Comparative Literature MA (joint degree) 2018 entry

Comparative Literature at St Andrews gives you the chance to explore a range of literatures – Arabic, Persian, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish in English translation, as well as texts from the UK and US – allowing you to gain insight into the different cultural traditions, socio-political and historical forces that have helped to form national and transnational canons. A focus on close reading and an introduction to issues surrounding literary translation as well as comparative methodologies will develop your analytical, descriptive, and evaluative skills. You will have the opportunity to read, discuss, and present reasoned arguments, and work on writing with precision and clarity.

Whilst St Andrews does not offer Comparative Literature as a single Honours degree, you can take it in combination with a wide variety of other subjects as part of a joint Honours degree.

If you are taking Comparative Literature with a modern language, you will have the opportunity to take an integrated year abroad between second and third year in a country in which the language you study is spoken. 

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Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 10 September 2018
  • End date: 30 June 2022

If you started this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Comparative Literature MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Typical entry requirements

SQA Highers AAAB
GCE A-Levels AAB
IB points 36

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous knowledge of this subject is required.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold. 

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements webpage.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

Students must meet with their advisor at the beginning of Semester 1 in September to complete advising – a compulsory part of the matriculation process. After module choices have been decided, a timetable will be allocated indicating the dates and times of classes.

While every effort is made to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week.

Course information

The Comparative Literature element of the four-year joint Honours degree course is run by the School of Modern Languages.

In the first two years, you will gain awareness of different genres and themes as they appear in a range of literatures (typically including Arabic, French, German, Italian, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Latin American, British and North American) and address the issue of how to study literature comparatively, especially when reading in translation. This will equip you with the range of literary experience and critical skills necessary for more in-depth study of specialist subject areas at Honours level.

Specialist subject areas include:

  • influence and reception
  • world literature
  • cultural translation
  • literary translation
  • cultural memory
  • cultural studies
  • intermediality
  • adaptation.

Alongside Comparative Literature, in the first year of your studies you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year, you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about more about how academic years are organised

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage.

Find out more about studying Comparative Literature at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Comparative Literature along with modules from your chosen joint subject.

Typically, you will take one Comparative Literature module per semester during your first two years, and two modules per semester during your third and fourth year (known as Honours). Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

  • The Nineteenth-Century Novel: introduces the study of Comparative Literature through nineteenth-century novels from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain and the UK.
  • Drama in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries: introduces the study of Comparative Literature through plays written in the twentieth and twenty-first century from France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Russia, Spain, the UK and the US.

Students are required to take the following compulsory modules in their second year (all texts are read in English translation): 

  • Good and Evil: examines a broad range of texts from a number of national literatures, periods and genres in which the theme of good and evil is explored in different literary, social, political and historical contexts. Work on comparative theories and methodologies and on the importance of translation prepares students for Honours modules.
  • Journeys: explores a broad range of texts from different national literatures, periods and genres offering variants on the theme of journeys, explored in a range of literary, social, political and historical contexts. Work on comparative theories and methodologies is pursued, as is an exploration of the importance of translation.

If you decide to take Comparative Literature in your third and fourth years, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, each based on at least three national literatures.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Issues in Comparative Literature
  • Found in Translation 
  • The Literary Canon
  • Issues in Cultural Studies
  • Cultural Memory and Literature
  • Autobiography and the Visual Arts
  • Folk and Fairy Tales.
  • Literature and the Bible
  • Crossing the Mediterranean. 

In fourth year, students may also choose to undertake a 5,000 or 10,000 word dissertation on a topic of their choice, with individual supervision. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The sub-honours modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

Comparative Literature modules involve traditional lectures supported by small discussion seminars. Lectures provide information, stimulate thought, and suggest directions for further reading and personal study. Small group seminars allow you to work together with each other and with your tutors to discuss texts, theories and methodologies in detail.

Sub-honours Comparative Literature modules are delivered through lectures (100 to150 students) and small-group tutorials (10 to 15 students). At Honours level, lectures are replaced by tutorials of 5 to 15 students.

When not attending lectures and tutorials, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by leading researchers in the field with an emphasis on research-led teaching. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials and seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

You can find contact information for all Comparative Literature staff on the School of Modern Languages website.

In addition to your studies in the School of Modern Languages, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage.

Assessment

Comparative Literature sub-honours modules are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% written examination. Assessment at Honours level varies, with most modules being assessed entirely by coursework.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

The School provides feedback on every assessment, with a view to improving your performance in future, and aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2018 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2018 entry. 
Overseas Tuition fees for overseas applicants have yet to be set for 2018 entry.

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Accommodation fees for 2018 are yet to be set. Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017-2018.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Joint Honours degrees

You can take Comparative Literature as part of a joint Honours degree alongside one of the following subjects.

It is possible to combine a degree in Comparative Literature with two modern languages. Any combination of Arabic, French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish is available.

Your future

Careers

The skills you gain through studying Comparative Literature are marketable in many career areas and your capacity to process and assimilate complex material from a range of cultures will make you highly employable.

Recent graduate career paths include:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • business and commerce
  • marketing
  • media and the arts
  • civil service
  • IT development.

Graduates may also go into postgraduate study, either at St Andrews or to other universities.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

 

Study abroad

 

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Comparative Literature may be interested in joining the following student societies:

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. 

Students of Comparative Literature may be interested in joining the following student societies:

  • Literary Society organises readings, socials, creative jam sessions and a book club.
  • Inklight is a creative writing society which runs poetry slams, open mic nights, workshops and an annual journal of student writing.

The School of Modern Languages is situated at the very centre of St Andrews in the Buchanan Building on Union Street. 

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

School of Modern Languages

University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2953
Email: complit@st-andrews.ac.uk 

Modern Languages website