The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures is committed to interdisciplinary working, making it the ideal place to study for a postgraduate degree in Comparative Literature and Culture. We provide the opportunity for you to approach topics of your choice in a comparative way, for example by making comparisons between the literature, film or culture of different language areas, including texts in translation.
This degree enables you to independently explore your area of interest in real depth, it can also provide you with the chance to test or try out an area of study in preparation for doctoral study. Whilst you will be working independently, you won’t be alone, you will receive specialist one-to-one tuition throughout your degree. You will work closely with your specialist supervisor, or supervisors, to develop a clearly defined research topic and complete a 30,000-40,000 word dissertation.
You will be part of our research-led environment in which academic staff are working at the frontiers of their subjects. The breadth of our teaching and research expertise means that we are able to provide the latest thinking, expert support and intellectual challenges. Our cutting-edge work ranges from the medieval to the 21st century and spans literature, cinema, thought and the visual arts. Possible comparative topics and themes include adaptation, reception, interpretation, performance, place and displacement or creative transfer. It is also possible to adopt an interdisciplinary focus to open up critical perspectives and break down geographical barriers.
In addition to your dissertation you will undertake a taught course designed to equip you with an array of theoretical and historical approaches to the study of literature, art and culture. This will enable you to articulate, refine and persistently test your own approach to your chosen topic within this broader theoretical and methodological framework. You will also have access to skills training and enjoy the additional support of a dedicated Research Advisor.
Teaching & assessment
Theories of Literature and Visual Culture is assessed by an essay and presentation. The dissertation is examined by a Visiting Examiner and includes a viva voce.
UK Honours degree in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.
Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in relevant subjects but we will consider a high 2:2 or relevant work experience. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area may be considered. Where a ‘high 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway 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.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
On graduating you will have a proven ability to undertake focused research, improved your written and oral presentation skills, and honed skills in critical analysis. In addition, you will have an understanding and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in literature, film, cultural studies or the visual arts. All of the these skills will be appealing to employers and enable you to pursue your chosen career. Alternatively, you will also be in a strong position to continue onto doctoral study, having demonstrated that you have the self direction, originality and initiative required.
In recent years a number of our Modern Languages, Literature and Culture postgraduates have gone on to successful academic careers both in Britain and internationally in the fields of modern languages, critical theory and film.
Postgraduates have also embarked upon many interesting and successful careers outside academia – in the UK, continental Europe and the United States – including journalism at The Independent, work for NGOs, trade sales, publishing, professional translating, teaching, opera direction, museum curatorship, creative arts, and librarianship.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £4345
International students tuition fee per year**: £13500
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the programme via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** 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, have not been included.