Emma-Louise Corrin was born in Royal Tunbridge Wells, England. Their father, Chris Corrin, is a businessman, and their mother, Juliette Corrin, is a speech therapist from South Africa. Corrin has two younger brothers, Richard and Jonty.

They attended the Roman Catholic Woldingham School in Surrey, an all-girls boarding school where they developed their interest in acting and dance. Corrin took a gap year, during which they studied Shakespeare at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and volunteered as a teacher at a school in Knysna, South Africa. Corrin initially studied drama at the University of Bristol but later changed to study Education, English, Drama, and the Arts at St John’s College, Cambridge.