When you come to study literature at Edinburgh you are joining a large and vibrant community of students and scholars engaged in exploring the varying and vital roles that literary writing plays in our lives and societies.
Your lecturers are internationally recognised experts in their fields, ready and able to share their expertise with you. Your degree programme will enable you to study a wide range of literary texts from the medieval period to the present day. In your honours years it will also permit you to specialise by choosing courses from an unrivalled range of possible options, each course drawing on the enthusiasm and specialist knowledge of one of your lecturers.
Single honours students will be required, and combined honours students may choose, to write a dissertation on a topic entirely of their own devising, guided by the advice of an academic supervisor.
Throughout your time with us, you’ll also have a Director of Studies, to whom you can turn for academic advice and support.
You’ll be taught in tutorials, seminars, workshops and lectures, with the emphasis placed on teaching and learning in smaller groups: tutorials vary in size from 6-9, while seminars range from 10-15.
You’ll also be required to undertake substantial reading each week in preparation for classes, some of which you’ll discuss with your classmates in scheduled preparatory learning groups. Your progress will be assessed through close reading exercises, essays, assignments and exams, and you’ll receive prompt feedback on all your coursework to help you improve as you go on.
Edinburgh is UNESCO's first World City of Literature. Outstanding libraries are among the many factors that make the city an ideal place for literary study. As well as the wealth of resources in the recently refurbished main University Library, honours students will find themselves only a short walk from the National Library of Scotland, one of the finest bibliographical collections in Europe.
We work closely with the Students’ Association Literature Society to produce a programme of exciting events each year. The city houses the Writers’ Museum, the Scottish Poetry Library, and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, who have their own ongoing programme of activities, exhibitions and events. There are reading groups, writers’ groups, poetry slams, readings and seminars taking place each week, all year round - so there are plenty of opportunities for you to indulge your enthusiasms between classes.
With its annual programme of summer festivals the attraction of the city for those with an interest in the performing arts is obvious. Students also enjoy attending productions in the city's many theatres, or working with the University's long established and thriving drama society, which has helped to launch more than a few careers in the performing arts.
Courses are available at undergraduate and postgraduate level for those interested in creative writing; the University’s Writer in Residence is housed in the Department and is available for consultation.
This article was published on Jun 15, 2012