Why this course?
As an English student at Strathclyde you'll enjoy the best of old and new: a grounding in the classics as well as an insight into new fields of literature.
We'll show you how exciting and wide-ranging our subject can be. Employers like the skills developed in an English degree: written and verbal communication, analysis and discussion of ideas, and broad, creative thinking.
There's a number of ways you can study Law at Strathclyde. You can study the BA degree or in combination with another subject. For professional qualifications in Law students follow the LLB programme.
Law involves the study of the obligations, duties and rights which every member of society has in relation to one another and to the State.
The study of Law is regarded not as purely vocational, but part of a broader education. Please note that studying Law within the BA degree will not qualify you for entry to the legal profession.
Our BA degrees in Humanities & Social Sciences are broad-based to start with. In Year 1, you'll study three subjects, including your chosen subject(s).
What you’ll study
Your first year of study will include Shakespearean drama and modern, cutting-edge fiction.
Second-year students study some of the most momentous events in literary history, with classes on Renaissance, Enlightenment and Romantic writing.
In third-year, you'll choose from options including children’s literature, America in the 1920s, the First World War and the Glasgow novel.
In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation and choose from options including Victorian Gothic writing, literary snobbery, travel writing, oral narratives and fairy tales. Student numbers for optional classes may be limited in Years 3 and 4.
In Honours year, you'll write and research a 6,000-word dissertation with guidance from a personal supervisor. This is an opportunity to investigate a topic of your own choice. Previous dissertations have focussed on music and film as well as literary topics.
We offer these taught masters degrees:
Masters degrees can be a first step to a PhD or help with career and personal development. We welcome overseas students, including visiting students.
We also offer various research degrees, including an innovative MRes in Creative Writing.
You'll have the opportunity to take part in the Socrates exchange programme, in which you can spend your third year (two semesters) abroad and obtain credits that qualify you to enter the Honours year in one or both of your principal subjects on your return.
Socrates have partner institutions in Germany and France, as well as programmes in North America and elsewhere. While priority on Socrates is given to students who have proficiency in the relevant language, many classes (at least in the host English departments) are conducted in English and there is no language requirement for countries like the USA.
What you’ll study
The first-year class, Introduction to Law & Legal Obligations, introduces the laws of contract and delict, which are the essential building blocks of most other areas of law, the court systems and judicial decision-making, and the law-making process in the UK.
Years 2, 3 & 4
You select classes according to your interests from a wide range of options, including Human Rights, Environmental Law, Criminal Law, Public International Law, and Law, Film & Popular Culture.
English 1A & 1B
These first-year classes offer an introduction to the study of English at university level.
In the course of these classes you will study a range of texts in the three main genres of creative literature - poetry, prose, and drama – and will learn to engage with the critical materials that analyse them, and have the option in assessment to respond creatively to some of these work as well.
Across this year you will also have an opportunity to understand how particular historical and social contexts shape literature, and to discuss ways in which historical literature continues to live and have relevance to the contemporary reader. Current texts studied in this class include Othello, Robinson Crusoe, Jane Eyre, and some contemporary song lyrics and Renaissance poetry.
Public Law 1
The aims of this class are to:
- provide students with a basic knowledge of the history, structure and institutions of the Scottish legal system
- provide students with the skills required to find, interpret and analyse the law applicable in Scotland, from all their various sources
- introduce students to competing conceptions of law
- introduce students to legal reasoning
Following on from the introduction to the constitution – its key actors, institutions and their functions – in Public Law 1, students taking Public Law 2 will build upon that knowledge here: first by focusing on the ways in which legal (judicial review) and quasi-legal (tribunals, public inquiries, ombudsmen) bodies supervise the exercise of constitutional and administrative decision making; secondly, by a detailed analysis of the political and legal mechanisms which exist for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. As such, Public Law 2 is concerned with the abuse of power, and the ways and means by which power can be limited and held to account – whether that is the power of a golf club to suspend an unruly member, the power of a local authority to order the compulsory purchase of privately owned property, or the power of the Prime Minister to wage war.
Writing Through Time 1&2
These classes develop your understanding of literary criticism from our first-year classes by engaging with the question of the historical situatedness of literary production, offering an overview of key ideas, debates and literary texts from the Renaissance to the present. Once again our focus is on different genres of writing: this time, poetry, drama, and long and short prose fiction. Through these texts, you will engage with distinct modes of analysis, with literary critical approaches sitting alongside more innovative creative approaches.
ElectiveThe Construction of Scotland
Making the Modern Human
This class offers a wide variety of ways of thinking about 'Scottishness' and Scottish national identity. The main aim of the class it to challenge assumptions of national identity as something that is coherent and fixed by exploring the many complexities, subtleties, and contradictions in Scottish identity. Focusing on issues of language, gender, and place, the class will encourage students to deepen their understanding of 'Scottishness' and the constructed nature of national identity through a literary and cultural lens.
The class aims to introduce you to changing ideas about the human in relation to two key moments in history: the concept of the idea of the beast within from the age of Shakespeare, and the emergence of Darwin's theory of evolution in the mid-nineteenth century. The class will look at shifts in understanding the boundary between humans and animals and at what that meant for how people understood themselves at two very different moments in the past. Core to the class will be how scientific, philosophical and literary materials contemplate the same ideas.
Textlab is one of several Vertically Integrated Projects (ViPs) running across the University. Each ViP brings together a team of undergraduates, postgraduates, and staff to work on a research-based project.
TextLab brings together students and staff from English/Humanities and Computer and Information Science. We work on research projects in the field of Digital Humanities (the application of computer-based technologies to the study of texts) – specifically using computers to analyse Shakespeare’s language, and building a website aimed at schools.
Public Law 2
Following on from Public Law 1, Public Law 2 aims to consolidate knowledge and understanding of constitutional and administrative law. Students taking this class will require to have taken Public Law 1 in the first year. It'll build upon knowledge of the key concepts and institutions of the UK constitution. As a second year class, its rationale is to give students the opportunity to progress from an understanding of the constitution to an understanding of the role of the law in the constitutional control of public power. This course encourages students to adopt an evaluative and critical stance towards ongoing constitutional developments. The course will focus on control of administrative action, both by the judiciary and by ombudsmen. The protection of individual rights will be a key feature, focusing on judicial protection but also encompassing the role of human rights institutions in the UK and Scotland. The future control of public power will be discussed, including topical debates concerning constitutional reform in this area.
Family law concerns the control which the law exerts over domestic relationships and families; it affects everyone to a greater or lesser degree.
- the legal status of children, parental responsibilities and rights and the upbringing of children - including issues in adoption and fostering, local authority care and the Children's Hearing system
- legal consequences of marriage/civil partnership
- divorce - including what happens to the family and its financial consequences
- unmarried domestic relations, opposite-sex and same-sex
Involuntary Obligations: Delict & Unjustified Enrichment
Commercial law is a second year compulsory subject on the LLB (and LML) degree. The class provides students with an understanding of commercial law in a Scottish context. It partially meets the commercial law subject requirements and related skills outcomes of the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates (albeit that some of the commercial professional topics, eg sale of goods and insurance law, are dealt with by other courses).
Building on the knowledge acquired by students in first year, the general academic objective of the course is to examine the basic principles and rules concerning core aspects of commercial law, including the main principles of agency, partnership and company law, the law relating to various methods of payment (including consumer credit and bills of exchange) the rules governing the ways in which creditors can ‘secure’ repayment of a debt (eg through taking personal guarantees from third parties for repayment of the debt, or by establishing rights in security over debtor property); the basic principles of diligence; the consequences of both corporate and individual debtor inability to repay debts (corporate insolvency and personal bankruptcy respectively).
While the focus of the class is on ‘a black letter’ analysis of relevant statutory and common law in the broad commercial area, in order to aid understanding of relevant principles, the class also examines the policy rationales underlying the current law and recent and projected reforms in this area.
Property Trusts & Succession
The design of this class is primarily aimed at enhancing students’ ability to read cases, deal with case law and apply the techniques of case-analysis and common law development.
The student will acquire an in-depth and up to date knowledge and understanding, from both a legal and a social perspective, of the rules of law governing involuntary obligations, that is to say the law of delict and the law of unjustified enrichment.
Students will acquire the ability to apply the rules of law to particular fact situations in order to provide definitive answers to the problems exposed in these situations.
Students will develop critical and reasoning skills, giving them the ability to make and present personal and informed judgments on the rules of law and their application within the domestic legal system.
The general rationale of this class is to provide students with a contemporary understanding of the law of property, trusts and succession in Scotland, and to meet Law Society of Scotland requirements in this subject-area.
The EU law class focuses on the constitutional and institutional order of the EU as well as on the internal market. To this end, the class looks at the European integration process, the EU institutions, EU competences, the decision-making process within the EU, the principles underpinning the EU legal order and the principles governing the internal market.
You'll select from this range of Year 3 electives, and have the chance to take one English & Creative Writing class too.
Greek Theatre to National Theatre
This course will trace the development of crime fiction from the mid C19th until the present day. Beginning with some of the earliest depictions, we will examine short stories by Edgar Allen Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle, before going on to look at C20th representations of the literary sleuth in Britain and the USA. We will consider well-known examples from popular culture (eg Hercule Poirot and his 'little grey cells', the stereotype of the American private-eye) as well as more experimental, postmodern examples (Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and Paul Auster's New York Trilogy).
Throughout the course we will be concerned with connections between crime and the emergence of the modern city, questioning the extent to which detective fiction aims to impose a sense of rationality and closure on an otherwise uncertain and alienating world. In its concern with the social and cultural role of crime fiction, this course will also reflect on the importance of deconstructive, feminist, post-structuralist and psychoanalytic readings of the genre.
This class is designed to introduce students to theatre practice starting with Greek theatre through to the work of the National Theatre for Scotland. The sessions are designed to be both theoretical and practical with students engaging with activities that illuminate the textual material studied. Drama was intended to be performed and to this end, study will also include that of set design and how that has evolved over the centuries taking into account the changes in style and expectations of an audience as well as the harnessing of technological advances.
Students will study in two-hour sessions to allow the theoretical underpinning to be embedded into the workshop activities and should be considered as a foundation for future study in theatre practice. The intention is to study a selection of plays, not as isolated written works, but in relation to their production and performance.
The class will give students insights into evolving theatre practices, predominately in Europe, through examination and analysis of dramatic fiction and their theatrical constructs. The class will draw upon the work of playwrights that will include Euripides, Shakespeare, Moliere, Pirandello, Chekov, Brecht, Beckett, Pinter, and Greig and examine the professional practice of contemporary theatre performers and directors. The class will work alongside practice-based research on the communication of dramatic fiction through theatrical performance.
Language in Business
This class teaches you how various kinds of world literature have been influential on literature in English. Each week the lecture introduces a new literature, sometimes referring to one or two specific authors, and places the foreign literature linguistically, culturally and historically. We then look at specific influences on writers in English. Sometimes we will look at translations, sometimes adaptations, including into different media, and we will see that texts can lead to other texts through complex chains of influence.
Seminars often take a foreign text, and look at one or more English language variants of it. One of the assessments is an essay involving analysis of adapted texts; the other is an essay on the more general issues which arise. Students are not expected to learn or know about any of the foreign languages involved.
Topics for 2019-20 are likely to be similar to those for the current year, which includes Sappho and Homer (Greek), Catullus (Latin), Dante and Petrarch (Italian), the Hebrew Bible, Borges (and other Latin Americans), Chinese and Japanese poetry, Scottish Gaelic, Indian and other South Asian literature, and Scandinavian (including Old English) literature.
This class explores the ways in which language is used in businesses and other organisations (including charities, government, education, etc.). The class also functions as an introduction to the theory of communication more generally; we explore how meaning is communicated, how texts are made coherent, why speaking is a way of acting, how conversations are structured, and how politeness is managed.
We consider gender as an aspect of organisations, and how language maintains and constructs gender. We look at the use and invention of words (eg brand names), including organisational metaphors and the use of storytelling in an organisation. We consider how language and communication differ across cultures, and how this can lead to cross-cultural misunderstanding, and we ask whether different languages shape different ways of thinking; as part of this, we consider the discourses of banal nationalism.
The materials we study may include websites, values statements, marketing brochures and posters, public apologies, political speeches, transcripts of e-mail interactions, and of meetings. One of the assessments is an essay involving analysis of one of these kinds of organisational discourse; the other is an essay on the more general issues which arise. Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge of linguistics or the analysis of language.
Sex, Revenge & Corruption in Renaissance Drama
This class will examine the tools of poetry, including voice, rhyme, meter, schemes, and tropes, in a variety of genres and periods. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the conventions of poetry and the ways in which these conventions have been subverted or modified over time, allowing for innovation and introducing new voices, such as those of women, minorities and the working classes.
We will consider a number of poetic forms, such as the sonnet, the lyric, the epic, and the ode, with examples taken from the early modern to the present day. The principal aim of the class is to give students the tools required to read poetry with confidence.
The course will cover the sonnet, sonnet sequences, lyric poetry, dramatic monologues, narrative poetry, epic, satire, ekphrasis, and odes and elegies, and a wide range of authors including Donne, Pope, Byron, Christina Rossetti, Tennyson, Dickinson, Poe, Siddal, Rilke, Plath, Angelou, and Atwood.
Theories of Literature & Wellbeing
This class will focus on drama, a key genre in the period from the 1580s to the closure of the playhouses in 1642. Reading work by major dramatists such as William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Thomas Middleton, we will engage with a form that addressed both a highly literate and a popular audience, and is thus a particularly interesting place to trace ways of thinking in the period.
The common thread that ties this selection of plays together is their interest in transgression: what happens when humans cross the limits set by tradition, religion and the state? In the process of this theatrical interrogation, the plays pose questions about violence, identity, gender, desire, citizenship and the role of the theatre itself. We will read tragedies and comedies, and wonder why tragedies in this period are so often comic, and why the comedies end badly.
The relationship between literature and wellbeing is of interest to the a number of employers and professions, including health and social care (evidenced by the journal Medical Humanities and the 'Get into Reading' programme run by The Reader, a charity). However investigations into the potential benefits of reading or hearing literature are hampered at the moment by the lack of a theoretical base from which to start. Academic work in English and literature is growing more interdisciplinary with sustained interest in the psychology of the reading experience for example.
This class combines recent academic research with the needs and interests of students to assess a number of theories which relate literature to wellbeing. It also encourages students to reflect on their own experiences as students, readers and critics of literature. Students with an interest in arts therapy may find the class a useful part of their degree, as well students considering teaching English or working in libraries, arts organisations or social care.
The class will also provide a new avenue for literary investigation for students who may be considering going on to do interdisciplinary research. The learning outcomes will differ from learning objectives insofar as they focus on broader cognitive abilities, non-subject specific skills or graduate attributes.
- improved ability to understand what a theory is and how it can be evaluated
- enhancement of skills taught in other English classes, such as textual analysis, argumentation, group discussion etc
This class explores the literature of conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the First World War to the Iraq War. The class treats war as a complex cultural phenomenon rather than a simple military activity, and as such we explore not only the literature of combat but also a range of texts.
You can also take one of the following English & Creative Writing classes as part of your English degree in Year 3.
Writing Short Fiction & Poetry
This core class will introduce creative writing students to two key genres: short fiction and poetry. Taught in workshop sessions by practising creative writers this will be a practice led class. On it, students will develop good practice related to the professional presentation of creative work, and will be introduced to the skills involved in reflecting critically on creative products and processes.
The class will build on the basic writing techniques that students have developed in their first and second year of study such as: point of view, characterisation, setting, dialogue and narrative structure. The class will also encourage and expect a more advanced and discerning set of reading skills. Looking at a wide range of material such as novels, short stories and poems the class will examine a range of different narrative strategies, contexts and approaches and use these as stimuli for creative work.
This class will be based around a selection of screen and radio scripts that have formed the basis for dramatic works such as: The Graduate, Mad Men, Bladerunner, The True Story of Bonnie Parker and When Harry Met Sally and will introduce key concepts in the theory and practice of creative writing as these emerge in the context of writing for radio and screen.
Students will write dramatic scripts that demonstrate a good awareness of skills and techniques relevant to the genre, develop good practice related to the professional presentation of creative work, and be introduced to the skills involved in reflecting critically on creative products and processes. The class will be taught by practising creative writers.
The main focus of the course is on providing an overview of how the handling and proving of facts works in law and how this interacts with the law of evidence. The emphasis is on understanding and application, rather than the learning of the specific details of legal rules.
The course has three general academic aims:
- to introduce students to theoretical and practical issues relating to the use and proof of facts in the Scottish legal system
- introduce students to the central concepts, rules and principles of the Scots law of Evidence
- give students an understanding of the interrelationship between the theory, practice and law relating to the use and proof of facts in the Scottish legal system
Elective classesLaw, Film & Popular Culture
This class develops general concerns with the nature and function of law which are key elements in the wide-ranging theoretical, non-subject specific (or meta-law) classes taught within the Law School – Law and Society, Sociology of Law, Legal Theory and Criminology.
The main aim of this class is to introduce students to the major theoretical ideas and values of law, and to debates about those ideas and values, thereby enhancing their understanding of law in general.
The class explores relationships between law and morality, law and society and between law and power. In doing so, the course also explores what we mean by law, morality and power. The course requires students to work on their own and make an oral presentation and trains then in concise thinking.
International Private Law
The aim of the class is to introduce the student to the law of landlord and tenant, and to concepts of housing need and market allocation of housing resources and the different ways in which such concepts are interpreted and operated in modern Britain. The method of teaching and assessing the class is designed to enhance learning, academic and transferable skills.
This class aims to provide students with an understanding of the problems inherent in situations involving a foreign element and the basic concepts and principles of Scots international private law. More particularly, attention will be given to the rules which establish when the Scottish court has jurisdiction in any case involving a foreign element. The class will also determine the applicable law in cases involving international elements heard before a Scottish court and the rules on recognition and enforcement of judgments in certain contexts.
The International private law rules in relation to:
- divorce & nullity
- parent & child
- insolvency & succession
Tutorials for this class take place on Saturday mornings.
This class is not recommended for Erasmus exchange students.
Most industrialised countries, and the European Union now have elaborate laws, rules and procedures for ensuring the maintenance of a competitive economy. This course looks at how the competition laws of the United Kingdom and the European Union affect how business operates in Britain.
If you're contemplating a career in business, or are simply a consumer, some knowledge of competition is useful. If you're a student of industrial economics, or of marketing, some knowledge of competition law is a wise precaution. Moreover there are considerably more job opportunities in this area, whether as an economic adviser, legal practitioner or in-house lawyer advising on effective compliance.
Ethics & Justice
Although we are all equal in the law, some are treated more equally than others. This module examines the nature of discrimination and some of the reasons for it, and the history of the law which tries to prohibit it and promote equality. The class looks in depth at the Equality Act 2010 and relevant case law. It covers the protected characteristics, direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and disability discrimination, including the duty to make reasonable adjustments. As well as individual anti-discrimination law in employment and goods and services, the class examines preventive and pro-active measures, including positive action and the public equality duty and the arguments around their nature.
Assessment consists of a group presentation on an approved topic of your choice and a piece of coursework requiring problem solving skills and analysis of law and policy.
The Ethics and Justice class aims to introduce students to the world of work by bridging the gap between theory and practice, and by providing them with the intellectual and practical tools to deal with the personal and practical dimensions of law in a competent, ethical and socially responsible manner.
The class will help to develop students’ legal, intellectual and practical skills, and provide them with an opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness and ethics of what they do and how this fits in with problems of access to justice. It will also enhance student understanding of the social and economic context in which legal rules operate.
This class is only open to Law Clinic students with case experience.
Crime & Punishment
The extensive uptake of new digital information technologies and particularly, the internet, has resulted in expanding our legal universe, with new laws being created, the application of older laws being challenged and reconfigured and, unavoidably, new legal challenges arising due to conflicts of regulatory decisions with technological advances.
The aim of the class is to address the basic issues arising from the advent of the internet and related digital technologies and familiarise students with important legal developments that have taken place in the last 20 years.
Human Rights Law
This class encourages students to think constructively and critically about contemporary issues in the field of criminology. It also focuses on contemporary responses to crime in the fields of punishment, imprisonment and penal policy, with reference to developments in Scotland and beyond.
This class deals with the questions, what are those 'basic' or 'fundamental' rights and freedoms to which every individual is entitled in a democratic society, and how to protect them against possible violations.
The class focuses on a selection of the most prominent human rights which have resulted in considerable amounts of litigation. You'll consider the right to life, right not to be tortured, freedom of expression, children’s rights and issues regarding terrorism.
Banking Law & Finance
This class aims to provide students with an understanding of employment law in a UK and EU-wide context and to introduce students to the sources, principles and main features of employment law.
You'll learn about key employment protection provisions and the major collective provisions of employment law in the UK, including the legal position of the contract of employment, the status of employee, the law and practice of unfair dismissal, discrimination law and working time regulations.
The class will focus on practical employment law involving practitioners, an Employment Judge and an Employment Tribunal visit.
Intellectual Property Law
This course is concerned with the legal relationship of banker and customer and the services offered by bankers in the community. It examines the financial instruments employed in financing trading and other transactions and is especially concerned with the law and practice of lending, both secured and unsecured.
Public International Law
Intellectual property is integral to all our daily lives, whether it is the music we listen to, the news we read, or chair we sit on, as well as providing the resources necessary to produce new medicines, and the superabundance of brand marketing to which we are routinely subjected.
The class will study the law of patents, trademarks (registered and unregistered), copyright, and moral rights, and the law of confidence (which includes trade secrets). Both the substantive law, and the underlying policy behind providing exclusive rights for this type of property will be examined.
Local Government Law
Interested in what is going on in Syria? Concerned about what may or may not be going on in North Korea? Pondering why troops are still in Afghanistan? Then public international law might be the class for you.
The class explores the relationships between states as among themselves and with international institutions. As well as giving an overall view of the area, we'll also look at specific incidents which have arisen and which have been dominated by international law, and which in turn have made huge contributions to the area.
The syllabus looks at sources including treaties and customary law, statehood, the collective use of force, state responsibility and terrorism, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
This class is evening teaching only.
In Scotland, local government employs around 250,000 people. Every council has its own legal department and nearly 10% of practising solicitors in Scotland are employed by local authorities. It is essential that lawyers in private practice have knowledge of how local government works.
The course will cover a selection of the following topics:
- what local government is and what does it does
- the constitutional position of local government
- the structure of Scottish local government and its statutory framework
- elections to and membership of a local authority
- rights, duties, liabilities and restrictions of councillors
- the councillors’ Code of Conduct and registration of interests
- the powers of local government; the ultra vires rule; community planning; the power of wellbeing; publicity powers
- byelaws, management rules and private Acts of Parliament
- how councils work; the political dimension
- external controls on local government; the courts; the ombudsman, the Standards Commission, the Accounts Commission
- a brief guide to local government finance
Throughout your degree, analytical and writing skills are being developed, preparing you to tackle the final-year dissertation. The choice of subjects for your dissertation is wide open – we value and reward student initiative.
Year 4 is also your chance to take more electives as well as your dissertation in English – two electives for joint Honours and five for single Honours. Choose from:
Creative Economies & Culture Industry
Literature, Mind & Brain
This Honours option will explore how 'creative economies' operate in the twenty-first century, using a focus on local industries to investigate global issues and challenges. It will enable students to understand how the concepts of 'creative economy', 'cultural industry' or 'creative industries' developed, and explore the controversies which have often surrounded these terms.
The 1930s: Literature & Culture
This class responds to developments in literary research which are drawing on findings in cognitive science. A number of PhDs and postdoctoral researchers, as well as more experienced literary scholars, are using these findings to ask questions about the nature of literary experience in general, and the nature of specific literary texts in particular. In addition, the class responds to the increasing demand for interdisciplinary skills for humanities students. This is likely to appeal to honours English students who wish to bridge the gap between the critical analysis of texts and the rapidly changing model of human cognition emerging from psychology, neuroscience and philosophy.
The class will combine a weekly reading of a scientific or philosophical article with a short literary text and consider the implications of and/or problems with the article in the light of the literary text. No class of this kind is currently on offer at Strathclyde.
Sixties Britain: Literature, Culture, Counterculture
The 1930s is a period of cultural and political instability that is dominated by the inequalities between rich and poor, by problems with employment and housing, and by an insecure international situation in which the United Kingdom is increasingly isolated from developments in continental Europe. Into this conflict come authoritarian populist politicians intent on restoring strong leadership and the restoration of past national glories, and on the other side coalitions of the liberal left seeking a new politics to resist such authoritarian thinking. It is a period, in other words, strikingly like our own.
In taking the class you will gain an understanding of the distinctive concerns of the literature and wider culture of the 1930s. We will pay particular attention to formal questions that dominate the decade’s literature - those of documentary, realism, and the legacy of Modernism - as well as to thematic issues of class division and national identity, urbanisation, and domestic politics. You will also gain an understanding of the relationship between literature and other forms of cultural production in the period, particularly journalism and documentary cinema.
By taking part in the class you will develop your abilities in close critical reading of literary texts and will gain further experience of independent learning and essay and examination writing.
Songs: music & literature
The 1960s are often thought of as the decade of hedonism, hippies, free love and The Beatles. Yet the sixties were also a time of deep political unrest and activism, during which political movements for civil rights, anti-war and women’s liberation gained momentum. In addition, the 1960s were a decade of important technological advancements (including the introduction of colour television and developments in space exploration) which would have a fundamental effect on culture in Britain and beyond. This aim of this class, therefore, is to explore the legacy of the 1960s, its representation through a variety of key literary, cultural and critical texts.
Beginning with an examination of British culture through a literary lens in the late 1950s, it goes on to explore the central tensions of the decade. In doing so, students will engage with a variety of classic texts of the period, examining the 1960s in terms of culture vs counterculture, class, race and gender, reflecting on just how controversial the decade actually was.
Soviet Literature: 1917-1967
This class looks at songs of different kinds. We ask what makes songs both similar to, and different from, poems. We explore how words are fitted to musical structures, including rhythms and tunes. We examine how poems are set to music, or otherwise accompanied by music; we consider the difference between poetic and musical metre, and the use of rhyme. We explore different kinds of singing style. We examine why songs give us strong emotional experiences.
We consider the difference between high and low cultures in songs, and the borrowing of songs between genres. We consider the role of songs in constructing identity, including national identity. We consider popular and rock songs, folk songs, and classical songs; in addition we will look at some overseas song traditions (eg Chinese, Australian Aboriginal).
One of the assessments is an essay involving analysis of a song which you choose yourself; the other is an essay on the more general issues which arise.
Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge of music or linguistics, or musical ability.
This class looks at three key moments in the history of the Soviet Union, and explores how political contexts radically different from those in western Europe affected the way literature was written and interpreted.
All texts are in English, translated from Russian. The Russian Revolution in 1917 happened at a moment of intense experimentation in literature across Europe. In the early revolutionary years, many Soviet writers of the avant garde explored the possibility of experimental writing which could both reach the masses and help to bring about social change. We will look at both the literary theory and some of the experimental texts from this period, including a film. In the 1930s, during Stalin's rule, this revolutionary approach was sidelined by a top down emphasis on 'Soviet socialist realism', fiction that is easily accessible and offers a vision of a brighter future for a population living through unprecedented change. We will look at three of these Socialist Realist novels and appraise how far they conformed with the ambitions of the state, as well as considering the nature of literary realism itself.
Finally, we will consider literature by dissidents, writers who increasingly challenged the Communist regime in the 'Thaw' that followed Stalin's death in 1953, looking at novels by two dissident writers, including Boris Pasternak's Dr Zhivago.
Wild in the Renaissance
This class will examine the development of the Gothic tradition in a diverse selection of Victorian texts which will include works by the Brontes, Bram Stoker, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle.
The aims of the course are twofold. Firstly, we will consider the literary origins and devices of Gothic in the popular novels and short stories of the Romantic period (eg Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein), and trace the ways in which major Victorian authors modified them, paying attention to questions such as genre and inter-textuality. However, these textual studies will continually be placed within a broader historical and social context: the principal aim of the class is to assess how an understanding of the fascination of the Gothic mode for Victorian authors can be used as a tool for exploring the complexities of nineteenth-century society.
We will use the texts to consider issues such as urbanisation, scientific progress, religious crisis, Empire, new forms of communications technology and print culture, the ‘New Woman’, deviant sexualities, degeneration, decadence and the fin-de-siècle.
Throughout, the texts will be read ‘against the grain’ by employing a range of critical terminology (such as Freud’s work on dreams or recent work on ‘female Gothic’).
The concept of 'the wild' is one that emerges in many different ways in the writings of the Renaissance; in relation to self-cultivation (holding back the wildness within), the control of one's world (taming the ever-present wilderness); and in relations with fellow humans in a changing world (in savage domination). These ideas get played out in numerous ways in the period - from poetic use of the symbolic resonance of gardens and gardening; the religious underpinnings of the 'missionary endeavour' in the New World and what that says about the concept of human nature; to the anxious self-examination of humanity's inevitable sinfulness.
This class will thus introduce you to key canonical texts from the period – plays, poetry, and court masques – by writers including Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton, and will also engage with a critical and theoretical debates about the relationships between humans and the natural world from the new fields of animal studies and ecocriticism.
In addition to traditional exams, many classes are assessed partly or solely by essays. In later years, you have the opportunity to set the topics and titles of these essays themselves.
Some courses have specific assessment methods, for example drama students are assessed for their writing and practical performance skills, while those studying digital humanities use social media and analyse texts with software.
All our classes use Myplace, Strathclyde's virtual learning environment, which can be used for online quizzes and keeping a reading diary.
Our assessment methods include:
- multiple choice exams
- problem-based and critical analysis essays
- group work
- case studies
- reflective diaries
Learning & teaching
You'll learn through lectures, seminars and workshops and take part in small group work, individual and group presentations, debates and writing exercises. Some classes also take place in computer labs and include analysis of texts using software tools.
Vertically Integrated Project
We've recently introduced a new research task in which staff, undergraduates and postgraduates work together.
Our teaching aims to help students develop knowledge and understanding of the principles, nature and development of law and legal institutions in Scotland and in other jurisdictions.
The programme is delivered by leading academics through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and webcasts.
Required subjects are indicated following typically accepted grades.
Standard entry requirements
1st sitting: AAAA (Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent, plus one subject from the list of Highers below)
2nd sitting: AAAABB (Higher English, Maths/Applications of Mathematics National 5 B, or equivalent, plus one subject from the list of Highers below)
- Classical Studies
- Modern Studies
- Religious Moral & Philosophical Studies
We recognise a wide range of Highers, however, your profile must reflect a good grounding in essay-based subjects.
Year 1 entry
Typical entry requirement: ABB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Minimum entry requirement: BBB (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Typical entry requirement: AAA (two core subjects required; GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
Minimum entry requirement: ABB (two core subjects at AB; (GCSE English Language 6/B or English Literature 6/B, GCSE Maths 4/C)
36 (Maths SL5)
Year 1 entry
HNC Social Sciences: A in Graded Unit; Maths National 5 B or equivalent
Irish Leaving Certificate
Subjects and grades as for Highers
It is important to take care over your personal statement. We look for information about your academic and career interests, and your range of skills, abilities, and relevant experience. Your personal statement should show evidence you have a strong awareness and interest in the subject you are applying to.
Deferred entry normally not accepted.
Applicants with Highers
Due to the high level of competition for the number of available places, it is unlikely that Conditional Offers will be made to anyone attaining less than AAB at the first sitting of Highers.
Second-year entry for A Level/Advanced Higher candidates is possible with AA/AB in the two subjects you are planning to study.
Admission to Honours
All students will be admitted as potential Honours students. Students may exit with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the end of Year 3 of the programme if they have accumulated at least 360 credits and satisfied the appropriate specialisation requirements. For admission to the final year of the Honours course, a student must have achieved an approved standard of performance.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for
an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre.
Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the
University of Strathclyde.