Comparative Literature (BA (Hons))

University of Kent the United Kingdom

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The award
BA (Hons)

How long you will study
3 Years

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
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Course starts
September

International course fees
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All study options

About Comparative Literature at University of Kent

Discover works ranging from the ancient classics of Greece and Rome to the modern age. Develop an understanding of historical and cross-cultural literary traditions and the ways in which they interact, and explore what literature can tell us about different social, cultural and historical periods. Why study Comparative Literature at Kent? Your course, your way: Tailor your degree and inspire your curiosity with modules exploring childhood and adolescence, vampires in literature and film, women writing and gender, morality in literature, and film adaptation. Global perspective: all the benefits of a traditional literature degree combined with the study of literatures from around the world, including Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Unearth hidden treasures: Gain access to the Canterbury Cathedral Library and our Special Collections archive containing manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps and printed books dating back to the late 8th century. Explore historic Canterbury: Our city is steeped in literary traditions from Chaucer to Dickens, from Marlowe to Conrad. In the heart of Kent, you can travel to London in under an hour by train, and coastal beaches are a short bus ride away. Join a welcoming community: Kent was first institution in the UK to teach Comparative Literature. Take advantage of our experienced, world-leading lecturers, working at the cutting edge of their fields and providing excellent support. Get career-ready: develop important skills to prepare you for tomorrow's world, leading to a wide range of careers including journalism, broadcasting, PR, teaching, marketing, publishing and writing. Did you know?  You do not need to be able to read in a foreign language to study Comparative Literature. The global texts studied will be provided in full translation, alongside literature originally written in English. What you'll learn Throughout your course you will explore questions such as: What can a book say that a film cannot? What makes a tragedy by Sophocles so different from one written by Shakespeare? How have writers such as James Joyce engaged with Greek mythology? What is the evolution of the fairy tale from Charles Perrault to Walt Disney? In what ways might an English nineteenth-century novel of female adultery relate to a French, German, or Russian one? Themes and areas you may explore include politics, testimony and power; the fairy tale; crime fiction; Latin American fiction, postcolonial literature; literature and seduction and creative writing. See the modules you'll study In addition to lectures and seminars, you can take part in events including literary readings, guest lectures and seminars. We offer  workshops that provide a range of valuable skills that will enable you to apply your knowledge in the wider world and make you attractive to employers in a range of professions. At the end of your course, you could even add a year in Computing, Data Analytics, Journalism or a Language to your degree to increase your employability. What our students say “(Doing Comparative Literature at Kent) I was exposed to literature I never would have picked up, ideas that shape the modern world we now live in and new ways of looking at things I thought I already knew a lot about.”  – Kuba Shand-Baptiste, graduate and commissioning editor at The Independent. “The variety on my course has made me adaptable and I think I’ve gained a lot of transferable skills. I visited other universities but none stuck in my mind as much as Kent. I think it was the atmosphere and the attitude towards learning that people have here.” – Naomi Gilad, graduate and Academic Instructor.

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 by module, from 100% coursework to a combination of examination and coursework, usually in the ratio 50:50 or 40:60.

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • a wide range of authors and texts from different periods and cultures, from Ancient Greece to the present day
  • the cultural and historical contexts in which literature is written, transmitted and read
  • concepts such as genre, theme or literary movement
  • the problems inherent in interpreting 'the translated text'
  • traditions in literary criticism
  • critical theory and its applications, understood within its historical contexts
  • the study of literature in its relation to other disciplines.

Intellectual Skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • listen to and absorb the oral transmission of complicated data
  • careful reading of literary works and theoretical material
  • reflect clearly and critically on oral and written sources, using power of analysis and imagination
  • to marshal a complex body of information
  • remember relevant material and recall it when needed
  • construct cogent arguments
  • formulate independent ideas and defend them in a plausible manner
  • present arguments in written form in a time-limited context, such as examinations.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • the close critical analysis of literary texts
  • informed understanding of the variety of critical and theoretical approaches to the study of literature
  • the ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories relating to literary studies
  • sensitivity to generic conventions in the study of literature and the problems of translation and cultural differences
  • well-developed language use and awareness, including a grasp of standard critical terminology
  • the ability to articulate responsiveness to literary language
  • scholarly practice in the presentation of formal written work, in particular bibliographic and annotational
  • understanding of how cultural norms, assumptions and practices influence questions of judgement
  • appreciation of the value of collaborative intellectual work in developing critical judgement.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • communication: produce focused, cogent written presentations, summarise information and assess arguments, give presentations with visual aids where appropriate
  • problem-solving: identifying problems, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different solutions, defending the preferred solutions with cogent arguments
  • improve your learning, identify your strengths and weaknesses, assess the quality of your own work; manage your time and meet deadlines, and learn to work independently
  • work with others, participating in seminar discussions, responding to the views of others and to criticisms of your own views without giving or taking offence
  • use information technology effectively, such as word-processing essays, using online information sources and responding to communications by email.

The programme aims to:

  • offer an opportunity to study literature within a strongly multidisciplinary and modular context
  • widen participation in higher education by offering a variety of study routes
  • produce graduates with a good knowledge of a comprehensive range of literary works from across Europe and beyond, from the Classics to the present day
  • teach the comparatist approach to literary studies
  • give students the ability to approach any text in a critical and analytical manner
  • produce intellectually independent and self-motivating graduates
  • give students the skills and abilities generic to study in the humanities
  • offer students the opportunity to develop more general skills and competences so they can respond positively to the challenges of the workplace or postgraduate education.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardBA (Hons)How you will study find outHow long you will study3 years
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

Full Time UK/EU: TBC EUR | Full Time Overseas: TBC EUR

Entry requirements

Contact University of Kent to find course entry requirements.

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Consider a Foundation or Pathway course at University of Kent to prepare for your chosen course:

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