Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: English Language

Why choose English Language at the University of Edinburgh?

  • We are ranked in the world's top 10 universities for English language and literature in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024. We conduct world-leading research in English language and linguistics.

  • The English Language programme offers a large number of course options.

    You will gain a strong foundation in linguistic concepts and ideas. You will also look at the development of English from pre-history and the language of early Britain, to modern English and its status as the global language of the 21st century.

  • You will learn from world-class language scientists with a wide range of specialities, including:

    • sociolinguistics
    • historical phonology
    • dialectology and syntax
    • Old English and varieties of English and Scots
Study abroad

The programme is equipping us with multiple essential and transferable skills which will prove useful.

The skills of close reading, critical analysis, and ability to adjust the writing to fit a particular style or a set of criteria are among the assets which seem particularly crucial for my future aspirations.

Roman Ashurbekov MA English Language and Literature, Class of 2023
Roman Ashurbekov MA English Language and Literature, Class of 2023

Introducing English Language

English Language involves the study of change in English. At Edinburgh, we have a strong tradition of investigating variations of the language, including:

  • Scots
  • distinct dialects of English
  • international variations

The English language has a well-recorded history of more than 1,000 years. Its changes can be traced through:

  • medieval manuscripts
  • text messages
  • recordings of spoken English

Using techniques from modern linguistics, you will analyse the structure of written and spoken English and explore how the language has changed through time.

You will be able to identify the similarities and differences between the features of English and other languages.

You can also study modern-day varieties of English and Scots