Comparative Literature & Cultural Studies


The MA in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies offers students the opportunity to engage in the comparative study of a range of world literatures and cultural practices in a combination that is currently unique in Ireland. It aims to foster and develop critical inquiry into the function and social resonance of literature, art and culture (including popular culture) and focuses on how literature, film and other cultural artefacts in different countries, cultures and languages explore questions of how we construct our past; how collective identities are shaped and challenged, what visions and hopes we have for the future. Successful completion of the course will provide you with an internationally recognised professional qualification, widely applicable research and communications skills, and a comprehensive understanding of current issues and debates in the comparative study of literature and culture.

Aims and objectives:
•To broaden and deepen students' knowledge of world literatures and cultural practices and their cultural, political and historical contexts
•To familiarise students with developments and current debates in the comparative study of literary and cultural practices
•To train students to carry out independent research in the field of comparative literary and cultural studies and to enhance their skills in critical analysis
•To enhance students' communication skills, in particular to deliver oral reports and to write well-informed essays with clarity and grace
•To enhance students' career opportunities, including the provision of the knowledge and skills required to proceed to doctoral degree studies

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

A primary degree (with first or second class honours) (Level 8 - National Qualifications Authority of Ireland) in an appropriate discipline e.g. Languages, Literature, Cultural Studies, European Studies, Media & Communication Studies etc. Applicants with an approved equivalent qualification will be considered. Good proficiency in English is required.

What to Include with your Application
•Qualification transcripts and certificates
•English language qualification if English is not your first language
•Certified English translations of your transcripts/certificates where the originals are in a language other than English.
•A copy of your birth certificate or passport
•Personal Statement
•Two academic references

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:
•Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved
•Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above
•TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)
•IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6 in any one component.
•English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1
•GCE 'O' level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above
•Cambridge Assessment English –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B
•GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.

Subjects taught

Full-time students complete six taught modules, including a research methodology module, and a dissertation in one year. They will take four modules in the first semester and two in the second. Part-time students normally take two modules in a semester as they work over a two-year course of study. Not all electives may be offered each year or each semester.

Autumn Semester
• Literary and Cultural Theory
• Comparative Literature: Cultural Constructions of the Past RM6021 Research Methodologies in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Electives – choose one of the following: • Language and Culture
• Literature of Migration
• Theoretical Approaches to Gender, Culture and Society 1
• Literature, Film and Human Rights
• The Question of the Universal in Modern and Contemporary
Literature of French Expression**
• Irish-German Cultural Connections **
• German Culture in Europe I: Transcultural Theory and Textual Practice**

Spring Semester
• Thesis Writing: Language, Literary and Cultural Studies
• Textual Constructions of Cultural Identity
• Utopian Theory and Texts

Electives – choose one of the following:
• Culture and the Market
• Feminist Literary Theory
• Postcolonial Theory and Literature
• Irish Americas in Literature and Culture
• Modern French Language Literary and Cultural Production**
• German Culture in Europe
2: German Literature in a Comparative European Context [MIC] **
• The Culture of Memory in Spain and Latin America: Representing Horror**

Summer Semester
Research dissertation in the area of comparative literature and comparative cultural studies (ca 15,000 words) *NB: Not all electives may be offered each year or each semester. **To take this elective module students will need to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Course Director and the relevant module leader that they have sufficient French / German / Spanish language skills as relevant *** Students can also take electives at NUI Galway as part of the Link-to- Learn agreement between UL and NUI Galway. For further information contact the course director, Marieke Krajenbrink.


MACLCSTFAD 1 year full time
MACLCSTPAD 2 Years part time

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 09/Sep/2019

Post Course Info

Graduate Profile
This MA equips students with strong communicative, analytical, organisational and research skills, which are transferable to a range of careers. Graduates have found employment in areas such as journalism, broadcast and electronic media, tourism, translation, publishing, education, culture and arts administration, business and politics. The programme also provides a sound basis for doctoral research.

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    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

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