The study of English at the University of St Andrews has a long and distinguished history that is sustained in the scholarly, critical, and creative dynamism of today's School of English.
In the present day, the School enjoys an international reputation as a centre for both academic research and literary creativity. Amongst UK institutions, the School of English has recently been ranked 2nd in the Guardian University Guide and 3rd in the Complete University Guide.
The School's richest inheritance, however, is its collegiality: we pride ourselves on our friendliness, and on our common enthusiasm for great literature.
REF 2014: UK Research Excellence Framework 2014 Results
The School of English has been ranked third in the UK, and first in Scotland, in the most recent league table of research intensive departments (2014). With over 90% of our staff submitted, 86% of our research has been rated world leading and internationally excellent. In the previous research assessment exercise (2008) we were also ranked in the top ten, making the School one of the UK's consistently outstanding research departments.
Still Life With Feeding Snake
On 2 February, Professor John Burnside's most recent collection of poetry, Still Life With Feeding Snake, will be published by Jonathan Cape.
From our earliest childhood experiences, we learn to see the world as contested space: a battleground between received ideas, entrenched conventions and myriad Authorised Versions on the one hand, and new discoveries, terrible dangers, and everyday miracles on the other. As we grow, that world expands further, to include new species, lost continents, the realm of the dead and the lives of others: cosmonauts swim in distant space, unseen creatures pass through a garden at dusk; we are surrounded by delectable mysteries. The question of this contested, liminal world sits at the centre of Still Life with Feeding Snake, whose poems live at the edge of loss, or on the cusp of epiphany, always seeking that brief instant of grace when we see what is before us, and not just what we expected to find.