Comparative Literature


Comparative Literature allows you to develop a perspective on literature which extends across national and cultural boundaries and chronological periods. It gives you the opportunity to study problems of wider cultural significance.

Areas of study

Postgraduate study in Comparative Literature will allow you to challenge the traditional boundaries between disciplines and to draw insights from anthropology, history, linguistics, philosophy and sociology. You can take courses within a broad framework and undertake research across many cultures and disciplines.

Study and research opportunities reflect our areas of strength:

  • East-West literary comparison
  • narrative and metaphor
  • literary translation
  • colonial and post-colonial literatures
  • literature and film
  • reworking of classical and traditional storylines
  • self-lifewriting
  • cross-cultural study of writing by women

You can study Comparative Literature in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Comparative Literature will interest you if you enjoy reading works from other countries and cultures, and if you want to think more deeply about what you read. You will be concerned with identifying similarities, but also with negotiating issues of difference such as historical period, language, religion, ethnicity, class, and gender. Comparative Literature goes beyond comparison to deal with questions of encounter and clash - between cultures, concepts of art, literature and other fields.

Career opportunities

The skills and insights you will develop can be an advantage for any occupation involving the ability to work across cultures. Comparative Literature can be useful for careers in publishing, journalism, creative writing, editing, arts administration, librarianship, translation, foreign affairs, international business, teaching abroad, secondary school teaching and teaching English as a second language.

More information

Find out more about studying Comparative Literature.