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Comparative Literature (MLitt)

Course Description

MLitt in Comparative Literature

• Explore the transnational understanding of literature and culture.
• Critical evaluation of theoretical approaches combined with the intensive study of an extremely broad range of European texts and their relations to other literatures.
• Training in traditional and new research techniques.
• The opportunity to broaden your language portfolio.

Additional Entrance Requirement: one language taught at the School of Modern Languages (Arabic, French, Italian, German, Persian, Russian, Spanish) to Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 7, Common European Framework Level B1, or equivalent; English language proficiency with a minimum of 7.0 in IELTS or equivalent.


* There are six language departments (Arabic and Persian, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish) providing discipline-specific programmes plus collaborative programmes in Comparative Literature and Cultural Identity Studies.

* Strong international collaborations through the Erasmus Mundus Masters programme (with partner universities in England, France, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Canada, Argentina and Mexico).

* Current postgraduate population of 35 PhD students and some 20 students on various taught programmes.

* A diverse and international student body from across Europe, North America, the Middle East, the Far East, and Africa, as well as the UK.

* Strong emphasis on integration of taught and research postgraduates, in particular through the postgraduate seminar series, postgraduate organised workshops, and the annual postgraduate conference – all postgraduates are encouraged to participate in all of these.

* Strong emphasis on students’ personal development, as programmes are designed specifically to promote the transition from undergraduate to more autonomous postgraduate approaches to study and research.

* The recently revised structure of the MLitt programmes combines an integrated interdisciplinarity with subject specific contextualisation, and a broad-based knowledge is developed towards in-depth specialism as the course progresses.

* Particular attention to more practical personal development in the core module Research and Professional Skills, which provides instruction and training in a range of skills useful for an academic career and transferable to other professions.

Postgraduate community

Whilst the six departments in the School of Modern Languages retain their individuality, the School as a whole is very well integrated, with collaborative teaching within and across departments, and this is reflected in the postgraduate community as well. Students on different MLitt programmes will all take some core modules together, and all postgraduates, MLitt, Mundus, and PhD students are encouraged to attend the large number of research seminars and workshops which take place in the School, as well as organising their own specific events. The size of the School and the number of postgraduates provides a friendly informal setting conducive to interdisciplinarity and discussion of ideas and issues in a thought-provoking but relaxed and supportive environment.

Class sizes

Class sizes vary as some modules are common to a number of programmes and so have more students in them, whilst others may be more specialised and therefore smaller.


Many of our postgraduates go on to careers in the academic field, as university teachers, researchers or administrators. Others find employment in other areas, for example as cultural advisors, translators, or in the public or civil service. Recent graduates have secured posts such as university teachers in the UK and Germany, research assistants, a postgraduate recruitment officer, at GCHQ, a professional translator, an adviser to the CBI, and a subtitler for television.

Visit the Comparative Literature (MLitt) page on the University of St Andrews website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Our minimum academic requirement for entry to most programmes is a 2:1 degree classification from a recognised UK university or the equivalent in a subject-related area

Course Fees

2017/18: Home/EU £7,500; Overseas £17,090

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