Objectives and competences

The master's degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature offers studies in literature and in various areas of critical thinking. Students gain advanced training in the main trends in Literary Theory, in the most relevant current debates in this area of knowledge, and in the various methods for analysing and interpreting texts. With this training, students gain the skills required to create their own discourse on modernity and contemporaneity in literature and art.
The master's degree also provides advanced knowledge of the relationships between literature, philosophy and history, and the relationships between national literatures, to promote rigorous thinking on European cultural identity. An analysis of the birth, development and present situation of comparative literature promotes reflection on historical concepts, such as cosmopolitanism and citizenship in current debates on the idea of Europe.

Basic information

TypeMaster's degree
Faculty or schoolFaculty of Philology and Communication
Branch of knowledge
  • Philology, classical studies, translation and linguistics
  • History, archaeology, geography, philosophy and humanities
  • Interdisciplinary
Mode of delivery
  • Face-to-face
Number of places available40
Length of course1 academic year
Language(s) of instructionCatalan: 50%, Spanish: 50%
Approximate price per credit27.67 euros per credit (82 euros for students who are not EU nationals and do not currently reside in Spain). Fees for the academic year 2023-2024
Course detailsIndicators
Open pre-enrolmentYes
Open enrolmentNo
Lead to doctoral studiesYes
Admission for applicants not holding a degree qualificationNo
Bridging coursesNo

Objectives and competences


This master's degree is the logical continuation of the bachelor's degree in Literary Studies and the former pre-EHEA degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature. It is also open to applicants from other fields, such as Philology, Humanities, History and Philosophy. The general aim is to deepen knowledge gained during the bachelor's or pre-EHEA degree, to attain a high level of reflection on the theoretical, comparative, historical and critical principles behind current debates in the field of Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature. The field of reflection will be widened to include literary tradition, its crises and transformations, and all this knowledge will be set in motion with a critical approach.

A second objective that complements and is inseparable from the first is for students to specialize in areas of knowledge, depending on their interests. The specialization will be attained in an introduction to advanced research in the field of Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature, through materials proposed in the master's degree and through the conception, development, and defence of a research project supervised by a tutor. The research project can be used to gain admission to doctoral studies.


Generic competences

  • Capacity to articulate a complex discourse and address texts, explanations, and complex documents in a multiple, changing context of interpretation.
  • Capacity to analyse and summarise.
  • Capacity to undertake studies and in-depth assignments on a range of subjects.
  • Ability to use general or specific reference resources of the humanities, in their main formats (in libraries, newspaper and periodicals libraries, archives and other documentary sources) and via information technologies.
  • Capacity to articulate a personal discourse and communicate it clearly and meticulously, and the capacity to transfer knowledge to specialized or non-specialized publics.
  • Capacity to reflect and demonstrate independent, critical thinking.
  • Capacity for intellectual reasoning: construction of solid, logical, coherent arguments based on considerable analytical skills, the capacity to summarise, and rigour in the use of concepts.
  • Capacity to integrate cultural diversity into the specific context, as a source of enrichment and rigour in arguments.
  • Communication skills: capacity to express arguments clearly, accurately and rigorously, and to express thoughts with clarity in oral and written presentations.

Specific competences:
  • Literary competence: capacity to understand and compare complex literary texts and evaluate the characteristics of the composition of each one, the nature of the relationship with the context in which they were produced, the environment in which they were received, and the intellectual dimension.
  • Theoretical and critical competence: capacity to analyse literary texts and other cultural documents with the specific categories and theoretical concepts that are required, and to generate new critical questions based on commentary on the text.
  • Comparative competence: capacity to think in terms of interliterary relations and establish a relationship between Catalan, Spanish, European and Western literary traditions.
  • Cross-disciplinary critical competence: capacity to critically compare the literary tradition with other cultural output (visual arts, cinema, music, architecture, etc.) and with other discursive practices (philosophy, aesthetics, history, law, etc.) to form a whole in a historical sense.
  • Scientific competence: capacity to develop the competences described above in the form of specific research projects.
    Intellectual competence: capacity to write documents and critical articles of an intellectual nature, which society needs to express itself as such, through an understanding of literary texts and the function they have at the current time.

Access and admission

Applicant profile and access requirements

Recommended applicant profile

This master's degree is particularly designed for holders of bachelor's degrees in Literary Studies, Philology, Humanities, History, Philosophy, Modern Languages and Literatures, or holders of a pre-EHEA degree in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature. However, in general terms, it could be of interest to any graduate in the area of the humanities and social sciences, or graduates in other areas who wish to give a literary, critical, comparative orientation to their training.

Access requirements and conditions

General requirements
In accordance with Article 16 of Royal Decree 1393/2007, of 29 October, students wishing to be admitted to a university master's degree must hold one of the following qualifications:

  • Official Spanish university degree.

  • A degree issued by a higher education institution within the European Higher Education Area framework that authorizes the holder to access university master's degree courses in the country of issue.

  • A qualification issued by an institution outside the framework of the European Higher Education Area. In this case, applicants must request homologation of the degree to its equivalent official Spanish university qualification or obtain express approval from the University of Barcelona, which will conduct a study of equivalence to ensure that the degree is of a comparable level to an official Spanish university qualification and that it grants access to university master's degree study in the country of issue. Admission shall not, in any case, imply that prior qualifications have been recognized as equivalent to a Spanish master's degree and does not confer recognition for any purposes other than that of admission to the master's degree course.

Specific requirements
Most of the master's degree students will hold a bachelor's degree in Literary Studies or a pre-EHEA degree in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature.
However, the recommended applicant profile is broader, as the master's degree is aimed at all bachelor's degree or pre-EHEA degree holders in the humanities, particularly those trained in the specific field of literature, but also those interested in aspects of philosophy, history and history of art.



1 March - 15 September 2024.


  • Pre-enrolment fee: A pre-enrolment fee of 30,21 euros is charged. Students who apply to more than one master's degree must pay the fee for each pre-enrolment request. Pre-enrolment requests cannot be processed until this fee has been paid.Fees will only be refunded if the master's degree in question is suspended.
  • Reserved places: A maximum of 5% of the new places of the master's degree are reserved for students who meet the general and specific access requirements and accredit the recognition of a degree of disability equal to or greater than 33%.

Required documentation

  • Pre-enrolment application
  • Photocopy of degree certificate or equivalent qualification. In case of admission, foreign degrees that require so should be translated and authenticated through diplomatic channels before completing the enrolment.

    Selection criteria

    There are no specific admission tests for this course, but there will be a pre-enrolment process through which the Academic Committee will assess the applications. As general selection criteria, a ratio is established between the academic transcript (70%) and the suitability of the candidate according to their curriculum vitae (30%).

    Over the academic transcript, graduates of the bachelor's degree in Literary Studies or the pre-EHEA degree in Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature are given priority, and 75% of the places on the master's degree are reserved for this profile. In addition, 15% of the places are reserved for candidates who have graduated from the faculties of Philology, Philosophy and Arts, or Humanities, and 10% for students who have graduated in Audiovisual Communication, Information Sciences, Social and Legal Sciences, or Engineering and Architecture.

    If the places reserved for these profiles are not filled, they are added to the offer of the rest of places.


    The Admissions Committee, which is formed by the course coordinator and the members of the Master's Degree Committee, studies applications from prospective students during the general pre-enrolment period, which is the same for all university master's degrees at the UB Faculty.

    The period for submission of online applications opens in February and closes on 15 September each year. The Admissions Committee meets monthly to assess the applications and the documents received and will communicate the results of the evaluation directly to the applicants.


As a general rule, at the UB you will be required to enrol online. Remember that you can lose your place if you do not enrol on the day you have been assigned

Course curriculum

Subjects and course plans

Distribution of credits

Compulsory 24
Optional 24
Compulsory placements
Compulsory final project 12

List of subjects

Subject Type Language Credits
Specialization: Theory of Literature and Comparative Literature
Current Debates in Comparative Literature Compulsory 2nd semester 6
Final Project Compulsory 1st semester
2nd semester
Genres of Memory Optional 1st semester 6
Literary Representations of Displacement Optional 2nd semester 6
Logic of Literary Genres Compulsory 1st semester 6
Narration and Fictionality Optional 1st semester 6
Nihilism and Literature Optional 1st semester 6
Revisions in Literary Theory Compulsory 2nd semester 6
Translation and Comparative Literature Optional 2nd semester 6
Trends in Modern Hermeneutics Compulsory 1st semester 6

Previous years


Placements in a company or another type of organization are an integral part of university studies, providing first-hand experience of working methodologies in students' chosen professional fields. They offer invaluable practical experience for the transition into work after graduation.

Placements are supervised by tutors and subject to assessment. They are therefore included in the academic record.  There is also an option to complete non-curricular placements of up to 500 hours, which can be extended to 900 hours. For both curricular and non-curricular placements, an educational cooperation agreement is signed between the UB and the company, institution or other organization at which the placement will be carried out.

Institutional information

Career opportunities

What can you work on ?

One of the areas that graduates of the master's degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature could access is teaching: secondary school, upper secondary school, university and other academic and social institutions. The official master's degree also prepares students to enter the university research area.

Another career opportunity is cultural communication: collaboration in managing and programming activities organised by many institutions officially. In addition, the professional private sector is available, particularly in the cultural, museum and publishing industries.

Access to the labour market

Data from the university system in Catalonia

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