English at St Andrews
The School enjoys an international reputation as a centre for both academic research and literary creativity.
The School was ranked eighth in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, with 70% of its research and writing rated as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
There are around 700 undergraduates, all taught in small groups in the first two years.
Information on the degree structure is available in the Course Catalogue.
The School also offers courses through the University's evening degree programme.
There are also study abroad opportunities, through the School’s North American, Australian and European exchange partners.
Our postgraduates number around 90, and enjoy their own dedicated postgraduate facility.
At postgraduate level, in addition to research degrees, the School offers a range of taught MLitt degrees in fields including Creative Writing (the first such programme to be established in Scotland).
Research postgraduates may act as research assistants, and postgraduates in their second year may be invited to work as Teaching Assistants.
There are now more than 25 permanent members of staff, most of them full-time appointments, and many other Teaching Fellows, Honorary Lecturers, and Honorary Professors.
Creative writers on the permanent staff include:
- John Burnside
- Robert Crawford
- Lesley Glaister
- Don Paterson
- Jacob Polley
- Susan Sellers
St Andrews was one of the first universities in the world to teach English literature. Several of the great medieval Scottish poets, including William Dunbar and Gavin Douglas, studied literary texts in Latin at St Andrews.
St Andrews students were among those who took the new subject to America, India and elsewhere - long before its emergence as part of the curriculum of English universities.
Later in the university's evolution, the great Romanticist William Knight helped pioneer a system of women's university education which extended from St Andrews to Cairo, Cape Town, and other centres around the globe.
The School's richest inheritance, however, is its collegiality: we pride ourselves on our friendliness, and on our common enthusiasm for great literature.