German and Comparative Literature (MLitt) 2024 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).

Applications are made through the University of Bonn; see the Bonn web pages for how to apply.

Start date
September 2024
End date
September 2026
Two years full time
School of Modern Languages

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024

Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

“There are so many ways to meet new people and to get involved in the community. Studying in St Andrews is good for your soul, your brain and your lungs: good conversations, a unique teaching programme and fresh sea air. ”
- Bonn, Germany

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.

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.

English language proficiency

If English is not your first language, you may need to provide an English language test score to evidence your English language ability.  See approved English language tests and scores for this course.

Course details

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 course combines a theoretical grounding in comparative literature with the practical experience of a transnational degree. 
  • 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. 


The modules published below are examples of what has been taught in previous academic years and may be subject to change before you start your programme. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the module catalogue.

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.   


  • Comparative Methodologies and Research Skills 1 - You will problematise established approaches and explore new and emerging directions to conceptualise how you think texts might best be analysed and compared. The module's methodologies will underpin your acquisition of a range of transferable skills essential in academic research and non-academic roles.
  • Literary and Cultural Introspection - invites you to look inward and consider areas of critical importance such as sex, gender, race, psychoanalysis, and the medical humanities in relation to the self. You will engage with case studies in translation from experts across the School of Modern Languages to encourage a breadth of scholarship.

This module may be replaced with an agreed alternative module.

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. 


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 modules (and in some cases an additional optional module), and the second semester will be spent focused on writing an 18,000-word dissertation. 


The School of Modern Languages is the largest modern languages department in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK. 

The School is distinguished by the breadth of its research which spans language, literary, and cultural studies across eight distinct language areas – Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Persian, Russian, and Spanish – but also a range of cultural-historical epochs from the middle ages to the present day.

This expertise is complemented by the School’s comparative literature scholarship. 

The School hosts a year-round programme of research seminars which postgraduates are invited to attend. Opportunities to engage with the School’s wider research community are also provided through its four research centres and institutes and its highly successful Byre World series, an annual programme of events bringing modern languages and cultural studies research to the local community. 


Home: £6,930 for 2023 entrants at Bonn who will be starting their second year at St Andrews in 2024.
Overseas*: £21,390 for 2023 entrants at Bonn who will be starting their second year at St Andrews in 2024.

*In the context of our strategic partnership with the University of Bonn, we are pleased to be able to offer a Strategic Partner Home Fee Scholarship to all German entrants (based on nationality and residency). The scholarship will cover the difference between Home and Overseas fees.

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

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

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances.

All Home-funded students benefit from a tuition fee scholarship that covers almost 75% of the tuition fees. This scholarship is automatically applied, and students don’t need to apply for it. 

15% Recent Graduate Discount

If you have graduated from the University within the last three academic years, you may be eligible for a 15% discount on postgraduate taught tuition fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Taught postgraduate scholarships    Postgraduate loans

After your degree


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

Recent graduates have secured posts such as: 

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

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

Further study

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

Postgraduate research

What to do next

Online information events

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. There are also sessions available for parents and college counsellors.

Postgraduate online visiting days

We encourage all students who are thinking of applying to the University to attend one of our online visiting days.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2961
School of Modern Languages
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

School of Modern Languages website