The MA in Comparative Literature offers students the opportunity to study, in comparative perspective, in the original language or in translation, as appropriate, a range of national and regional literatures from around the world written in European languages taught in the school. In offering literatures in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Serbian/Croatian from Europe, the Americas and Africa, this programme provides one of the most comprehensive comparative literature coverages in the UK and allows students to put together an individual programme of comparative literature study, drawing on the expertise available in the School, to reflect their own current research interests and future research trajectories. The course is designed both as an independent scheme of study and as preparation for students who may wish to proceed to research for PhD. The taught MA programme offers an introduction to advanced study in key areas of comparative literature, combining close study of texts with wider theoretical and cultural contexts, advancing knowledge and research skills.
This programme is built around two core modules, one offering grounding in research methodologies, the other in the theory and practice of comparative literature. In semester one and semester two, students will also take uniquely designed directed reading modules, in collaboration with an academic supervisor, to reflect their particular combination of language competences and their interests. All projects are comparative in themselves. English-language literature can be part of individual projects. Classes will centre on a selection of literary or theoretical texts for close study with the aim of placing these in much wider comparative contexts. Bibliographies of secondary literature and pointers to other sources of information will be provided to enable candidates to follow up various topics and different texts for essay or dissertation projects. The essays and dissertation should show knowledge of the field of study and the ability to think independently and critically.