Postgraduate programmes

MA Comparative Literatures and Cultures

The MA in Comparative Literatures and Cultures gives you the opportunity to study a myriad encounters and exchanges between literatures and cultures across Europe and beyond. You will become acquainted with the theory and practice of comparative cultural study, and consider how concepts of national cultures sit alongside and are supplemented by cross-border perspectives and  powerful new ideas about globalism and transnationalism. You will gain a thorough grounding in cultural theory, critical reading, and research skills, and you will be shown how to put this theoretical knowledge into practice with reference to topics and themes that span the disciplines, national contexts, and time periods taught by the internationally recognized academics of Bristol’s School of Modern Languages.

The MA in Comparative Literatures and Cultures is distinct from many other programmes in ‘Comparative Literature’:

  • Our emphasis is firmly on ‘Cultures’ as well as ‘Literatures’, and moreover on transnational encounters between a wide range of cultures (spanning different temporal periods and focusing on a wide variety of languages).
  • The range of disciplines covered is similarly broad. The MA offers students the opportunity to engage in the study of literature and culture, history and politics, and visual culture (including film, theatre, graphic novels, photography, video art, manga, and graffiti). Options are also available in English literature.
  • We place critical emphasis on languages and on a sense of being part of an international community. All teaching is in English, but we encourage you to use your knowledge of other languages and cultures to widen your reading and bring new ideas to the classes.
  • You can also study a language at beginner’s, intermediate or advanced level as part of the MA. This may be any of the languages from our competitive portfolio of offerings (Western European, Eastern European and Asian). For those whose native language is not English, we also offer an optional unit in advanced English language.
  • Our connections with the cultural riches of the city of Bristol greatly enhance the course. The School has a vibrant research culture: our staff and students engage not only internationally but locally, with the dynamic city of Bristol, its renowned art cinemas, galleries and museums, and its lively transnational programme of literary, music and ideas festivals, film and animation, puppetry and “alternative” culture.

Faculty support

We foster a vibrant postgraduate community across the Faculty of Arts, providing you with dedicated support when you need it.


Comparative Literatures and Cultures is among the subjects eligible for funding from the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. The Faculty of Arts also offers funding opportunities for taught and research programmes.

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