Voor de beste ervaring schakelt u JavaScript in en gebruikt u een moderne browser!
Comparative Literature (Literary Studies)

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 core elective list
  • 6 EC Thesis Seminar
  • 18 EC 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 core elective list, comprising:

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

Other electives may be chosen from a wide array of options offered by the Faculty of Humanities.


The Master's thesis reports on research carried out by the student under the supervision of an academic staff member involved with our programme. The student and academic adviser must mutually agree upon the subject of the thesis.


Internships are not obligatory, but MA students may conduct an internship (maximum 6EC) in either semester. An internship provides work experience, puts classroom theory into practice, and can assist you to get your ‘foot in the door’.

For more information about available internships and the experiences of other student interns, see:

Internships (Current Students website)

Detailed course information

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

UvA Course Catalogue: Comparative Literature

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.