Department of European Languages and Cultures

Welcome to the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC) at the University of Edinburgh.

We teach degree programmes in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, and offer courses in Basque, Catalan, Icelandic, Nynorsk and Old Norse.

Our undergraduate MA (Hons) programmes take four years to complete, including a full year studying or working abroad in Year 3. All programmes can be taken on a single honours basis, or as a joint honours programme combining a language with one of a range of other subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Most can be taken with no prior knowledge of the language. 

Our interdisciplinary postgraduate environment brings together our expertise in European languages with teaching and research in film, literature, theatre, the other arts, and translation. Programmes span a range of eras and themes, from medieval literatures to gender.

Contact us

Open Language courses in French, German, Icelandic, Italian and Spanish are free to all University of Edinburgh students. You can take one at any stage of your undergraduate or postgraduate programme. Each course lasts one semester and can be taken for 20 credits or for extra credit, depending on your other study commitments. Foundation 1 classes are suitable for complete beginners.

Find out more about Open Language courses


Joining us in September?

Have you missed some language learning during the pandemic? Perhaps you’re joining us to start a European language from scratch?

If you’re starting a European language degree and are a little nervous about the disruption of the last year, we have developed a suite of resources for each of our subjects to help you hone your language skills and cultural understanding.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a complete beginner. You are definitely not alone. Where relevant, we’ve split the resources into 1A and 1B to reflect the different levels at which our students join us.

We very much look forward to meeting you in September.

Look at our resources on Learn

QS World Rankings by Subject 2021

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages and Arts & Humanities. 

Globally, we are placed 13th in the world. 

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

They are International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.

Browse the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 on Top Universities

DELC Creative is a space for everyone in European Languages and Cultures to come together, practise our languages, and do something creative.

Read Babble Issue 6 - music

Prospective undergraduates

We offer a range of undergraduate courses in the study of European languages as a stand alone course, or in conjunction with another area of study.

Choose from a wide range of taught interdisciplinary and research-led programmes, from one-year masters degrees to PhDs.