Research course

Comparative Literature and Culture

Royal Holloway, University of London · Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
MA by research

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Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications and experience in an associated area will also be considered.

IELTS 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in all other subscores.

Months of entry


Course content

The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures is committed to interdisciplinary working, making it the ideal place to study for a postgraduate degree in Comparative Literature and Culture. We provide the opportunity for you to approach topics of your choice in a comparative way, for example by making comparisons between the literature, film or culture of different language areas, including texts in translation.

This degree enables you to independently explore your area of interest in real depth, it can also provide you with the chance to test or try out an area of study in preparation for doctoral study. Whilst you will be working independently, you won’t be alone, you will receive specialist one-to-one tuition throughout your degree. You will work closely with your specialist supervisor, or supervisors, to develop a clearly defined research topic and complete a 30,000-40,000 word dissertation.

You will be part of our research-led environment in which academic staff are working at the frontiers of their subjects. The breadth of our teaching and research expertise means that we are able to provide the latest thinking, expert support and intellectual challenges. Our cutting-edge work ranges from the medieval to the 21st century and spans literature, cinema, thought and the visual arts. Possible comparative topics and themes include adaptation, reception, interpretation, performance, place and displacement or creative transfer. It is also possible to adopt an interdisciplinary focus to open up critical perspectives and break down geographical barriers.

In addition to your dissertation you will undertake a taught course designed to equip you with an array of theoretical and historical approaches to the study of literature, art and culture. This will enable you to articulate, refine and persistently test your own approach to your chosen topic within this broader theoretical and methodological framework. You will also have access to skills training and enjoy the additional support of a dedicated Research Advisor.

• Outstanding research profile: top 10 UK Modern Languages department for research quality and top in London (Research Excellence Framework).

• Strong collaborations with worldwide organisations; we generate original research that is of national and international importance fuelled by a global network of collaboration.

• Numerous opportunities for intellectual discussion include our regular research forum which meets to discuss papers by research students and staff, research seminars and lectures delivered by staff and visiting scholars, and an annual Postgraduate Colloquium where research students present papers to renowned keynote speakers and visiting scholars.

• A close-knit international community based in our beautiful historic campus, and within easy reach of London, and all of the libraries, talks and facilities that it has to offer.

Information for international students


Fees and funding


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA by research
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Ann Hobbs - Postgraduate Administrator
+44 (0)1784 443201