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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Common Courses

Undergraduate Course: Literature and Culture in Medieval Europe (ELCC08002)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA broad introduction to the literature of Western and Northern Europe from Middle Ages. Literary texts and some aspects of visual art from different language areas (France, Germany, Italy, Scandinavian countries and Spain) will be studied in the context of broader cultural and socio-political developments. All texts will be read in English translation. There are no formal entry requirements.
Course description LCME aims to introduce students to a number of key concepts and issues of the European Middle Ages through the study of a selection of important literary texts. As well as considering problems posed by the parallel evolution of European cultural identities and awareness of national allegiances, the course will introduce students to key issues in early literary study, e.g. form and genre, orality, tradition and literacy. The study of the set texts will be approached thematically through topics such as national epic and saga, the courtly experience, religion and humanism.
After a general introduction to some elements of medieval culture that will help set the context (medieval world view and the role of religion/Christianity, orality and manuscript tradition etc.), the semesters are divided into distinct blocks dedicated to the study of set texts from different language areas (the texts are likely to include sagas, epic poetry and Arthurian romance etc., but we reserve the right to change this). Students are expected to read the texts in advance, in preparation for each week; a full reading list will be provided at the start of the course. The classes themselves will be delivered in a mix of lectures and seminars where students will be expected to contribute actively to the discussion of given questions and issues. Seminar outlines that show the questions to be addressed in each class will be made available via LEARN at the beginning of the course, allowing students to prepare for the sessions.
In addition to developing knowledge and understanding of a selection of medieval European texts in their cultural and socio-political contexts, students will be able to further develop a range of graduate skills such as cultural awareness, independent learning and time management, oral and written communication skills, attention to detail.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Purchase of set texts.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a broad understanding of medieval European literature, including major literary developments and representative authors/texts, as well as a broad understanding of the main currents in European medieval history, culture and politics.
  2. appraise texts within their historical and cultural contexts using appropriate literary vocabulary and terminology, and a range of critical approaches and methods of interpretation.
  3. engage with and interpret layers of meaning within individual texts and between groups of texts.
  4. develop effective communication, presentation and interaction skills.
  5. demonstrate self-reliance, initiative, and the ability to work flexibly with others as part of a group.
Reading List
Full reading lists will be made available to students via Learn at the start of the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university's graduate and employability skills framework at
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 contact hours per week; mix of lecture and seminar.
Course organiserDr Sabine Rolle
Tel: (0131 6)50 3670
Course secretaryMrs Vivien MacNish Porter
Tel: (0131 6)50 3528
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