Choose from a range of taught and research-led postgraduate programmes, from one-year masters to PhDs.
As global dynamics shift, an in-depth knowledge of diverse languages, literatures and cultures becomes ever more relevant, critical and sought after. Influencing the world since 1583, the University of Edinburgh is the ideal place to further your understanding.
The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) offers both focused and interdisciplinary programmes in one of the widest range of languages of any UK university, and in the oldest department of English Literature in the UK - one of the longest established in the world. We are a leading centre for the study of film, including exhibition and curation, and for intermediality, comparative literature, playwriting, and translation.
Our international community is based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, drawing connections between people and cultures both within and beyond our School, and thriving on our place in a global festival city. Events range from research and work-in-progress seminars, to reading groups, conferences, workshops, performances, and online journals and forums, many of which are student-led.
Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they have made 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.
Why take a postgraduate programme?
Whether taught or research-based, a postgraduate programme is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your existing skills, develop new ones, sharpen your focus on the aspects of your subject that interest you most, and make an original, positive contribution to learning in the arts and humanities. By the end of your programme, you will have planned, managed and completed an independent piece of research or creative work under expert supervision, preparing you for a range of careers, including further research.
I came to Edinburgh as a postgraduate student myself and have witnessed since then how the various departments of language, literary and cultural study have really grown into a School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures. I like the fascinating and inspiring research and teaching that is going on in the School, and I really enjoy working with students and staff who bring such a diversity of experiences to LLC. Just hearing different languages as I'm walking down the corridors in 50 George Square makes me feel like I'm part of an international community.
What can I study?
Usually completed over one year (if studying full-time), taught masters (MSc) programmes typically comprise a combination of core and optional courses taught by specialists in the field, training in research methods, coursework, and an independent dissertation or piece of creative work.
Ideal if you have a clear idea of the independent research you wish to undertake, a Masters (MScR) by Research programme is usually completed over one year (if studying full-time). On most programmes, you’ll attend taught classes and complete two pieces of coursework, as well as receiving training in research methods and writing a 15,000 word dissertation under expert supervision. In Scandinavian Studies, there is the option to take a different pathway in which you complete a single dissertation of 30,000 words, as well as training in research methods.
Doctorate-level study is an opportunity to expand upon your interests and expertise by making an in-depth contribution to learning in the arts and humanities. If studying full-time, you'll aim to complete your PhD in three years (six for part-time study), completing an original body of work under the expert guidance of a supervision team.
How and when do I apply?
If you’d like to study on any of our postgraduate programmes, you apply through the University of Edinburgh’s online Degree Finder and its associated application service, EUCLID.
Before choosing the Degree Finder entry for your programme, it’s worth reading the University’s general guide to applying for Postgraduate Study, which includes advice on writing a personal statement, choosing your referees and more.
Degree Finder gives you in-depth information about what you can expect from each of our postgraduate programmes, as well as advice on entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for that programme.
Applications to start a programme in September 2024 are now open.
Fees and funding
Fees depend on your own circumstances and the programme you’re studying.
The University of Edinburgh Tuition Fees website has all the information you need about your fee status, how much you’ll pay to study your chosen programme, and the University’s Fee Policy.
There are a number of funding opportunities, such as scholarship and tuition fee discount schemes, available to our postgraduate students. You can find out which awards you can apply for, and how loans can help finance your study, on our funding pages.
Visit us... virtually
Thinking of joining us? Explore what it's like to study and live in Edinburgh.
- Join us for an online Open Day
- Take a virtual tour of the University of Edinburgh
- Look inside 50 George Square
Get in touch
Many of us work on a hybrid basis - a mixture of on-campus and digitally.
Our working hours are Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm (UK time).
Please email us in the first instance, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
If you are holding an offer to study with us, your enquiry is best answered by the College Postgraduate Admissions team.
QS World Rankings by Subject 2023
The University of Edinburgh is ranked 3rd in the UK for Modern Languages and for English Language and Literature.
We are also 3rd in the UK in the broad subject area of Arts & Humanities.
Globally, we’re in the World Top 10 for Modern Languages (7), English Language and Literature (9) and Arts & Humanities (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
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.
Are you currently studying with us?
There’s lots more information on our LLC Student Information Hub. You will need your student log in to access the site.