Comparative Literature transcends national and cultural boundaries offering students a global view of literature. You study texts in English translation, including works by such famous authors as Homer, Ovid, Dante, Goethe, Dostoevsky, Balzac, Flaubert, Proust and Kafka, as well as British classics such as Shakespeare, Dickens, Joyce and Woolf.
You develop a broad international perspective on literary history, literary movements and literary genres, comparing literary themes and figures across different cultural backgrounds. You also explore the impact of other art forms on literary works and vice versa. For example, you also study literary adaptations of films.
Kent is one of the three major universities for film in the UK. You study film theory and history and learn about the language of film (framing, sound, editing, performance, lighting). There are a huge range of modules to choose from covering everything from avant-garde to animation, including documentary film and modules that help you to develop the skills of a film critic.
We have a thriving film culture, with 10-15 films screened on our courses each week, the Gulbenkian Cinema (the regional arts cinema) based on campus and a lively student film society. There are excellent resources to support your studies, including: 8,000 DVDs and videos and individual and group viewing facilities in the library, as well as an extensive collection of books and journals and online resources.
This degree programme enables you to develop a multidisciplinary appreciation of the arts, covering theory, history and practice that crosses disciplines and cultures.Comparative Literature
Comparative Literature students can also choose to take a module that is linked to our SWIPE (Student Work in Progress Exposition) conference. SWIPE is an annual one-day conference organised by Comparative Literature students: it is a platform for our third-year students who give 15-minute presentations on their final-year dissertation projects. SWIPE is a fantastic experience for students, as they learn everything about planning, organising and running a conference, as well as about the art of preparing and giving professional conference presentations.
We also offer a module designed specifically for students who are planning to embark on a career in teaching: Comparative Literature and English & Linguistics in the Classroom.
For most modules, you have one two-hour seminar per week. The Final-Year Dissertation is based entirely on your private research but is supervised by a tutor and includes workshops and the chance to participate in an undergraduate conference. Assessment varies from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework, usually in the ratio 50:50 or 40:60.
All modules involve lectures, small group seminars and film screenings (where relevant). Depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework.
Knowledge and understanding
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programme specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes depend on your specific module selection: