Comparative Literatures and Cultures

Our comparative literatures and cultures degrees offer a unique range of perspectives on the discipline, drawing on textual, cultural and visual studies, as well as translation, philosophy, history, social science and critical theory. Joint honours students spend their third year abroad.

Why study Comparative Literatures and Cultures at Bristol?

Comparative literatures and cultures is taught by the School of Modern Languages in collaboration with other departments and schools in the Faculty of Arts. We have an international reputation for research and scholarship which informs our courses at all levels.

For those taking joint honours courses with a modern foreign language, professional language teaching is provided by experts in both beginners’ and advanced-level language acquisition. You will also study many aspects of the culture, politics and society of the countries where your chosen language is spoken. On these courses you will spend your third year abroad, where you can immerse yourself in your chosen language and culture. Bristol is an exciting city in which to study arts and humanities, with a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Bristol was ranked in the top ten in the UK for modern languages in the Guardian University Guide 2020. Our courses are designed to support your development as an independent learner and give you the opportunity to develop your own individual interests. Students at Bristol benefit from a state-of-the-art multimedia centre with access to over 2,000 films, a mini-cinema, foreign satellite channels, a magazine library and a recording studio.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Bristol's comparative literatures and cultures courses will suit intelligent, imaginative, hard-working students with an international outlook and a fascination with literature, culture and society in a variety of forms.

Our students have wide-ranging intellectual curiosity and a desire to open their minds to cultures of different periods and geopolitical contexts.

How is this course taught and assessed?

Teaching will be delivered through lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops. You will be expected to participate in small-group teaching and may be asked to give introductory talks to initiate discussion.

Assessment methods are varied, and include presentations, essays, commentaries, exams, collaborative projects, debates, case study explorations, reports and dissertations.

Students on joint honours courses with a modern language will divide their third year between countries that are relevant to the chosen language, exploring the culture and society of the host country while studying at a partner institution, teaching English or undertaking a work placement. This is assessed via written and filmed project work.

What are my career prospects?

Bristol graduates from similar courses have entered careers in teaching, translating, academia, finance, industry, publishing, the media, law, travel, and British and international civil services. Many of these careers are directly related to cultural understanding you will gain during your studies.

Students also studying a modern foreign language add an international reach to these career options. Many find employment in jobs where their languages are advantageous but not central to their work.

Comparative literatures and cultures graduates can show an international outlook, capacities and experience useful to most employers in these days of international competition.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.


Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

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