BA (Hons) English

Undergraduate, Full-Time

This English degree will address your needs and interests, nurturing an awareness of the enduring appeal of literature and its relevance to the modern world.

  • Napier code:


  • UCAS code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    4 years

  • Award:

    BA (Hons)

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

Study English literature in its cultural-historical context, considering the significance of various texts in society from the Elizabethan age to the present.

You’ll study English within exciting interdisciplinary contexts and benefit from the wide range of subject expertise within the English group.

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with a rich literary heritage, offering an excellent learning environment and lots of world-leading cultural events, such as the International Book Festival. You may also have the opportunity to study abroad through our exchange programme.

This qualification will prepare you for a career in a number of areas of the cultural and creative industries and beyond.


You’ll learn about major genres and critical issues within the field of English studies including a range of subjects from:

  • Shakespeare to transgressive texts
  • Poetry from the Romantic age to the present
  • the modern novel to ecocritical narratives
  • Scottish, Irish and American literatures
  • science fiction to modern drama
  • literary theory to the gothic tradition in literature

This course aims to develop a broad knowledge of the relationships between literature, culture and the modern world. By the end of the course you'll be able to engage in informed and critical readings of literature and to understand the contexts within which works of literature are produced.

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 allow you to apply your understanding of literature to your own creative work.

What you study

Year 1

  • Introduction to Literature
  • 19th Century Literature & Culture
  • Reading Texts: Analysing Film, Literature and Culture
  • Narrative: Text & Film
  • Literature & Adaptation
  • Case Studies in Cultural Studies
  • Option module e.g. Case Studies in Cultural Studies, Introduction to the Web

Year 2

  • Literature of Empire: Texts & Contexts
  • The Modern Novel
  • Narratives of Social and Sexual Deviance: Rethinking the Victorians
  • Shakespeare & the Renaissance
  • Option module e.g. Creative Writing: Starting to Write, Modern Drama, American Outlaws, Global Literatures of Conflict

Year 3

  • Understanding Cultural & Literary Theory
  • Cultural & Literary Theory into Practice

Four option modules from

  • Women's Writing & Film-making
  • Unacknowledged Legislators: Poets in History and Society
  • Science Fiction: Text & Film
  • Introduction to Television Studies
  • Creative Writing: Genre Writing
  • Narratives of Nature
  • First World War and Modernity
  • Starting a New Business
  • Launching Your Graduate Career

Year 4

  • Dissertation

Four option modules from

  • Postcolonial Fiction & Film
  • Modern Scottish Fiction
  • Critical Psychology
  • Lateness and the Modern
  • The Gothic Tradition
  • Cities Real & Imagined
  • Crime in Text and Film
  • Memoir, Documentary and the Essay Film

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

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

This qualification will prepare you for a career in a number of areas of the cultural and creative industries, including:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • teaching
  • arts administration

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

ABBB including English.

Adjusted Offer Entry Requirement

BBBC including Grade B in English.

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet specific widening participation criteria as outlined in our contextual admissions policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies.

A Level

BCC including English.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System: 

B1, B1, B1, B3 at HL to include English.

New Grading System: 

H2, H2, H2, H3 at HL to include 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) Diploma

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 including three HL subjects with grades 6,5,5 including Grade 5 in English.

Minimum year 2

SQA Advanced Higher

BBC including Grade B in English.

A Level

BBB including English.

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades DDD (Distinction, Distinction, Distinction) in a related subject, plus A Level English Grade B.

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.

Our entry requirements indicate the 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.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU £1,820 £1,820
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000 £9,250
Overseas £11,950 £12,350

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Find out more