MA Literary Studies: Comparative Literature

University of Amsterdam

Program Description

MA Literary Studies: Comparative Literature

University of Amsterdam

Grounded in literature and literary theory, the one-year Master's Comparative Literature trains you to analyse cultural phenomena (both Western and non-Western) within an interdisciplinary theoretical framework and a globalised context.

Comparative Literature in the broadest sense

The Master's programme in Comparative Literature is theoretical in character. It uses methods such as textual analysis, deconstruction and close reading in order to address a variety of issues including post/de-coloniality, global literacy, race and gender. This programme suits students who want to gain a better understanding of the dynamics between the literary and the political.

Why study Comparative Literature at the UvA?

The Comparative Literature programme at the University of Amsterdam offer you:

  • Amsterdam: Situated in the heart of Amsterdam, the programme draws inspiration from the lively literary culture in this international urban hub. You’ll benefit from our connections to and partnerships with publishers, theatres, poetry stages, museums, bookstores, and much more.
  • Contemporary literature and theory in an interdisciplinary context: The programme approaches literature from an interdisciplinary perspective grounded in literary and cultural theory, encouraging you to also think about film, visual art, performance, and music in addition to literary texts.
  • Politics of literature: In the core courses 'Politics of the Contemporary 1 and 2', you approach issues with contemporary relevance or urgency in order to explore the interrelation between literature and politics in the broadest sense.
  • Literature in a globalised world: The programme encourages an examination of the role of literature in a globalised world and enables you to develop a comparative approach.
  • Excellent staff: The program is taught by an excellent and passionate staff specialised in a wide range of topics varying from political activism, nationalism, globalisation, the posthuman, and post-colonialism.
  • Diverse cultural partners: Our cultural partners include international poetry stage Perdu, debate centre De Balie, Goethe Institut, Cervantes Institute, Research Centre for Material Culture/Museum of World Cultures, debate centre Spui25, Stedelijk Museum and many more.

Degree certificate

Comparative Literature is an accredited degree programme of Literary Studies. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Literary Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).


In the Master's programme Comparative Literature, you will analyse and critically reflect on literature, texts, films, visual art and music. The specialisation is theoretical in character. This is reflected in the programme courses, which 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
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 7, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
1 year
Part time
Full time
2,060 EUR
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
Netherlands - Amsterdam
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
EU/EEA students. Non-EU/EEA students €13,225 per year.