Comparative Literature

Trinity College Dublin

Comparative Literature

Is This Course For Me?

Comparative Literature at Trinity College Dublin is defined as the study of world literatures through the medium of cultural theory and as a reading of literature in comparison with other disciplines. If you are a traveller between cultures and eager to cross boundaries to expand your horizons, our M.Phil. in Comparative Literature may be for you.

Course Structure

Students on the M.Phil. will enrol in two year-long core modules to be trained in the use of theory, criticism, and various possibilities of comparison ranging from the application of imagology to interdisciplinary approaches. These core modules are complemented by two term-long option modules with more specific literary and cultural content. M.Phil. students are also required to complete a dissertation in order to be recommended for the award.

Students on the Postgraduate Diploma will enrol in two year-long core modules. These core modules are complemented by two term-long option modules with more specific literary and cultural content. No dissertation is required.

Students on the Postgraduate Certificate will enrol in one year-long core module. This core module is complemented by one term-long option module with more specific literary and cultural content.

Subjects taught

Course Content

This course is designed to provide an understanding of Comparative Literature as a subject of study and a critical practice.

The core modules — Theory and Methodology, and Moving Between Cultures — provide the theoretical and methodological basis for comparing texts of various genres and artefacts of different media at an advanced level.

Optional modules enable the further development of these competencies and offer opportunities to develop and apply this knowledge and these skills to a range of primary texts from a wide range of languages, cultures, epochs and other contexts.

In the final phase of the course, students complete a dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words. A substantial body of academic work, it offers students the opportunity to explore a subject of their choosing in some detail under the supervision of a subject specialist.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements

• A minimum 2.1 (upper-second class) Honours Bachelor’s degree from an Irish university or its international equivalent in a relevant subject. Relevant subjects include but are not limited to the following: Languages, Literature, History, Cultural Studies, Comparative Literature, Human Geography, Sociology, Religious Studies, Gender Studies, Textual and Visual Studies, Visual Arts, Art History, Economics, Political Science.

• Proficiency in English: All candidates who are not native English speakers and have not completed a degree through the medium of English are required to prove their proficiency with the language. Trinity prefers IELTS, but will accept alternative tests provided by international organisations, such as TOEFL.

Application and next steps

Applications are normally open from November until June and you may apply at any point. Places are offered to the best applicants on a first-come first-served basis. Places are limited, and for that reason, it is recommended that you apply as early as possible. The deadline for applications is June 30th.

Required Materials

For this course, you will need to submit the following materials to apply:

A) Sample of Academic Writing: As part of your application, you also need to submit a sample of no more than 2,500 words (excluding bibliography) of your best academic writing in English.

When we assess your application, we will pay particular attention to your ability to:

Build and present a logical, cohesive argument.

Analyse and evaluate the arguments of others.

Adhere to the norms of academic writing (referencing, quotation, avoiding plagiarism* and other forms of academic misconduct, and bibliography).

Use academic English.

We make use of Turnitin and other software to check for plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct in the samples submitted. An application may be rejected if samples of work submitted are found to include instances of such misconduct.

B) English Language Qualifications: Unless you have completed a degree through the medium of English or are a native speaker, you are required to prove your proficiency with the language. Please upload your certificate as part of your application. We highly encourage you to submit IELTS results that have at least a 6.5 score in each category of proficiency.

C) Degree Certificate(s): You will need to provide degree certificates (in PDF format) that prove you have completed all of the degrees you mention in your application. If you haven’t yet completed your degree, you can still apply and supply these documents when you have them. If your certificates are not in English, and are not issued by Trinity, please obtain an official translation into English and upload both the translation and the original to the system.

D) Degree Transcripts: You will need to provide official transcripts (in PDF format) showing all of the components you have completed as part of your degree(s). If your transcripts are not in English, and are not issued by Trinity, please obtain an official translation into English and upload both the translation and the original to the system.

E) Two Reference Letters: You will need to provide reference letters from two referees who can provide references written in English, explaining why you would be a strong candidate for the course. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact their referees and inform them of their intention of applying for this programme. Referees listed by the applicant on Trinity's online application system will automatically receive an electronic reference request, providing them with a Trinity reference template and a link to upload their references.

Assessment Info

In order to be awarded the degree of M.Phil. in Comparative Literature candidates must satisfy the Court of Examiners by obtaining an overall pass in both the following components:

- the assessment work for core course 1, core course 2, options 1 and 2 (combined)

- the dissertation

The two core modules each contribute 20% of the overall assessment, the options each contribute 10% and the dissertation 40%.


M.Phil.:1 year full-time/3 years part-time

PG.Dip.: 1 year full-time/2 years part-time

PG.Cert.: 1 year part-time

Enrolment dates

Next Intake September 2024

Closing Date 28th June 2024

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities

Graduates have pursued careers in publishing, editing, project management, cultural outreach, research, as well as academia.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    M.Phil./ P.Grad.Dip/ P.Grad.Cert

  • Qualifications

    Postgraduate Diploma (Level 9 NFQ),Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ),Postgraduate Certificate

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider