You can research for MLitt, MPhil and PhD in English, Film and Visual Culture and Linguistics. Current staff research includes Romanticism, Scottish Enlightenment, the novel, radicalisation, popular culture.

The School offers opportunities for research in the literature and languages of the British Isles and America from the earliest written sources to the present day, and in Film and Visual Culture.

The programmes in English are distinguished for research on canonical authors and on contextualising approaches to literature. We also have a strong tradition of textual scholarship. We have long standing links with other programmes, particularly History, Philosophy, Cultural History and Modern Languages, and with research centres, such as

  • the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies,
  • the Centre for Linguistic Research,
  • the Centre for Early Modern Studies,
  • the Walter Scott Research Centre,
  • the Centre for Modern Thought and
  • the Elphinstone Institute.

These provide an infrastructure for interdisciplinary study. All research students in English, Linguistics or Film and Visual Culture take an induction course in their first semester. In addition, they take a series of dedicated courses that train them in the specific skills required for research in literature or linguistics and in the effective presentation of their work. There is also a dedicated linguistics project room and a fully equipped phonetics laboratory with computer facilities for research students in language and linguistics.

Throughout the year, the School and the University organise seminars, symposia and conferences that provide opportunities for postgraduates to develop their professional skills through observation and participation.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MLitt, MPhil or PhD

Our Research

Early Modern Literature

The English Department has a thriving group of early modernists with research interests covering the major authors and the interactions of literature and culture in the period.

The Walter Scott Research Centre with which four members of the Department are directly associated, has the study of Scott and his relationship to the development of romanticism and the novel as its central focus. Between 1710 and 1836, the University of Aberdeen was a copyright library, and so it was able to assemble particularly rich holdings for 18th and 19th century studies. The fiction collection for the period is one of the best in the world. Other noteworthy materials include the MacBean collection of Jacobite and related texts and the Bernard C Lloyd Walter Scott collection.

Scottish and Irish Literature

Research and publication on the history, literature and languages of Scotland is a major strength of the Department. The strong linguistic and cultural links between Scotland and Ireland are explored in the taught MLitt in Irish & Scottish Studies.

Language and Linguistics

Linguistics is a vibrant and rapidly expanding part of the School with strong postgraduate programmes at both the PhD and Master’s level. There are five full time staff members in Language and Linguistics who are able to supervise postgraduate research on a wide variety of topics within the general fields of linguistics and English language, with a particular focus on sociolinguistics, socio-historical linguistics, discourse analysis and applied linguistics. Our own research areas cover everything from colonial and postcolonial English through spoken Scots, language contact and change, to methods of dialect research, English language teaching, forensic linguistics and aspects of bilingualism.

Film and Visual Culture

The Film and Visual Culture Department at the University of Aberdeen offers a progressive approach to researching this influential and vibrant area of study.

Embedded in the scholastic traditions of a university founded in 1495, Aberdeen's Film and Visual Culture programme combines interaction with top researchers, an attractive teaching environment and excellent facilities. Students can also elect to engage with practice-based work at MLitt and PhD level, utilizing our Media Lab HD production and post-production facilities. MLitt and PhD film examples can be found on the Department's web site Video page.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the MPhil or PhD must provide a detailed research proposal and two academic references from their most recent academic institution.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Fees and Funding

View the tuition fee rates

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


Graduate studies in the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture emphasise independent research and effective oral and written communication. As such, as well as being prepared for a career in academia, they are a useful asset for careers in the media, the civil service, and the newer, information-driven sectors of service industries.

At postgraduate level, there is scope for crossover between disciplines, allowing those with a background in science or the social sciences to develop their interests in the humanities. Students who choose to specialise in language and linguistics at undergraduate level will be well qualified to apply for postgraduate degrees in, for example, foreign language teaching, speech and language therapy, journalism and broadcasting, or areas relating to information and communication technology. This makes postgraduate work in the School an avenue to a wide variety of careers.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Contact Name
Dr Andy Gordon
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King's College
AB24 3UB