Comparative literature

Explore a range of literatures from around the world translated into English, and gain an exceptionally broad perspective on different literary genres, periods, themes and movements.

By studying comparative literature at St Andrews, you will gain insight into the importance of translation work and how to read across cultures. The literature studied is translated from Arabic, Persian, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish languages.

Students in office talking


Postgraduate taught

Postgraduate research

The School of Modern Languages offers PhD, MPhil, and MSt (Res) research programmes. Research interests in the School cover many aspects of language studies, including: 

  • literature 
  • linguistics 
  • cinema 
  • history 
  • gender 
  • identity issues. 

To apply, you should first identify and contact a potential supervisor you would like to work with in your intended research area. Find out how to contact a research supervisor.  

“With texts from a wide range of countries and a variety of genres (novels to movies to paintings), Comparative Literature is perfectly suited to an increasingly globalised and intermedial world. The focus on contemporary cultural discourses has proved to be very useful in my joint course with Modern History, as well as helping me secure internships in museums and research institutes.”

- Bad Fischau, Austria


First in Scotland and second in the UK for languages and linguistics

Guardian University Guide 2023

83% of research activity rated 3* or 4*

Most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021)