Graduate School

MSc Comparative Literature

A fantastic cross-disciplinary programme, this one-year taught MSc compares literary works from different languages and cultures, and the relationship of literature to other art forms.


As the first UNESCO World City of Literature, and a major cultural hub, Edinburgh is the ideal place for the comparative study of literature and the relationship of literature to other art forms.

Our one-year taught Masters programme (formerly known as the MSc in Comparative and General Literature) draws on world-class teaching and research expertise across literatures, languages and cultures, from Scotland to Asia, Scandinavia to the Middle East. It can also be completed part-time over two years.

Bringing together an international community of learners, we live comparative literature in the classroom, where you’ll sharpen your critical, analytical and methodological skills, and explore a range of literary works from different linguistic and cultural systems.

You’ll also be encouraged to develop your own area of interest and expertise, with specially-designed option courses offering a detailed focus on literary themes, genres, and historical periods, critical theory and translation, and the relationship of the written word to other arts, such as music, painting and film. This leads to a final dissertation, pursuing your research interests further and developing your research skills.

Why study for an MSc in Comparative Literature in Edinburgh?

Based in a world-leading festival city, our MSc draws on the expertise of research-active teaching staff from across the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC). Literature has been taught here for over 250 years and we offer one of the widest variety of languages of any UK university.

You’ll be part of a friendly, international community of staff and students from a range of disciplines and backgrounds, each with their own perspective on literature and the arts, with lots of opportunities to discuss and present your work. LLC has excellent links with other Schools in the University of Edinburgh, as well as cultural partners in the city.

Combining core courses with optional courses, training in research skills, methods and problems, and a dissertation, will help you understand the practice and context of Comparative Literature, as well as developing your independent research skills to publication standard. Many of our graduates have gone on to complete PhDs.

You’ll have access to a wide range of resources, including The University of Edinburgh Library, the National Library of Scotland, Scottish Poetry Library, and numerous theatres and cinemas, including the Traverse Theatre, National Galleries of Scotland, and Filmhouse.



Where this programme might take you

Career opportunities for Comparative Literature graduates.

How you’ll study

What's involved in completing this MSc.

Find out more and apply

You can find out more about entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for this programme on the University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder.

Degree Finder links straight through to EUCLID, the online system for applying to postgraduate programmes at the University of Edinburgh. Applications for studying in 2018/19 are now open.

Go to the Degree Finder page on the MSc in Comparative Literature

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr Fiona Mackintosh (Programme Director) or Kara McCormack (Programme Administrator).

Related Links

Postgraduate study in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures