Comparative Literature BA

London, Bloomsbury
Comparative Literature BA (2025)

This dynamic programme examines world literature from diverse geographical and cultural perspectives and equips students for a career in today's global society. Alongside cultural topics you will study up to two foreign languages (one per year), selected from an exceptional range of modern and ancient languages including Japanese, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, as well as European languages.

UK students International students
Study mode
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2024
Application deadline
31 Jan 2024
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

A humanities subject required. French or Spanish required at grade A if one of these is to be studied as major language pathway.
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

ABB more about contextual offers
A humanities subject required. French or Spanish required at grade A if one of these is to be studied as major language pathway.
English Language at grade B or 6 and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects, including a Humanities subject. Higher level French or Spanish required at grade 6 if one of these is to be studied as a major language pathway. No higher level score below 5.

Contextual offer

34 more about contextual offers
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects, including a Humanities subject. Higher level French or Spanish required at grade 6 if one of these is to be studied as a major language pathway. No higher level score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 33 credits at Distinction and 12 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units. Please note, where subject specific requirements are stipulated at A level we may review your Access to HE syllabus to ensure you meet the subject specific requirements prior to a final decision being communicated.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher).

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA. A humanities subject required.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

In Years 1 and 2, you will study literary theory and cultural history, genres and forms. A wide range of optional language and literary modules are offered by the School of European Languages, Culture and Society (SELCS).

You will be able to study up to two foreign languages (one language at a time, which can be changed once), choosing from those available with SELCS, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE), Greek, Latin or Hebrew, all at beginner level or a more advanced level.

Learning is research based and you will engage in independent critical inquiry across languages and cultures. You will also gain expertise in advanced textual analysis, creative critical writing and the use of new media.

You will advance your knowledge and skills in your third year, have insight into the global range of literature and culture, study with world-class experts and gain a solid foundation for a career in a connected and multilingual society.

The UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS) is reorganising first year modules of all undergraduate degrees for 2024 entry; updated programme information will be published in this online prospectus as soon as it is available. 

What this course will give you

UCL as London's Global University provides the ideal environment in which to undertake a Comparative Literature degree. You will work with both academics and fellow students from all over the world.

You will study up to two foreign languages (one per year) and will benefit from the very wide range of modern and ancient languages taught at UCL.

Our programme aims to transcend a sole focus on Western Europe. The Comparative Literature BA engages with the global East and South and within Europe attention is also paid to the literature of lesser-used languages.

UCL is an important home for comparative studies. There are more than 50 full-time members of academic staff whose primary interests centre on literature and culture. We are frequently chosen to host high-profile public events.

Our location in London provides access to frequent and varied cultural events, a huge range of museums, galleries, specialist libraries and bookshops, theatres, cinemas, cuisines and cultural societies.

Teaching and learning

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BA (Hons) in Comparative Literature.


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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

You will gain expertise in the productive and receptive skills of your selected languages and deepen your knowledge and understanding of associated history, culture and society. Over the three years, you will develop valuable skills in cultural literacy and critical thinking.

Your learning

Your learning will take place through lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive groups and multimedia projects. All Comparative Literature students in the same year will take the same core modules. Optional modules will be taught by specialist staff members across UCL and will provide you with an opportunity to learn alongside students on other programmes.

During Terms 1 and 2, approximately 35% of a student's time is spent in lectures, seminars or tutorials and the remainder in independent study. There is minimal teaching during Term 3, which focuses on preparation for examinations and assessment.


You will be assessed through written examinations and essays. For language teaching you will be assessed by oral and written examinations. You will complete project work and a dissertation, both of which will contribute to your overall assessment. You will be required to give presentations, work on group and multimedia projects and actively participate in class discussion.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

This programme will equip you with a comprehensive understanding and skillset for a range of careers across a multitude of industries. Recent graduates have gone on to work in sectors such as publishing, journalism, translation, teaching and other educational organisations, accountancy and financial services, and public sector roles, as well as pursuing further study at postgraduate level.


We seek to embed within our teaching on the Comparative Literature degree the acquisition of transferable skills such as leadership, team work and communication skills as well as linguistic and cultural knowledge.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £28,100

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

The department strives to keep additional costs low. Books and journal articles are usually available via the UCL library (hard copies or via e-journal subscriptions).

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.


The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Next steps

Your application

We seek to select candidates who, in addition to academic achievement, have the motivation and passion for inter-cultural inquiry, and who have a deep commitment to developing their cultural understanding to an advanced level

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

We may interview candidates by telephone to assess linguistic ability in another language (if asserted), cultural awareness and intellectual potential. If you meet our entry criteria and show the required level of motivation, we will invite you to a Post Offer Open Day where you will meet members of our academic staff and current students.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.