KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Comparative Literature Research MPhil/PhD (option of joint PhD with the University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore)

Apply now

Overview

We welcome applications from students with research interests in any area of modern, medieval and classical literature in the western European languages and in the modern languages of China, India, Africa and the Middle East. Special research focuses include: the afterlife of Greco-Roman antiquity in later Western literature; the tradition of melancholy from antiquity to 1800; modern Greek poetry; pain in African literature; gender and modern Chinese literature; space in the 19th century European novel; Palestinian and Israeli world literature; linguistics, philology and comparative literature.

  • REF rankings 2014:  The most recent Research Excellence Framework confirmed the world-class standard of research undertaken in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and its leading international reputation. The Department of English is ranked 8th in the UK and 2nd amongst Russell Group universities according to the framework's "power" metric, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity.

  • Research supervision: Coordinated by the Postgraduate and Research Committee, it links some of the highest-rated literature teaching departments in the country.

  • Current number of academic staff: 10.

  • Recent research projects:

    • Metonymy in ancient Greek and German poetry
    • French critical thought and comparative literature
    • The Bengali novel and representations of Africa
    • Transnational modernisms
    • Modern Chinese literary representations of the city
    • Illness narratives in Arabic
    • Palestinian and Arab-American speculative fiction
    • Lesbian fluidity in the classical tradition
    • Genocide fiction and transitional justice

Partner organisations

Partner organisations: ongoing co-operation in research and student exchange takes place between the programme and the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

  • Joint PhDs available: Exciting opportunities to gain a joint PhD with the University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore.

Key information

Duration Expected to be PhD (initial registration for MPhil), three years FT, four-six years PT. September to September, January to January or April to April.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London or King's and HKU/NUS for joint programmes

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Comparative Literature

Locations

 

Explore campuses


Applying for an Arts & Humanities PhD at King's

In the heart of London

Tips and advice on applying for an Arts & Humanities PhD at King's College London.

Watch more videos

Course detail

Description

We welcome applications from students with research interests in any area of modern, medieval and classical literature in the western European languages and in the modern languages of China, India, Africa and the Middle East. Special research focuses include: the afterlife of Greco-Roman antiquity in later Western literature; the tradition of melancholy from antiquity to 1800; modern Greek poetry; pain in African literature; gender and modern Chinese literature; space in the 19th century European novel; Palestinian and Israeli world literature; linguistics, philology and comparative literature.

Current research projects include:

  • Metonymy in ancient Greek and German poetry

  • French critical thought and comparative literature

  • The Bengali novel and representations of Africa

  • Transnational modernisms

  • Modern Chinese literary representations of the city

  • Illness narratives in Arabic

  • Palestinian and Arab-American speculative fiction

Course study environment

Research students present their work at the regular Research Seminar and participate in the Comparative Literature Graduate Reading Group and the annual Comparative Literature Graduate Conference. They also attend other Department seminars as appropriate including at the Global Institutes and the Arts and Humanities Festival.  The various Institutes of the University of London School of Advanced Study run a wealth of seminars. In addition, King's Comparative Literature plays a pivotal role in the London Intercollegiate Comparative Studies network, which hosts its own seminars.

Postgraduate training

Training involves the Research Seminar; courses organised by the King's Centre for Doctoral Studies; and specialised research training in the University of London's School of Advanced Study. In addition, you can enhance or broaden your language competence through daytime or evening classes in the Modern Language Centre. All Comparative Literature research students have the opportunity to acquire teaching experience.

Head of group/division

Dr. Anna Bernard

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 1649 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Contact email

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/Admissions-contact-form.aspx

Course website

www.kcl.ac.uk/complit/

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Comp Lit Research Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements   Master of Arts degree with Merit and a minimum of 65% overall in a subject in which the study of literature plays a significant part; applicants must have the linguistic skills relevant to their research project, or be willing to develop them.
International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band C Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

 

Application procedure

You should send us a 600 word research project outline with your graduate application form, together with a sample of your previous written work (typically, your MA dissertation). Admission to our research programmes will initially be for the MPhil but we expect students to transfer to the PhD after one year, by agreement with their supervisor and the Departmental Postgraduate and Research Committee.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors prior to application. To identify a supervisor please see: https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

CompLit Research checklist
Research Proposal Yes The proposal (600 word outline) should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Writing Sample Yes Please include a sample of your previous written work (typically, your MA dissertation) as part of your application.
Travel Plan Yes (joint programme only) If applying for the joint programme, please include the names of your supervisors from both institutions and include a completed travel plan form.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application.

Course intake

No set number.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants for the Joint PhD programme must contact the relevant departments at both universities before submitting an application in order to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and to locate potential supervisors. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, i.e. where the student will start and finish their programme. Students should note that acceptance onto the programme may take slightly longer than for single-institution PhDs because of the additional steps involved. Further details, including FAQs, can be found on the King’s Worldwide web pages.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online system, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a Travel plan form indicating how they intend to divide their time between the two partner institutions. Students must spend a specified amount of time in each institution, details of which can be found in the ‘Notes’ section of the Travel Plan form.

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. Please note that funding applications deadlines may be earlier. We will open applications for the corresponding intake in 2021 after the final deadline passes in 2020.

  • January 2020 entry – 25th October 2019 for International students and 2nd December 2019 for Home/EU students
  • April 2020 entry – 14th February 2020 for International and Home/EU students
  • October 2020 entry – 31st July 2020 for International students and 28th August 2020 for Home/EU students

Applications for 2021/22 academic year will open from October 2020.

Please note that funding applications deadlines may be earlier.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees: £5,300 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,650 per year

International Tuition Fees 2019/20

Full time tuition fees:  £19,850 per year

Part time tuition fees: £9,950 per year

 

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2020/21

Full time tuition fees: £5,550 per year (MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature)

Full time tutition fees: £5,550 per year (MPhill/PhD Comparative Literature Joint PhD Option with University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore)

Part time tuition fees: £2,780 per year

International Tuition Fees 2020/21

Full time tuition fees: £20,820 per year (MPhil/PhD, Comparative Literature)

Full time tutition fees: £20,820 per year (MPhill/PhD Comparative Literature Joint PhD Option with University of Hong Kong or National University of Singapore)

Part time tuition fees: £10,410 per year

Students starting their programme in 2019/20 who are eligible to pay EU fees will pay the same rate of tuition fees as UK students. This will apply for the duration of their programme, but may be subject to change by the UK Government for subsequent cohorts from 2020/21.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Testimonials

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download our guide in PDF format or order a copy.

Download guide

Order guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.