English Literature

Why this degree?

We are widely recognised as one of the leading English Literature subject areas in the UK. We take pride in the diversity of our cohort and the commitment to maintaining the highest standards in delivering our exciting programmes. We place research-led teaching at the heart of our mission. Our students explore all aspects of literature in English from the medieval period onwards, benefitting from the staffʼs expertise in a wide range of areas, which include:


  •     Scottish, American, Irish and postcolonial literatures
  •     the relationship between literature and the visual arts
  •     theory and textuality
  •     poetics and politics
  •     medical humanities
  •     science and material culture.
  •     our creative writing programme  is renowned both in the UK and internationally.


Our Honours finalists in 2015-16 gave us an overall satisfaction score of 98% in the National Student Survey. The research carried out in our department was also recognised in the 2014 REF when we were ranked first in Scotland and third in the UK (after Oxford and Cambridge) for ʽresearch powerʼ (the measure of research excellence in relation to the numbers of staff returned to the exercise). This result places Glasgow English firmly within the top 4% of institutions in the UK.

We host one of the UKʼs largest postgraduate communities, with 80 students on our literature and Creative Writing M.Litt. Programmes, and over 60 PhD researchers working on a wide range of English Literature and interdisciplinary projects.

World class resources

Our staff and students benefit from access to the Universityʼs formidable range of archival resources, such as the world-class Hunterian Collection and the University Libraryʼs Special Collections, with strengths in the 18th- and 19th-centuries, travel, illuminated manuscripts and significant single-author holdings (Edwin Morgan, R.D. Laing, D.S. MacColl), as well as Glasgowʼs numerous public collections, libraries and museums.

We are proud to represent the legacy of this ancient civic institution and its continued contribution to the great city of Glasgow and the world.

Teaching in English Literature makes use of an extensive collection of audio-visual resources as well as the Moodle virtual learning environment, while the STELLA laboratory offers opportunities for the study of literature and computing. For those with interests in developing skills in creative writing, professional writers are in residence to provide advice and encouragement.

Teaching Provision

English Literature provides the following full-time teaching programmes:

  • A four year Single Honours Degree in English Literature (MA)
  • A four year Joint Honours Degree in English Literature and any other subject within the College of Arts (MA)

We also contribute towards the three-year non-Honours MA degree.

Career Prospects

An Honours degree in English Literature opens up a wide range of career opportunities, such as (in recent years), administration, journalism and publishing, marketing, management, teaching (at home or overseas), public relations, accountancy, media research.