Literatures, Languages & Cultures

MSc by Research programmes

Develop your subject expertise and research skills at masters level. Choose from 15 programmes across literatures, languages and cultures.

A Masters (MScR) by Research programme is ideal if you have a clear idea for a piece of independent, postgraduate research.

It is typically completed over one year of full-time study, although a two-year, part-time option is available on most programmes (eligibility criteria apply).

On our regular pathway, 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.

We’re here to help you shape your research to suit your interests, skills and intended career path. While many of our students go on to take a PhD, others move into careers in sectors where they can apply project management and research skills in different ways.

What can I study?

All links in our table take you to the University of Edinburgh's online Degree Finder, where you can find out more about what's involved in each MScR. 

Applications for 2022 entry are now open.

Celtic Studies Chinese English Literature
French Gender and Culture German
Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES)


Korean Studies Medieval Studies Russian 

Scandinavian Studies

Scottish Ethnology

Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (Hispanic Studies)

Find out more and apply

You can find out about entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for all our Masters by Research programmes 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.

Applications to start a masters programme in September 2022 are now open.

Take me to Degree Finder

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Take a virtual tour of the central campus, and explore what it's like to study and live in Edinburgh through vlogs, photos, and more.

Get in touch

As a response to COVID-19, many of us are working on a hybrid basis - a mixture of on-campus and digitally.

Our working hours are Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm BST.

Please email us in the first instance, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Email us about MSc by Research programmes

If you are holding an offer to study with us, your enquiry is best answered by the College Postgraduate Admissions team.

Email the College Postgraduate Admissions team 

You may also be interested in the University's Online Mini Open Days which run monthly throughout the year.

Take me to listings for future Online Mini Open Days on the University of Edinburgh website

QS World Rankings by Subject 2021

Graphic with a rocket

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

We are also 3rd in the UK in the broad subject area of Arts & Humanities - 11th in the world.

Globally, we place joint 7th in the world for English Language and Literature, and 13th for Modern Languages.

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.

Where to next?

Take me to all postgraduate study options in Literatures, Languages and Cultures