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.


What’s most energising in the classroom is when we work together to analyse and appreciate fully the power of language in shaping our individual and collective experiences. The study of literatures, languages, and cultures is ultimately a study in how our social world has come to be - and how it can be transformed!

Dr Ben Bateman, 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.
  • 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 full of cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums and galleries, and we have over 280 student societies.


Through small-group tutorials, autonomous learning groups, peer-assisted learning, and various activities preparing you to do things like study abroad or write a dissertation, LLC works to enrich each phase of your academic, personal, and professional development.

Dr Ben Bateman, 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 application dates.

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

Fees and funding

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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.

Take me to the Tuition Fees website

Get to know us better

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Talk to a current student

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QS World Rankings by Subject 2024

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

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

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

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