Literatures, Languages & Cultures

About us

An international community at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, drawing connections between people and cultures, and surrounded by world-class resources and collections.


Influencing the world since 1583, the University of Edinburgh is the ideal place to further your understanding of, and contribution to, global cultures.

Our School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) offers one of the widest range of languages of any UK university, from Chinese to Scottish Gaelic. We teach all six official languages of the United Nations, and eight of the languages of the European Union.

Based in the first UNESCO City of Literature, we are home to the oldest department of English Literature in the UK - one of the longest established in the world - and the oldest Celtic department in Scotland. Arabic has been taught here for over 260 years.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they have made here and the in-depth guidance of our staff, who are experts in their field and passionate about what they do. We are proud of our traditions, but we are also a place of bold experimentation, always curious.


Our inclusive community

A diverse, equal and inclusive community - which draws together people of all backgrounds, experiences, ages and abilities - is fundamental to who we are as a School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. Find out more about the work of our People and Equalities Committee to make our School as inclusive and supportive as possible for everyone.

Take me to People and Equalities


2016 Silver Sustainability award

The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures was awarded the Silver Sustainability Award in 2016 and again in 2019.

The activity of the school supports the commitment of the University of Edinburgh towards sustainability.


QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

QS graphic on orange background, text reads #3 in the UK, World Top 10

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages and for English Language and Literature.

Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for English Language and Literature (9) and Modern Languages (10).

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings are based on research citations and the results of major global surveys of employers and academics.

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Graphic saying Top 5 in the UK for the quality and breadth of our research

The University of Edinburgh is ranked Top 5 in the UK for research in Modern Languages and in English Literature.

As reported in Times Higher Education, the rankings are based on the quality and breadth of our research in Modern Languages and the overall quality of our research in English Literature.

They come from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) – the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

Read more about our performance in REF 2021