Literature BA (Hons)

UCAS code Q320
Information line 01463 279190

What is special about this course?

If you are passionate about reading, thinking and writing and would like to turn this interest into a career, the BA (Hons) Literature is ideal for you.

You will explore literature in a global context, looking in depth at language and literary history within texts and on the international literary stage.

Studying literature at the University of the Highlands and Islands is not ‘English’, and nor is it ‘Scottish’. Our modules cover a wide range of authors, in English and translation, as well as theory from classic to contemporary. With a solid foundation in genres and periods in years 1 and 2, and research-based modules in years 3 and 4, our graduates are confident and enthusiastic writers, researchers and readers.

We teach a range of advanced specialist modules alongside more traditional content, and you are able to combine your studies with other disciplines. You will also study language, translation and the interrelation of Scots, Gaelic, English and other languages in Scotland.

You will benefit from close partnerships with local organisations and you will learn from internationally recognised experts in their fields, with interests reflected in our wide variety of modules.

Special features

  • You will study literature in an international context
  • Research strengths (all taught on the degree) include: nation and identity, genre, adaptation, gender, theory/writing/originality, writing of place, nature and the environment, and in particular periods: classical and medieval, renaissance, eighteenth century and romanticism, nineteenth century, and modern and contemporary.
  • All modules in years 3 and 4 are based on staff research, and you’ll be part of a vibrant research culture from your first semester
  • Modules on Gaelic literature in translation are available
  • You can study full time or part time to suit your personal circumstances
  • You can study individual modules for personal or professional development

Accommodation

We offer modern student accommodation at a number of our locations.

Entry requirements

Entry to year one:

  • 3 Scottish Highers at grade BBC or above, or
  • 2 A levels at grade BC or above
  • Must include English at grade C or above, plus one from the list of relevant subjects (Please note: Higher ESOL is not accepted in place of Higher English for this programme)
  • Applicants with other relevant qualifications or experience will be considered on an individual basis

Advanced entry to year two:

  • HNC Social Science (12 SCQF credits) with 3 additional SCQF credits at level 7 which is equivalent to 120 degree credit points, and at least grade C in the Graded Unit will be considered for direct entry to year two.

Access routes

SWAP Access courses
If you are eligible to undertake Scottish Wider Access Programmes (SWAP), please visit our SWAP access list for further information on grade profiles and available subjects.

Holders of other awards, qualifications, competences and knowledge that are deemed similar in level and content to those above; entry by this route will be at the discretion of the programme committee.

Year 1 - CertHE

You will study the following core modules:

  • Reading fiction: an introduction
  • Reading drama: an introduction
  • Reading poetry: an introduction
  • Theories of literature: an introduction

You will also choose two further option modules which may include:

  • Travellers in the wilderness: literature and the theme of exile
  • An introduction to Gaelic prose
  • Option modules from our range of humanities subjects

Year 2 - DipHE

Core modules are:

  • Medieval literature: text and contexts
  • An introduction to Gaelic poetry
  • Theatrical powerplay: classical and modern tragedy
  • Heroic literature: epic from classical to contemporary

You will also choose two further option modules from across our humanities subjects.

Year 3 - BA

You will study five core modules which may include:

  • Imagining new worlds: renaissance literature and thought
  • Literary borrowings: adaptations and appropriations
  • Nature writing and ecology
  • Risk anything! The modernist short story
  • Romantic genius: Scottish and European literature 1750-1830

You will also choose an option module from our range of humanities subjects

Year 4 - BA (Hons)

You will complete a literature dissertation.

You will also study four core modules which may include:

  • Avant-garde literature
  • Apocalyptic fictions
  • Metafiction: self-referential texts
  • Satire: the art of attack

How will I study my course?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

As your course was designed using our blended learning approach and has run successfully for many years in this way, we can confirm that there will be limited change to how the course will be delivered next year. From September 2020, you will study online through a combination of video conference seminars, tutor-supported study and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You will also have an online induction at the start of the course. On-campus activities and opportunities for campus attendance will be introduced in line with the developing Scottish Government public health measures and guidance, including social distancing. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all staff and students.
  • Full-time
  • Part-time (structured)
  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • You will learn through a combination of video conference lectures and tutorials, and online study via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE), with support from your tutors. There is a weekly two-hour timetabled video conference lecture for each module which students should attend at their home campus.

How long will my course last?


  • Full-time: 4 years @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time (structured): 8 years @ 20 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course, which includes time spent in lectures and your own time spent on individual study and research.


Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI
  • Highland Theological College UHI
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Lews Castle College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • Shetland College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September

Fees

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Degrees2019-202020-21
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

Full-timeLevel2019-202020-21
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 £9,000
Year 3 Degree £9,000 £9,000
Year 4 Honours free free

4th year free only for students studying full-time, on continuous study, who have paid for the previous three years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) - £1,500.

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living while studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

  2019-202020-21
Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £11,650 £12,000
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year** £5,820 £6,000
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)** £1,940 £2,000

Part-time study is not open to international student requiring Student Route visa sponsorship to study in the UK.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

Funding

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact your enrolling college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed your BA (Hons) Literature course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Teaching and education
  • Academia
  • Publishing
  • Museum and archives
  • Charities
  • The Media
  • Heritage sector
  • Creative arts
  • Marketing and PR
  • Government
  • Writer
  • Research

The highly developed critical, analytical and communication skills you will acquire through your studies will make you a strong candidate for a wide variety of careers.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the BA (Hons) Literature to

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

There are some amazing opportunities for students; from guest lecturers to workshops, courses and events. This year I’ve taken part in the Literature Society as President. We put on social activities and some campuses hold weekly book swapping meetings and there are larger events to attend such as the AyeWrite Festival in Glasgow. These are great ways to get to know and share your love of books with other like-minded students.

Carrie McWilliam studied on the BA (Hons) Literature at Moray College UHI campus

I'd always wanted to challenge myself by studying to degree level so after I had my son I enrolled and graduated with a degree in Literature. I contacted the university's career
centre to help me with my future career path.
They helped me think about the knowledge
and skills I already had and those which I
wanted to improve upon as well as suggesting
volunteer opportunities to enhance my CV.
The centre was really easy to access and they
helped me practise mock interview questions
so I was more relaxed when the real thing
came.

I now have a career as a library assistant and
I am also taking a course in supporting adult
literacies learning, which will allow me to become an assistant tutor with adult basic education. The careers centre has been an invaluable tool in helping me achieve these goals and I would highly recommend using it. 

Helen Haslam graduated with a BA (Hons) Literature from our Inverness College UHI campus

I’ve been writing for our local paper, the Lochaber Times, as well as having more of my work accepted for publications such as The Selkie and Caught by the River. I'm delighted to have won the Katharine Stewart Award from Moniack Mhor, which was amazing, so I’m looking forward to working on a book proposal during the writers retreat that is part of the award.
I also work as a relief library assistant at Fort William library and I’ve been invigilating at West Highland College UHI. All this still fits around my family and I love the variety of the work. It’s been wonderful to build on the skills and knowledge that I gained during my degree and I’m looking forward to the
university's new MRes in Eco-literature which I plan starting in September. 

Kirsteen Bell graduated with a BA (Hons) Literature
from our West Highland College UHI campus

Apply for Literature BA (Hons)

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2021

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.