Course information


1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

We will be making some changes to the way our programmes will be delivered in 2021-22 to ensure we continue to respond to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. All programmes will be delivered in-person on campus with some specific sessions within each programme being delivered online in a pre-recorded format. Where necessary, changes will also be made to assessment formats.

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

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

  • You'll be introduced to the history, main concepts, and debates of comparative literary theory.
  • We complement our theoretical study with close readings of a wide range of texts. These texts come from different periods, and from diverse cultural, geographic and linguistic backgrounds. They may not just be books – you'll also look at film and visual text to enrich your studies.

  • While the compulsory module on this Masters degree gives you a strong grounding in comparative literature, you also have the opportunity to pursue your wider interests thanks to the flexible structure of the MA, by studying three options from the large provision of the department, choosing at least one of these in an area that is relevant to comparative studies.

  • You will be able to further develop your own comparative reading skills and reflections through a 15,000-word dissertation to be submitted at the end of your programme of study.

The convenor of this pathway is Professor Lucia Boldrini.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of English.

What you'll study

Compulsory module Module title Credits
  Studies in Comparative Literature & Criticism 30 credits

You also take three option modules from the selection below.

Option modules Module title Credits
  Theories of Literature & Culture 30 credits
  Modern and Contemporary Literary Movements 30 credits
  Literature of the Caribbean & its Diasporas 30 credits
  Nineteenth-Century Literature: Romanticisms 30 credits
  Shakespeare and the Early Modern 30 credits
  Postmodernist Fiction 30 credits
  American Science Fiction: 1950 Onwards 30 credits
  Literature and Philosophy 30 credits
  Documenting America: The Photo Text 1910 to 1960 30 credits
  Twenty-First-Century American Fiction 30 credits
  The Genres and Aesthetics of Contemporary Black British Writing 30 credits
  European Decadence and the Visual Arts 30 credits
  Contemporary Indigenous Literatures: Place, Politics and Identity 30 credits
  Postcolonial Fiction: Theory and Practice 30 credits
  Romantic Shakespeare 30 credits
  The Contemporary American Novel in the Era of Climate Change 30 credits
  Interculturality, Text, Poetics 30 credits
  Contemporary African American Literature 30 credits
  Modern and Contemporary Women's Writing: 1920s To Present 30 credits
  Between Languages: Multilingualism and Translation in Contemporary Literature 30 credits
  Text in Performance: Shakespeare 30 credits
  Historicising the Field of Black British Writing: From the Romans to the Present 30 credits

You can also choose linguistics modules as option modules.

Linguistics modules Module title Credits
  English in a Multilingual World 30 credits
  Intercultural Discourse & Communication 30 credits
  Language & Ideology in Written Discourse 30 credits
  English as a Lingua Franca and Language Teaching 30 credits

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say


"My time at Goldsmiths was one of the loveliest of my life"

"I manage a team of digital marketers, where I help them plan, build and launch campaigns for a variety of clients in Silicon Valley. With that, I spend half of my time training new hires just out of university, fresh in the advertising world; the other half is being told off by clients.

My time at Goldsmiths was one of the loveliest of my life. Shortly after graduating it was difficult to see how I could practically use my degree out in the world. It took some time, but eventually I saw how Goldsmiths did more than prepare me for a discussion on the failure of language in Faulkner; Goldsmiths taught me how to communicate ideas, how to question the status quo and stoked my inquisitive nature.

With a diverse student population, you are surrounded by equally passionate, adventurous and thought-provoking people; the people I met are still my closest friends in the world."

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject. 

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

Although the ability to read in another language will be useful, it is not compulsory. All texts will be studied in English, in English translation, or with English subtitles.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £8370
  • Home - part-time: £4185
  • International - full-time: £16120

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.


This programme is eligible for one of the department's fee waivers. Find out more about how to apply.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
  • An essay (written in English), as an example of your academic writing

When applying, please indicate your preferred pathway.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Please submit an essay (written in English) together with your application, as an example of your academic writing.

Find out more about applying.



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

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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