KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Comparative Literature BA

Apply now

Overview

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.

Explore the similarities and differences between literature written in different places and at different times. The Department of Comparative Literature at King’s covers 12 languages, six continents, and spans over 2,500 years.

All in a central London location that opens the doors to endless world-class libraries, institutes, galleries, concert halls and theatres. Focus extends beyond the modern and ancient literatures of Europe to the Americas, Australia, the Middle East, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Where else in the UK can you study African literature in English and French alongside Greek modernist poetry, or modern Indian literature alongside the eighteenth-century European novel?

 

Key benefits

  • 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.

  • Centrally located, offering opportunities to benefit from London’s unique literary and cultural resources.

  • Friendly and supportive learning environment and student community.

  • You will acquire analytical and presentational skills valued by employers in heritage-related professions, the media, education, civil service and the performing arts.

  • Our flexible study courses allow you to pursue your research interests and choose from a wide variety of modules across a number of departments.

  • Study abroad is available at a wide number of partner institutions in Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia.

Please note: Assessed internship placements are not included as part of this programme. However, King’s Careers & Employability can help you to find a range of different work experience options, including internships, placements and shadowing opportunities.

Key information

UCAS code Q200

Duration Three years

Study mode Full-time

Course type Single honours

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Department Department of Comparative Literature

Locations

 

Explore campuses


Comparative Literature BA

Discover More

Watch our short video to find out about Comparative Literature at King's.

Watch more videos

Course detail

Description

Comparative Literature is the study of the similarities and differences between literature written in different places and at different times. The Comparative Literature BA degree is a three-year study course that comprises modules totalling 360 credits. Each year, you will take modules totalling 120 credits, with enough variety in the range of optional modules to allow you explore the comparative aspects of literary themes, genres, and historical periods of your choice. Your first year of study will consist of modules covering conceptions, methods and theoretical foundations of Comparative Literature. This will provide you with a rounded introduction to the subject, develop your analytical skills and introduce you to advanced historical theory and methodology. You will cover a range of optional modules that will reflect your study interests.

In the second and third years, you will study further required and optional modules, allowing you to explore in-depth your chosen research pathway. The optional modules you study will reflect the current research and expertise of staff in the department, providing you with the opportunity to study specialist subjects in-depth. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad in the first semester of the third year.

Students in year three have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our partners in the USA, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany or France.

Teaching

We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. 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.

Assessment

Assessment methods will depend on the modules you have selected to study. The primary methods of assessment for this course are coursework, assessed essays, written examinations and individual and group presentations.

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.

Structure

Year 1

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

  • What is Comparative Literature? Conceptions & Methods (15 credits)
  • The Writer in the Text (15 credits)
  • Comparative Literature: Theoretical Foundations (15 credits)
  • Genres of World Literature (15 credits)

You are also required to take modules totalling at least 15 credits that require the use of another language, including language study at the Modern Language Centre (MLC) or an approved modern languages module. A list of approved modules is updated by the department each year.

Optional Modules

You will also study Comparative Literature modules totalling 30 credits from a selection that may typically include:

  • Forms of Shorter Narrative (15 credits)
  • The Novel in 18th Century Europe (15 credits)
  • Reading Modern Poetry Comparatively (15 credits)

Additionally, you must select a further 30 credits modules from Comparative Literature or optional modules from within the Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

 

 

Year 2

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

  • Literature of Empire (15 credits)

  • Ideas of Nation (15 credits)

  • The Book in the Modern World (15 credits) or The Canon (15 credits)

You are also required to take modules totalling at least 15 credits that require the use of another language, including language study at the Modern Language Centre (MLC) or an approved modern languages module

Optional Modules

You will study three further 15-credit Comparative Literature modules from a selection that may typically include: 

  • Romantic Britain & Italy (15 credits)
  • The Book in the Modern World (15 credits)
  • The Canon (15 credits)
  • Writing Africa (15 credits)
  • Caribbean Drama (15 credits)
  • Palestinian & Israeli Literature (15 credits)
  • Forms of Discovery: Hardy, Cavafy, and the modern short poem (15 credits)
  • The Faust Tradition: Dramatic Transformations (15 credits)

Additionally, you are required to select a further 30 credits of modules from Comparative Literature or optional modules within the Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

Year 3

Required Modules

You are required to take the following module:

  • Dissertation (30 credits)

The dissertation module requires the use of another language. This module satisfies the language requirement in Year 3.

Optional Modules

You are also required to study a further three 15-credit Comparative Literature modules from a selection that may typically include:

  • Surrealism (15 credits)
  • Imaginary Geographies (15 credits)
  • The French Revolution Effect (15 credits)
  • Testimony: The Holocaust & Rwanda (15 credits)
  • Listening across the Channel (15 credits) 
  • Modern Arabic Literature (15 credits)

You are also required to select further credits from Comparative Literature topics or from optional modules within the Faculty of Arts & Humanities (approved by the Comparative Literature Teaching Committee) to bring your total for the year to 120 credits.

You will have the opportunity to study abroad in the first semester of the third year. Partner universities currently include:

  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Hong Kong University 
  • University of Bologna (Italian language required)
  • University of Sydney
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (German language required - this is a German department exchange which Comp Lit students can access where space is available)
  • Université Paris-Sorbonne (French language required - this is a French department exchange which Comp Lit students can access where space is available)

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 & Literature (A-level)

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

Preferred subjects

Modern or Ancient language

Further information and other requirements

Entry requirements
All candidates must have obtained GCSE grade 6/B in a Modern or Ancient Language
A-level  AAB

Including English Literature (or English Language and Literature) at grade A

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 Level 3 credits in English Literature (or English Language and Literature)

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

Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 M2

Including D3 in English Literature.

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

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF from 2010)   DDM with eleven Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB or DDM with ten Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including English Literature/English Language & Literature at grade A.
BTEC Level 3 Diploma (QCF from 2010)   DM with six Distinctions and two A levels at grades AB or DM with four Distinctions and two A levels at grades AA, including English Literature/English Language & Literature at grade A.
BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma (QCF from 2010)   D with four modules at Distinction and two A levels at grades AB or M and two A levels at grades AA, including English Literature/English Language & Literature at grade A.
Scottish Highers & Advanced Highers  

AAB at Highers

and

AB at Advanced Highers

Including grade A in Advanced Higher English Literature or English Language & 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 6,6,5 at Higher Level with HL6 in English Literature. Note the total point score of 35 includes TOK/EE.
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 deadline: January 15th 2019

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees UK:

The UK tuition fee for the 2019-2020 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 2019/20 (September 2019) 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.

The UK tuition fee for the 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 academic year is £18,900 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). Please see the Study Abroad webpages for details of the relevant partner universities.

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

  • Home students studying for a semester abroad will receive an invoice for £6,000 for King’s tuition fees for the year.
  • Overseas students studying for a semester abroad will receive an invoice for two thirds 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
  • 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 accountancy, administration, banking, broadcasting, the civil service, journalism, law, marketing, teaching (in the UK or abroad) and the tourism industry. Others choose to continue their studies at graduate level.

Testimonials

Next steps

View our undergraduate prospectus

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

Download prospectus

View online

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.