Undergraduate 

Comparative Literature MA

Student at work

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.

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 and films currently studied across the three courses include: Aleksander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades; The Tain (Táin Bó Cúailnge: The Cattle Raid of Cooley); Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, The Interrogation (dir. Ryszard Bugajski); Tena Štivičić, 3 Winters; Jaroslav Hašek, The Good Soldier Švejk and Art Spiegelman, Maus.

Year 2

Courses in year 2 focus on the idea of crossing frontiers in geographical, scientific, socio-political, psychological, 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 and films currently studied include: Shirin Ramzanali Fazel, Far from Mogadishu; Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis; Miroslav Jergović, Mama Leone,  Salt of This Sea (dir. Anne Marie Jacir) and Wigilia (dir. Graham Drysdale).

A range of subjects can be taken as your third option in years one and two. You can learn another language (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 and Thought
  • Narrating the City
  • European Classic Cinema
  • Holocaust Literature and Film
  • Censorship in Western Culture.

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

Academic entry requirements
for entry in 2019

About 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.

Admissions Policy

A-levels and International Baccalaureate

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).

Admissions Policies

A-levels

  • Standard academic entry requirements: AAB.
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: BBB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: One A-level arts, humanities or language subject.

Highers

  • Standard S5 academic entry requirements: AAAA/AAABB.
  • Minimum S5 academic entry requirements: ABBB.
  • Standard S6 academic entry requirements: AAAAAB.
  • Other mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade A or B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade A or B.

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

  • Adjusted S5 academic entry requirements: AABB/ABBBB.
  • Adjusted S6 academic entry requirements: AABB-BBBBB.
  • Adjusted mandatory requirements: Higher English at Grade B AND a Higher Humanities or Language subject at Grade B.

Accepted humanities and languages Highers

Higher applicants to Arts MA degrees must attain, or have attained, grades A/B or B/A at Higher in English Higher and another humanities/language/social science Higher subject at their first sitting to have their application considered. The accepted humanities/languages/social science Higher subjects are listed below:

  • Business Management
  • Cantonese
  • Classical studies
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Geography
  • German
  • History
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Media
  • Modern Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious Education
  • Religious Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Urdu

International Baccalaureate

  • Standard academic entry requirements: 36 points including three HL subjects at 6,6,5
  • Minimum academic entry requirements: 32 points including three HL subjects at 6,5,5 
  • Other mandatory requirements: HL subjects should include English and a Humanities (or language) subject. SL6 will be accepted for one of English or the Humanities subject. 

European qualifications

Typical entry requirements for European qualifications: European requirements: Arts, Science, Engineering, Accountancy, Social Sciences [pdf]

A-level and IB applicants can expect offers to be between the minimum and standard entry requirements depending on demand for places on the degree.

Please note: all A-Level, International Baccalaureate, and other EU entry requirements must be achieved in first sitting.

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.

English language requirements

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

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: Elaine.Shortt@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)

  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Business & Management: QN22
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Central & East European Studies: RQ28
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Classics: QQF8
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Economics: LQC2
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/English Language: QQF3
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/English Literature: Q290
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Film & Television Studies: PQ32
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/French: QRF1
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/German: QRF2
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/History: QVF1
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/History of Art: QVF3
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Italian: QRF3
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Music: QWF3
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Philosophy: QVF5
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Scottish Literature: Q291
  • KIS
    Comparative Literature/Theatre Studies: QWF4
  • KIS
    Gaelic/Comparative Literature: QQ5F
  • KIS
    Spanish/Comparative Literature: RQ42
  • KIS
    Theology & Religious Studies/Comparative Literature: VQ62

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see 2019/20 Tuition fees for details. If you are starting in September 2018, please refer to 2018/19 Tuition fees.

Scholarships

We offer a wide range of scholarships to our undergraduates, including both home/EU and international students. 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.

RUK Access Bursary 2018 Entry

The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship and  available to new entrant full-time undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2018-19 as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.

more information

RUK Excellence Scholarship 2018

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

Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust

The Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust offers bursaries of £500-£3000 to students experiencing financial hardship. As a University of Glasgow student, you are eligible to apply if you have your ordinary residence in Scotland or outside the United Kingdom, and are either an undergraduate in your second year or above, or a postgraduate pursuing a taught or a research degree.

more information

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

How to apply

If you’re seeking full-time study you must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

UCAS deadlines

The deadlines for applications to Medicine, Vet Medicine and Dentistry is 15 October each year. The deadline for applications to all other degree programmes is 15 January each year.

The University of Glasgow does not usually accept any applications after these UCAS deadlines. It is the applicants' responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their application prior to submission, and requests from applicants to correct erroneous application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these UCAS deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.

  • 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or 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.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

UCAS tariff points

The University does not frame its offers in terms of UCAS tariff points.

How soon will I receive a decision?

We will usually respond before the end of March.

If your qualifications meet our requirements and we believe you could benefit from study at Glasgow, you will receive an unconditional offer.

If you haven’t yet gained the necessary passes for entry to your chosen subject(s), we may look at the qualifications you are taking when you apply and make you a conditional offer.

Will I be interviewed?

An interview will be part of the selection process for: Community Development, Dentistry, History of Art & Art-world Practice, Medicine, Music, Nursing, Teaching, and Veterinary Medicine & Surgery. You may also be interviewed if you’re applying for entry into Year 2 in any subject.

Is deferred entry available?

For Dentistry, Nursing and Veterinary Medicine programmes we are unable to consider applications for deferred entry. In other cases deferring may be possible but it’s not granted automatically.

University Transfers

Transfers from another University to the University of Glasgow will only be considered under the following circumstances:

  1. The applicant has a genuine personal circumstance (illness, bereavement or other family situation) which requires the student to move back to their home town to be closer to family; AND
  2. The applicant would have met the University of Glasgow entrance requirements at the time he/she went to the other institution. In exceptional circumstances, a student may be admitted if he/she was marginally below the University of Glasgow entrance requirements, and they have performed above average at the other institution.

Widening participation

We want to help talented applicants from all backgrounds to study at Glasgow. See our range of widening access pre-entry programmes at Widening Participation.

Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college.
Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468.

100%

students thought the course was intellectually stimulating

Data published by Unistats, March 2018