Our unique MLitt in Comics Studies examines comics from the point of view of critical analysis (in terms of genre, style, formal properties and history) and also provides training in the creative aspects of comics production. The course leads to excellent employment opportunities for anyone interested in working in the field of comics - either creatively or in the production industry.
English at Dundee has a strong record in the annual Guardian league tables for teaching. Its highest ever rating was No. 1 in the UK and the latest (2010) places it in the UK top twenty with 95% student satisfaction rating for teaching.
Why study Comics Studies at Dundee?
The MLitt in Comics Studies is the only programme of its kind in the UK, and Dundee is one of only a handful of institutions in the world offering the opportunity to study comics at postgraduate level. Our programme has grown out of the expertise of the course leader, Dr Chris Murray, who researches comics, organises major comics conferences, and co-edits one of the few peer-reviewed journals in this expanding field.
"I thoroughly enjoyed studying Comics this year, you have given me a real love and understanding of the medium"
Current student, 2011
Close links with industry experts
The city of Dundee is a recognised powerhouse of comics production. It is home to DC Thomson & Co Ltd, who produce iconic titles such as the Beano, Dandy, Commando, Starblazer and Bunty. Drawing on such expertise, we can offer workshops with industry professionals and even the possibility of a placement with DC Thomson.
Aims of the Programme
This course will provide you with an understanding of the comics medium and the comics industry, and their relation to different genres, national cultures, and various media. You will be encouraged to think critically about these ideas, and to appreciate the importance of relating critical close analysis of style and form to theory, context, politics and history.
This course will also be of benefit to anyone who hopes to work in the popular media or publishing.
"We have our own dedicated Comics Studio in the Tower Building where we can work on our projects and coursework throughout the year, with drawing tables, computers, and scanners."
Read Kirsten's blog
The English department provides a lively postgraduate culture, including a regular postgraduate forum, a postgraduate website, visiting speakers and an annual postgraduate conference held in Dundee. There are also several activities related to Comics Studies, with an annual Comics Day as part of the Literary Festival. The Comics Day has attracted world famous industry professionals, including writers such as Warren Ellis and Pat Mills, artists such as Alan Davis, Rian Hughes, Hunt Emerson, and editors like Dez Skinn.
The Dundee Comics Society holds regular talks by comics writers and artists. Dundee is also the home of D-Con, an annual Manga festival. The journal Studies in Comics is edited from within the programme, and the University library has a good selection of comics and graphic novels.
The course starts in September each year and lasts for 12 months on a full time basis or 24 months on a part time basis.
The assessment methods used in this course include weekly journals, presentations, research essays, and dissertations. Some of the option modules include assessment of creative work accompanied by reflective essays. Dissertations are supervised on a one-to-one basis to ensure continuity, and this will provide you with the opportunity to work on an area of comics study of your own choosing (subject to approval by the tutor).
There are two teaching semesters, from September to December and from January to March. You will study the core modules below, plus your choice of optional modules
From April onwards, you will write a dissertation in English Studies or Creative Writing.
All students must attempt the dissertation. Students whose dissertation fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed.
Critical Approaches to Comics and Graphic Novels
International Comics Culture
Optional modules from a list such as the one below:
Comics and Film
Science Fiction Comics
Autobiographix: Documentary and Autobiographical Comics
English Studies or Creative Writing
This course offers good employment opportunities for anyone interested in working in the field of comics, either creatively or in the industry from a production point of view. You will also meet many industry professionals during the course, and have the chance to make valuable connections. Students taking this programme may also choose to pursue academic careers, work in the media, or in the creative industries or publishing. An understanding of comics cuts across publishing, computer games, the internet, television, and film.
Additionally, the high levels of analysis, problem-solving abilities and the presentational and communication skills that you will develop on this course are highly valued by employers.
Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.