Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: English Literature and Scottish Literature

Why choose English Literature and Scottish Literature at the University of Edinburgh?

  • Edinburgh is the first UNESCO World City of Literature, a fantastic literary city which many greats of English, Scottish and world literature have called home. From the University's Special Collections to the National Library of Scotland, the city's resources for studying literature are exceptional.

  • We are the oldest department of English Literature in the UK; one of the longest-established in the world. We are one of very few universities to teach a full, four-year Honours programme in Scottish Literature.

  • We are ranked third in the UK, and in the world's top 10 universities, for English Language and Literature in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024.

  • Our large community has lots to offer, including reading and writers' groups, poetry slams, creative writing and publishing opportunities, and student theatre. As well as multiple student societies, we also have a Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme for literature and a Writer in Residence.

Study abroad

One of the best things about studying in Edinburgh is how the cultural history and contemporary social ethics interweave with literature's narrative to cultivate a great love in its study. With an extensive library and writing festivals, studying English Literature has been a thoroughly fulfilling experience.

Carina Year 4, English Literature MA (Hons)
Carina Year 4, English Literature MA (Hons)

Introducing English Literature and Scottish Literature

At the University of Edinburgh, you can take a single honours programme in either English Literature or Scottish Literature, or combine both in a joint honours programme.

You can also study literature jointly with one of a wide range of other subjects, including English Language and a number of world languages.

Whichever programme you choose, you will develop critical, analytic, linguistic and creative skills by engaging with a broad range of texts and a variety of approaches to reading.

Our programmes explore the cultural contexts of writing in English from the late Middle Ages to the present.

At honours level (Years 3 and 4), you will select courses on the basis of your own interests in specific topics, periods or genres.

Teaching takes place in the University of Edinburgh's central area in a world-leading capital city. Home of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the city's outstanding libraries, collections and literary venues include the:

  • National Library of Scotland
  • Scottish Poetry Library
  • Writers’ Museum
  • Scottish Storytelling Centre

Studying literature prepares you to contribute to a society in which an understanding of texts of all kinds is crucially important. It shows an openness to ideas and perspectives other than your own, an essential attribute in many careers and a global marketplace.