Comparative Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to study literature from across the world, as well as exploring film, philosophy and visual arts. This course combines a fascinating breadth of material with a focus on contexts – places, periods, and genres – to explore how key cultural shifts transform how we see, represent, and make sense of our changing world. Comparative Literature and Culture at Royal Holloway is a unique and intellectually stimulating course that will develop you as a culturally-aware, creative and adaptable thinker.
We’ve developed this course so that you can tailor it to suit your own evolving interests, enabling you to choose from our exceptionally wide range of fascinating options. These span continents and centuries, from antiquity to the present day, covering novels, poetry, philosophy, cinema and art. You will read, watch, and compare texts from Ancient Greece to contemporary New York, from Cuba to Korea, from epics to crime fiction, and from tragedy to the avant-garde. Comparative Literature and Culture also enables you to study a varety of foreign texts originally written in many languages, all translated into English.
You will be taught by world-class experts who genuinely want to get to know you. We create a supportive environment, often using group work so you can try out new ideas and participate in lively discussions. Throughout your studies, you will receive personal guidance to ensure your course is aligned to your strengths, interests and career plans. As part of our close-knit international community you will be able to get involved with an array of cultural initiatives that take place on campus, and make the most of being within easy reach of London and its many events and attractions.
Studying Comparative Literature and Culture will broaden your horizons, interests and passions, and give you a critical edge in a competitive global marketplace.
- Gain global cultural awareness and an internationally prestigious degree.
- Available as a joint honours degree with a wide variety of subjects.
- Become a creative, flexible and critical thinker.
- Shape your programme according to your own interests.
- Consider a year abroad or studying a language.
Teaching & assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures and small seminar groups, where you will be able to try out new ideas by giving presentations and participating in lively discussions in a supportive environment. Private study and preparation are essential parts of every course, and you will have access to many online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle, which provides a variety of supporting materials.
We use a range of assessment models to suit different learning styles, from online comprehension tests and individual and group presentations, to coursework and examinations. You will take a study skills course during your first year, designed to equip you with and enhance the writing skills you will need to be successful in your degree. This course does not count towards your final degree award but you are required to pass it to progress to your second year. In your final year you will have the opportunity to write a research-led dissertation.
You will also have your own Personal Advisor, a member of academic staff who will help you through your studies and guides you in tailoring your course. When you arrive at Royal Holloway, you will take specially designed courses to help you develop the academic and writing skills that will benefit your university career and beyond.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
Required subjects: At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9 - 4 including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
As a culturally-aware, creative and adaptable thinker, graduating from Royal Holloway will help you stand out in a crowded global marketplace.
Students of Comparative Literature and Culture are attractive to employers because they think quickly and flexibly, communicate effectively, have a rich cultural and transnational awareness and the ability to analyse closely and range broadly.
By the time you graduate, you will have:
- developed your critical and analytical thinking and expression
- learned to analyse, evaluate and process effectively many different kinds of information
- honed impressive written and oral communication skills
- enhanced your ability to solve problems in sophisticated and flexible ways
- developed independent research skills
- acquired teamwork and leadership skills that are highly valued by prospective employers
- gained a critical appreciation of cultural life and cultural diversity
We work closely with Royal Holloway’s Careers and Employability Service to provide tailored events which get you thinking about life after you graduate. These range from one-to-one advice from our subject consultant, to a variety of talks and industry-themed careers weeks.
Our highly-successful micro-placement scheme will help you to fine-tune your job-seeking skills and boost your careers by enabling you in your second year to compete for a prestigious two-week internship, offering you the chance to gain invaluable experience and network with prospective employers.
You may also like take advantage of other work experience opportunities, for example by participating in Royal Holloway’s Community Action volunteering programme or by becomign a Student Ambassador. Your Personal Advisor will be on hand to support you as you decide on your career path.
On graduation, you will be ready to pursue a career in a wide range of areas including publishing, marketing, the media, journalism, arts administration, fashion, international management, the civil service, accountancy or teaching. Alternatively, you may choose to continue your studies.
- “Comparative Literature and Culture has helped me develop several key skills, including my analytical skills and my ability to work in a team. I’ve also developed as a person” Hope Dinsey
- “I’d recommend Comparative Literature and Culture to anyone who is interested in broadening their horizons and being open to all kinds of literatures, media and cultures – in fact I’d recommend it to anyone, full stop! The lecturers are truly passionate about their subjects and so knowledgeable, but they’re also approachable and engaging; it’s a pleasure to be taught by them.” Natalie Ford
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
International students tuition fee per year**: £16500
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
*The tuition fee for UK and EU undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations, and for students starting a degree in the academic year 2018/19 will be £9,250 for that year. The UK Government has confirmed that EU students starting an undergraduate degree in 2018/19 will pay the same level of fee as a UK student for the duration of their degree.
**Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.