content Why choose us? content

Why choose us?

Why choose us?

The single and joint-honours literature degrees at the University of the Highlands and Islands offer you the opportunity to study a wide range of literary texts, theories and movements across all periods. On our degrees you will study texts and authors from Scotland and the UK, as well as from other English- and non-English-speaking countries (in translation).

We are all enthusiastic about our subjects, and many of our modules are based on the research we conduct.

The essential aim of all the literature-related degrees is to produce highly motivated graduate literary scholars with the skills, knowledge and abilities to progress to a wide range of employment and further study opportunities. 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 also benefit from close partnerships with local organisations such as High Life Highland, and you will learn from internationally-recognised experts in their fields, with interests reflected in our wide variety of modules.

What you will learn content

What you will learn

What you will learn

BA (Hons) Literature (our single honours degree)

In Year 1 and Year 2, single-honours students take 4 ‘mandatory’ literature modules (2 per semester), plus 2 ‘option’ modules from elsewhere in the humanities scheme.

In Year 3 single-honours students take 5 ‘mandatory’ literature modules, plus 1 ‘option’ module.

In Year 4 single-honours students take 4 ‘mandatory’ literature modules (2 per semester), plus the dissertation (which runs across both semesters).

BA (Hons) History and Literature/BA (Hons) Literature and Criminology/BA (Hons) Literature and Politics/BA (Hons) Literature and Sociology/BA (Hons) Literature and Theology/BA (Hons) Scottish History and Literature (our joint honours degrees).

In Year 1 and Year 2, joint-honours students take at least 2 modules from each subject, plus a further 2 ‘option’ modules either from these subjects or from elsewhere in the humanities scheme.

In Year 3 joint-honours students take 3 modules from each subject.

In Year 4 joint-honours students take 3 modules from one subject, and the dissertation plus one module from the other subject.


The following literature modules are offered at the University of the Highlands and Islands (note: some of the Year 3 and Year 4 modules are not available every year).

Year 1

  • Coming Out: Late 19th and 20th-century Theatre
  • Introduction to Gaelic Prose
  • Literary Discoveries: An Introduction to Prose Fiction
  • Reading Poetry: An Introduction
  • Theories of Literature: An Introduction
  • Travellers in the Wilderness: Literature and Exile

Year 2

  • Folklore
  • Heroic Literature: Epic from Classical to Contemporary
  • Introduction to Gaelic Poetry
  • Male Ideals and Female Desires in Medieval Scottish Poetry
  • Theatrical Powerplay: Classical and Modern Tragedy

Year 3

  • Children's Literature
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Glorious Spangs: Material Culture at the Early Modern Court
  • Gaoir nam ban: Gaelic Women’s Poetry 1644 – 1746
  • Imagining New Worlds: Renaissance Literature and Thought
  • Literary Borrowings: Adaptations and Appropriations
  • Nature Writing and Ecology
  • Psychogeography and the City
  • Risk Anything! The Modernist Short Story
  • Romantic Genius: Scottish and European Literature, 1750-1830
  • Modern Times: Popular Culture and Modernism

Year 4

  • Apocalyptic Fictions
  • Avant-garde Literature
  • Iarshader to Iraq: Gaelic Poetry of Conflict from the 19th Century
  • Metafiction: Self-referential Texts
  • Pushing Boundaries
  • Postmodernism and Total War
  • Past and Present: Historiography
  • Satire: The Art of Attack
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Dissertation (Literature)
Our research content

Our research

Our research

Literature is a vibrant research area, and research lies at the heart of what we do. As well as being active writers, editors and peer-reviewers, we use our research as the focus for our teaching and public engagement activities.

With staff based at Inverness, Lews Castle and Perth College UHI, the Literature team works on a wide range of literary, historical, and interdisciplinary projects. Find out more about our  and . We run yearly conferences, and regularly give public talks.

Research is a key element in our teaching activity, and we see our undergraduate students as ‘junior researchers’.

We bring together researchers who explore literary texts, adaptations, drama and non-fiction, and we work with local communities on a variety of public engagement programmes, and knowledge exchanges with museums, archives, libraries and heritage bodies.

Our research explores a number of key themes and issues: there are strengths in particular periods (Renaissance, 18th century, 20th century, contemporary), genres (Science Fiction, Nature Writing, Spy Fiction, Drama, Cinema, Adaptations, Gothic, Poetry, Historical Writing) and themes (gender, identity, place, theory, philosophy, history). Some of us staff are also active creative writers. In particular, our staff are currently involved in research about :

  • Adaptations and adaptation theory
  • Biography and autobiography
  • Eighteenth-century Literature
  • Gaelic literature
  • Gender and erotic writing
  • Gothic
  • Literary Theory
  • Philosophy and History
  • Place and literary tourism
  • Popular culture and cinema
  • Renaissance literature and material culture
  • Science, nature and urban writing
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Scottish and British identity
  • Spy fiction
  • 20th-century and contemporary literature and philosophy