The MA (Hons) in English will teach you to closely read texts across a range of genres and historical eras, and to consider the ideas, human values and historical forces that have helped shape literature.
As part of your degree, you will be introduced to a wide spectrum of literary works, from medieval texts in Old English and Scots to Renaissance plays, contemporary poetry, revolutionary 19th-century novels and more.
More information for 2020 entry will be available in September 2019. For information on the current year of entry for this course, see the 2019 page.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
Standard entry grades: AAAAB, including A in English
Minimum entry grades: AABB, including A in English
Gateway entry grades: BBBB, including B in English
Standard entry grades: AAA, including A in English or English Literature
Minimum entry grades: ABB, including A in English or English Literature
Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in English
Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL6 in English
We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.
For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 8.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.
Students must have studied one of the following subjects at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, or equivalent:
Faculty entry requirements
You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.
SQA National 5 (B) or equivalent in English and one SQA National 5 (B) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Lifeskills Mathematics (A grade)
GCSE (B or 5) in English, English Language or English Literature, and one GCSE (B or 5) from the following:
Computing Science or equivalent
Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.
St Andrews students meet with their Adviser of Studies at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.
The School of English at the University of St Andrews enjoys an international reputation as a centre for both academic research and literary creativity.
The University of St Andrews as a whole was voted top in the UK for student academic experience in The National Student Survey 2018 as 94% of St Andrews final year students gave the University top marks for the quality of the learning and teaching experience.
The University has secured a TEF Gold award for the quality of teaching and the undergraduate experience.
A degree in English from St Andrews will open doors to a large and varied number of possible careers.
A degree in English from St Andrews demonstrates to employers that you are a good writer with the ability to craft and edit prose in English. It shows you are able to absorb and process information and are good at conducting research. It shows that you are good at verbal and written communication and that you have high-level analytic skills. These are skills that are invaluable in most jobs.
Career destinations for recent graduates include:
internships with the United Nations
writers and editors (Oxford University Press, Penguin Books, Harper Collins and more)
sales (Waterstones and WHSmith)
art administration (the Barbican Centre and Sotheby's)
public policy (Scottish Executive and the British Council)
the financial sector (KPMG and Satander).
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Students on the English programme may participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the Study Abroad site.
From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.
Students of English may be interested in joining the following student societies:
Book Club holds regular meetings to discuss books and create a welcoming society for all.
Inklight is a creative writing society which runs poetry slams, open mic nights, workshops and an annual journal of student writing.
The School of English is situated in Castle House, a beautiful Victorian building situated directly in front of the St Andrews Castle ruins on the coast. English students will usually attend lectures, seminars and tutorials here.
The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located in town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.
“It is the passion and enthusiasm of the lecturers that makes English here great. Everyone is extremely encouraging and willing to offer additional assistance. There are weekly writing labs that are open to every English student. These sessions focus on a specific topic each week, with the aim of helping everyone improve their essay writing skills.”
Euan (Perth and Kinross, Scotland)
School of English University of St Andrews Castle House The Scores St Andrews KY16 9AR
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).