Comparative Literature is about making comparisons – and connections – between challenging themes and motifs in different literatures and cultures. As well as having the opportunity to study a range of genres, time periods, and national literatures (all of which can be studied in translation), you can cross nationalities and even time periods. You could also examine links between literature and a whole range of other art forms: such as music; film; popular culture or visual arts. Equally, studying modern languages is about more than vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation: you will also immerse yourself in culture, spend time working or studying abroad and learn to understand the subtleties of communication.
In this programme your time is split equally between German and comparative literature. You will study German language and culture in depth, and explore the broader perspective of the literatures and cultures of Europe, Latin America and beyond.
In each year you follow core language modules in which skills in the understanding and expression of German are developed by a variety of methods. In your first year you will follow foundation modules introducing you to various aspects of literary theory and critical thinking, including one focusing on German linguistics, literature and culture. In your second and final years you will take increasingly advanced module options concentrating on particular literary themes, movements and genres, and may opt to undertake a research project in your final year. Your third year is normally spent abroad, in Germany or a German-speaking country. You can choose to study at another university, or else take up a work placement, for example as a teaching assistant.
Why study Comparative Literature and German at Queen Mary?
While at many universities, Comparative Literature often sits within the English department, at Queen Mary it is an invigorating, growing and dynamic department in its own right – a reflection of our commitment to the subject. Its position as a department within the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film makes combining it with the study of German an ideal opportunity to extend the depth and breadth of your understanding of both subjects. The discipline of German Studies has a long and outstanding tradition at Queen Mary, University of London, with over 100 years of teaching German language and culture behind us. Apart from our main focus on Germany, we have research and teaching expertise in GDR studies as well as in Austrian and Swiss literature and culture. We have a vast amount of experience in the field, so you will always be taught by leading specialists of international standing whose cutting-edge research informs their high-quality teaching.
You will spend a year abroad in the third year of your degree. This gives you an exceptional opportunity to develop your language skills among native speakers. You have three main options for how to spend the year abroad: teaching English as a foreign language assistant; attending university abroad on an Erasmus exchange; or in the professional world, either on a work placement, with the School’s support, or independently, with the School’s approval.
We pride ourselves on the facilities we offer. Our computing services make us one of the best equipped languages departments in the UK. Advisers are on hand to help you take advantage of multilingual word-processing and to point you towards websites useful for language study. Our custom designed Multi-Media Resources Centre provides state-of-the-art language teaching and learning facilities. We also subscribe to many foreign newspapers and journals.
The Library has extensive audio-visual facilities, a large collection of videos and DVDs and is equipped for viewing foreign language satellite TV. To enhance the learning experience of our students, we also offer many extracurricular activities such as German Film Club, Stammtisch, a Podcast Radio Station and our highly acclaimed Writer-in-Residence Programme.
Comparative Literature Compulsory modules:
- Introduction to Literature: Texts and Contexts
- Introduction to Comparison (QMUL Model Module)
- The Scene of Learning
- Understanding Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Theory
- Critical Thinking and Writing for Comparative Literature
German Core language module (streamed according to entry level) and compulsory foundation module:
- Introductory German (for ab initio entrants) / German 1 Intensive (for post GCSE entrants) / German I (for post A-level entrants). Native speakers of German take no core language module in year 1. (QMUL Model Module)
- Foundations of German Studies (for post A-Level and native speaker entrants) (QMUL Model Module) or European Literature and its Contexts (for ab initio entrants). Post-GCSE entrants will be guided to one or other of these options. Students' choice will be guided by their adviser and dependent on their performance in the German language test.
- Critical Thinking and Writing for Modern Foreign Languages
Comparative Literature Compulsory module:
- The Scene of Reading
- Madness, Past and Present
- Why Belgium? Identities, Cultures, Narratives
- Colonial Literatures, Post Colonial Perspectives
- Experiments in contemporary Women’s Writing
- Homeward Bound: From the Odyssey to O Brother Where Art Thou?
- Migration through Photography
- Fairy Tales in the Modern World
- Presentations of London in Modern European Literature and Film
- Literature and Philosophy
- Photography and Narrative
German Core and compulsory modules:
- German II intensive (for ab initio entrants) / German II (for post GSCE and post A-level entrants) / German IIN (for native speakers)
- Contemporary German Studies I or Contemporary German Studies II
- Brecht and the Drama
- German Play
- The (Re-)Birth of Tragedy: Schiller, Nietzsche and other Legacies
- German Narrative Fiction: Text and Film
- German for Business
- German Play
- Heinrich von Kleist
- German Romanticism in its European Context
- Year abroad: Written and Oral Assignment
Comparative Literature Compulsory module:
- The Scene of Writing
- The East in the West
- Constellations: Online Anthology Group Project
- On the Subject of Sex II: Queen to Queer
- Lost in Translation?
- Photography: The Self and its Image
- Grand Tours: Nineteenth-Century Adventure Stories for Young Readers and their Twentieth Century Afterlives
- First World War Literatures
- Faust in Legend, Literature and the Arts
- Comparative Literature Research Project
German Core module:
- German III (for ab initio, post GCSE and post A-Level entrants) or German IIIN (for native speakers)
- ‘Dichtung’ und ‘Wahrheit’: Fictions of the Self from Goethe to the Present Day
- German Swiss Literature and Culture
- German Literature in East and West
- German Poetry in 20th Century
- German Sociolinguistics
- Modern Languages Research Project
For a complete list of modules please visit the directory of modules http://www.qmul.ac.uk/modules/
Use the following abbreviation in the Code search
- GER – German
- COM – Comparative Literature
QMUL will aim to deliver your programme so that it closely matches the way in which it has been described to you by QMUL in print, online, and/or in person. However, it is important to realise that in some circumstances, we may change aspects of your programme. See our full terms and conditions to read more:
2018 Entry requirements
|A-Level||Grades BBB at A-Level. This must include at least one essay based A-Level in a humanities or social sciences subject. Excludes General Studies. Applicants will also be expected to have a GCSE in a language or have experience of learning a language other than your mother tongue.|
|IB||International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 30 points overall, including 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include an essay based humanities or social sciences subject at Higher Level.|
|BTEC||See our detailed subject and grade requirements|
|Access HE||We consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.|
|GCSE||Minimum five GCSE passes including English at grade C or 4.|
|EPQ||Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.|
|Contextualised admissions||We consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.|
2017 Entry requirements
You may study German without having studied it before provided that you have a proven ability in a foreign language. Applicants whose first language is not English must obtain a grade B in GCSE English Language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).
Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking. Applications from native speakers of German are welcomed.
Typical grades required: ABB - BBB with minimum grade B in a language.
Subjects and grades: 32-34 points overall with 5 in HL language.
General Admissions Entry Requirements
English Language Proficiency
All applicants to QMUL must show they meet a minimum academic English language standard for admission and to be successful on the course, to the indicated levels for the area of study. See our guidance on English Language requirements for all degree programmes.
Vocational and Other Qualifications
The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration.
If you are taking a combination of qualifications at Level 3, we will consider your academic profile and may make offers on a case-by-case basis. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) before making an application so that we can give individual advice.
Subject to the policy of the programme, it may be possible for students to join undergraduate degree programmes at the beginning of the second year of a three or four year degree programme or, sometimes, the beginning of the third year of a four year programme. Please note, not all schools will consider advanced entry. You are advised to contact the Admissions team (email@example.com) before making an application for individual advice.
If you are applying for advanced entry on the basis of a post A-Level qualification, such as the BTEC HND, you should apply via UCAS in the usual way. If you wish to transfer your degree studies from another UK higher education institution, you will be considered on the basis of your original A-Level or equivalent qualifications, current syllabus, academic references and results.
We typically expect you to have achieved a 2.1 standard on your current programme and have already met the standard equivalent first year entry requirements. Applications must be submitted via UCAS.
European and International Applicants
Our students come from over 162 countries and we accept a wide range of European and International Qualifications for entry, in addition to A-Levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please see our International Admissions webpages for further details of our academic requirements, and information regarding how we assess the equivalence of your qualification.
Applicants will typically be expected to be taking academic subjects relevant to the programme of study. You are advised to review the A-Level and IB requirements for an indication of these subjects. If you are at all unclear, the Admissions team (firstname.lastname@example.org) is happy to advise you further.
For any other enquiries directly relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office directly.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
See our information and guidance on how to apply.
Learning and teaching
Learning and Teaching
Teaching typically involves a lecture per week for each module, followed up by a smaller seminar group session where you will have the opportunity to actively contribute. In addition to this, you will spend up to five hours per week in language classes – you will be taught in small groups of no more than 20 for classroom or language lab teaching, and fewer than 10 for oral and aural work. We give our students individual attention and every student has an Adviser who can help with academic or personal problems. All the language programmes include writing-intensive modules that will help you strengthen your thinking, research and essay-writing skills.
For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 5-6 hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
Assessment methods vary from module to module, and include a mixture of exams and coursework, coursework only, oral and aural exams, final-year dissertations and a range of more innovative methods, such as independent projects and creative journals.
Fees and finance
Tuition fees for Home and EU students
Tuition fees for International students
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Graduates from Queen Mary’s School of Languages, Linguistics and Film Studies go on to work in a wide variety of careers. Some apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as interpreting, teaching and publishing, whilst others transfer skills gained during study into areas such as marketing.
The broad range of skills gained through our language programmes, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, has enabled students to move into careers such as:
|Global Technical Support Representation||Bloomberg|
|Assistant Tour Manager||Sony|
|Trainee Manager||Majestic Wine|
|Training Centre Co-ordinator||ESI International|
|Fundraising Administrator||Mildmay International|
|International Product Analyst||Meta-Pack|
|Graduate Account Executive||Hall & Partners|
|English as a Foreign Language Teacher||British Council|
In today's competitive jobs market, employers expect graduates to have a range of skills and work experience. Being based in London is a distinct advantage, and at QMUL we have designed programmes of careers support to help you take advantage of our capital location. Alongside your studies, you'll have opportunities to:
• attend networking or industry events
• apply for internships in your ideal area of work
• volunteer with local or national charities
• work part-time.
And there's plenty of day-to-day support too. Whether you need help with writing a CV, developing your interview skills or planning further study once you graduate, we have teams of advisers on hand to give you the advice and support you need.
Learning a language
Even if you're not studying a language as part of your degree, you can still develop these skills by signing up for a course in QMUL's Language Centre. Choose from: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Japanese or Spanish.
Name: Anja Popp (graduated 2012)
Studying: BA Comparative Literature
“I wanted to be in a big city and to study at a credible university doing a literature-based degree that was more diverse than your average English degree. Queen Mary ticked all the boxes, as well as being campus based (you can practically roll out of your bed to lessons). It’s also connected to all the other University of London colleges which means you have loads of Students’ Unions and libraries at your disposal!"
“The teaching staff at Queen Mary are so inspiring, they all do tons of research aside from teaching us, so they’re always in the know. They push for us to be able to do less known texts, which not only broadens our horizons, but means we are constantly exploring new topics, rather than repeating the same generic set texts."
“Queen Mary is in a great location. East London epitomises the culture and diversity of the big smoke. It has a chilled out yet happening vibe, and the most delicious curry a woman could ask for. Brick lane and Shoreditch are really funky areas to hang out in, and Stratford is like a city in a city, with all the rejuvenation for the Olympics in 2012."
“I am learning Spanish with the Language Centre, as whenever I go travelling I always feel really ignorant that I only speak English. I’m definitely not a natural linguist, but I’m trying really hard, and plan to join a Spanish conversational class later this year.”