Postgraduate research 

Comparative Literature PhD/MLitt (Research)/MPhil (Research)/MRes

Comparative Literature

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Comparative Literature is an exciting interdisciplinary, intercultural, and inter-medial discipline housed in our School of Modern Languages and Cultures with expertise in ten modern languages and cultures.

  • PhD: 3 years full-time; 5 years part-time; Thesis of 70,000-100,000 words
  • MLitt (Research): 2 years full-time; 3 years part-time; Thesis of 40,000-70,000 words
  • MPhil (Research): 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time; Thesis of 30,000-40,000 words
  • MRes: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time; Thesis of 20,000-30,000 words

Unfortunately our Application and Applicant Self Service systems are currently unavailable. We will post updates on the availability of these systems as soon as possible on our Enquiry and Programme pages. We can assure you that no applicant will be disadvantaged in respect to deadlines as a result of these systems issues.

Overview

The strengths of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC) lie in the languages and literatures of Europe, both east and west. For this reason our Comparative Literature Programme might be subtitled: European and European Influenced. There is indeed still much work to be done in having East meet West since the fall of the Wall so many years ago, and we are proudly placed, with our Slavonic subject areas, to enable research and teaching in this cross-over area. We cross into the New World as well, having staff working on, for example, Quebecois literature, Mexican and Brazilian, as well as North American Anglophone literature.

Comparative Literature has close collaborative links, not only with disciplines such as Translations Studies, English Literature, Scottish Literature and Classics, but also with History, Art History, Philosophy, Gender History, as well as Central and East European Studies and Economic and Social History, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Medical Humanities, and Digital Humanities.  We are also involved within larger networks such as Human Rights Network and GRAMnet (Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration network), and the School of Modern Languages and Cultures is home to the Stirling Maxwell Centre for Text/Image Studies.

This allows us to offer a very wide variety of research pathways for students with diverse backgrounds and interests.  Our special strengths linguistically include languages of Eastern, Central, and Western Europe and Latin America as well as Mandarin. Links with other Schools provides access to classical, mediaeval, and other modern languages.

We currently have a cohort of 25 taught Masters and roughly 30 postgraduate research students within the School of Modern Languages and Culture. Our research students organise a regular seminar series and play an active role in building a thriving research environment beneficial to all postgraduate students within modern languages and cultures.

Staff Research Strengths

Staff research interests within the School of Modern Languages and Cultures include topics from the Middle Ages to the present.

Research areas include

  • gender (femininities, masculinities and transgender),
  • emotions,
  • visual cultures (from Renaissance emblems to film, photography and the graphic novel),
  • the literature of migration and exile (including post-colonialism, post-communism, African literatures, literatures of the New World, and the Holocaust),
  • nationalism(s) and transnationalism,
  • psychology/psychoanalysis/analytical psychology and literature,
  • literature and philosophy, critical theory, and censorship.

The work that we do addresses the problems of understanding an ‘Other’ across times, places/spaces, and cultures, whether this work is undertaken by means of translation, literary/cultural or social analysis, or historical research. 

Study options

PhD

  • Duration: 3 years full-time; 5 years part-time
  • Thesis length: 70,000-100,000 words, including references, bibliography and appendices (other than documentary appendices).

A Doctor of Philosophy may be awarded to a student whose thesis is an original work making a significant contribution to knowledge in, or understanding of, a field of study and normally containing material worthy of publication.

MLitt (Research)

  • Duration: 2 years full-time; 3 years part-time
  • Thesis length: 40,000-70,000 words (including references, bibliography and appendices).

Our Degree of Master of Letters (Research) requires you to undertake a postgraduate course of special study and research that represents a distinct contribution to knowledge.

MPhil (Research)

  • Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
  • Thesis length: 30,000-40,000 words (including references and bibliography).

A Master of Philosophy (Research) requires you to undertake a postgraduate course of special study and research that represents a distinct contribution to knowledge.

MRes

  • Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
  • Thesis length: 20,000-30,000 words (including references, bibliography and appendices).

Our Master of Research includes both taught and research elements. You will be required to undertake 60 to 80 credits worth of taught courses as well as independent study which represents some contribution to knowledge.

Entry requirements

Our regular standard of admission is at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1), although candidates will usually also have completed or be undertaking a Masters qualification.

Research proposal

Candidates are required to provide an outline of the proposed research subject in about 1000 words. This need not be a final thesis proposal but should include:

  • a straightforward, descriptive, and informative title
  • the question that your research will address
  • an account of why this question is important and worth investigating
  • an assessment of how your own research will engage with recent study in the subject
  • a brief account of the methodology and approach you will take
  • a discussion of the primary sources that your research will draw upon, including printed books, manuscripts, archives, libraries, or museums
  • an indicative bibliography of secondary sources that you have already consulted and/or are planning to consult

Your application, including your references and research proposal, will be passed to members of staff whose expertise and research interests most closely match the area of your proposed study.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 7.0 with no sub-test under 7.0.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission to this programme:

TOEFL (ib, my best or athome)

  • 100 with minimum R 24, L 24, S 23, W 27.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test, this includes TOEFL mybest.

PTE (Academic)

  • 70 with minimum 70 in all subtests.
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Glasgow International College English Language (and other foundation providers)

  • 65%.
  • Tests are accepted for academic year following sitting.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

  • Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English).
  • Students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master’s level, and must have completed their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years.
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English).
  • Students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

Fees and funding

Fees

2023/24

  • UK: To be confirmed by UKRI [22/23 fee was £4596]
  • International & EU: £23,520

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Irish nationals who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status, and Internationals with Indefinite Leave to remain status can also qualify for home fee status.

Alumni discount

We offer a 20% discount to our alumni on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School with us. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Possible additional fees

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

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2022/23

  • UK: £4596
  • International & EU: £20,400

Possible additional fees

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

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Support

Resources

Teaching and research in the Arts and Humanities is supported by the outstanding resources of our University Library with its special collections and our on-campus Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.

Our close links and partnerships with Glasgow Life, and the city’s many museums, art galleries, performing arts and music venues, international festivals and creative industry organisations make the University of Glasgow the ideal place for postgraduate study of the arts.

Graduate School

Our College of Arts Graduate School creates a productive and interdisciplinary collegiate environment for all of our research students. We offer a range of services, courses and skills development opportunities for research students.

The College of Arts is home to a vibrant and diverse community of students enrolled on taught masters and research programmes within a stimulating intellectual and cultural environment. Across every school and subject area the college is home to world-leading and agenda-setting research.

Find out more about what is happening in the community by following us: 

You will also be part of the wider Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, the world's first national graduate school in the Arts & Humanities. Membership includes 16 Scottish universities, four art schools & the national conservatoire, with support from the arts, culture, creative & heritage sectors. 

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.

Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  3. Two references on headed paper and signed by the referee. One must be academic, the other can be academic or professional. References may be uploaded as part of the application form or you may enter your referees contact details on the application form. We will then email your referee and notify you when we receive the reference.  We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.

Unfortunately our Application and Applicant Self Service systems are currently unavailable. We will post updates on the availability of these systems as soon as possible on our Enquiry and Programme pages. We can assure you that no applicant will be disadvantaged in respect to deadlines as a result of these systems issues.

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