The Masters in Comparative Literature offers interdisciplinary study across linguistic cultures as well as academic fields. Benefitting from a strong and diverse School of Modern Languages and Cultures, you will be able to take courses in the comparative study of literatures, film, visual arts, or societies of two or more language areas OR across two or more disciplines. The high degree of flexibility means that you are able to design a unique programme of study suited to your interests.
Why this programme
- This Programme is suitable for students with a strong background in literary and cultural theory and interpretation. Here you can study literature, film or other cultural artefacts from a variety of perspectives, with a strong focus on the critical apparatus of the last two centuries.
- You will be taught by world-leading researchers in these fields.
- The School provides a wide range of languages, with a total of nine European languages as well as Mandarin. Other ancient and modern languages are available elsewhere in the College or Arts.
- The programme is suitable whether or not you already have knowledge of one or more foreign languages; you may follow it entirely in English translation, or make use of your linguistic skills in our areas of expertise. If you wish to take up a new language, this can be part of your programme of study.
- The School hosts a vibrant postgraduate community, with student-led research seminars and social activities.
- This Masters actively encourages you to take courses from across the College, creating a programme which is intensely interdisciplinary, and can be bespoke to your individual interests.
- Our MLitt is complemented within the SMLC by the MSc in Translation Studies as well as by MLitts across the College of Arts, for example, the MLitt in Modernism and the MLitt in Fantasy.
The Programme is comprised of two core courses, a selection of optional courses, and an independent research project (dissertation), which provides an opportunity for you to identify an area of interest for an in-depth critical exploration.
The range of options on offer enables you to create your own Masters programme. It also allows you to work in an interdisciplinary capacity, selecting courses from across the College of Arts, according to personal interests. The Programme Convenor will work with you to construct a portfolio of courses according to your personal aims and objectives.
Teaching is almost entirely in small-group seminars, with student assessment based on presentations, essays and individual research diaries; any language classes you may take will have assessment as appropriate to that mode of learning. The Core 1 and Core 2 courses focus strongly on helping you develop your skills as a researcher and writer.
Core 1: Introduction to Comparative Literature [Comp Lit 5030] (20 credits)
- The aim of this course is to provide a solid theoretical background in the discipline of Comparative Literature, harking back to the origins of literary study and aesthetics in Classical times and focusing largely on the developments of the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Key terms and concepts to be introduced and discussed typically include: World Literature, Global Literature, Reception Studies, Intermedial Studies, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies, Intercultural Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Literary Theory and Literary History.
- The Course will provide a largely theoretical background which is meant to complement the more hand-on research skills Course (Comparative Literature in Practice) to follow in semester 2.
Core 2: Comparative Literature in Practice (Comp Lit 5031] (20 credits)
The aim of this course is to provide:
- A solid background in the real-life intercultural and interdisciplinary encounters, including Literary (Cultural) Reception History, and Intermedial, Interdisciplinary and (of course) Intercultural analysis, based on the work of staff and research students in the SMLC as well as students’ own forays into the current scholarship.
- A forum for developing, in discussion with staff and other students, viable research questions, and setting about the research decided upon.
- Skills training specific to student’s own emerging project in finding resources, keeping an annotated bibliography, writing a research plan and funding application, giving a public spoken presentation as well as defending a poster.
Selection of options is subject to approval by Programme Convener. A sample list follows below, but not all these options will be available in a given year.
Courses that may be on offer within the School include:
- Transnational Constructions of Gender
- Narratives of Illness
- Reading the New Europe
- Text Cultures
- Visual Cultures
- Translation Studies in Theory and Practice
- Marketing and Translation across Media
- Literary Translation
Employers welcome our graduates’ abilities to 'think outside the box' in relation to cultures other than their own, as well as their ability to communicate in oral and written form in a logical, coherent, articulate and creative way.
Our graduates go into the workplace well-prepared to work in a global, international environment, as well as in any field requiring sophisticated communication skills. Some common careers include: publishing, editing, creative industries, and teaching.
The programme also provides an excellent preparation for further study in the fields of Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultures.