Comparative Literature MA

London, Bloomsbury

This interdisciplinary MA is taught on an interdepartmental basis by staff who 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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£12,900
£6,450
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£26,600
£13,300
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a first or a very high upper second-class Bachelor's degree (average 65%) in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree


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.

Who this course is for

The programme is particularly suitable for students with a first degree in a language and literature subject, or in a related subject such as English, 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, but not obligatory.

What this course will give you

With its exceptional range of modern and ancient languages and cultures, UCL provides a comprehensive environment for comparative literary study drawing on the collective expertise of specialists in the Faculties of Arts & Humanities, Social & Historical Sciences, the Institute of Education, the School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES).

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: world literature, 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, and new media.

The foundation of your career

Skills acquired as a result of taking this programme include: ability to conduct research in library archives and electronic archives; ability to synthesise and summarise large amounts of information; ability to use evidence in order to construct a convincing argument; ability to work with texts in more than one language; acquisition of sensitivity to the cultural register of texts; ability to plan workloads efficiently and meet deadlines.

Employability

Publishing, academic teaching, research and journalism are the most common destinations for graduates with an MA in Comparative Literature but the civil service, teaching or employment as a translator or copywriter are becoming increasingly attractive alternatives.

 

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.

Modules

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. There are two pathways through the programme: taught and research.

Full-time structure for taught pathway

In term 1, you will take the first compulsory module which is designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation module and provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation You will also choose either an optional module from the suggested list or an elective module (from another department).

In term 2, you will take the second compulsory module and will have the opportunity to choose another optional module from the suggested list or an elective module (from another department). All these modules set the foundation of the whole MA, preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation. During term 2, you will also start formulating your dissertation proposal.

In term 3, you will be developing your dissertation outline and structure, with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation proposal to help cement your argument and subject area to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of the MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your 12,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Full-time structure for research pathway

In term 1, you will take the first compulsory module which is designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation module and provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation. You will also choose either an optional module from the suggested list or an elective module (from another department).

In term 2, you will take the second compulsory module. If you haven't been able to choose an optional or elective module in term 1, you can choose an optional or elective module in term 2. All these modules set the foundation of the whole MA, preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation. During term 2, you will also start formulating your dissertation proposal.

In term 3, you will be developing your dissertation outline and structure, with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation proposal to help cement your argument and subject area to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of the MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your 18,000 word on a topic of your choice.

Part-time structure for taught pathway

In year 1, you will take the two compulsory modules: one in term 1 and one in term 2. They are designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation module and to provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation. These modules set the foundation for the whole MA, preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation.

In year 2, you will take two further optional or elective modules, to develop your broader understanding of comparative literature and to develop key concepts learnt in year 1, thus gaining the necessary knowledge to develop your research proposal. You will also formulate and develop your dissertation outline and structure, with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation proposal to help cement your argument and subject areas to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of your MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your 12,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Part-time structure for research pathway

In year 1, you will take the two compulsory modules: one in term 1 and one in term 2. They are designed to work as a postgraduate-level foundation module and to provide you with the specific skills to research and write essays and the dissertation. These modules set the foundation for the whole MA,  preparing you for further learning and for your dissertation.

In year 2, you will take one further optional or elective module, to develop your broader understanding of comparative literature and to develop key concepts learnt in year 1, thus gaining the necessary knowledge to develop your research proposal. You will also formulate and develop your dissertation outline and structure, with support from your supervisor. You will give a presentation to your peers and tutors on your dissertation proposal to help cement your argument and subject areas to cover. This is a non-assessed compulsory element of your MA. You will then spend the summer researching and writing your 18,000 word dissertation on a topic of your choice.

Compulsory modules


Comparative Literary Studies


Optional modules

Revolutions in Literature: Writing China's Twentieth Century

Consumer Culture in Literature

How Does It Feel? Contemporary Fiction Between the Body and the World



Lifescripting

Neoliberalism, Necrocapitalism and the Aesthetics of Precarity

Fictions of Grief

Questions of Identity and Post-Identity in the Americas

The Gothic


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Comparative Literature.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Funding your studies

The Funding your studies session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Funding and Student Recruitment teams, provides information and guidance about the various scholarships and funding opportunities for graduate study at UCL.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £12,900 £6,450
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,600 £13,300

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

All full time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

All prospective students can apply for the UCL Graduate School Open Scholarships.

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/european-languages-culture/programmes-courses/postgraduate-taught/funding-scholarships-and-prizes-masters

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

We are also interested in candidates who demonstrate evidence of leadership.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.