Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Undergraduate study

Choose from a wide range of single and joint honours degrees spanning 16 subjects across literatures, languages and cultures.

As global dynamics shift, an appreciation 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.

Our School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) offers one of the widest range of languages of any UK university, from Chinese to Scottish Gaelic. We teach all six official languages of the United Nations, and eight of the languages of the European Union. Based in the first UNESCO City of Literature, we are home to the oldest department of English Literature in the UK - one of the longest established in the world - and the oldest Celtic department in Scotland. Arabic has been taught here for over 260 years.

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. Surrounded by world-class resources and collections, we encourage flexible, interdisciplinary learning, with four year undergraduate degrees specifically designed to enable choice and broaden minds.

Our graduates tell us that they value LLC’s friendliness, the connections they have made here 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.

One of the things we do well is help you transition from how you were taught at school and to get the most out of university. This includes developing reading and project management skills, developing your own goals, studying independently and in small groups, and that all-important ability to reflect upon your learning throughout your time with us.

Dr Chris Perkins, Director of Learning and Teaching

Your learning at a glance

  • You can take our 16 core subjects as single honours degrees, or jointly with one of a wide range of other subjects in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. All our subjects are also available as outside subjects to first and second year students who are studying for other degrees, both in our School and elsewhere in the College.
  • You’ll complete a four-year MA degree. If you’re studying a language, your third year will typically be spent in full, or in part, in a country where the language is spoken.  If not, studying abroad is optional.
  • You’ll engage with a broad range of subjects in your first two years, and specialise thereafter, developing your expertise in the areas that interest you most. This flexible approach may enable you to change the focus of your degree.
  • There are lots of support systems to help you with your learning, from your Personal Tutor to our web-based hub, Support for Success in LLC.
  • You’ll typically be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, in the city’s historic centre, close to the Main University Library and the National Library of Scotland. Our festival city is bursting with cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums and galleries, and we have over 280 student societies.

What gets really exciting in the classroom is when we're developing the skills to understand how the world is turned into stories, and how those stories shape the way we see the world and act on the world around us. Stories help us understand the causes and effects in the world, and inform how we think about the world that came before us, and how we imagine the world to come. And stories, especially those we take to be true, are powerful.

Dr Chris Perkins, Director of Learning and Teaching

What can I study?

If you’d like to study on any of our undergraduate programmes, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. There’s lots of information about the application process on the University of Edinburgh website, including detailed entrance requirements and fees.

Go to the University of Edinburgh web page on how to apply for undergraduate study

When can I visit?

Our undergraduate Open Days are a great chance to find out about student life in Edinburgh from the people who know it best: our students and staff. Our next Open Days will be for students wishing to start their undergraduate degree in 2021. The Open Days scheduled for 26th September and 10th October 2020 are currently still planned to go ahead. The University is also working to develop an online alternative for prospective students thinking about starting university in 2021.

Keep up to date with Open Day information on the University of Edinburgh website 

Get in touch

We're currently working remotely as a response to COVID-19, but we're still here to help.

We are working Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. We can’t answer any calls at this time, but you can email us at llc.undergrad@ed.ac.uk and one of us will get back to you as soon as we can. Thank you for your understanding.

The University will be open and ready to teach at the start of the new academic year in September 2020.

If you are holding an offer for undergraduate study with us and want to find out more about the impact of COVID-19 on preparing for and attending University in September, you’ll likely find the answer to your question on the University’s dedicated COVID-19 webpages.

Take to the University’s COVID-19 webpages for new students

Take to the University’s COVID-19 Welcome Back webpages for continuing students

You may also be interested in:

Undergraduate degrees in Classics (including Latin and Greek)

Undergraduate degrees in Linguistics and English Language

Related links:

Find out more about taking outside subjects in your first two years