School of Language & Literature - University of Aberdeen

Comparative Literature and Thought

School of Language & Literature - University of Aberdeen
In Aberdeen

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Important information

Typology Master
Location Aberdeen (Scotland)
Duration 12 Months
  • Master
  • Aberdeen (Scotland)
  • Duration:
    12 Months

We strongly encourage innovative approaches to comparative literature, emphasising intellectual and historical context, as well as a theoretically-informed engagement with contemporary literature.
Suitable for: Students who are proficient in one or more foreign languages, but is also open to those who would like to pursue comparative study in English translation. The MLitt is designed to appeal both to students who have gained a good undergraduate degree in any field of European or non-European Language or Literature, as well as to students in other related arts or humanities disciplines, such as philosophy, cultural studies, media studies, politics and international relations, or any combination of these.

Facilities (1)
Where and when



Aberdeen (Aberdeen City)
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High Street, Taylor Building, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UB


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To take into account

· Requirements

Normally a good second-class Honours degree or its equivalent. Students whose first language is not English need to have a minimum of IELTS at 6.5, or TOEFL at 580. The Head of School will also consider applicants with non-standard qualifications.

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What you'll learn on the course

Comparative Literature

Course programme


Course Structure

In the first semester, students take a core course and one elective option. The core course 'Encounters: Literature and Thought' provides a foundation for advanced research in comparative literature. The core course looks at a number of different case studies, and includes a series of embedded research training components.

In the second semester, two further courses, 'Art Matters' and 'Comparative Imperialisms', explore in greater depth some of the political, aesthetic and literary questions introduced in the core course. Students on the programme are also free to choose from a wide range of other elective options offered across the School and College.

An individually tailored course on 'Issues in Comparative Literature' then allows each student to develop a more specific research project, and offers preparation for the dissertation that can be either comparative in nature, or with a particular focus on French, German, Hispanic or English.

First Semester

  • Encounters: Literature and Thought (40 credits)
  • The 20th Century Avant-Garde (20 credits)

Second Semester

  • Dissertation Preparation (10 credits)
  • Issues in Comparative Literature (10 credits)
  • Art Matters (20 credits)
  • Comparative Imperialisms (20 credits)


  • Dissertation in Comparative Literature (60 credits)

Students may also choose from taught postgraduate courses offered elsewhere in the School of Language and Literature or the College of Arts and Social Sciences. These would include, for example:

  • Scottish Literature: The Twentieth Century and Beyond
  • Reading History's Past
  • Theory of the Novel
  • Topics in Modern Thought
  • Romanticism and Genre
  • Realism in Film: Documentary and the Docudrama
  • Postmodernism in Irish and Scottish Writing
  • Creative Writing


An individually tailored course on 'Issues in Comparative Literature' then allows each student to develop a more specific research project, and offers a preparation for the dissertation that is either comparative in nature, or with an emphasis on particular culture,for example: French, German, Hispanic, African, Asian, American, etc.


Assessment methods vary by individual course, and include essays, reports, presentations, written exercises, and examinations. The MLitt also requires a 15,000 word dissertation either in English or in one of the languages in which the student chooses to specialise, while the diploma consists of coursework alone.


12 months, full-time.

Additional information

Contact person: Professor Michael Syrotinski

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