Are you a fan of fantasy fiction? Or are you simply curious as to why the fantastic can be found all around us in the twenty-first century, from videogames and films to poetry, songs, television, novel series, and so-called 'mainstream' fiction? This programme allows you to engage with one of the most vibrant literary genres of the last two centuries - and a major cultural phenomenon of our time.
The programme involves core and optional taught sessions, followed by a period of research and writing over the summer when you will undertake supervised independent work on a special topic of your choice, researching, planning and writing a 15,000 word dissertation.
Semester 1 - September to December
Semester 2 - January to March
Summer - April to September
All taught courses are 20 credits and are delivered in weekly 2-hour seminars or equivalent.
Seminars are taught to the extent that the student members meet regularly with a tutor and proceed through a planned sequence of reading and discussion. The working style, however, is exploratory rather than didactic; students are expected to engage fully with primary sources, to develop, express and take responsibility for their own opinions and to work towards independent argument and expression in their resulting coursework and dissertation.
The two compulsory Fantasy courses complement each other.
Fantasy 1: c. 1780-1950
The first introduces you to the history of fantasy literature in English and its attendant theories from c. 1780 to 1950. As well as charting the early history of modern fantasy, including major children’s fantasies where these had a significant impact on the development of adult fantasy literature, the course will introduce you to the most influential critical and theoretical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic.
Fantasy 2: 1950 to the present
The second investigates the history of fantasy literature in English from 1950 to the present. It will also touch on the unprecedented spread of fantasy in recent decades through comics, films and the new media, and delve into the critical and theoretical approaches to fantasy and the fantastic that have emerged since the 1950s.
You may choose from the available optional courses offered by any of the Masters programmes in the School of Critical Studies; see in particular the courses listed under the MLitt English Literature general pathway. You may also opt for courses from other Masters programmes in the College of Arts (subject to approval by the relevant convener). One course can be taken at Honours level. Examples of possible options include:
For further information please contact the convener.
The critical and analytic skills you develop and the ability to conduct rigorous independent study make this programme an ideal step towards an academic career.
Graduates from English Literature have also gone on to careers in writing, editing, publishing, teaching and the media.