Duration: 3 years full time
UCAS code: Q2W4
Institution code: R72
Comparative Literature and Culture and Drama (BA)
This joint honours course in Comparative Literature and Culture and Drama allows you to combine the study of drama and theatre with exploring literature - and, if you wish, film and art - from across the world. Choosing to study these complementary subjects at Royal Holloway means you will develop as a culturally-aware, creative and adaptable thinker, with impressive communication and presentation skills.
Comparative Literature and Culture offers you the opportunity to study 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.
You can choose from an exceptionally wide range of fascinating options, spanning 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.
Choosing to study Drama at Royal Holloway will put you at the centre of one of the largest and most influential Drama and Theatre departments in the world. You'll create performances, analyse texts, and bring together a range of critical ideas to bear on both. On this course, the text and the body, thinking and doing, work together. There's no barrier between theory and practice: theory helps you understand and make the most of practice, while practice sheds light on theory. By moving between the two, you'll find your place as an informed theatre-maker, and by studying a variety of practices, by yourself and with others, you'll gain knowledge of the industry as a whole, and identify how your interests could fit into wider picture.
We are top-rated for teaching and research, with a campus community recognised for its creativity (rated 14th in the world, and 6th in the UK, for Performing Arts in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). Our staff cover a huge range of theatre and performance studies, but we're particularly strong in contemporary British theatre, international and intercultural performance, theatre history, dance and physical theatre, and contemporary performance practices.
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.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
Comparative Literature and Culture core modules
This module introduces students to the theories and practices of textual analysis and comparative textual analysis as well as to the major debates about theories and practices of comparative literature in a transnational context. Students will read a small number of core literary texts - influential within comparatism and diverse in cultural, temporal and linguistic origin - alongside a range of historically, geographically, culturally, generically and stylistically varied textual extracts. The core literary texts will be read in their entirety, with particular attention to: the construction and interpretation of genre; transnationalism and translation; cultural and historical context; and questions of authorship, influence and canonicity.
Drama core modules
- Theatre and Performance Making 1
- Theatre and Text 1
Comparing short stories from different periods and geographical areas is a great way of exploring how literature evolves structurally and thematically in response to different ideas and contexts. In this module we read short stories – and look at examples of visual art - from the eighteenth century to the present day to discover what structural and symbolic elements characterize major movements of Western art including the Enlightenment, Romanticism, Realism, Modernism and Postmodernism. All non-English-language texts are in English translation. These are explored both individually and in comparison, developing skills in close reading and comparative critical analysis and the ability to recognize and contrast different features of fiction and to situate evolving literary aesthetics in their historical context.
This module provides an account of some of the major theoretical trends and currents which inform our thinking and practice of Comparative Literature and Culture. Reading canonical and contemporary texts alongside each other, students will ask questions such as: How should we understand and respond to art in the twenty-first century? Who counts as a subject and how should we understand racial, sexual and species difference? And, how should we conceptualise culture in a globalised world?
Drama core module
- Group Project
For more information on optional modules available as part of the CLC part of your course, please see the list here.
Teaching & assessment
In Comparative Literature and Culture, you'll be taught through a combination of lectures and small seminar groups, where you'll be able to try out new ideas by giving presentations and taking part in lively discussions. The course has a modular structure. You will take 120 credits’ worth of modules each year. You'll have access to online resources and the University’s comprehensive e-learning facility, Moodle, for your own study time. You'll be assessed in different ways, from online comprehension tests and individual and group presentations, to coursework and examinations.
Our drama courses are 50% critical work and 50% creative/practical work. For most course units in Drama, you'll be assessed on two pieces of coursework, one of which is usually an academic essay or a research presentation, and the other an assignment like a performance or installation. You'll always hear back from us on how you've done.
- You'll work individually and as part of a team.
- You'll gasin practical skills working on model box set design, lighting design, acting, directing and stage management tasks, physical theatre and movement work, and work with schools and other community groups.
- You'll get more work-related skills in research, thinking and communication (written and verbal).
- In your first year, you'll take a study skills course to equip you with the writing skills you'll need to make your degree count. Though the course doesn't count towards your final degree, you'll need to take it to pass on to your second year. In your final year, you will write a research-led dissertation.
A Levels: AAB-ABB
- 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. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university, you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.
We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:
- AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
- AAA – Distinction
- BBB – Merit
- CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
- DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)
Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.
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.
Undergraduate preparation programme
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.
Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
On completion of your Comparative Literature and Culture and Drama degree at Royal Holloway you will have proven analytical skills and be an adaptable thinker with impressive communication and leadership skills. Having made the most of the performance opportunities, you’ll have considerable experience, be confident in performance situations and have technical, intellectual, imaginative, and practical skills. All of these skills and the experience gained will appeal to future employers.
Your degree not only gives you the directly relevant knowledge to enter the creative, media and arts sectors, but also a range of valuable transferable skills, thereby lending itself to roles in a diverse range of careers. You may also choose to continue your studies by means of a postgraduate degree.
We’re committed to helping you enhance your employment and prepare for the choices ahead. Opportunities available to you include work placements, specialist training workshops, networking events and our annual festival of culture. Our industry links will help you to pursue work experience with theatres and creative arts agencies.
- Recent Comparative Literature and Culture graduates have launched careers in diverse roles such as content writing, photographic editorial, journalism, sales and marketing, teaching, publishing and retail buying.
- Recent graduates in the Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance have gone into careers in acting, writing, broadcasting (including at the BBC), literary agency, arts management, sound design, marketing/PR, teaching and community theatre work, as well as postgraduate study in a range of fields. Many of our graduates also start their own performing arts companies.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,800
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course. Students stuying Drama, Theatre and Dance are required to purchase a pair of safety boots in the first year, for which a range of costs are available. Ticket costs for mandatory theatre trips are capped at £10.
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.
*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25, the fee is £9,250 for that year.
**This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25
Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree. The upper limit of any such annual rise has not yet been set for courses starting in 2024 but will advertised here once confirmed. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.