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About the programme
Language: Danish and English (See language requirements)  |  Place of study: Aarhus  | Commencement: August / September (no winter intake)


This programme is only offered in Danish.

Literature is everywhere

Podcasting and poetry. Advertisements and lines in plays. Speeches and theatre. Manuscripts and marketing. Literature is everywhere in society, and with a Master’s degree in comparative literature, you can work with literature in the precise field you find most interesting.

As a Master’s degree student of comparative literature, you begin at an early stage to shape your competence profile to match your career dreams. During the first term, you choose between focusing on world literature or literary culture and, at a later stage, you have an opportunity to specialise further through your elective subjects.

Literature in theory and practice

The Master’s degree programme in comparative literature at the University of Aarhus allows you a considerable degree of freedom of choice, which means that you have an opportunity to customise your study programme. You can, for example, choose to study abroad or you can plan a period of practical training. In the past, Master’s students of comparative literature have carried out periods of practical training at consulates, in publishing houses, assisting with the Danish “Night of Culture” event, at DR (Denmark’s national broadcasting corporation) and in design and advertising agencies.


In order to be admitted to the Master’s degree programme in comparative literature, you must have completed a Bachelor’s degree with Comparative Literature or Scandinavian Languages and Literature as your main subject or have taken a supplementary subject in comparative literature.

Admission requirements

Click here for information on admission requirements and procedures

Selection criteria

As the Master’s degree programme in Comparative Literature (due to government legislation) only admits a limited number of students each year, meeting the admission requirements does not in itself guarantee admission to the programme.

In evaluating qualified applicants, the admissions committee assesses each applicant on the basis of the average mark (i.e. GPA) of the Bachelor’s degree at the time of application. Marks/grades obtained after the application deadline will not be included in the GPA.

The admissions committee assesses each applicant’s marks on the basis of the information provided by diplomas and transcripts.

Programme structure

Academic regulations

As a student it is important to know the regulations for the chosen subject: what is the content, how is it structured and what does it require from you.

You can find this information in the academic regulation for the bachelor’s supplementary subject:


In the following graphical presentation of the subject you can see the different modules and courses that, in addition, link to the course catalogue where you can read the course descriptions.

Student life

The Department of Comparative Literature organises many activities that you can participate in:

  • Variant: A lecture association with 3–4 evening events per term, where critics, authors and other practising artists lecture in a relaxed café atmosphere.
  • Passage: A journal of literature and criticism, in which each issue deals with a specific topic, author or matters that the editors consider essential. In 2002, the Association of Danish Cultural Journals voted Passage the cultural journal of the year at the Forum book fair.
  • Standart: Denmark’s oldest book review journal, which was created at the department, but now has nationwide coverage.
  • Visir: A newspaper published by students at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, with articles on academic topics, fiction, a diary and list of activities at the barracks.

In addition, you can become involved in activities with the Student Committee and the Board of Studies, or participate in the many events, workshops, seminars and special theme days at the barracks and the University of Aarhus. Click here for more information.

In addition to study activities, there are many social events held at the barracks.

  • Fæstetik: The Social Committee organises events for students of all subjects at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, including a spring party with a special theme, a Shrovetide celebration and a huge party in the Stakladen building for 350 guests.
  • A joint Friday bar with live music every Friday in the foyer of the KaserneSceneN (the barracks theatre).

The Department of Comparative Literature also organises its own Christmas lunch with the legendary nativity play, and a spring party with a barbecue, where you have fun right through the night!

Follow the student life at Aarhus University

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Job functions for grads

This data is derived from AU's 2016 employment survey. This data should not be considered a completely accurate representation of the labour market and job functions for all graduates of the individual degree programmes. It exclusively represent the responses submitted to the survey in the years in question.

Job profile

The five most common career paths for comparative literature graduates are:

  • Teaching: Most graduates from the Department of Comparative Literature find jobs as teachers at universities, schools of journalism, folk high schools and in private companies.
  • Communication: As a comparative literature graduate, you are skilled at analysing and using language, so a job in a public or private sector company working with planning and designing internal/external communication is therefore an obvious career choice.
  • Advertising: Advertising is an industry that uses language in all sorts of strange ways, and where you can work as a copywriter, scriptwriter for advertising films, marketing manager or creative director, etc.
  • Art and culture: Many comparative literature graduates find jobs as project managers, cultural officers and planners in cultural institutions, at libraries and in publishing houses.
  • Internet and IT: The IT industry has an increasing need for people with language skills and knowledge of internal and external communication. Some comparative literature graduates find jobs as web editors, copywriters, IT developers and consultants.

At the Department of Comparative Literature, you can also pursue a career as a researcher. You have the option of applying for admission to the PhD programme at the faculty’s Graduate School. You can apply when you have completed your Bachelor’s degree and one year of your Master’s degree studies or when you have completed your Master’s degree. For more information about PhD degree programmes at the Faculty of Humanities, click here.

Competence profile

As a comparative literature graduate, you have competences in the following areas:

  • Literature and history: You have in-depth knowledge of the history of literature and literary criticism from Antiquity until today, and you are able to place works in their historical and cultural contexts.
  • Analysis: You are familiar with different analysis methodologies, are able to assess their applicability and use them in theory and practice.
  • Communication: As a comparative literature graduate, you have an ear for language and a good understanding of language, communication, reasoning and copywriting. You also have experience in expressing yourself both verbally and in writing, in contexts such as teaching and giving presentations.
  • Structure: You are used to working independently in connection with both preparing lessons and writing assignments and examinations. You are also able to work methodically, critically and correctly with your material.
  • Versatility: As a comparative literature graduate, you are also used to working with many different topics and juggling many tasks at the same time. You know how to apply the correct analysis methodology for the text in hand, search for and process information, describe and analyse complex problems, get an overall understanding of aesthetic issues, and subsequently apply them to cultural and social phenomena.

Career guidance

Please contact the Student Counselling Office for advice about employment opportunities and the subject profile options of your degree programme.

You can read more about the career services that are available from Arts Karriere who provide information about employment opportunities as well as arranging various events and workshops.