Comparative Literature MA


Fact file

MA Comparative Literature
1 year full-time, 2-3 years part-time
Entry requirements
A first degree with at least an upper second class honours, or an equivalent qualification.
Other requirements
6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


Combines close study of texts with wider theoretical and cultural contexts, advancing your knowledge and research skills.
Read full overview

The MA in Comparative Literature offers students the opportunity to study, in comparative perspective, in the original language or in translation, as appropriate, a range of national and regional literatures from around the world written in European languages taught in the school. In offering literatures in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Serbian/Croatian from Europe, the Americas and Africa, this programme provides one of the most comprehensive comparative literature coverages in the UK and allows students to put together an individual programme of comparative literature study, drawing on the expertise available in the School, to reflect their own current research interests and future research trajectories. The course is designed both as an independent scheme of study and as preparation for students who may wish to proceed to research for PhD.  The taught MA programme offers an introduction to advanced study in key areas of comparative literature, combining close study of texts with wider theoretical and cultural contexts, advancing knowledge and research skills.

This programme is built around two core modules, one offering grounding in research methodologies, the other in the theory and practice of comparative literature. In semester one and semester two, students will also take uniquely designed directed reading modules, in collaboration with an academic supervisor, to reflect their particular combination of language competences and their interests. All projects are comparative in themselves. English-language literature can be part of individual projects. Classes will centre on a selection of literary or theoretical texts for close study with the aim of placing these in much wider comparative contexts.  Bibliographies of secondary literature and pointers to other sources of information will be provided to enable candidates to follow up various topics and different texts for essay or dissertation projects.  The essays and dissertation should show knowledge of the field of study and the ability to think independently and critically.


Course details

The programme consists of a full-time taught course of twelve months or a part-time course over twenty-four to thirty-six months.  It is designed for graduates who wish to continue their literary studies in a comparative perspective and offers an excellent springboard for further research. The course consists of four 30-credit taught modules (three of them assessed by 5,000 word essays) and one 60-credit dissertation (15,000 words).  Students are also required to attend training courses in generic skills which meet AHRC standards by attending modules provided by the University’s Graduate School.   


The compulsory modules offered have included:

  • Comparative Literature Studies: Theory and Practice
  • Research Skills in Modern Languages and Cultures

New: masters-level professional development modules for arts and humanities students

 For details on our modules, please see the module catalogue.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



If you choose to study with us, there are various sources of funding to which you can apply. Some are administered by the school, others by research bodies to which the school has links, and others by the University and central government sources. These opportunities are often specific to particular degree programmes, or to the fee-status of a student, so it is important to read all related information very carefully.

More information about funding can be found on the following web pages.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies funding pages

University of Nottingham Graduate School funding pages

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Many of our postgraduates have taken up academic posts in higher education institutions in the UK and abroad. Others have embarked upon careers in curriculum design, interpreting and translation, publishing and research.

Average starting salary and career progression

According to independent research, Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and over 2,000 employers approach the University every year with a view to recruiting our students. Consequently – and owing to our reputation for excellence – more than 94% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts enter employment, voluntary work or further study during the first six months after graduation**.

* The Graduate Market in 2013, 2014 and 2015, High Fliers Research.

** Data is taken from known destinations of the 2013/14 leaving cohort of Nottingham home/EU postgraduates who studied full-time.

Career Prospects and Employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from  careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.  

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