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MA Literary Studies: World Literature and Comparative Criticism Pathway

MA Literary Studies: World Literature and Comparative Criticism Pathway

Different course options

Full time | Goldsmiths, University of London | 1 year | 25-SEP-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Literature: History / Criticism

Course type


Course Summary

This pathway of the MA Literary Studies will centre on the study of the theory and practice of comparative and world literature.

Why study the MA Literary Studies: World Literature and Comparative Criticism pathway

  • Discuss the history, main concepts, and debates on world literature and comparative literary criticism while analysing a wide range of texts from different periods and media, and from diverse cultural, geographic, and linguistic backgrounds.
  • Pursue your wider interests thanks to a flexible structure by studying three options from the varied and unique provision of the department. At least one of these options must be in an area that is directly relevant to comparative and world literary studies. Options range across American, Black British, Caribbean, contemporary, modern, postcolonial, Romantic and Victorian literature, literary and critical theory, linguistics and translation studies.
  • Further develop your knowledge and expertise through a 15,000-word world literature and comparative criticism dissertation on a topic of your choice, agreed upon with a tutor and developed under supervision.
  • Benefit from the excellent Centre for Comparative Literature, of which you can become a member.

Many former students on this pathway have won prestigious essay prizes over the years, such as the BCLA’s Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize, and had their essays published in academic journals.


You'll develop transferable skills, including:

  • enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
  • the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
  • the ability to organise information; the ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments


Graduates of this programme have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • publishing
  • journalism
  • public relations
  • teaching
  • advertising
  • the civil service
  • business
  • industry
  • the media


This core module for the 'Comparative Literature & Criticism' pathway of the MA in Comparative Literary Studies will introduce you to the main concepts of comparative literary theory and practice and its principal debates, complementing these with textual analyses and the opportunity to engage in comparative readings. We will examine key aspects of the development of the discipline of "comparative literature", and study the theoretical frameworks elaborated to describe the ways texts relate to, derive from, or influence other texts (such as influence, imitation and intertextuality, translation, and reception). Historical relationships and how these are constructed will be examined, focussing on the idea of tradition, the concept of the canon and its revisions, as well as the importance of literary history in our understanding of literature.
Dissertation (60 Credits) - Core

Tuition fees

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International fees
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Entry requirements

Students should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. Students might also be considered for some programmes if they aren’t a graduate or their degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that students have the ability to work at postgraduate level.