English Literature

English Literature at the University

Edinburgh is proud to house the oldest department of English Literature in the world, having first offered courses on ‘rhetoric and belles lettres’ nearly 250 years ago.

Distant view of Edinburgh Castle at night

Located at the heart of the city, in close proximity to all the major cultural centres associated with a capital, the department today remains a vigorous centre of scholarship, teaching and learning.

In the last two UK University Research Exercises it was recognised as one of the premier departments in the country. The 2008 exercise confirmed this position, assessing Edinburgh's English Literature department as one of the best three in the United Kingdom.

In 2012-2013 English Literature was the proud recipient of the Best Department award in the Edinburgh University Student Union Teaching Awards.

Extending its rich scholarly tradition, the department is committed to moving with the times, constantly updating courses and teaching methods in line with the latest advances in the field. A broad range of teaching and research interests allows us to offer an unusually large variety of courses on our undergraduate programmes in all areas and aspects of literature in English from the medieval period to the present day. The same depth and breadth of expertise enables us to support a wide range of exciting programmes for postgraduate study.

Our staff are all active researchers, working at the cutting edge of their various fields. We are also committed to working closely with institutions beyond the university to advance, support and celebrate the critical study of literature in all its forms.