English and Scottish Literature

Undergraduate study | English and Scottish Literature

Based in the first UNESCO World City of Literature, we are the oldest department of English Literature in the UK; one of the longest established in the world. Study with us and develop your analytic, linguistic and creative skills by engaging with a broad range of texts and a variety of approaches to reading.

Why study literature in Edinburgh?

Studying literature prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important. It shows an openness to ideas and perspectives other than your own, an essential attribute in many careers and a global marketplace.

Our programmes will enhance your unique literary and critical faculties. In Years 1 and 2, you will explore the cultural contexts of writing in English (and, where relevant, Scots) from around the world, from the late Middle Ages to the present. At honours level (Years 3 and 4), you will select courses on the basis of your own interests in specific topics, periods or genres.

Our large community has lots to offer, including reading and writers' groups, poetry slams, creative writing and publishing opportunities, and student theatre. As well as multiple student societies, we also have a thriving Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme (LitPALS), a fantastic Writer-in-Residence, and annual writing prizes for prose and verse.

You’ll be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh in a world-leading festival city with an unrivalled range of libraries, collections and literary venues. These include the National Library of Scotland, Scottish Poetry Library, Writers’ Museum, and Scottish Storytelling Centre. We also have strong links with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which annually welcomes around 1,000 authors to our literary city.

One of the best things about studying in Edinburgh is how the cultural history and contemporary social ethics interweave with literature's narrative to cultivate a great love in its study. With an extensive library and writing festivals, studying English Literature has been a thoroughly fulfilling experience.

CarinaYear 4, English Literature MA (Hons)

QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

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

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

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

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.

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