Comparative Literature MA
This interdisciplinary MA is taught on an interdepartmental basis by staff who, between them, cover an exceptionally wide range of expertise. The flexible nature of the programme enables students to develop their own interests whilst gaining a thorough understanding of modern literary theory and comparative literature.
Mode of study
- Full-time 1 year
- Part-time 2 years
- UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
- UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
- Overseas Full-time: £16,750
- Overseas Part-time: £8,500
- All applicants: 1 August 2014
More details in Application section.
What will I learn?
Students develop a thorough understanding of modern theories of literature, the contexts of literature and the interaction between literatures, and gain practical experience in comparative literary studies. The programme also develops the critical and analytical skills necessary for research in this field.
Why should I study this degree at UCL?
With its exceptional range of modern and ancient languages and cultures, UCL provides a comprehensive environment for comparative literary study.
Departments housed in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities cover Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish and Yiddish. The School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES) deals with all the major languages, literatures and cultures of Central and Eastern Europe. A co-operation agreement with the nearby School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) covers teaching as well as research and ensures global coverage.
Many UCL staff have comparative and interdisciplinary research interests in addition to their subject specialism. We are particularly interested in innovative approaches to literary and cultural studies, and in research with a comparative, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary focus, including research in the following fields: literary and cultural theory, material and visual cultures, reception studies, themes and genres, cultural history, comparative gender and performance studies, translation studies, diaspora and migration studies, new media.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. There are two pathways through the programme: taught and research. Taught: two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits). Research: two core modules (60 credits), one optional module (30 credits), and a dissertation (90 credits).
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000–15,000 words (taught pathway) or up to 20,000 words (research pathway).
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and supervision are organised on an interdepartmental basis. Teaching sessions are envisaged as interactive, with a limited amount of lecturing and an emphasis on student participation and critical discussion. Assessment is based on a combination of shorter and longer essays and the dissertation.
Further details available on subject website:
All prospective students can apply for the UCL Graduate School Open Scholarships.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.
A minimum of an upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements
English language proficiency level: Good
How to apply
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.
Who can apply?
The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in a language and literature subject, or in a related subject such as history, cultural studies or media studies. A sophisticated understanding of cultural diversity is essential. A reading knowledge of at least one language other than English is normally expected.
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Comparative Literature at graduate level
- why you want to study Comparative Literature at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Publishing, academic teaching, research and journalism are the most common destinations for graduates with an MA in Comparative Literature but the civil service, school teaching or employment as a translator or copywriter are becoming increasingly attractive alternatives.
First career destinations of recent graduates include: London Business School: Marketing and Administration Assistant, Jaca Book: Editorial Intern, Macmillan Publishing: Editorial Assistant, Sokol Books Ltd: Antiquarian book-dealing Assistant, Sports Alliance: Lead Copywriter, Sage Publishing: Editorial Assistant, Ministry of Education: Seminar Organisation, British Library: Library Assistant, Chinese University of Hong Kong: Product co-ordinator and Burlington Danes Academy: Graduate Teacher of English.
Ms Els Braeken
T: +44 (0)20 7679 3113
Apply through UCL's application portal:
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"UCL has a great library as well as proximity to the Institute of Classical Studies and the British Library."
Professor Maria Wyke
Professor of Latin
Subject: Greek and Latin, Faculty: Arts and Humanities
"London offers unparalleled resources for all researchers and UCL is fortunate in being just round the corner from the British Library, British Museum and the Wellcome Trust."
Professor Bas Aarts
Professor of English Linguistics
Subject: English, Faculty: Arts and Humanities
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