Welcome to International and Comparative Literary Studies (ICLS)

ICLS is a vibrant and innovative interdisciplinary program in the School of Languages and Cultures. Our rich and diverse program guarantees that study in ICLS will both be personally rewarding and prepare future graduates for a range of possible career paths.

In a globalised, diverse and highly mobile world, crosscultural and interdisciplinary education and knowledge are essential requirements for those wishing to become active participants in the life of the future global community. A literary education in particular provides important cultural insights, as literature both reflects and shapes a society's cultural and intellectual life.

Study in ICLS at the University of Sydney

At Undergraduate level, students can major in ICLS, with the option of continuing to Honours, or crosslist selected ICLS units to other majors in foreign languages or in English. A major in ICLS integrates well with a range of other majors in foreign languages, Asian Studies, European and Middle Eastern Studies, Spanish and Latin American Studies, US Studies, English, Performance Studies, History, Gender Studies, Art History and so on. It also integrates well with degrees such as the Bachelor of International and Global Studies or the Bachelor of Media and Communications.

At Postgraduate level, ICLS units are available to students completing an MA by Coursework in Cross-cultural Communication, European Studies, English or Creative Writing. For research students, a range of thesis supervision possibilities are open to those wishing to complete a PhD, MPhil or MA by Research.

Diversity and Interdisciplinarity

The twenty staff from eleven departments who participate in ICLS are from a range of disciplinary backgrounds in literature, film studies, theatre studies, cultural studies and social sciences, making our teaching and research environment original, and, as part of the University of Sydney's highly regarded Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, one of the true leaders and promoters of cross-literary and interdisciplinary knowledge and education in Australia and abroad.

What makes ICLS unique in the Australian context is the leading role taken by European, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern language-based disciplines in Australia's leading university for foreign languages. Our intellectual diversity and richness open up new ways of thinking and speaking about cultures and their many interactions.

Participating Departments

School of Languages and Cultures

School of Letters, Art and Media

Career Paths

The ability to understand, value and articulate issues related to culture and cultural production, and to move across linguistic and cultural boundaries. is a major asset for individuals in the future and recognised by employers as a vital skill. Australian intellectual and professional status is no longer measured on the national front alone. It is part of a rich international network through which ideas are discussed, research undertaken and staff mobility achieved. Studying ICLS at Undergraduate or Postgraduate level offers the cultural and intellectual tools to tap into and reap the benefits of such internationalisation via a range of possible careers in the public and private sectors in fields such as journalism, publishing, creative arts, international and crosscultural agencies, public relations, translation, teaching, or academic research.