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Comparative Literatures and Cultures MA

Course Description

The MA in Comparative Literatures and Cultures gives you the opportunity to study the encounters and exchanges between literatures and cultures across Europe and beyond. We welcome graduates of all arts and humanities disciplines.

You will become acquainted with the theory and practice of comparative cultural study, and consider how concepts of national cultures cross borders and interact with ideas of the global and transnational. You will gain a thorough grounding in cultural theory, critical reading and research skills, and put this theoretical knowledge into practice by studying topics and themes that span the disciplines, national contexts and time periods taught by experts in the School of Modern Languages.

While knowledge of a foreign language is not a requirement for this programme, you will have the opportunity to learn a language at a variety of levels, from beginner to advanced, and to engage with material in foreign languages throughout the MA. The programme culminates in a dissertation, an extended piece of original academic research.

As a postgraduate, you will be considered a full member of the academic community, with the opportunity to participate in the many research seminars and conferences taking place within the Faculty of Arts.

Programme structure

Core units
-Institutions of Culture
-Cultural Encounters
-Research Skills

Optional units
You will take two additional optional units from the wide range available in the School of Modern Languages, or more broadly across the faculty. Optional units can vary but may include:
-Global Cultures of the Book
-The Cultural Imagination of Gender
-Theories of Visual Culture: Text and Image
-The Rise of the Novel in 19th-century Europe
-Tradition and Experimentation in 20th-century Literature
-Language and Society in Present and Past
-Regional and Minority Languages
-Foreign Language Skills for Graduate Students
-Supervised Individual Study
-Theorising Violence: Colonial Encounters and Anti-colonial Reactions

Following successful completion of the taught part of the programme, you will be required to complete a dissertation of 15,000 words.


Studying comparative literatures and cultures allows you to develop a range of analytical skills and a multi-cultural and interdisciplinary awareness that will allow you to excel in many different professions. Graduates of this programme will be well prepared for doctoral studies in the humanities and arts, as well as careers in business, publishing, law, the civil service, teaching and journalism.

Visit the Comparative Literatures and Cultures MA page on the University of Bristol website for more details!

Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent). Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered.

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