Modes and duration
- Full-time: 1 year
- Part-time: 2 years
Programme start date
Tuition Fees (2016/17)
- £9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
- £18,670 (FT) £9,285 (PT)
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.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Advanced
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
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.
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).
- Modern Literary Theory
- Comparative Literary Studies
- Options may include the following:
- Ancient Rome on Film
- Apocalypse Literature: From Romanticism to the Millennium
- Border Narratives in Latin America
- Comparative Medieval Literature
- Francophone Postcolonial Studies
- Memory and Literature in a Globalised Culture
- Representations of Trauma: Holocaust Writing
- Spanish Narrative since 1939
- Translation Theory and Practice
- Bakhtin and Others: Alterity, Identity, Dialogue
- Masculinity in Literature and Cinematic Adaptations
- Nabokov and Russian Exile Literature
- Russian Romanticism
- Modern Chinese Literature in Translation
- Modern Japanese Literature
- Literature in African Languages
- Literatures of South Asia
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.
All prospective students can apply for the UCL Graduate School Open Scholarships.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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.
Why 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.
Student / staff ratios › 54 staff › 195 taught students › 58 research students
"UCL has a great library as well as a fantastic location to access the Institute of Classical Studies, the British Library and British Museum, and art galleries, museums and theatres that are hosting the latest classical performances or exhibitions."
Professor Maria Wyke
Professor of Latin
"UCL has an outstanding reputation and offers a vibrant, research-intensive environment. It's also a great place to teach and engage with outstanding students. My office is just a few minutes' walk away from the great resources of the British Library, the British Museum and the research institutes of the University of London, including the Warburg and the Institute of Historical Research. Teaching in such an environment is just bliss. "
Dr Isabelle MoreauComparative Literature MA, European Culture and Thought: Culture, Early Modern Studies MA, Dutch Studies: Language, Culture and History MA, French and Francophone Studies: Language, Culture and History MA
Reader in Early Modern Studies
"I am interested in the novel, narrative technique, literary theory and theories of gender. I have worked on the interaction of fact and fiction in the novel, on the relationship of female and national identity, and on the representation and ethics of shame. I’m currently working on an interdisciplinary project with German historians looking at the reverberations of the Second World War in Europe. I have benefited particularly from being in a department (German) that is in itself interdisciplinary, as well as from the growing interactions between colleagues within and across the faculties. These interactions are becoming more possible, not least through the establishment of the Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry (CMII), of which I am currently Chair, but, crucially, the impact of the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies (FIGS), now extended to two faculties, Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences. "
Professor Stephanie BirdGerman MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature MPhil/PhD, Film Studies MPhil/PhD, Language, Culture and History MA, Comparative Literature MA, Film Studies MA
Professor of German
Application and next steps
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.
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.
- All applicants
- 29 July 2016
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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