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Choose from 20 PhDs in literatures, languages and cultures at Edinburgh


  School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures


About the Programme

Why take a PhD in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) at the University of Edinburgh?

Doctorate-level study is an opportunity to expand upon your interests and expertise in a community that really values research. As one of the largest and most diverse Schools in the University of Edinburgh, LLC is the ideal place to complete your PhD.

You will work under the guidance of experienced supervisors, and there are many ways to collaborate with experts in the School and beyond to help you develop your doctorate-level skills. These range from regular research and work-in-progress seminars to conferences, workshops, online journals and training opportunities.

We are home to a number of established research centres and networks. Our PhD student community is highly active, running reading groups and other meet-ups to support each other through the opportunities and challenges of PhD life.

Top 5 in the UK

The University of Edinburgh is ranked Top 5 in the UK for research in Modern Languages and Linguistics and in English Language and Literature.

As reported in Times Higher Education, using results from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), the rankings are based on the quality and breadth of our research in Modern Languages and Linguistics and the overall quality of our research in English Language and Literature.

What can I study?

We currently offer 20 PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) programmes:

  • Celtic Studies and Scottish Studies          
  • Chinese
  • Comparative Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • East Asian Studies          
  • English Literature           
  • European Theatre
  • Film Studies      
  • French 
  • German             
  • Intermediality (new for 2023)
  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies         
  • Italian
  • Japanese           
  • Korean Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Russian
  • Scandinavian Studies    
  • Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
  • Translation Studies

Your PhD at a glance

  • You'll be expected to complete an original body of work culminating in a dissertation (or equivalent) of around 80,000 words.
  • You'll study for a minimum of 36 months. If you wish to study part-time, you may take up to 72 months to complete your PhD; eligibility criteria apply.
  • You will be supervised by at least two members of academic staff with expertise in your area of research. Please check the School website for pre-application guidance.
  • You'll typically be based at the heart of the University of Edinburgh, in the city's historic centre, close to the Main University Library and the National Library of Scotland. Our festival city is a treasure trove of cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, galleries and collections.  

How do I apply?

You apply for your programme through the University of Edinburgh's online Degree Finder and its associated application service, EUCLID.

Some PhD programmes publish pre-application guidance; please check our School website for details.

We strongly advise that you apply as early as possible.

How much will it cost and are there any scholarships?

Fees are determined by your nationality and the country where you are ‘ordinarily resident'.

Many scholarships have early deadlines so, to increase your chances of being eligible for a range of awards, you are strongly encouraged to apply for your PhD as soon as possible after the programme opens for application.

Learn more


Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.

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