Literature expresses the values and aspirations, the certainties and uncertainties of the societies in which it was created. To study English at university is to take up these questions in a rigorous and systematic way, relating them to a literary culture of exceptional richness and diversity, extending over a thousand years and more. In the School of English, eminent scholars and critics of literature from the Middle Ages to the present day work alongside some of Scotland's leading creative writers. As part of your English degree, you can study English, Scottish, Irish and American literature, as well as modules in prose, verse, drama and even film.
The four-year Honours undergraduate degree allows students to read and reflect on a wide variety of literary works (selected from genres, historical eras and other ranges) at levels 1000 and 2000, so that by the Honours years students may make an informed choice of modules from a wide menu. To encourage a wide spectrum of view, we ask Single Honours students to take at least one module from each of the Mediaeval, Early Modern and Eighteenth-Century periods; they also write a dissertation their final year. Work takes the form of essays, along with other kinds of assessed work including oral presentations, electronic projects and creative writing portfolios. The full structure of the degree is explained in the Course Catalogue. The School also participates in a wide range of study abroad schemes, including exchanges with North American, Australian and European universities. In the last few years, some of our students have spent their third year of study at the Universities of California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara), Virginia, William and Mary, Toronto, Western, Queen’s , Dublin (Trinity College), and Vienna. Given its status and reputation, the School places high value on the quality of work and prospective undergraduates are encouraged to read our notes on academic integrity.