Undergraduate 

Comparative Literature MA

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Comparative Literature is the study of literature across cultural and national frontiers, time periods, languages and genres, even across the boundaries between literature and the other arts.

You can study Comparative Literature alongside a whole range of other subjects and you may want to consider studying it with a foreign language to further expand your horizons.

  • September start: session dates
  • This programme can only be taken as joint honours

Programme structure

Defined most broadly, comparative literature is the study of ‘literature without walls’. The comparative or cross-cultural study of literatures is, in some ways, an idealistic academic discipline: it assumes that people from different cultures, times, places and languages can communicate with each other, understand (if not fully share) each other’s traditions, and benefit from such contacts. 

The comparatist needs to have intellectual curiosity, an open mind and the courage to confront unknown cultures and unfamiliar writers and texts. A degree in Comparative Literature at the University of Glasgow also gives you the opportunity to include the study of a foreign language (even as a beginner) as part of your curriculum. Comparative Literature is available as a joint degree, meaning you will study another subject alongside it.

Year 1

The courses on our year 1 programme have heroism as the overarching theme. The courses interrogate the notion of heroism, its absence in our lives and our longing for it as this finds expression in various historical contexts and cultures.

Some of the texts currently studied across the three courses include: Aleksandr Pushkin, The Queen of Spades; The Tain (Táin Bó Cúailnge - The Cattle Raid of Cooley); Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; Heinrich Böll, The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, and Jean Racine, Phaedra.

Year 2

Courses in year 2 focus on the idea of crossing frontiers in geographical, scientific, political, psychological, social, cultural and gender-orientated terms. They examine the human motivations behind and the consequences of various “crossings”, as well as the exploration of identity, otherness, secrets, mysteries and taboos.

Some of the texts currently studied include: Maryse Conde, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem; Almodóvar (director), Talk to Her; Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis; Mohsin Hamid, Exit West; Gianfranco Rosi, Fire at Sea (film); Gracialiano Ramos, Barren Lives, and José Eduardo Agualusa, Creole.

A range of subjects can be taken as your third option in years one and two. You can learn another language (Catalan, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are all available at Beginners level) or you can also
take another course in Comp Lit. Alternatively,  you might choose to take another complementary  course from the College of Arts in a subject like English or Scottish Literature: see Flexible degrees.

Years 3 and 4

If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) Comparative Literature may only be taken as a Joint Honours degree, meaning that you will also study another subject. 

At Honours level you choose your own optional courses, which reflect the research specialism of our staff. Some of the courses we offer currently include:

  • Magical Narratives: Imagination,Fantasy and the Creation of Worlds
  • Postcolonial Literature, Thought and Visual Culture Holocaust Literature and Film
  • Narrating the City: Representation of Urban Spaces in Literature and Film
  • Classic European Cinema

You may also choose to write a dissertation on a Comparative Literature-related topic supervised by a specialist in the area.

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Our international links

Some students take Comparative Literature as a joint degree programme with a modern language. In this case, the programme lasts 5 years, with a year abroad after year 2, in the country of the language you are studying.

If you study Comparative Literature as Joint honours with a non-language subject (for example English Literature), you may apply to spend your Junior Honours year (3rd year of study) abroad in any of the countries with which the University of Glasgow has an exchange agreement. This includes, for example, the Czech Republic, Canada and the USA.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2020

MA

A-levels

  • Standard entry requirements: AAB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum entry requirements: BBB considered for offer if meet additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory.

About A-level entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


A-Level qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.


Highers

  • S5 standard entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • S5 minimum entry requirements: ABBB to be considered for S6 offer.
  • S6 standard entry requirements: AAAAAB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders.
  • Additional requirements: Higher English at Grade A or B and a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade A or B. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Mathematics, Statistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory.

We adjust these entry requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes: see Access Glasgow

  • Adjusted S5 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Adjusted S5 minimum entry requirements: No minimum at S5.
  • Adjusted S6 standard entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB cumulative grade requirement for S6 offer holders. Considered for offer at BBBB.
  • Adjusted additional requirements: Higher English at Grade B and a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade B. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory.

    Successful completion and grades in either the Top-Up Programme or Summer School.

About Higher entry requirements

SQA Highers

The S5 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades which, if attained in addition to successfully meeting mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests), will normally result in an offer being made. Students must achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5).

The S5 Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades which an applicant must have obtained by the end of S5 (cumulative S4 and S5) in order for them to be considered for a conditional offer based on S6 results. Not all applicants who achieve the Minimum Academic Entry Requirements will be made an offer. This will depend on the number of applications we have received for a degree programme and the number of applicants who have met the Standard Academic Entry Requirements.

Where an applicant is made a conditional offer based on S6 results, the S6 Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the cumulative grades that must be attained by the end of S6, in addition to meeting any mandatory subject and non-academic requirements. All degree programmes allow applicants to “double count” Highers and Advanced Highers in the same subject when calculating cumulative grades. A Grade B in an Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade A at Higher Level and a Grade C at Advanced Higher will be regarded as another Grade B at Higher Level. All degree programmes require grades in a minimum of four different subjects.

Advanced Highers

Advanced Highers are a qualification of increased importance to the University, which recognises that applicants with these qualifications find the transition to university easier and perform better in their university exams. Many of our degrees specify Advanced Highers as part of the S6 Entry Requirements.

If a school is unable to offer specific Advanced Higher subjects applicants will be made bespoke offers which will normally require the applicant to attain additional relevant Highers in S6.

Adjusted Entry Requirements

We adjust the Standard Academic Entry Requirements for eligible applicants who complete one of our widening participation pre-entry programmes. Criteria for eligibility include attending a Scottish target secondary school, living in a priority Scottish postcode area, current or previous experience of living in care or estrangement from family support.

For more information about your eligibility and our pre-entry programmes see: Access Glasgow.



International

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5 guaranteed offer if additional requirements met.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 considered for offer if meet additional requirements met.
  • Additional requirements: Three HL subjects including English AND a Humanities or Language subject (SL6 will be considered for ONE). Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes MathematicsStatistics or Computing Science must also meet BSc requirements for those programmes. Applicants who wish to study a joint programme that includes Music must have A level Music/Higher Music at Grade B or ABRSM Grade 5 Theory. 

About International Baccalaureate entry requirements

The Standard Academic Entry Requirements represent the grades at which any possible offer would be made. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).

The Minimum Academic Entry Requirements represent the minimum grades that the University will accept for entry to the degree programme. Students must also meet mandatory subject requirements and any non-academic entry requirements (interviews, auditions, aptitude tests).


International Baccalureate qualifications must be achieved at the first attempt.

European qualifications


Glasgow International College

International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

FAQs

What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office: kelly.fox@glasgow.ac.uk

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:


Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.


Career prospects

Our graduates have gone on to pursue rewarding careers in the media, teaching, journalism, tourism, translating and interpreting, and the civil service, as well as business, commerce and marketing.

Degrees and UCAS codes

Comparative Literature can only be taken as a Joint Honours degree.

When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:

MA (Hons)

  • Comparative Literature/Central & East European Studies: RQ28
  • Comparative Literature/Classics: QQF8
  • Comparative Literature/Economics: LQC2
  • Comparative Literature/English Language & Linguistics: QQF3
  • Comparative Literature/English Literature: Q290
  • Comparative Literature/Film & Television Studies: PQ32
  • Comparative Literature/French: QRF1
  • Comparative Literature/Gaelic: QQ5F
  • Comparative Literature/German: QRF2
  • Comparative Literature/History: QVF1
  • Comparative Literature/History of Art: QVF3
  • Comparative Literature/Italian: QRF3
  • Comparative Literature/Music: QWF3
  • Comparative Literature/Philosophy: QVF5
  • Comparative Literature/Russian: RQT2
  • Comparative Literature/Scottish Literature: Q291
  • Comparative Literature/Spanish: RQ42
  • Comparative Literature/Theatre Studies: QWF4
  • Comparative Literature/Theology & Religious Studies: VQ62

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.

Scholarships

The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.

Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has a total of 100 Undergraduate Excellence Scholarships available to new international students for 2020 entry. The scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £5,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.  

More Information

RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

More Information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020

The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent). 

More Information

James McCune Smith Scholarship

The University of Glasgow has 30 undergraduate scholarships available for students of African/African-Caribbean backgrounds. The scholarship supports students who could face financial difficulties taking up their place to study at the University. The value of the scholarship is £2,000, paid in instalments for one year of undergraduate study.

More Information

Beaconhouse Schools

The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.

More Information

The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database

How to apply

Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). 

International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.

Application deadlines

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
  • 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
  • 30 June: international (non-EU) students

We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.

It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

Apply via UCAS

More information about this programme

90%

students in work/study six months after finishing

Data published by Unistats, February 2019
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