Research course

European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures by Advanced Study

University of Cambridge · Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High 2:1 Honours Degree.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil in European, Latin American, and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC) provides students with the critical and theoretical tools to enable them to undertake an in-depth study of specific aspects of European literature and culture and/or Latin American and Francophone contexts. The course introduces students to a broad range of critical theory concepts, allows for in-depth study of specific cultures and contexts, and includes the writing of a dissertation based on original research.

The MPhil is offered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (MMLL) as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge of specific cultural areas.

The course aims

  • to offer students with relevant experience at degree level a self-contained one-year course in which they have the opportunity for in-depth study of specific aspects of European and comparative literatures and cultures (and in some cases film, history and the visual arts) and critical theory; and
  • to offer a course which is also designed as the first year of research towards a PhD.

These aims are achieved by

  • offering an overview in central aspects of modern literary/cultural theory and critical approaches to develop a general understanding of the field;
  • offering an opportunity for in-depth study of two areas in critical theory and approaches and for developing skills to write on theory and to use theory or palaeographical and bibliographical techniques as a tool in the study of literary or other cultural texts;
  • offering an opportunity for expanding knowledge of the literature and culture of specific periods and language areas beyond undergraduate level;
  • offering an opportunity for in-depth and sustained work on individual essay and dissertation topics;
  • offering the opportunity either to specialise in one European language area or to continue work in several languages (in the latter case offering guidance in developing comparative research projects);
  • offering an opportunity to give seminar papers to a specialist audience in order to develop skills in presenting work and discussing the issues which arise from it with other MPhil students and senior members of the Faculty;
  • offering an opportunity to learn to work to tight deadlines (time management);
  • offering practice in writing shorter essays with a strict deadline (4,500 words);
  • offering training in developing a realistic research project, guidance in writing this up as a dissertation (15,000 words) within a limited period of time and experience in independent research;
  • offering an opportunity to develop bibliographical, editorial and other research skills;
  • offering an opportunity to work under the supervision of specialists in relevant areas; and
  • offering the opportunity to participate in the research culture of the Faculty, attending Faculty postgraduate seminars and reading groups.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details