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Comparative Literature and Culture (CLC)

Opening up a world of literature and culture  

Comparative Literature and Culture (CLC) offers the rare opportunity to explore literature, film, philosophy and art from the twenty-first century to ancient Greece and from Latin America to Europe. CLC combines innovation, flexibility and academic challenge to offer you the opportunity to acquire a sophisticated, critical appreciation of literature, film and visual arts, and to develop valuable analytical and cross-cultural skills. Our CLC programmes provide a rare opportunity to explore world literature as well as film and the visual arts from a broad cross-cultural perspective

This innovative, prestigious degree leads the way in opening up critical perspectives and breaking down geographic and conceptual barriers. CLC is for people who are globally aware and passionate about all kinds of culture.

You do not need to have studied, or to study, a foreign language (though you can opt to take one up, or continue studying one), but you may have already enjoyed English, History, Philosophy, Psychology, History of Art, Theatre Studies, Media Studies or languages.

A wide choice of degree programmes 

CLC be taken as Single Honours or as a Joint Honours degree with History of Art and Visual Cultures, Drama, Classical Studies, English, French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian or Philosophy, and as a Major-Minor with International Film, History of Art and Visual Cultures or Philosophy.

A critical edge in the global marketplace

Studying Comparative Literature and Culture develops the ability to think broadly and critically beyond conventional conceptual boundaries in ways which are particularly relevant in a globalised world. CLC is designed to develop the kinds of critical, communication and leadership skills which are particularly valuable in meeting the challenges of today’s workplaces.

CLC develops: 

  • adaptability and flexibility 
  • critical and creative thinking skills 
  • an ability to analyze closely and think broadly
  • oral and written communication skills
  • leadership and teamwork skills
  • experience in the arts of debate andpersuasion 
  • research and analytical skills
  • a real passion for, and the ability to engage with culture in its broadest sense
  • cultural and global awareness 



Why choose CLC at Royal Holloway?

The scope of what you can learn


CLC offers a brilliant balance between honing your comparative, critical and communication skills and developing your cultural awareness and passions. It is a flexible, modular degree programme designed to allow you to develop your own interests.

Comparative Literature and Culture spans fiction, drama, cinema, poetry, philosophy, painting and sculpture from different periods and areas. All modules are taught by leading research specialists (ranked top for research in London, Royal Holloway’s is one of the top ten Modern Languages Departments in the UK). 

 Your first year is foundational, meaning marks do not count towards your final degree. When you arrive at Royal Holloway, in addition to core courses and options, you’ll take specially-designed courses to help you develop the academic and writing skills that will benefit your university career and beyond. The marks you achieve in your second- and final-year do count with more importance being given to the latter to reward your progress and achievement.

Our diverse teaching methods

Our teaching methods are very diverse, ranging from lectures and small-group seminars to e-learning. You’ll be expected to prepare material for lectures and seminars to help you try out new ideas and participate in lively discussions in a supportive environment. There’s also plenty of personal contact between staff and students.

We use an array of assessment models to suit different learning styles, from online comprehension tests and individual and group presentations to coursework and examinations. 

In your final year, you’ll research and write a dissertation that develops your own critical perspective on an aspect of one of the topics you’re studying. Throughout your time here, you’ll have your own Personal Advisor - an academic who helps you through your studies and guides you in tailoring your course to your strengths and interests.

The employability skills you'll gain 

Through studying CLC, you’ll obtain a sophisticated and critical appreciation of cultural life and diversity, drawing on a very broad range of international literary, film and artistic references as well as major critical perspectives.

You’ll also enhance your own original analytical thinking as well as honing your oral and written communication skills in ways that are particularly valuable in today’s global marketplace. 

Our graduates are highly sought after and high achieving: 35% of CLC students who graduated in 2014 were awarded First Class Honours.

The various course units

For more detailed information on the different degree programmes we offer, look through the course list on the right. If you want to find out more about our fascinating core courses and wide range of options, please select the relevant link below:

Above: Programme Director, Dr Ruth Cruickshank, talks about her research interests.



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