Taught course

Modern Scottish Writing (MLitt)

University of Stirling · Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Entry requirements

An upper second class or better single or combined Honours degree in a relevant subject or subjects from a UK university or an equivalent qualification. Applicants with other qualifications or other appropriate experience may be admitted on the recommendation of the Course Director.

Months of entry


Course content

More than a decade after devolution, Scotland’s national status ‘is both dangled before us and tantalisingly withheld’ (Don Paterson).

The Stirling Masters course views Scottish literature in the light of this ambiguity, from a perspective shaped by critical theory as well as traditional literary history. Our focus is the unusually strong role played by literature in sustaining the reality and difference of Scottish culture over the past three centuries – not forgetting the role of novelists and poets in integrating Scottish identity into the project of Britishness. As debate intensifies over Scotland’s political status, the time is ripe to examine the role of writing in shaping the image and reality of the nation.

Course Objectives

This course explores modern Scottish literature in relation to the ambivalent condition of Scottish history and identity.

We focus on writing from Robert Burns, Walter Scott and James Hogg, through Victorian and late 19th-century writers (Galt, Buchan, Stevenson) to the modernist experiments of Hugh MacDiarmid and his followers, and on to provocative 20th-century experiments in language, textuality and historical re-telling (Welsh, Galloway, Kelman, Spark, Gray, Saadi, Robertson).

No previous experience in studying Scottish literature is required. Leading Scottish writers and critics feature prominently in assigned reading, as do theorists of cultural modernity.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 21, Reading 22, Speaking 23, Writing 21.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
27 months
full time
12 months


part time
21 months
full time
9 months


part time
9 months
full time
4 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Dissertation (15000 words)

Course contact details

Dr Scott Hames
+44 (0) 1786 466205