Comparative Literature (MLitt) 2021 entry
The MLitt in Comparative Literature explores the transnational understanding of literature and culture, providing students with a critical evaluation of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches combined with the intensive study of a broad range of texts across national, cultural and linguistic borders, and the relations between them.
Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
- Start date: 6 September 2021
- End date: 30 September 2022
Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.
One year full time
- A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
- One language in which the School of Modern Languages has research expertise (Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Persian, Russian or Spanish) to Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Level 7, Common European Framework Level B1, or equivalent.
- English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
Wednesday 11 August 2021. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.
- personal statement (optional)
- sample of academic written work (2,000 words)
- two original signed academic references
- academic transcripts and degree certificates
- evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
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Each module typically comprises:
- two hours per week of lectures, seminars or practical classes
- coursework assessment 100%
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2020–2021 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2021 entry.
- Apples and Oranges: Issues in Comparative Literature: explores the most pressing questions which arise when different texts are put in contact, using pairings of texts to reflect on different kinds of relations.
- Comparative Literature: Research in Practice: offers students specialised supervision to develop a research project on a comparative topic of their choice, while learning and putting into practice a range of key skills, including building bibliographies; writing abstracts and research proposals; oral presentation skills; and disseminating research for diverse audiences.
Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.
- Reading Literature: New Comparative Approaches: an innovative student-led module which questions the possibilities and limits of comparison, exploring how we might carry out critical readings of literary texts by bringing them into contact with other texts potentially drawn from any field or discipline.
- French Literary Revolutions: advanced knowledge of contexts that have shaped literature and culture in the French-speaking lands from the Medieval period to the present day.
- German Literary and Cultural Contexts: Turning Points: advanced knowledge of contexts that have shaped literature and culture in the German-speaking lands from the Middle Ages to the present day.
- Italian Literary and Cultural Contexts: investigates how Italian identity has been constructed in cultural production from the 13th century to the present day.
- Middle Eastern Literary and Cultural Contexts: provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of important elements of classical and modern Arabic and Persian literatures and cultures from pre-Islamic times to the present.
- New Approaches to the Russian Literary Canon: explores how the ‘Russian literary canon’ has been constructed over the past 200 years.
- Patterns in Hispanic Literature and Film: a high-level introduction to research areas of Hispanic literature and film.
- Research and Professional Skills: introduces students to a range of skills which are essential to advanced researchers and key to many other non-academic workplaces.
- Problems of Culture and Identity (1): through the study of a broad range of particular cultural traditions, seeks to enhance understanding of the concepts and mechanisms involved in the formation of collective identity as such (the 'poetics' of cultural identity).
- Problems of Culture and Identity (2): focuses on personal, rather than group identity. Particular topics treated may include: the dialectical relationship between personal and collective identities, the self and alterity, narrative and identity formation, situatedness and corporeality, transnational identities and problems of autobiography.
- Europe and America: Dialogues and Identity Formation in Text, Film and Theory: focuses on the relationship between Europe and the USA, and explores the ways in which European authors, film makers and thinkers encounter, embrace, oppose or reject USA culture, politics and values.
Additional optional modules for the language pathway includes undergraduate language modules.
Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).
You will spend the summer months focusing on researching and writing a final dissertation of no more than 15,000 words. Student dissertations will be supervised by members of the teaching staff who will advise on an agreed topic covering at least two different inter- or intracultural areas and provide guidance throughout the research process. The completed dissertation must be submitted by a date specified in August.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2021 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.