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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures by thesis is no longer accepting new applications.

The MPhil in European, Latin American, and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC) provides students with the critical and theoretical tools to enable them to undertake an in-depth study of specific aspects of European literatures and cultures and/or Latin American and Francophone contexts. The core course introduces students to a broad range of critical theory concepts and methods of textual analysis (and, if relevant, paleography). The course as a whole allows for in-depth study of specific cultures and contexts, and includes the writing of a thesis based on original research.

The MPhil in European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures (ELAC) by Thesis is for students whose already have a substantial level of familiarity with the study of literary texts or other material in the relevant culture, and who already know the area they wish to research for their thesis. To be eligible for consideration for the 'By Thesis' MPhil, a student will need (a) an appropriate level of linguistic and/or cultural expertise and (b) a clear idea of the area in which the thesis will be written.

The full-time course runs from October to June, with a submission date of early June.

It is also possible to take a part-time route, in which the expected timeframe is 21 months, with a thesis submission date of early June in the second academic year of the degree.

The main aims of the course are:

  • to develop and test the ability to carry out a substantial advanced project of independent research in an area of literary, cultural or film and screen studies falling under ELAC, presented in the form of a 30,000-word thesis; and
  • to develop and test the ability to make a significant contribution to learning via dedicated Masters-level research that reflects the course length.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme students will have:

  1. developed knowledge of critical theory and methods of textual analysis (and, if relevant, paleography), and an ability to work with theory or specific critical approaches;
  2. developed a deeper knowledge of one or more areas of European, Latin American and Comparative Literatures and Cultures and of the critical debates within the relevant area(s);
  3. developed more advanced critical judgement and sensitivity to literary texts or other cultural material;
  4. demonstrated advanced skills in the literary analysis (or the analysis of other cultural material);
  5. developed intellectual and practical research skills; and
  6.  managed a sizeable research project, culminating in a 30,000 word thesis that will prepare students for longer research projects, especially the PhD.


Continuation from the MPhil by thesis to PhD is possible, although it is not automatic. All applicants are judged on their merits, and students must demonstrate their suitability to undertake doctoral level research over the course of the degree. Students wishing to progress to PhD study will be required to pass the MPhil by Thesis.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.

Key Information

9 months full-time

21 months part-time

Study Mode : Research

Master of Philosophy

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Jan. 4, 2024
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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