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Classical Studies & Comparative Literature BA

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Overview

Discover the relationship between the great works of classical antiquity and literature from around the globe on this joint degree.

You’ll study the ancient world and its legacy, with options from the Bronze Age to Modern Greece, whilst also becoming an expert in comparative study as you explore literature spanning 2,500 years and six continents.

Comparative Literature is the study of literature beyond the borders of one particular country or cultural group, and the study of the interactions between literature and other forms of human expression, including the arts, the sciences, and cultural artifacts of all kinds.

Your time will be split equally between the Classics and Comparative Literature Departments.

Key benefits

Classics

  • Top five for Classics & Ancient Literature in the UK (QS World Rankings 2018). The Department is renowned for its quality of teaching, student experience and cutting-edge research.
  • King’s Department of Classics is one of the largest in the UK, with unique coverage from the Bronze Age to Modern Greece.
  • Central location offers collaborations with the British Museum and the Museum of London, which are incorporated into undergraduate teaching.
  • Our courses combine focus and flexibility, allowing students to pursue their interests.
  • We were ranked fourth in the UK for graduate employment (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017).

Comparative Literature 

  • Our course draws on the teaching and research expertise of some of the highest ranked literature departments in the UK.
  • The Department of Comparative Literature at King’s covers 12 languages and six continents. It spans over 2,500 years and extends beyond the modern works of literature of Europe to the Americas, Australia, the Middle East, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • All modules are taught in English translation, though you are encouraged to read in the original language where possible and supported in the development of new linguistic skills.
  • Our flexible course structure allows you to pursue your research interests and choose from a wide variety of modules across a number of departments.
  • Central location offers students the opportunity to benefit from London’s unique cultural resources.

Key information

UCAS code QQ28

Duration Three years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Joint honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Classics Department of Comparative Literature

Locations

 

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Course detail

Description

This inter-departmental course looks at the comparative study of global literature, with particular attention to the literature and cultures of the classical world. You will research key areas of the topics, and study them from different viewpoints – you will have the opportunity to compare different approaches as well as literary genres, themes and contexts.

The Classical Studies & Comparative Literature BA degree is a three-year course that comprises of modules totalling 360 credits. Each year, you will take modules totalling 120 credits.

Your first year of study will consist of modules covering conceptions, methods and theoretical foundations of Comparative Literature; providing you with a rounded introduction to the subject; developing your analytical skills and introducing you to advanced historical theory and methodology. You will similarly be introduced to foundational concepts and methods in the area of Classical Studies, and will have the opportunity to take Greek and/or Latin language modules at a level appropriate to your prior knowledge.

In the second and third years, you will study further required and optional modules, giving you the freedom to develop a study pathway that reflects your interests. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad in the second semester of the second year or for the whole of your second year.

In your final year, you are required to complete a 10,000-word dissertation on an approved subject of your choice and emphasising self-directed research. The optional modules you will also study will reflect the current research and expertise of staff in the Department, providing you with the opportunity to study specialist subjects in-depth.

Teaching style

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the course. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. You will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide support and guidance for your studies.

Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Assessment

Your performance will be assessed through a combination of coursework and written/practical examinations. Forms of assessment may typically include coursework essays, written examinations and individual or group presentations. In your first year, you will be assessed by an approximately even combination of coursework essays and written examinations. In your second and third years, depending on your choice of modules you may experience more modules assessed by coursework or more modules assessed by written exams or an even mixture of both. 

Location

The majority of learning for this degree takes place at the King's College London Strand Campus. Please note that locations are determined by where each module is taught and may vary depending on the optional modules you select.

Special notes

Greek Play

The King’s Greek Play has been an annual tradition since 1953 and it is the only production in the country to be performed every year in the original Greek. Students (with all levels of Greek) participate in the direction, production and performance of the play, bringing to the stage playwrights from Aeschylus to Aristophanes.

Rumble Fund

In 2013 the Department of Classics created the Rumble Fund following a generous donation by a former student. This fund is used each year to pay for a group of students to visit classical lands as part of their degree programme.

Classics Society

Students run the Classics Society, which publishes the Satyrica newsletter and organizes regular lectures, theatre outings, themed parties, private tours around museums, nights out and trips abroad – in recent years, group expeditions have been made to Italy and Turkey.

Iris Project

The department also promotes teaching Latin in disadvantaged primary schools through the Iris Project; this offers students a highly unusual experience that is both enriching and will impress future employers.

Study abroad
You also have the opportunity to study abroad for either the second semester of the second year or for the whole of the second year. Partner institutions currently include:

  • University of Auckland
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Toronto (Full year only)
  • University of California
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (Up to five places exclusively available for Classics students)
  • University of Sydney

Find out more about studying abroad

Our students also have opportunities to attend the annual summer schools at the British Schools in Athens and Rome, and participate in archaeological excavations in Greece and Italy, as well as further afield.

Structure

Year 1

Courses are divided into modules. Each year you will normally take modules totalling 120 credits.
Required Modules

Classical Studies

There are no required modules for Classical Studies in Year 1.

Comparative Literature

You are required to take the following 15-credit modules:

  • What is Comparative Literature? Conceptions & Methods (15 credits)
  • Comparative Literature: Theoretical Foundations (15 credits)
Optional Modules

Classical Studies

You are required to take 60 credits from a wide range of Classics modules (of which up to 30 may be language modules) which may typically include:

  • Greek Language 1 (30 credits)
  • Greek Language 2 (30 credits)
  • Greek Language 3 (30 credits)
  • Latin Language 1 (30 credits)
  • Latin Language 2 (30 credits)
  • Latin Language 3 (30 credits)
  • Art & Archaeology of Greece & Rome (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Ancient History (c 1200 BC–AD 600) (30 credits)
  • Greek & Latin Literature: An Introduction (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Ancient Philosophy (30 credits)
  • Working with Greek & Latin Literary Texts: An Introduction (30 credits)
  • Introduction to Byzantium & Modern Greece: The Greek-Speaking World from 330 AD to Today (15 credits
  • Receptions of the Past: The Hellenic World from Antiquity to Today (15 credits)

Comparative Literature

Additionally, you are required to take 30 credits from a range of optional Comparative Literature modules which may typically include:

  • The Writer in the Text (15 credits)
  • Forms of Shorter Narrative (15 credits)
  • Genres of World Literature (15 credits)
  • The Novel in 18th Century Europe (15 credits)
  • Reading Modern Poetry Comparatively: Greek & English (15 credits)

Year 2

Required Modules

Classical Studies

There are no required modules for Classical Studies in Year 2.

Comparative Literature

You are required to take 30 credits from the following 15 credit modules:

  • Literature & Empire (15 credits) and Ideas of Nation (15 credits)
  • The Book in the Modern World (15 credits) and The Canon (15 credits)
Optional Modules

Classical Studies

You are required to take 60 credits from a wide range of Classics modules which may typically include:

  • Greek Language 1 (30 credits)
  • Greek Language 3A (30 credits)
  • Latin Language 1 (30 credits)
  • Latin Language 3A (30 credits)
  • Roman Britain (30 credits)
  • Art & Power in the Age of Alexander (Hellenistic Art I) (15 credits)
  • Introductory Greek Texts: Prose (15 credits)
  • From Sulla to Caesar: the Fall of the Roman Republic (15 credits)
  • Early Greece from Troy to Marathon (15 credits)
  • Pompeii: History & Society (15 credits)
  • Introductory Latin Texts: Prose (15 credits)
  • Homer (15 credits)
  • Myth & Literature: Ancient Stories, Modern Meanings (15 credits)
  • Death in Greek literature (15 credits)
  • Virgil’s Aeneid (15 credits)
  • The Art of Acquisition: Conquest, Collection & the Rise of Rome (Hellenistic Art II) (15 credits)
  • Building Greece (15 credits)
  • Constantinople: Imperial Capital – Medieval Metropolis (15 credits)
  • Introductory Greek Texts: Verse (15 credits)
  • Democracy, Empire & War: Greece 446–338 BC (15 credits)
  • The Late Roman World, AD 337–425 (15 credits)
  • Introductory Latin Texts: Verse (15 credits)
  • Wisdom & the Divine: Ancient Greek Philosophy & Religion (15 credits)
  • Ancient Sexuality I (15 credits)
  • Ancient Sexuality II (15 credits)
  • Latin Lyric Poetry (15 credits)
  • The Novels of Nikos Kazantzakis & the Ancient World (15 credits)

Comparative Literature

In addition you are required to take at least 15 credits from a range of optional 15 credit Comparative Literature modules which may typically include:

  • Literature & Empire (15 credits)
  • Ideas of Nation (15 credits)
  • Travel Writing (15 credits)
  • The Book in the Modern World (15 credits)
  • The Canon (15 credits)
  • Writing Africa: Anglophone, Francophone (15 credits)
  • Socialism & Literature in China & India in the Twentieth Century (15 credits)
  • Palestinian & Israeli Literature (15 credits)
  • The Faust Tradition: Dramatic Transformations (15 credits)
  • The Promise of Poetry: What is Poetic Language? (15 credits)
  • Forms of Discovery: Hardy, Cavafy & the Modern Short Poem (15 credits)

You may also take up to 30 credits from approved optional modules offered by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

You also have the opportunity to study abroad for either the second semester of the second year or for the whole of the second year. Partner institutions currently include:

  • University of Auckland
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Toronto (Full year only)
  • University of California
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • University of Sydney

Year 3

Required Modules

Classical Studies

There are no required modules for Classical Studies in Year 3.

Comparative Literature

You are required to take:

  • Dissertation (10,000 words) (30 credits) 
Optional Modules

Classical Studies

You are required to take at least 60 credits from a range of optional Classics modules which may typically include:

  • Minoans & Mycenaeans (30 credits)
  • The Classical Art of the Body: Greek Sculpture (30 credits)
  • The Art of Making: Craft Production from Classical Antiquity to Today (30 credits)
  • Augustus: Power & Propaganda (30 credits)
  • The History & Theory of Ancient Slavery (30 credits)
  • Greek Religion (30 credits)
  • Pagans, Christians & Jews in the Roman Empire (30 credits)
  • Streetwise: Narrating the City in Cassical Literature (30 credits)
  • Neronian Literature & Culture (30 credits)
  • Plato’s Myths: the Soul, Desire & the Beyond (30 credits)
  • Living for Ever: Fame & Glory from Homeric Heroes to Roman Emperors (and Beyond) (30 credits)
  • An Introduction to Classical Reception Studies in Sixteen Encounters (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (30 credits)
  • Greek Texts: Prose (15 credits)
  • Persian Kings & their Territory in the Achaemenid Empire (15 credits)
  • Latin Texts: Prose (15 credits)
  • Descent to the Underworld: Transformations of a Myth (15 credits)
  • Romanticism & Revolution: Byron, the Shelleys & Greece (15 credits)
  • Origins of Nations & Nationalism: Identity in the Hellenic World (15 credits)
  • Venice: History & Art (15 credits)
  • Greek Texts: Poetry (15 credits)
  • Latin Texts: Poetry (15 credits)

Comparative Literature

You are also required to take at least 15 credits from a range of optional 15-credit Comparative Literature modules which may typically include:

  • Surrealism (15 credits)
  • Imaginary Geographies (15 credits)
  • From Opium to Maximum City: Narrating Political Economy in India & China (15 credits)
  • The French Revolution Effect (15 credits)
  • Listening Across the Channel: Sound & Literature (15 credits)
  • Modern Arabic Literature (15 credits)
  • Testimony: The Holocaust & Rwanda (15 credits)
  • Literature, Solidarity & the Humanitarian Turn (15 credits)

You may also take up to 30 credits from approved optional modules offered by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis in order to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. The optional modules offered may therefore change.

Entry requirements

 

Required grades

AAB

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A-levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer.

Required grades

35 points overall (including TOK/EE) with three Higher Level subjects at 665

Required grades

45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units awarded at Distinction, with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit

Required grades

D3 D3 M2

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels).

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

Further information below

If you are taking the new RQF BTEC Nationals (2016), you will not be required to fulfil the module requirement stipulated above - you will only need to get the right overall grade. If you are taking the QCF BTEC Nationals (2010), you must achieve both the required overall grade and the specified module grades. If you are unsure which BTEC you are studying, your teacher or school/college counsellor should be able to tell you.

Required grades

80% overall

Required grades

Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements and English language entry requirements.

Required subjects

English Literature, or English Language and Literature (A-level or equivalent)

Plus a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent)

Preferred subjects

Modern or Ancient language, Classical civilisation, Ancient History, or History

Further information and other requirements

Entry requirements
A-Level   AAB

Including grade A in English Literature, or English Language and Literature.

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

Please note that A-level General Studies, Critical Thinking, Thinking Skills and Global Perspectives are not accepted by King's as one of your A-levels. However, if offered the grade achieved may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has just fallen short of the conditions of their offer. 

Access to HE Diploma  

D: 33 credits

M: 12 credits

P: 0 credits

Including English Literature or English Language and Literature Level 3 credits.

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

Access to HE Diploma (for example, in Humanities) with 45 Level 3 credits: 33 must be from units at Distinction with the remaining Level 3 credits at Merit.

Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 M2

Including grade D3 in English Literature.

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

Combinations of Pre-U principal subjects and other qualifications (such as A-levels) considered.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB, including grade A in A level English Literature or English Language & Literature.

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB, including grade A in A level English Literature or English Language & Literature. 

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010)  

D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AB, including grade A in A level English Literature or English Language & Literature.

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers  

AAB at Highers

and

AB at Advanced Highers

Including grade A in Advanced Higher English Literature / English Language and Literature.

Must be a combination of three Scottish Highers and two Scottish Advanced Highers. We do not count the Higher and Advanced Higher in the same subject.

International Baccalaureate  35 points

including 665 at Higher Level including HL6 in English Literature. Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE.

Additionally, a GCSE in a Modern or Ancient Language at grade 6/B (or equivalent).

Other International Qualifications   Visit our admissions webpages to view our international entry requirements.
English Language Requirements Band B Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements

Selection procedure

Application: Once an application has been submitted to UCAS, forms are sent to the Admissions Office for assessment. Members of staff then consider how far the applicant has shown evidence of the qualities of mind we most value in potential Classics, Classical Studies, Ancient History or Classical Archaeology students, and of aptitude for linguistic study. UCAS forms are also assessed on the basis of the information they contain concerning the applicant's actual or predicted performance at A-level and GCSE (or their equivalents), the personal statement, and the references provided.

Application deadline: January 15th 2020

Decision: In most cases, a decision will be reached, and the offer of a place made, on this basis. But where we feel that there are matters that need further discussion, an applicant will be invited to come to the Department for an interview. This may be because we feel we need more information about the applicant's previous academic experience, or because we want to make sure that the degree applied for really is what the applicant is looking for. A decision will then be made on the strength of the combination of the interview and the UCAS form.

Open Days: Applicants who are offered places on the basis of the UCAS form alone will also receive an invitation to a Department Open Day. The Open Day programme includes a welcome and description of the Department from the Admissions Tutor, a short sample 'lecture' from another member of staff, tours of the Strand Campus and Maughan Library, and the chance to talk to some current students and other members of the teaching staff. There will also be a complementary programme for accompanying parents.

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees EU:

Students starting their programme in 2020/21 (September 2020) 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 2021/22.

The UK tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is currently £9,250 per year. This is based on the UK Government’s cap.

Full time tuition fees International:

The International tuition fee for the 2020-2021 academic year is £19,800 per year.

Please note that the International tuition fee is subject to annual increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

All International applicants to Undergraduate programmes are required to pay a deposit of £2,000 against their first year’s tuition fee. This deposit is payable when you firmly accept an unconditional offer to study with us, and will be offset against your tuition fees when you join King’s.

 

Additional costs/expenses 

If you study abroad as part of your course, you will not be charged tuition fees by the host university (although some partners do charge a small administration fee for applying). 

If you are studying abroad at a non-partner university, you should expect to pay tuition fees to the host university as well as King’s.

King’s will continue to invoice for a proportion of King's tuition fees.  At present these are as follows:

  • Home students studying or working for a full academic year abroad will receive an invoice for £1,350 for King’s tuition fees for the year.
  • Overseas students studying or working for a full academic year abroad will receive an invoice for one third of the King's tuition fees for the year.

You should also budget to pay for the associated subsistence costs, such as travel, visas, accommodation and food as well as any vaccination/immunisations required by the country to which you are travelling. 

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books, if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 

 For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.

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.

Career prospects

Our graduates go on to work in a range of professions, including law, banking, the civil service, information technology, librarianship, education, heritage industries, the media, journalism and the performing arts, while others choose to stay and pursue postgraduate qualifications at King’s.

Career destinations

Recent graduates have found employment as:

• Assistant Tax Advisor, Ernst & Young

• Human Resources Administrator, Health Resources International

• Web Administrator, Intrico Products Ltd

• Illustrator, Self Employed Illustrator

• Marketing and Publishing Graduate scheme, The Telegraph Media group

• Research Intern, Environment Agency

• Sales Operations Admin, Associated Press TV news

• Latin Teacher at a university

 

Testimonials

Next steps

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Learn more about undergraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our prospectus in PDF format.

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