Andrew Barr

Writing has always been my passion and studying at Napier gave me the drive and understanding to pursue it after graduation. The English & Film course first appealed to me because of the diversity of subjects involved. I was particularly interested in the emphasis on broader cultural studies as a way of grounding literature in its political and social contexts.

The course is also quite flexible and gives you the freedom to pursue your own interests, especially in the final two years. There are some really fascinating module options. I particularly enjoyed Post-colonial Fiction, the Twentieth-Century Scottish Novel and Cities Real & Imagined.

I graduated from Napier in July 2014, two months before the Scottish independence referendum. It was a really exciting time for young people to get involved with the world around them and I think my studies at the university contributed to my curiosity for new ideas, my critical faculties and my understanding of current affairs in the cultural context.

My studies in Scottish literature in particular grounded me in the knowledge I needed to understand events as they were unfolding across the country, and I completed my studies by writing a dissertation on the poetry and politics of Hugh MacDiarmid. I also enjoyed the literature we studied from all corners of the globe, charting many different struggles and experiences through theory, novels and poetry.

After university I wrote a book about the referendum experience, Summer of Independence: Stories from a Nation in the Making, which was picked up by a publisher in Edinburgh and released in 2016. I was delighted when the book featured amongst The Scottish Review of Books’ picks of the year. It was great to see one of my lecturers turn up to the book launch even though it had been two years since I’d left the university. I think that’s a good example of the kind of support and encouragement you can find at Napier.

I’m currently working on a new book which I hope to see published in the coming years. My time at Napier helped nurture a broad cultural understanding which I believe can be applied to many avenues and vocations, and I’d certainly recommend the course to prospective students.

Study English at Edinburgh Napier