English Literature

About us

Welcome to English and Scottish Literature at the University of Edinburgh.

A UNESCO World City of Literature, Edinburgh is a remarkable place to study, write, publish, discuss and perform prose, poetry and drama.

Having first offered courses on ‘rhetoric and belles lettres’ over 250 years ago, we are the oldest department of English Literature in the world.

We teach over 30 single and joint MA undergraduate honours programmes in English and Scottish Literature, all of which take four years to complete, and a full range of taught and research-led postgraduate programmes, from one-year masters degrees to PhDs.

Study with us and you will be based in the historic centre of a world-leading festival city, close to many national libraries, resources and collections.

With expert staff, including a fantastic Writer-in-Residence, and multiple student societies for literature and drama enthusiasts, our large community has lots to offer.

Contact us

Take a single or joint honours degree and develop your analytic, linguistic and creative skills by engaging with a broad range of texts and a variety of approaches to reading.

Choose from a range of taught and research-led programmes and join one of the UK's largest and most vibrant communities of postgraduate English Literature students.

QS World Rankings by Subject 2021

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

Globally, we are placed 7th in the world - a further rise of two places from last year, consolidating our place in the World Top 10. 

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

The Department of English Literature is involved in a variety of research and projects including the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes, Britain’s oldest literary awards.

Find out more about Britain's oldest literary awards.

Contact details and further information about our staff in English Literature