Research course

Comparative Literature

Birkbeck, University of London · European Cultures and Languages

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Entry requirements

Usually a good first degree in an arts or humanities subject.

Months of entry

January, April, October

Course content

This research degree is ideal if you wish to engage critically with the study of comparative literature - or other cultural forms, especially in the area of visual studies - across two or more linguistic, regional or national contexts. The focus of research in the Department of Cultures and Languages is on French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish-speaking cultures in a transnational context, and we welcome research proposals that focus comparatively on or across these areas. The Department has great expertise in a wide variety of themes both historically and geographically (in Europe, Japan and the Americas).

An MPhil/PhD is an advanced postgraduate research degree that requires original research and the submission of a substantial dissertation of 60,000 to 100,000 words. At Birkbeck, you are initially registered on an MPhil and you upgrade to a PhD after satisfactory progress in the first year or two. You need to find a suitable academic supervisor at Birkbeck, who can offer the requisite expertise to guide and support you through your research.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our indicative areas of research are:

  • canon formation
  • French language literature and culture
  • German language literature and culture
  • Japanese language literature and culture
  • literary and film history
  • intermediality, intertextuality and translation across genres and media
  • Portuguese language literature and culture
  • Spanish language literature and culture
  • transnational cultural theory and criticism in all the above languages
  • visual culture

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil/PhD
    part time
    84 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24-48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44(0) 20 3907 0700