Triangle

Course overview

Do you believe that literature holds the key to better understanding a country and its people? Do you have a passion for gaining insights into other cultures?

This MA offers you the opportunity to study, in a 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 Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

We offer literatures in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Serbian/Croatian from Europe, the Americas and Africa, making this programme one of the most comprehensive comparative literature coverages in the UK.

You are given the opportunity to acquire skills in literary translation and the critical management of such translations by opting for modules from the MA in Translation Studies and partaking in the activities of the School's Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies.

The range of optional modules allows you to put together an individual programme of comparative literature study, drawing on the expertise available in the Department, to reflect your own current research interests and future research trajectories.

Why choose this course?

Explore literatures

Explore European literatures in your chosen language or English translation

Global perspectives

Get to know literatures from around the world

Reading in translation

 Learn about translation in theory and practice

Course content

You are required to complete four 20 credit modules and submit a 60 credit dissertation (15,000 words).

Modules

Core modules

Research Skills in Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies

Explore the ways cultures interact, exchange ideas, arts and commodities. You'll be introduced to relevant theories contextualized with case studies ranging from the early modern period to the present day. You'll be encouraged to take a cross-disciplinary approach to postgraduate study and research in Modern Languages across the areas of linguistics, history, politics, critical theory, literature, film, the visual arts, and culture and media studies.

You'll study a range of key areas central to intercultural studies in Modern Languages: languages and transcultural experience, empires and the (post) colonial world, nation and immigration, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and globalisation, and gender and ethnicity. 

You'll also develop practical research skills, such as: presentational skills, academic writing skills, and career planning.

Mastering the Arts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research

This module introduces you to the wide range of interdisciplinary research happening in the Faculty of Arts. We invite you to ‘think outside the box’ in relation to your own research, while learning key research techniques and methods.The module aims to:

  • introduce the ideas, practices, complexities, and opportunities of interdisciplinary research in the arts
  • enable you to practice critical self-reflexivity about the conventions and expectations of your own disciplines in relation to those of others
  • train you in core research skills necessary for graduate-level study
  • develop your confidence in communicating research findings to non-specialist audiences

You will build on your existing research skills gained from your university career to date. Furthermore, you will develop a more nuanced understanding of your own research practice, inspiring you to explore different approaches questions.In addition, you will develop an understanding of professional practice in areas such as:

  • academic publishing
  • knowledge exchange
  • dissertation planning and writing
  • professional communication

This module is worth 20 credits.

Dissertation

This module consists of the selection, research and writing up of a topic in the field of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, chosen after consultation with the Course Director and other appropriate staff members.

This is a compulsory core module worth 60 credits.

World Literatures - Texts and Contexts: Introduction to Comparative Literature

This module will allow you to use the short story and other forms of short fiction to explore intercultural relationships. You will discover the discipline of comparative literature using short fiction written in the languages of three of Europe's Empire nations (France, Spain and Portugal), the Arabic tradition and twentieth-century China.

All the texts will be available in English but if you can read any of them in the original languages you are encouraged to do so.

Optional modules

Either:

Tradition of Critique I

This module introduces you to the key thinkers, themes and debates that constitute the European critical tradition. The module provides a contextual overview of primarily post-Kantian critical philosophy and critical theory mainly in the German tradition of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

It is likely to cover thinkers such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud as well as Heidegger, Adorno and Benjamin. Each thinker will be presented both in terms of their interlocutors and respective historical contexts, and in terms of their subsequent interpretations and uptake in a variety of disciplines and approaches.

Discussion is structured around several overarching themes that have driven critical and philosophical debate. These are likely to include:

  • the limits of reason;
  • power and knowledge;
  • history and historicity;
  • subjectivity;
  • the politics of culture.

or:

Tradition of Critique II

This module explores the work of a range of thinkers who have interrogated the work of the philosophers who constitute the “canon” of thinkers schooled in the European critical tradition.

It follows on from and engages with the work explored in Traditions of Critique but the structure of the discussion it presents can be followed without attendance on that module.

Following in its thematic development the exploration of the limits of critique, it revisits the history and geography of critique by offering an introduction to a number of thinkers, from a range of backgrounds, including postcolonial theory, feminism, structuralism and post-structuralism, and considers the variety of ways in which such thinkers have problematised central tenets of European Enlightenment thinking.

and either:

Directed Study for Cultures, Languages and Area Studies I

This module will consist of a programme of reading to be agreed with the module director in a field of study within the area of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.

or:

Directed Study for Cultures, Languages and Area Studies II

This module will consist of a programme of reading to be agreed with the module director in a field of study within the area of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Seminars

You will work mainly in small seminar groups, sometimes with Comparative Literature students, sometimes with students on other MA courses, such as Translation Studies.

How you will be assessed

  • Essay
  • Dissertation
  • Coursework

Most modules are assessed by means of essays or coursework. The pass mark for MA study is 50%. You have to pass the taught modules in the first and second semesters in order to proceed to the dissertation stage. Your taught modules make up 120 credits of your degree. The dissertation equals 60 credits and is assessed at the end of the Summer.

Contact time and study hours

Each 20 credit module involves about 3 hours of classroom contact over a 10-12 week period. You will have six 20 credits modules over the year. Directed Study modules involve tutorials with two supervisors on a fortnightly basis in term time. Class sizes vary but are usually between 10-20 students and teaching takes place Monday to Friday.

We're pleased to announce that Modern Languages academics have been awarded seven Lord Dearing Awards over the last five years. These recognise outstanding student learning and are based on nominations from students and other academics. Our Lord Dearing Winners are: Erica Brasil, Pierre-Alexis Mével, Heike Bartel, Jose Rino Soares, Tara Webster-Deakin, Marilena Minoia, Manuel Lagares Alonso

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 ( or international equivalent) in Literature, Languages, Cultural Studies or a similar subject; ideally some knowledge of a European language other than English

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

All listed fees are per year of study.

Qualification MA
Home / UK £9,250 per year
International £21,000 per year

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies, which you would need to factor into your budget.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

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.

Career progression

78.4 % of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £23,045*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" My favourite thing about the course was its diversity. It’s wonderfully dynamic; allowing students to tailor their studies to their specific areas of interest. The course is well-structured and is made up of a mixture of compulsory and optional modules. This provides students with the opportunity to develop the essential skills they require for further study and/or employment. "
Lauren Ogden

Related courses

This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.