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MPhil in ELAC

Postgraduate Study in MMLL


Becoming an ELAC MPhil Student


Applications for the MPhil course are welcomed from those whose undergraduate degree includes a related field of study and who have, or expect to obtain, at least a high 2.1 or the equivalent. Many students move straight into the MPhil after their first degree, but others come to it after a number of years away from formal study. Students taking the MPhil are expected have spent some time studying related subjects at undergraduate level; but, occasionally, exceptions may be considered. Non-native English speakers must have passed an English Language Proficiency test at the required level. Please see our Language Requirements

By "comparative literatures and cultures", we do not mean the study of any or all literatures in English translation, and we would expect our students to have reading competency in at least one of the language areas covered by the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics (i.e. European languages other than English, which includes the development of these languages in other parts of the world, e.g. Spanish and Portuguese in Latin America). Students sometimes have this competency in more than one MMLL language, but many students use the MPhil to work solely on primary material from one particular language (e.g. working on Russian primary material alone for all of their written work here). It is sometimes possible to develop your knowledge of one of these MMLL languages whilst you’re here (e.g. via the University Language Centre), though not plausible to do so from scratch.

In addition to writing on the ELAC MPhil about material in the languages covered by MMLL, you can also write about English language material (e.g. someone working on 19th century literature in the second term might write an essay comparing Madame Bovary and Jane Eyre). But students who wish to work solely on texts written in English or translated into English will find relevant MPhils in the English Faculty. It is possible on the ELAC programme to use conceptual and theoretical material in English translation.

The course is divided into three terms and runs from the beginning of October to the end of June the following year.

Things You'll Need

In order to apply for this course you'll need to think about getting a few things ready before you apply.

  • Two academic references  
  • Transcript  
  • Evidence of competence in English   
    If required - you can check using this tool
  • Research proposal
  • Sample of work (max. 1)

Your sample of work should be in English and approximately 3,000 words. This could be an essay from your undergraduate course, or an extract from your undergraduate dissertation. If you are returning to study and do not have a recent sample of academic writing, you may submit something written especially for the application process. It must be a single-authored work.


Please see Applying and Funding