Taught course

Comparative Literature

University of Glasgow · School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Entry requirements

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). Recommended Fluency in one modern foreign language taught in the School and reading knowledge or better in another.

Months of entry


Course content

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 Glasgow

  • The School provides a wide range of languages, with a total of nine European languages from Western, Central and Eastern Europe (Catalan, Czech, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) as well as Chinese (Mandarin).
  • 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.
  • You will be taught by world-leading researchers in these fields.
  • We have courses not only in the languages, but in the literatures, films, and visual cultures of these linguistic areas, some of which are available to non-speakers of these languages.
  • 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 and the MLitt in Modern Languages and Cultures.

Programme Structure

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.

Core courses

Semester one

  • Core 1: Introduction to Comparative Literature [Comp Lit 5030] (20 credits)

Semester two

  • Core 2: Comparative Literature in Practice (Comp Lit 5031] (20 credits)

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:

  • Cinema of Communist and Post-Communist Europe
  • European and Latin-American Cinema
  • 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. Some examples include:

  • The Brothers Grimm and the European Fairy Tale
  • Holocaust Literature & Film
  • Modern German Thought
  • Magical Narratives
  • Postcolonial Literature, Thought & Visual Culture


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. Some Masters Programmes you may wish to consider include:

  • MSc in Translation Studies
  • MLitt in Modern Languages and Cultures (currently known as European Studies)
  • MLitt in Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • MLitt in Modernities: Literature, Theory & Culture
  • MLitt in Religion, Theology & Culture
  • MLitt in Victorian Literature
  • MLitt in Art, Politics, Transgression: 20th-Century Avant-Gardes
  • MLitt in Film & Television Studies
  • MLitt in American Studies
  • MLitt in Celtic Studies

Information for international students

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training): overall score 7.0; no sub-test less than 7.0. IBTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 22 with Speaking no less than 23

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Laura Martin