Postgraduate study

Comparative Literature

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Comparative Literature

Part of our European Languages & Cultures research area, Comparative Literature involves the study of literary works of different linguistic and cultural systems, and encourages exploration of the interrelations between literature and the other arts. In the course of your research, you will be focusing on literary themes, genres and historical periods from the perspective of comparative study.

Our research options embrace a range of languages and cultures within Europe, North America, South America and Asia.

We can provide you with supervision on a wide range of topics within the School, including European and world literature, word and image, word and music, and film.

Further expertise is available from the extensive pool of specialists researching across the University.

In addition to individual supervision, research students have access to specialised research training and postgraduate seminars.

You will have ready access to the National Library of Scotland, a leading research library, as well as the University’s Main Library, which provides a wealth of primary and secondary texts and journals and is home to our Centre for Research Collections. Edinburgh’s many museums and art house cinemas are a further rich resource.

A UK masters degree, or its international equivalent, in a related subject.

If you intend to undertake aspects of the programme in any languages other than English, you should be competent in those languages.

We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH
Programme start date Application deadline
11 September 2017 31 July 2017

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you discuss your research proposal by email with a prospective supervisor.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a research proposal and a sample of written work of about 3,000 words (this can be a previous piece of work from an undergraduate degree).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH