International and Comparative Literary Studies


ICLS is a vibrant, innovative and interdisciplinary program in the School of Languages and Cultures (SLC). Each ICLS unit of study is taught by three to four lecturers whose disciplinary backgrounds are in literature, film studies, theatre studies, cultural studies and social sciences. The lecturers are from ten different departments within the SLC as well as the Department of English in the School of Letters, Art and Media (SLAM).

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. You will be genuinely surprised to see how the world is interlinked theoretically, sociologically and culturally through the study of our thematic comparative literary program units. These 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 as all units of study are conducted in English and use texts in English translation. However, reading knowledge of at least one language other than English is required for Honours and Postgraduate study.

Study plan

A major in International and Comparative Literary Studies requires at least 36 senior credit points, including at least 24 senior credit points from core units of study of which must include the compulsory unit ICSL3630 - Literature and Society.

Junior units of study (1000 level):
There are no specific ICLS units of study at junior level. Before taking ICLS at senior level, you must have completed at least 18 junior credit points from part A of the table of units of study, of which 12 credit points are from one subject area.

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level):
You complete 24 senior credit points taken from core ICLS units of study, including one 3000 level unit. On a two to three year rotating curriculum, at least one unit of study is offered from each of the following clusters every year:

- Great Books of the World
- Literature and Society
- Literary Genres, Movements and Styles
- Theorising Literature Across Cultures

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas


Our courses that offer this major