German and Comparative Literature (MLitt) 2020 entry

The MLitt in German and Comparative Literature offers a unique opportunity to gain a comparative perspective on German literature through a joint qualification from the University of St Andrews (MLitt) and the University of Bonn in Germany (MA).

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Scottish Master of Letters (MLitt) and a German Master of Arts (MA)

Course dates

Students spend their first year at the University of Bonn, please see the Bonn web pages for course dates.

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 German and Comparative Literature page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

Two years full time

Entry requirements

  • A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in German Studies, English Studies or a related subject. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements
  • Applicants must be fluent in both German and English. German applicants and those with native languages other than English will need to provide an English certificate (Level C2, TOEFL, IELTS or equivalent). 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.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: 2020 fees have not yet been set for this course
Overseas: £19,400

Additional fees may apply for study at the University of Bonn; for more information, please see the Bonn web pages.

Application deadline

Applications are through the University of Bonn; see the Bonn web pages for how to apply. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • certificates showing appropriate competence in English and German
  • letter of intent in German or English to the German coordinators.

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MLitt in German and Comparative Literature is a two-year taught programme run jointly by the School of Modern Languages at St Andrews and the University of Bonn.

The programme will deepen your knowledge of the latest thinking in literary and comparative studies and give you the research, communication and writing skills needed to embark on a PhD or top-level graduate career.

Students spend their first year in Germany and the second year in Scotland. 


  • Students become truly bilingual and intercultural by studying at two world-renowned and historic universities.  
  • The programme is taught by a group of internationally renowned experts in all major areas of German and comparative studies from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.

Teaching format

Students spend their first year at the University of Bonn in Germany where they will take two compulsory modules on comparative literature and have a choice of optional modules covering a wide range of topics from medieval texts to current trends in German literature. 

Students will spend their second year at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where one semester will be devoted to studying two compulsory and one optional module, and the second semester will be spent focused on writing an 18,000-word dissertation.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


These are the modules offered by the University of St Andrews during the second year of the MLitt/MA programme. Find out more about the modules taught by the University of Bonn.  

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 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, such as clashes, genetic, interdisciplinary and intermedial relations.
  • 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.

Students taking the 40-credit version of 'German Literary and Cultural Contexts: Turning Points' do not take optional modules.

Students choose one optional module. 

  • Contemporary Literature and Culture
  • Contextualising the Modern
  • The Continental Renaissance
  • French Literary Revolutions
  • Italian Literary and Cultural Contexts
  • Learned Culture: Rhetoric, Politics and Identity
  • Literary and Cultural Theory 1
  • Middle Eastern Literary and Cultural Contexts
  • Patterns in Hispanic Literature and Film
  • Reading the Modern
  • Renaissance Popular Culture
  • Theorising the Contemporary
  • Women, Writing and Gender 1: Renaissance to Romanticism
  • Women, Writing and Gender 2: Victorian to Contemporary.

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).

In the second semester at St Andrews, students specialise in an area of choice within German or comparative literature and write an 18,000-word dissertation under the joint supervision of one professor in Bonn and one supervisor in St Andrews. This is an in-depth independent research project that serves as an ideal preparation for the demands of a PhD. 

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 at St Andrews and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

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Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Tuesday 22 October at 9.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 29 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 5 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 15 November at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Friday 22 November at 9.15am (UK time)


Conferences and events

The St Andrews School of Modern Languages hosts an annual seminar programme which promotes integration across the language departments. In addition, the School hosts a number of conferences and events, including guest speakers and workshops for discussing ideas and issues in a thought-provoking but relaxed and supportive environment. 


All UK and EU students benefit from a tuition fee scholarship that covers almost 75% of the tuition fees.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the MLitt

Research degrees

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. 

PhD in Modern Languages


Modern Language postgraduates go on to careers in the academic field or in other areas, for example as cultural advisors, translators, or in the public or civil service.

Recent graduates have secured posts such as:

  • university teachers in the UK and Germany
  • research assistants
  • postgraduate recruitment officer at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
  • professional translator
  • adviser to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • television subtitler.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.


School of Modern Languages
University of St Andrews
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3670

Modern Languages website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).