Comparative Literature at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS

Course options

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Course summary

Doctorate-level study is an opportunity to make an original, positive contribution to research in Comparative Literature. As the first UNESCO World City of Literature, and a major cultural hub, Edinburgh is the ideal place to study literary works of different linguistic and cultural systems, and to explore the relationship between literature and the other arts. In the course of your research, you will look comparatively at one or more literary themes, genres or historical periods. Research excellence Our programme draws on the expertise of staff from across the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC). Literature has been taught here for over 250 years and we offer one of the widest variety of languages of any UK university, particularly within European Languages and Cultures which comprises:

  • French and Francophone Studies
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian Studies
  • Scandinavian Studies (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish)
  • Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (Hispanic Studies)
In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), our research in these subjects was submitted in Modern Languages and Linguistics (Panel D - Arts and Humanities; Unit of Assessment 26). The results reaffirm Edinburgh’s position as one of the UK’s leading research universities - third in the UK. As published in Times Higher Education's REF power ratings, this result is based on the quality and breadth of our research in the unit of assessment. Join our community and undertake a specialised research project under the guidance of knowledgeable and well-published supervisors. As well as European literature, we have particular strengths in literature from East Asia, South America, Lusophone Africa, and the Middle East, and literature written in English from around the world. Across the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures and the wider University, we are able to support PhD theses crossing boundaries between languages and/or disciplines, including:
  • Film Studies
  • Theatre Studies
Over the course of your PhD, you will be expected to complete an original body of work under the expert guidance of your supervisors leading to a dissertation of usually between 80,000 and 100,000 words. You will be awarded your doctorate if your thesis is judged to be of an appropriate standard, and your research makes a definite contribution to knowledge. Go beyond the books Beyond the Books is a podcast from the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at research and the people who make it happen. Listen to a mix of PhD, early career and established researchers talk about their journey to and through academia and about their current and recent research.


See our website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on our website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Comparative Literature at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS