English Literature

Book History and Material Culture

Study the theory and practice of this rapidly growing area in an innovative programme accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Please note that this programme is not open for entry in September 2020.

Book History is a dynamic and rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary study that explores the book as an artefact in material culture.

Helping us to understand the current communications revolution, it reminds us that ideas circulate through a material world of things, from medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-readers.

Our MSc in Book History and Material Culture will engage you in the latest theoretical debates in the field, while training you in sophisticated methods for studying the material production, circulation and reception of books and print, including rare books, manuscripts and special collections.

Undertaken over one-year (full-time) or two years (part-time), the programme attracts outstanding students from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Having studied with us, they go on to have successful careers in a variety of fields, from publishing to positions in libraries, archives, museums, galleries and academia.

Why study for an MSc in Book History and Material Culture in Edinburgh?

Our programme is based in the Centre for the History of the Book (CHB), one of the oldest and most highly regarded research centres in the field, located in UNESCO’s first City of Literature.

Bringing theory and practice together in new and innovative ways, the MSc is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

Study with CHB and you’ll be part of an international community hosting lectures, seminars, conferences and workshops throughout the year, and with access to the extensive resources of one of the UK’s longest established centres of literary education. This includes the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Research Collections.

In addition to training, coursework and individual research, you’ll have the opportunity to benefit from hands-on experience of working in Edinburgh’s libraries, archives and museums.

Find out more

You can find out more about entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for this programme on the University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder.

Degree Finder links straight through to EUCLID, the online system for applying to postgraduate programmes at the University of Edinburgh. 

Please note that we are not accepting applications to study this programme in 2020. If you are interested in joining us later, applications usually open in October (e.g. October 2020 for September 2021 entry).

Go to the Degree Finder page on the MSc in Book History and Material Culture

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Postgraduate Office.

Work placement

Optional work placements allow students to take advantage of the exceptional resources in Edinburgh for the study of books in order to gain hands-on experience that will be beneficial in their future careers.

Work placement


Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals

Accredited by: