We use a variety of teaching methods, including lectures, case study analysis, group projects and presentations, and individual and group tutorials. Many module convenors also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams. Assessment is by coursework and examination.Comparative Literature
In most modules, you attend a weekly one-hour lecture and a two-hour discussion seminar. Your 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.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the role the media and cultural institutions play in society
- cultural forms as sources of popular knowledge and ideas
- how people engage with cultural texts and practices
- the relation between cultural texts, such as artistic, literary, media, social, political and scientific, and the historical contexts of their production and reception
- the modes of modern global, international, national and local cultural experience
- how cultural texts and products shape contemporary life
- the nature of the cultural impact of new technologies
- literary forms and genres from a range of historical periods and national origins and the way they can be interpreted and evaluated
- the works of a range of significant authors from Ancient Greece through the Renaissance to the present day
- critical theories and concepts deployed in analyses of culture and literature.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- analyse a wide range of cultural forms
- critical evaluation of scholarship and ideas, classical and contemporary
- represent in language the views and ideas of others
- application of cultural theory and literary theory to familiar and unfamiliar cultural material, phenomena and contexts
- express your own ideas in oral and written communication
- identify, evaluate and construct arguments.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- conception and application of cross-disciplinary strategies of investigation of cultural issues, themes and topics
- the ability to identify and analyse ethical and political subject matters represented in all kinds of media culture
- account for and criticise the interrelation of aesthetic cultural practices and forms, and the social and political contexts of their emergence and affect
- evaluate theoretical models and paradigms of cultural production, consumption and reception
- integrate diverse sources of cultural information and produce new knowledge
- analysis and interpretation of literature of all kinds, especially in translation
- effective deployment of terms and concepts and techniques specific to the study of literature from the comparativist perspective.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- gather and collate, retrieve and synthese information from a variety of sources, such as library, IT, press, textual, visual, popular and academic, in traditional formats as well as electronic
- work independently on the design and execution of research projects
- the ability to reflect on and understand the accumulation of knowledge about cultural practices diversely understood
- the ability to be adaptable, creative and self-reflexive in producing output for a variety of audiences
- self-directed project planning, development and execution of work to deadlines
- effective communication: express yourself in written and oral forms, represent the ideas of others as well as your own, and argue for, and justify, your own views.
The programme aims to:
- develop in students the knowledge to undertake critical analysis of culture, especially literatures of the world
- provide teaching informed by current research and scholarship in the field of cultural studies and comparative literature
- offer a flexible and progressive curriculum which includes options from a wide range of disciplinary areas particularly in the study of culture, especially national and world literatures
- promote an understanding of cultural identities, differences and transitions and the historical, political and economic contexts of their emergence and change
- provide a broad knowledge of relevant concepts, debates and theoretical approaches in the study of culture and literature
- facilitate the personal development of students as independent, life-long learners capable of collating and analysing information and producing new knowledge
- provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research and other key skills appropriate to graduate employment in a range of cultural, media, education and arts-related spheres, and for further research in the fields of cultural and literary studies
- produce graduates with an informed, critical and analytical approach to understanding culture society and the arts
- enhance students’ awareness of sensitivity to the context of the production and reception of the cultural forms over a range of historical periods
- develop a critical and analytical approach to interpreting art and contexts of artistic production and consumption
- provide students with an informed knowledge of the literary traditions from Ancient Greece to modern times.