This programme will be available in 2021-22 and applications will open in Spring 2021.

Delve into the world of English Language and Literature and uncover a variety of historical and contemporary texts. Taught by internationally-renowned specialists, the programme will enhance your understanding of the relationship between language and literature, broaden your knowledge of English literary periods and issues, and trace the development and varieties of the English language.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
Location of Study
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The MLitt English Language and Literature programme provides graduate-level skills and training in a variety of areas of English literature and linguistics. The programme introduces students to specialist knowledge and scholarly approaches in the historical and critical analysis of English language and literature and is ideally suited for students who wish to solidify their skills and expertise in the subject, either in preparation for more intensive and specialist research or in preparation for other careers, including teaching.

You can take this degree as a stand-alone one-year or two-year part-time Master's degree or as a first step towards a PhD (subject to admission to a further degree programme either at Aberdeen or elsewhere). The programme provides an excellent pathway for students eager to study the subject in the context of the British university system, and students who wish to look more closely at the relationship between language and literature.

What You'll Study

Degree Content

Degree Content

Compulsory Courses

You will study the following compulsory courses:

  • Approaching English Language and Literature
  • English Literature and Language Dissertation
  • Placing the Romantic
  • Fundamentals of English Language
Approaching Literature (EL5092)

30 Credit Points

This course examines some critical approaches and theories that have shaped modern literary inquiry. An organising theme of the course is different notions of ‘text’, ranging from historicist definitions of the ‘material text’ to poststructuralist theories of intertextuality and the practice of modern textual editing. The relevance to literature of different types of context is also explored, as are the interpretative possibilities of various forms of ideological critique, including feminism and post-colonialism. Throughout the course students are exposed to a wide variety of primary and secondary texts.

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Advanced English Structure and use (LN5519)

15 Credit Points

English may be analysed at various levels, from the study of individual speech sounds, to investigation of the structure of words, sentences and whole texts. This course will cover each of these levels of linguistic analysis to an advanced level and enable students to apply these skills in a variety of contexts from the teaching of English as a second language to the analysis of language variation in different social contexts.

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Optional Courses

from a selection of optional courses such as:

  • History of the English Language
  • Locations and Dislocations
  • Theories of Literature and Place
  • Placing Romanticism
  • The Novel: Environments and Encounters
  • Scottish Literature

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • E-learning
  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Peer Learning
  • Seminars

Assessment Methods

Assessment methods vary by individual course and include essays, reports, presentations, written exercises and written and oral examinations. The MLitt also requires a 15,000 word dissertation, while the diploma consists of coursework alone.

Courses are assessed through essays, presentations, group and project work. The variety of assessment in the programme ensures that students apply theory to practice and become expert communicators and team players.

Why Study English Language and Literature?

  • Taught by a range of published experts and researchers in the field.
  • Explore the theory and criticism of a range of literary periods and styles.
  • Learn about the history, development, varieties of English language.
  • Excellent opportunity to acquire broad and in-depth knowledge of a variety of English Literary and Linguistic topics.
  • Develop a set of marketable skills to enhance your employability and have opportunities to work in a variety of roles across different sectors including education, marketing and journalism.
  • Gain specialist knowledge, skills and research training in English language and literature.
  • This flexible programme offers a choice of modules meaning you can focus on specific literary periods to pursue your own interests. 

Entry Requirements


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

A 2.1 Honours degree or the equivalent in English Literature or a relevant cognate discipline in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0


OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this programme, or contact

Additional Fee Information

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

The James Carnegie maintenance scholarship for postgraduate students is available with this degree.


Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Postgraduate Virtual Open Day

On Tuesday 18th May, The University of Aberdeen will hold a Postgraduate Virtual Open Day.

It is open to everyone who is interested in Postgraduate Taught and Research study.

Find out more


The programme offers to develop your knowledge and build a set of marketable skills to enhance your employability. English graduates find excellent opportunities across various sectors including education, research, marketing and journalism.

Useful Fact about this Subject

The University of Aberdeen has been ranked 14th in the UK and 3rd in Scotland for English by the Complete University Guide 2021.

Useful Fact about this Subject

The University has also been ranked 5th in the UK and 1st in Scotland for Linguistics by the Complete University Guide 2021.

Useful Fact about this Subject

Research centres including the Centre for the Novel, Sir Herbert Grierson Centre for Textual Criticism and Comparative Literary History and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.

Useful Fact about this Subject

Historic collections including rare printed books, the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, the novels of Sir Walter Scott and an exceptional collection of Charles Dickens' first editions.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
AB24 3FX