BA (Hons) English & Film

Undergraduate, Full-time

English & Film BA (Hons)

The top UK modern university for English (1st of 53)

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021


Explore literature in its most modern context alongside film theory and criticism in this Joint Honours degree.

The BA (Hons) in English and Film degree will deepen your interest, understanding and knowledge of important texts, genres and concerns in modern literature from across a wide and diverse area of cultural studies, including: popular culture, genre fiction and film, adaptation studies, TV studies, new media, creative writing, critical psychology, and socially-relevant modules examining cultural representations of crime, urbanism, ecology, terrorism, global conflict, and more.

You'll also gain a strong foundation in a range of global cinemas, including the theoretical and historical debates that have helped to shape our understanding of film.

This course will develop your critical and theoretical skills, and help prepare you for a career in a number of areas of the cultural and creative industries.

The course provides the opportunity to study at a partner university overseas, or take a work placement in industry.

The BA (Hons) in English and Film is not a practical film-making course. However, the University does offer plenty of other practical courses in this area, in both film and television. Visit our media study area for further details.

We have a 96% satisfaction rate for our English & Film course (National Student Survey, 2020)

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Mode of Study:



4 years

Start date:


UCAS code:


About you
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Course details

You'll explore genre, narrative, adaptation, film technology, documentary, experimental filmmaking and contemporary trends in film theory and criticism.

A lot of emphasis is placed on the diversity of cinematic practices, as well as the social, political, cultural, historical and philosophical contexts within which films are produced.

English is studied from the early nineteenth century to the present day, providing a truly modern and interdisciplinary approach to literature. This will allow you to develop an appreciation of different genres and explore the value of literature in the modern world.

You'll have the opportunity to study film and literature side by side, across a range of modules and delve into debates around issues of genre, gender and practice.

A vibrant city with a great literary and cinematic heritage, Edinburgh offers a wonderful learning environment and plenty of relevant cultural events, such as the Edinburgh International Film Festival and International Book Festival.

This is a full-time course studied over four years. You'll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, workshops and independent study.

Module choices in creative writing and screenwriting will allow you to apply your understanding of literature and film to your own creative work.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs that are mandatory to pass the course. 

All compulsory texts studied on the programme should be available in the university library.  Accessing those texts may require student organisation, such as requesting ahead of time if available copies are all on loan.  Many texts are available for free online via the university library holdings, through major online repositories such as, Jstor, and similar databases.  Some readings are digitised and provided via the Moodle virtual learning environment.  Any films or visual materials studied are usually accessible for free through Box of Broadcasts, or a screening is put on.

However, many students like to have their own copies of compulsory texts.  This can be advantageous in terms of notetaking and detailed engagement over an extended period.  Texts we teach are mostly available in mass-market paperback, and copies can often be obtained cheaply secondhand.

It may also be useful to allow a budget for printing materials (although submission is now almost entirely electronic), and to have a storage device for your work such as a USB stick (although networked storage is available via university computers).

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    Academic modules are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and independent study. Some of your film modules are taught at the Screen Academy Scotland.

  • note and pen Assessments

    All your modules are assessed by coursework, including: essays; presentations; creative writing options; reading diaries; online writing activities, such as blogs and discussions. There are no formal sit-down exams on modules offered by the English teaching team.

  • briefcase Work placement

    Our dedicated placement scheme offers the opportunity to:

    • Gain teaching experience in primary or secondary schools in Edinburgh
    • Participate in our award-winning partnership with the Scottish Prison Service
    • Apply for research project internships.
  • study abroad Study abroad

    Our study abroad schemes give you the opportunity to apply to study at foreign universities, including:

    • Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
    • Ryerson University Toronto, Canada.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to Literature: Texts and Contexts
  • Reading Texts: Analysing Film, Literature & Culture
  • Critical Contexts: Introduction to Literary Criticism and Theory
  • 19th Century Literature and Culture
  • Literature & Adaptation
  • Film History

Year 2

  • The Modern Novel
  • Contemporary Hollywood Cinema
  • Film Theory

Three option modules from:

  • Popular Culture
  • Modern Drama
  • Narratives of Social and Sexual Deviance: Rethinking the Victorians
  • Literature of Empire: Texts & Contexts
  • Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice
  • American Outlaws: Modern American Writing
  • Global Literatures of Conflict
  • Film Production Management
  • A non-subject specific option (from a range of set choices)

Year 3

  • 21st Century Literature
  • Cultural and Literary Theory: Debates and Applications

Four option modules from:

  • Science Fiction: Text & Film
  • Women’s Writing & Filmmaking
  • Unacknowledged Legislators: Poets in History and Society
  • Everyday Life in 20th Century Literature and Film
  • Creative Writing: Genre Writing
  • Narratives of Nature
  • The First World War and Modernity
  • TV Studies: An Introduction
  • TV Scriptwriting
  • Film Production Management (if not taken in Year 2)
  • Work-Related Learning in Film
  • Copyright in Photography, Film and Literature

Year 4

  • Dissertation

Four option modules from:

  • Post-colonial Fiction & Film
  • Modern Scottish Fiction
  • Lateness and the Modern
  • Reading Experiments: Children’s Literature and Science
  • Cities Real & Imagined
  • Crime in Text & Film
  • The Gothic Tradition
  • Fictions of Terror
  • Memoir, Documentary and the Essay Film
  • Critical Psychology


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements indicate both Standard and Minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

Standard Entry Requirement

ABBB including English.

Minimum Offer Entry Requirement

BBBC including Grade B in English.

You may be given an Offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. For further information, see our entry requirements and admissions policies.

A Level

BCC including English.

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2, H2, H2, H3 at HL including English.


Pass HNC in a related subject with Grade B in the graded unit.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a related subject, plus A Level English Grade C.

BTEC (QCF) National Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades D*D* (Distinction*, Distinction*) in a related subject, plus A Level English Grade C.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

Award of Diploma with 29 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6,5,5 including English.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult or Mental Health)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland £1,820 tba
England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 tba
Overseas and EU £13,770 tba

Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by mainland EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here. For EU students who commenced their studies prior to 1 August 2021 or hold pre or settled status in the UK, fees will remain the same as Scottish Students.

Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next.
For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees

Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships


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Career opportunities include:

  • Writer
  • Teacher 
  • Publisher
  • Film Producer
  • Scriptwriter
  • Arts Administrator

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