Study programme

Comparative Literature (Literary Studies)

The Master's in Comparative Literature is a one-year programme in which you analyse and critically reflect on literature, texts, films, visual art and music. The first semester comprises two core courses and an elective of your choice, while in the second you will focus on your Master's Thesis.

Programme overview 

The programme courses engage with topics such as gender, the posthuman, contemporary philosophy, globalization, global literacy and the state of the Humanities in the 21st century. Although students follow two compulsory core courses, and are required to choose one course from a list of four selected electives, it is also possible to combine courses from other specialisations (e.g. English Literature and Culture; Literature and Education; Literature, Culture and Society; other UvA Humanities masters) and thereby carry out comparative research projects.

Programme structure 

The Master's programme Comparative Literature comprises 60 ECTS credits:

  • 12 EC Comparative Literature core courses: Politics of the Contemporary 1 and 2
  • 24 EC electives, 12 EC of which are chosen from the compulsory elective list
  • 6 EC Thesis Clinic
  • 18 credits for a Master’s thesis

Core courses

You will first enrol in two core courses: Politics of the Contemporary 1 and 2. These courses are dedicated to literature, the arts, and theory in relation to a specific issue that enjoys a particular political relevance, urgency, or actuality for the present.


You can then choose one elective from the compulsory elective list, comprising of the courses:

  • Gender, Bodies and the Posthuman
  • Il/Literacy Matters
  • Narrative and Globalisation
  • “History, Cultural Memory and Trauma

You can also tailor the programme to your own interests by choosing electives a wide array of courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities.


The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of two academic staff members involved in the programme. The subject of the thesis will be mutually agreed upon by the student and academic adviser(s).


For more information about available internships and the experiences of other student interns, please follow the link and search for internships for international students in the A-Z list.

Detailed course information

For detailed course information, please see the UvA Course Catalogue (link below).

Credit transfer

Students who show exceptional promise during the one-year Master's programme are encouraged to continue their studies in the Research Master's in Literary Studies. Once students are admitted to the research programme, they can transfer credits earned during their previous course of study towards their Research Master's degree. The Examinations Board determines which courses qualify for transfer.

Published by  Faculty of Humanities

20 November 2017