Candidates should normally have a good Honours degree (2.1 or better) or equivalent in a Modern Foreign Language or cognate discipline (such as English Literature or Philosophy).
Fluency in one modern foreign language taught in the School and reading knowledge or better in another.
It is highly recommended that you come with a strong background in literary or cultural theory, so that you are equipped to read and understand the assigned texts.
To apply, you are required to submit:
- a personal statement of around 500 words explaining why you want to undertake the Mlitt in Comparative Literature at Glasgow
- an academic transcript
- Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses.
Months of entry
The Masters in Comparative Literature offers interdisciplinary study across linguistic cultures as well as academic fields. Benefitting from a strong and diverse School of Modern Languages and Cultures, you will be able to take courses in the comparative study of literatures, film, visual arts, or societies of two or more language areas OR across two or more disciplines. The high degree of flexibility means that you are able to design a unique programme of study suited to your interests.
Why this programme
- This Programme is suitable for students with a strong background in literary and cultural theory and interpretation. Here you can study literature, film or other cultural artefacts from a variety of perspectives, with a strong focus on the critical apparatus of the last two centuries.
- You will be taught by world-leading researchers in these fields.
- The School provides a wide range of languages, with a total of nine European languages as well as Mandarin. Other ancient and modern languages are available elsewhere in the College or Arts.
- The programme is suitable whether or not you already have knowledge of one or more foreign languages; you may follow it entirely in English translation, or make use of your linguistic skills in our areas of expertise. If you wish to take up a new language, this can be part of your programme of study.
- The School hosts a vibrant postgraduate community, with student-led research seminars and social activities.
- This Masters actively encourages you to take courses from across the College, creating a programme which is intensely interdisciplinary, and can be bespoke to your individual interests.
- Our MLitt is complemented within the SMLC by the MSc in Translation Studies as well as by MLitts across the College of Arts, for example, the MLitt in Modernism and the MLitt in Fantasy.
The Programme is comprised of two core courses, a selection of optional courses, and an independent research project (dissertation), which provides an opportunity for you to identify an area of interest for an in-depth critical exploration.
The range of options on offer enables you to create your own Masters programme. It also allows you to work in an interdisciplinary capacity, selecting courses from across the College of Arts, according to personal interests. The Programme Convenor will work with you to construct a portfolio of courses according to your personal aims and objectives.
Teaching is almost entirely in small-group seminars, with student assessment based on presentations, essays and individual research diaries; any language classes you may take will have assessment as appropriate to that mode of learning. The Core 1 and Core 2 courses focus strongly on helping you develop your skills as a researcher and writer.
Core 1: Introduction to Comparative Literature [Comp Lit 5030] (20 credits)
- The aim of this course is to provide a solid theoretical background in the discipline of Comparative Literature, harking back to the origins of literary study and aesthetics in Classical times and focusing largely on the developments of the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Key terms and concepts to be introduced and discussed typically include: World Literature, Global Literature, Reception Studies, Intermedial Studies, Translation Studies, Cultural Studies, Intercultural Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Literary Theory and Literary History.
- The Course will provide a largely theoretical background which is meant to complement the more hand-on research skills Course (Comparative Literature in Practice) to follow in semester 2.
Core 2: Comparative Literature in Practice (Comp Lit 5031] (20 credits)
The aim of this course is to provide:
- A solid background in the real-life intercultural and interdisciplinary encounters, including Literary (Cultural) Reception History, and Intermedial, Interdisciplinary and (of course) Intercultural analysis, based on the work of staff and research students in the SMLC as well as students’ own forays into the current scholarship.
- A forum for developing, in discussion with staff and other students, viable research questions, and setting about the research decided upon.
- Skills training specific to student’s own emerging project in finding resources, keeping an annotated bibliography, writing a research plan and funding application, giving a public spoken presentation as well as defending a poster.
Selection of options is subject to approval by Programme Convener. A sample list follows below, but not all these options will be available in a given year.
Courses that may be on offer within the School include:
- Transnational Constructions of Gender
- Narratives of Illness
- Reading the New Europe
- Text Cultures
- Visual Cultures
- Translation Studies in Theory and Practice
- Marketing and Translation across Media
- Literary Translation
Undergraduate Options and Directed Studies Options:
It is also possible to choose from a wide range of undergraduate Honours Courses across all subject areas in the School as well as across the College of Arts. These courses can be taken in their original format (Masters degrees permit up to 30 undergraduate credits) or may form the basis of Postgraduate-level Directed Studies.
The School currently offers Postgraduate provision in nine Modern European Languages. All of these languages are offered at beginners’ level, and most are also offered at intermediate and advanced levels.
Classical and Medieval and some other Modern Languages are also available, taught by other Schools.
The languages offered at the University of Glasgow currently include: Anglo-Saxon, Catalan, Czech, Estonian, French, Gaelic (Early), German, Greek (Classical), Hungarian, Latin (Classical), Latin (Medieval), Mandarin, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Welsh (Medieval).
Courses from other Masters Programmes:
The unique provision of our MLitt in Comparative Literature is the availability of courses from MLitts across the College. These will in every instance have to be arranged with the relevant conveners. You may wish to look at the course offered, for example, on the Masters Programmes in English Literature, Classics, Celtic, Film & TV, Philosophy or Theology and Religious Studies.
Employers welcome our graduates’ abilities to 'think outside the box' in relation to cultures other than their own, as well as their ability to communicate in oral and written form in a logical, coherent, articulate and creative way.
Our graduates go into the workplace well-prepared to work in a global, international environment, as well as in any field requiring sophisticated communication skills. Some common careers include: publishing, editing, creative industries, and teaching.
The programme also provides an excellent preparation for further study in the fields of Comparative Literature and Modern Languages and Cultures.
Information for international students
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 7.0
- no sub-test less than 7.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification:
Common equivalent English language qualifications
All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:
- ibTOEFL: 100; no sub-test less than:
- Reading: 24
- Listening: 24
- Speaking: 23
- Writing: 27
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 185; no sub-test less than 185
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 185; no sub-test less than 185
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 70; no sub-test less than 70
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEIII at Pass with Pass in all sub-tests
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
Fees and funding
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Laura Martin
- +44(0)141 330 2000