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 at St Andrews, 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.


Undergraduate - 2020 entry

English MA (Hons)
English BA (International Hons)
Gateway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Arts Pathway to MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

You can take English MA (Hons) with another subject as part of a joint degree.

International Foundation programmes - 2020 entry

International Foundation programmes prepare international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Social Sciences and Humanities September Foundation
Social Sciences and Humanities January Foundation 

Postgraduate - 2020 entry


Creative Writing MLitt
Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture MLitt
Postcolonial and World Literatures MLitt
Romantic and Victorian Studies MLitt
Shakespeare and Renaissance Literary Culture MLitt
Medieval English  MLitt
Playwriting and Screenwriting  MLitt
Women, Writing and Gender  MLitt

Research degrees

Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD, MPhil and MSt Res opportunities.

The University also offers an MFA degree in Creative Writing. Find out more about entry requirements and applying for the MFA degree.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 1 April 2020
  • Wednesday 8 April 2020
  • Wednesday 15 April 2020

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 11 March 2020

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Research in English

The School of English has a dynamic research culture, which involves staff, postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows in attending and organising international conferences and literary festivals; in undertaking collaborative research and archival projects; as well as in the individual work of scholarly editing and writing monographs and works of literature.

Research work is divided into four groups, of which staff are members and postgraduate students are associate members. These groups have individual budgets and organise research activities such as reading groups, conferences and visits by distinguished scholars and writers. The research groups are:

The School of English is also involved in a number of research centres and institutes

Careers for graduates in English

The skills you gain through studying English are marketable in most career areas. Perhaps the major strength of all English graduates is communication skills, both in speech and in writing. Other skills you will develop during your degree include critical analysis, structuring information, organisation of time and workload, and effective IT skills.

English graduates typically find employment with:

  • banks
  • publishers
  • advertising agencies and the media
  • PR companies
  • UK Home Civil Service
  • the National Health Service (NHS)
  • retailers
  • finance
  • educational institutions
  • voluntary and charitable organisations
  • libraries
  • leisure industries and the tourist trade
  • social services.

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Work experience

Work experience is invaluable when it comes to securing graduate-level employment. There are a number of English-specific opportunities at St Andrews for students to gain work experience:

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available at all levels of study. 


Faculty of Arts scholarships offer financial assistance for students studying in the Faculty of Arts who are academically gifted but would otherwise struggle with the cost of studying at St Andrews. 

Undergraduate scholarships


The School of English offers a small number of awards for applicants to postgraduate taught courses. 

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

The School of English research scholarships for PhD and MFA applicants.

The Ewan and Christine Brown scholarship is for postgraduate students undertaking research in English literature. 

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

‌The School of English was ranked first in Scotland and sixth in the UK by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. 86% of the School's research was rated world leading and internationally excellent.

University league tables

English at St Andrews was ranked first in Scotland by the Complete University Guide 2020 and third in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.


School of English
University of St Andrews
Castle House
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2666
Email: english@st-andrews.ac.uk

English website English research portal