Comparative Literature transcends national and cultural boundaries, offering you a truly global view of world literature. You study texts ranging from Classical Antiquity to the present day in English translation, including works by such famous authors as Homer, Ovid, Shakespeare, Dante, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Balzac, Joyce and Woolf, as well as German-language authors such as Goethe and Kafka.
German is one of Europe's most important languages for business and culture. Worldwide, it is the second-most widely used language on the internet (W3Techs 2014). It is also frequently used as a second language in Eastern Europe, serving as a means of communication across international boundaries. Fluency in the German language, combined with knowledge of political and cultural developments in the German-speaking world, opens up career opportunities in many areas of Europe.
You are required to spend a year working or studying abroad between your second and final year of study. In previous years, students have studied at our partner institutions in a country appropriate to their programme of study. You’ll develop your language skills, grow in self-confidence, gain a new academic perspective, and enhance your employability.
Studying on this programme, you gain expertise in a specific national tradition, making you able to compare the works of German authors to other European ones, so benefiting from an international perspective on literary history, movements and genres. You also gain the language skills to prepare you for the global job market.
In this talk Ben Hutchinson, Professor of European Literature at the University of Kent and Academic Director of the Paris School of Arts and Culture, introduces comparative literature.Comparative Literature
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.
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. For more information on SWIPE, please consult our website: www.kent.ac.uk/secl/complit/swipe.html
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.
Teaching is by a combination of lectures and seminars. You have regular teaching and conversation sessions with German native speakers.
Assessment at Stage 1 is by 100% coursework (essays, class participation) in the first half of the year, and a 50:50 combination of coursework and examination in the second half of the year. At Stage 2/3, depending on the modules you select, assessment varies from 100% coursework (extended essays or dissertation), to a combination of examination and coursework, in a ratio that will normally be 50:50, 70:30.
Knowledge and understanding
For programme aims and learning outcomes please see the programmes specification for each subject below. Please note that outcomes will depend on your specific module selection: