Comparative Literatures and Cultures
Research in Comparative Literatures and Cultures sits within the School of Modern Languages and builds on two areas of strength within the School: transnational studies and intermediality. By exploring new objects of study and innovative methodologies, we have forged interdisciplinary connections in and beyond the arts and social sciences via themes of global concern, from mental health to climate change.
Transnational studies emphasise cultural difference and diversity yet also interconnectedness and mutual influence. We explore cultural contact, migration and transfer within and beyond Europe in uneven colonial, pre-colonial, and postcolonial contexts, both vertically and transversally, while questioning persistent narratives of ‘West’ and ‘East’ or ‘North’ and ‘South’.
Intermedial studies build on our excellence in word and image studies, film and theatre, auditory culture, and the study of such cultural artefacts as video games, graphic novels, manga, the media, landscape design, and artwork from video installation to graffiti.
We also explore the materiality of discursive genres (poetic form, the novel, ego documents and political rhetoric), and how literary and discursive practices interact with social, political and professional contexts. Comparative Literatures and Cultures draws on the extensive research specialisms of our staff. Each research student is assigned a supervisor who works in their proposed area of research or related field, and benefits from the input of a second supervisor who will likely come from another department, depending on the nature of the project. Supervisory teams may include staff from other schools and departments within the Faculty of Arts and beyond, for example in Classics, English, Drama, History, or Philosophy.
Our postgraduates are fully integrated in a professionally and personally supportive departmental and school community. We encourage you to attend and give papers at school and University research events, as well as academic conferences. Funding is available to support field work and participation in external events. We support you in developing a full range of academic skills.
MPhil: a standalone, one-year (full-time) research degree. Students will undertake their own research project, concluding in a 25,000-word dissertation. Students may have the option to audit units from our taught master's programmes if relevant.
PhD: a research project undertaken across four years (full-time, minimum period of study three years), culminating in an 80,000 word thesis. As well as having the option to audit taught units, there may be the potential for PhD students to teach units themselves from their second year of study.
The MPhil and PhD can be studied via distance learning.
MPhil: An upper second-class degree or international equivalent. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of your readiness to pursue a research degree.
PhD: A master's qualification, or be working towards a master's qualification, or international equivalent. Applicants without a master's qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent). Applicants with a non-traditional background may be considered provided they can demonstrate substantial equivalent and relevant experience that has prepared them to undertake their proposed course of study.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £4,665 per year
- UK: part-time
- £2,332 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £20,100 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2023/24
The University of Bristol is part of the South, West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP), which will be offering studentships for September 2023. For information on other funding opportunities, including University-funded studentships, please see the Faculty of Arts funding pages.
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
Graduates from our department go on to work in diverse professional contexts, including higher education and research, government, public and private sector organisations, international development, NGOs, and policy-making organisations.
Meet our supervisors
The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.