 Credit Points

Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within English literature.

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Optional Courses

Select a further 90 credit points from the following courses:

Controversy and Drama: Marlowe to Revenge Tragedy (EL40CT)

30 Credit Points

This course begins by considering the theatre that gave us Marlowe and Shakespeare, among other major dramatists, as an institution actively engaged in the controversies of politics and religion of the age. Part 1 of the course focuses on the plays of Christopher Marlowe, whose controversial life is unusually well documented and whose plays starkly anticipate later tensions in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama . Part 2 considers how those tensions in politics and religion developed in later drama, giving particular attention to the genre of revenge tragedy.

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Spenser (EL40ES)

30 Credit Points

The module looks at a wide range of Spenser's work in different genres, including a substantial proportion of his epic poem, and studies this in the contexts of contemporary political history, Spenser's biography, and the literary traditions stemming from Virgil and Petrarch.

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Wandering Women: Literature, Place and Environment (EL40JA)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the work of women writers with particular emphasis on the role of place (focused mostly, but not exclusively, on modernist women writers from the first half of the twentieth century). We will look at a number of different environments including urban, rural, wild, domestic, trans-national and mythic spaces. We will analyse place in relation to a number of other themes such as gender, sexuality, race, spirituality and creativity. We will read a number of canonical and lesser known women writers, working across various genres, including fiction, poetry and life-writing. Authors may include: Virginia Woolf, Kate O’Brien, H.D., Zora Neale Hurston, Una Marson, Mary Butts, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Rose Macaulay, Gwendolyn Brooks and Dorothy Richardson. Previous study of modernism is not required.

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Literature and Culture at the Fin De Siecle (EL40LA)

30 Credit Points

The last decade of the nineteenth century came to be known as the ‘fin de siècle’, its French designation underlining the extent to which French art and French exemplars were transforming the Victorian age which was, with the ageing of Victoria herself, rapidly coming to an end. It was also the period when psychology was recognised as a distinct discipline and sought to establish a science of the mind. The literature of the period both informed and drew on new understandings of how the mind worked, and of how the mind was influenced by heredity, sexuality and a social environment being reshaped by new technologies – such as electric light and the telephone – and by the rapid globalisation produced by European colonialism. The literature of the period reflected – and reflected on – these transformations and sought new forms and styles by which to give them expression. We will explore the ramifications of these issues in the literature of the period and the ways in which writers responded to an increasingly mass market for literature.

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Creative Writing: the Essential Skills (EL40PB)

30 Credit Points

This course will focus on the practical techniques of writing short stories, extended fiction and some poetry. It will encourage students to consider assembling a block of skills which they will require to repeatedly construct functioning narratives. The course will examine the practical skills of creating subtle fictional depictions – or high drama – and consider how we establish what is at stake for the readers of our fiction. By the completion of the course, students will have assembled a skill set to tackle creative work in a variety of modes, and present and structure it to a professional level.

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Horrible Histories: Violence and Trauma in the Scottish Novel (EL40QV)

30 Credit Points

Scotland's history is one of violence, bloodshed and trauma. This is reflected in its literature, above all in the fiction of the nineteenth century. Focusing on pivotal moments of upheaval in Scotland's past such as the Covenanting Wars and the Jacobite Risings this course will explore the ways in which these violent events are reflected in the works of writers such as Walter Scott, James Hogg, Robert Louis Stevenson and those in the modern period who have inherited their legacy. Exploring key concepts such as how the novel might approach and engage with the past, the extent to which it may operate as a form of commemoration and the limits which traumatic events place upon forms of narration, the course will examine the ways in which we can comprehend and remember a nation's violent history through the form of the novel.

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Amnesty, Amnesia, Archive (EL40UU)

30 Credit Points

From 1968-1994, Northern Irish writers and visual artists found themselves addressing key questions: what is the role of the artist in a divided society, and must s/he engage with political events? This course considers how the artists framed these dilemmas and how they have been framed by them. Following the outbreak of peace in the province, the role of artists changed: their work now focused on the victims of violence and to demand justice. This course examines the different approaches taken to remembrance by writers/artists and explores the ways in which memory and trauma are framed in their work.

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Sex and Death: Exploring the Forbidden in Gothic Fiction (EL40VA)

30 Credit Points

This course looks at how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic Fiction confronts themes and concepts which are considered taboo, unpleasant or strictly. Sexuality and mortality are key themes here, as well as the crossing of class, racial and gender boundaries. We explore how the Gothic can be simultaneously deeply conservative and shockingly radical, and speaks to private fears and desires whilst bringing to public light social injustices and inequalities. This course focuses mainly on the Gothic novel, but may also include poetry and short stories.

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All for One: the Politics of Love and Friendship in Literature (EL40WH)

30 Credit Points

This course focuses on the emphasis on sameness in conceptions of love and friendship within medieval and early modern literature, exploring its implications for the history of sexuality, and its impact on political ideology.

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Creative Writing: the Writer's Voice (EL40YL)

30 Credit Points

Creative Writing: The Writer's Voice will focus on the crucial and often complex role of voice in fiction and poetry, considering both theoretical and practical aspects. It offers students the opportunity to develop their creative processes and practical literary skills in a supportive, constructive learning environment. Teaching consists of carefully targeted critical advice and guidance from the class tutor and peer evaluation from class members in a workshop environment. Examples of writing by recognised authors and class members will be used to enhance students' awareness of the key role of voice in imaginative writing, leading to practical application in their own creative work.

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British Poetry of the 20th Century (EL40YN)

30 Credit Points

This course will explore the work of some of the most infuential and innovative voices in 20th century British poetry. Beginning with the Modernist revolution in technique, theory and taste, it will trace some of the main continuities and reactions that stemmed from the first decades of the century and which culminated in a richly diverse and fascinating late 20th century/early 21st century poetic landscape.

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Not the Queen's English (EL45SC)

30 Credit Points

This course will focus on the ways in which non-standard English is used within anglophone literary texts from the late-eighteenth century to the present day. Classes will cover a wide range of geographical spaces and publishing contexts: different weeks will focus on ballad collecting and linguistic antiquarianism, the use of language in American abolitionist texts, working-class voices in nineteenth-century English novels, postcolonial approaches to English, Scottish post-industrial writing and contemporary African-American literature. Authors covered may include: Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Charles Dickens, Edwin Pugh, Zora Neale Hurston, Chinua Achebe, Jamaica Kincaid, Tom Leonard and Percival Everett.

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Fictional Futures: Apocalypse & Utopia in Modern Fiction (EL45OE)

30 Credit Points

What does the future hold for modern civilization? The future has no history, but writers of modern fiction have long exercised the privilege of speculating and reflecting on what we might have to hope or fear in the coming centuries. From the Communist utopia of William Morris, through the speculations of H. G. Wells and Aldous Huxley, to the environmental catastrophes of postwar science fiction, this course explores how British writers (1870-1960) have responded to the ferment of new social, political and scientific ideas emerging from the age of empire, industry and global commerce.

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Vulnerable Bodies, Precarious Lives (EL45KF)

30 Credit Points

What does it mean to inhabit a vulnerable body, or to embrace and celebrate ideas of vulnerability more generally? How can literature help us understand the precarity and uncertainty that seem like an inherent part of contemporary life? This course offers an overview of twenty-first-century women’s fiction from a variety of traditions, and centres on themes of embodiment, community, fragmentation, and environment. Examined together, these texts highlight the generic and thematic diversity of contemporary women’s writing, and the way the self must always be reconstructed through literature in new ways.

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Literature and Medicine (EL45HQ)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the relationship between literature and medicine, and asks what kind of ground the two disciplines might share and how they might enrich one another. The use and abuse of literary concepts in medical practice and of medical ideas and history in literature will be considered along with the literary representations of the physician and narratives of illness, focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The final part of the course explores the representation of psychiatry and psychiatric theory in twentieth- and twenty-first century literature.

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The Short Story as A Literary Form (EL45DR)

30 Credit Points

This course examines the development of the short story during the last two hundred years, e.g. from Washington Irving, Hawthorne, and Melville, through Hemingway, Joyce, Lawrence, Woolf and Mansfield, to Raymond Carver and a selection of contemporary writers. The course will consider the distinctiveness of the short story as an art form, its techniques and applications, and the factors that have influenced its evolution.

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Staging the City: Renaissance Urban Drama (EL45AD)

30 Credit Points

Drama was the entertainment phenomenon of the early modern period: a popular art form that developed swiftly and attracted mass audiences. London was both the city that played host to this new cultural form, and the subject of much of its output. The course will examine the relation between life in the early modern city and the great flowering of drama by celebrated authors of the period. Using works by well-known writers such as Middleton, Jonson and Shakespeare, as well as lesser known authors, we will explore how the plays of the period engage with key concerns of urban living.

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We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

For each course, you will typically be studying one literary text per week. You will be encouraged to read relevant critical and contextual material on the texts you are studying and also be introduced to some important theoretical approaches to literature. From first through to third year you will follow a programme of lectures supported with a weekly small group tutorial or seminar.

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study English?

  • The UK's number two centre for the quality of research in English language and literature (Research Excellence Framework 2014) and third in Scotland for creative writing (Complete University Guide 2021).

  • The WORD Centre for Creative Writing, promoting creative projects in fiction, non-fiction and collaborative mixed-media in all the languages of northeast Scotland (from Doric to Polish).

  • Research centres including the Centre for the Novel, the Centre for Modern Thought and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.

  • An international profile through major literary projects such as the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen and the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels of Sir Walter Scott.

  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with over a million volumes, state-of-the-art technology and home to literary treasures collected over 500 years charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.
  • Historic collections including a quarter of a million rare printed books, the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, MacBean Stuart and Jacobite Collection of international importance, the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and an exceptional collection of Charles Dickens’ first editions.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes internationally acclaimed authors, broadcasters and public figures to campus every spring.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2020 Entry
2021 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above).

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

International Applicants who do not meet the Entry Requirements

The University of Aberdeen International Study Centre offers preparation programmes for international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for undergraduate study. Discover your foundation pathway here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2020/21
International Students £17,200
Students Admitted in 2020/21

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Studying English at Aberdeen will provide you with a thorough grounding in English Literature in both historical and modern contexts. The writing, research and presentation skills that you will develop are vital to many careers. Our previous graduates have gone on to work areas such as publishing, teaching, research, journalism, banking, speech therapy and television and radio broadcasting.

Study Internationally Recognised English

Many of our English teaching staff are internationally recognised researchers.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

As an English student at Aberdeen, you will have access to excellent library resources built up over 500 years and located in the Sir Duncan Rice Library. You will also have access to state-of-the-art IT facilities whenever you need.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX