University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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International and Comparative Literary Studies

International Comparative Literature and Translation Studies (ICLTS) is a vibrant, innovative and interdisciplinary department in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC).

About the major

Each ICLS unit of study is taught by two to four lecturers whose disciplinary backgrounds are in literature, film studies, theatre studies, cultural studies, translation studies, and social sciences, and with expertise in European, Asian, and Middle Eastern traditional and modern cultures. The lecturers are from ten different language and culture departments.

Built upon comparative literary theories, our rich and diverse program offers a major that is personally rewarding and helps to prepare you as future graduates for a range of possible career paths in publishing, advertising, media industries, government and non-government organisations, and academic research. Through a range of comparative units focusing on themes such as cities of the world, relations between textual and visual arts, or on genres such as science fiction, our units of study look at how questions of society, history, culture and politics have been framed within literature from different traditions at different periods of time. There are no foreign language requirements for undergraduate study or for Honours as lectures and seminars are delivered in English and tutorial discussions are based on texts in English translation. However, reading knowledge of at least one language other than English is required for Postgraduate study.

Requirements for completion

The International and Comparative Literary Studies major and minor requirements are listed in the International and Comparative Literary Studies unit of study table.

Learning outcomes

No. Learning outcome
1 Demonstrate extensive knowledge of international literatures and their social and cultural dimension.
2 Demonstrate the ability to analyse the impact of political and social contexts on the reception and translation of literature in different languages.
3 Demonstrate a sound understanding of issues of translation, cross-cultural adaptation, and relations between literature and other art forms.
4 Demonstrate familiarity with the major theoretical approaches in comparative literature, and the ability to reflect on their interconnections.
5 Develop innovative and constructive arguments and hypotheses in response to research questions in the field of comparative literature.
6 Demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively and openly in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary settings to achieve high quality results.
7 Apply appropriate professional and ethical standards to academic research and inquiry in comparative literary Studies.

Advanced Coursework

The Bachelor of Advanced Studies in SLC prepares students to actively engage in the complex and culturally diverse contemporary world. Students will utilise linguistic and methodological skills developed in their previous studies to develop their knowledge of institutions, practices and ideas that permeate different cultures in the local and global context. They will be offered opportunities to participate in projects on translation, acculturation and self-reflexivity and to examine textual and social real-world problems related to topics which include translation, migration studies, cultural diversity and social integration.

Requirements and units of study for advanced coursework can be found on the International Comparative Literary Studies advanced coursework units of study page.


Honours admission requirements

Admission to honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in International Comparative Literary Studies with an average of 70% or above.

Prior to commencing honours, you will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Arts or other bachelor degree, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major.

Requirements and units of study for honours can be found on the International Comparative Literary Studies honours units of study page.

Contacts and further information

More information and current contact details for academic coordinators can be found at: