Research is central to the intellectual life of the English Department and the School of Language & Literature of which it is part. All our full-time academic staff are active researchers who regularly publish books, articles, critical editions and other scholarly works. Many are acknowledged leaders in their field, with international reputations.

The research interests of members of the Department cover a wide range of authors, periods, genres and topics. Particular strengths include prose fiction, Scottish literature, Irish literature, women's writing, textual editing, the history of language, and sociolinguistics. We have scholars working on early modern literature, Enlightenment and Romanticism, Victorian literature, Modernism, post-war and contemporary literature, and American literature.

The University is home to the internationally recognised Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, the new Centre for the Novel, and other established research centres such as the Centre for Early Modern Studies, the Walter Scott Research Centre and the Centre for Linguistic Research. Interests in literary theory, comparative literature, and the relations between literature and other disciplines, are manifest in the newly founded Centre for Modern Thought.

Postgraduates, staff and visiting scholars all contribute to the activities of the research centres, which organise numerous guest lectures, symposia and conferences throughout the year.