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    Department of Cultures and Languages Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Languages, Literature & Culture

  • Start Date

    October

  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa

Course content

This Master's degree offers you an opportunity to engage critically with the study of comparative literature. The primary focus is on English-, French-, German-, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking cultures, and while we welcome students able to work in these and other languages, you may work exclusively through the medium of English.

Students with a particular interest in French or German culture and/or with high-level French or German language skills are encouraged to apply, as it is possible to take a French or German pathway through the programme.

You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of key critical concepts associated with the comparative study of literature and cultures, such as literary history and the canon, genre, theme, influence, intertextuality and translation across genres and media. You will gain practical experience of working with these concepts in your reading of texts. You will also be given a grounding in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary theory, exploring its development in a cross-cultural context and investigating how it can change the way we read texts and the cultures that produced them.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
Explore literature from a comparative perspective and in the context of other cultural forms.
Examine the ways in which literary and cultural theories can change how we read cultures and the texts they produce.
Follow a pathway in French and/or German culture and language, if this is your specialist interest.
Courses taught in English by subject specialists from a variety of language areas.
Ideal if you wish to embark on doctoral research, further your career prospects (particularly in arts-related fields), or build on a personal interest.
You will have access to outstanding specialist libraries, including the collection of the Institute of Modern Languages Research at Senate House.
The departments involved in teaching this programme run a series of research events for both their taught and research postgraduates.

Visit the Comparative Literature (MA) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

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