German and Comparative Literature (MLitt/MA) 2017 entry

The MLitt/MA in German and Comparative Literature offers a unique opportunity to gain a comparative perspective on German literature through a joint qualification from the University of St Andrews and the University of Bonn in Germany.

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Scottish Master of Letters (MLitt) and a German Master of Arts (MA)

Course duration

Two years full time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree in German Studies, English Studies or a related subject. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements

Applicants must be fluent in both German and English. German applicants and those with native languages other than English will need to provide an English certificate (Level C2, TOEFL, IELTS or equivalent). See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Tuition fees

UK and EU: £1,640
Overseas: £17,090

Additional fees may apply for study at the University of Bonn; for more information, please see the Bonn webpages.

Application deadline

Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, see which courses are available for the upcoming academic year.

Application requirements

  • CV
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • certificates showing appropriate competence in English and German
  • letter of intent in German or English to the German coordinators.

If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 German and Comparative Literature MLitt/MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.

Apply for this course

Course information

The MLitt/MA in German and Comparative Literature is a two-year taught programme run jointly by the School of Modern Languages at St Andrews and the University of Bonn. The programme will deepen your knowledge of the latest thinking in literary and comparative studies and give you the research, communication and writing skills needed to embark on a PhD or top-level graduate career.


  • Students become truly bilingual and intercultural by studying at two world-renowned and historic universities.  
  • The programme is taught by a group of internationally renowned experts in all major areas of German and comparative studies from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century.
  • Students spend their first year in Germany and the second year in Scotland.

Teaching format

Students spend their first year at the University of Bonn in Germany where they will take two compulsory modules on comparative literature and have a choice of optional modules covering a wide range of topics from medieval texts to current trends in German literature. 

Students will spend their second year at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where one semester will be devoted to studying two compulsory and one optional module, and the second semester will be spent focused on writing an 18,000-word dissertation.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development


These are the modules offered by the University of St Andrews during the second year of the MLitt/MA programme. Find out more about the modules taught by the University of Bonn.  

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.

Compulsory modules

Optional modules

Students choose one optional module. Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University’s position on curriculum development).

  • Middle Eastern Literary and Cultural Contexts
  • Women, Writing and Gender 1: Renaissance to Romanticism
  • Women, Writing and Gender 2: Victorian to Contemporary
  • The Continental Renaissance
  • Renaissance Popular Culture
  • Learned Culture: Rhetoric, Politics and Identity
  • Contextualising the Modern
  • Reading the Modern
  • Theorising the Contemporary
  • Contemporary Literature and Culture
  • French Literary Revolutions
  • Italian Literary and Cultural Contexts
  • Literary and Cultural Theory 1
  • Generation in Russian Literature and Culture
  • Patterns in Hispanic Literature and Film

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


In the second semester at St Andrews, students specialise in an area of choice within German or comparative literature and write an 18,000-word dissertation under the joint supervision of one professor in Bonn and one supervisor in St Andrews. This is an in-depth independent research project that serves as an ideal preparation for the demands of a PhD. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there are exit awards available that allow suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of a MLitt.

Conferences and events

The St Andrews School of Modern Languages hosts an annual seminar programme which promotes integration across the language departments. In addition, the School hosts a number of conferences and events, including guest speakers and workshops for the discussion of ideas and issues in a thought-provoking but relaxed and supportive environment. 

Find out more about current postgraduate seminars. 


All UK and EU students benefit from a tuition fee scholarship that covers almost 75% of the tuition fees.

UK applicants
The best applicant from the UK to start in autumn 2017 will be awarded a scholarship of €200 per month from the University of Bonn for the first year. In the second year at St Andrews in 2018-2019, he or she will be awarded a scholarship by the German Department to cover all tuition fees for that year.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 


After the MLitt/MA

Research degrees

The School of Modern Languages also offers a two-year residential Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in German Studies.

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. 

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees for students who have graduated during the last three years and are now starting a postgraduate programme.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council offers scholarships which cover fees and stipend at RCUK rates for students applying for research degrees in the Arts and Humanities in Scotland.

PhD in Modern Languages


Modern Language postgraduates go on to careers in the academic field or in other areas, for example as cultural advisors, translators, or in the public or civil service.

Recent graduates have secured posts such as:

  • university teachers in the UK and Germany
  • research assistants
  • postgraduate recruitment officer at GCHQ
  • professional translator
  • adviser to the CBI
  • television subtitler.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.


School of Modern Languages
Buchanan Building
Union Street
St Andrews
KY16 9PH

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3670

Modern Languages website

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)