The Best Universities To Study Literature | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

The Best Universities To Study Literature



While choosing the best university for a specific degree, it’s always better to do some research before you apply. Choosing the best university is a pretty difficult task and we know it becomes even more difficult when it comes to areas that are not as well known as others. Therefore, we suggest not to rely completely on university’s reputation and always check if their program appeals to you. Based on that, we‘ve chosen a list of eight universities depending on how well are they positioned in some of the main statistics, but also depending on literature programmes they offer. That said, in this article, we would like to help you put your best foot forward for your literature studies at university.



Stanford University might not have the same reputation as Harvard, however, according to The World University Rankings (WUR), it is the best place to study Arts and Humanities in the world. According to Shanghai rankings (SR), Stanford University is the first runner-up for the overall world university. In effect, the offer of graduated programs is at least as various as Harvard’s, offering also some pretty specific courses (as Jewish Studies).



Both universities not only are the highest ranked universities in Europe overall but also excel in Social Science according to SR, being positioned 10th and 16th worldwide. Very similar in their offer, both universities enable future students to choose from a large selection of undergraduate and graduate programs. As opposed to the US universities we mentioned above, Oxford and Cambridge seem to offer more options for English literature studies.



Positioned as 51-75th worldwide in Social Science in SR and 101-150th overall, although this university might not be as known as others, it offers an interesting variety of literary studies. Due to its location, Arabic, Jewish and Asian studies are reinforced compared to other universities, which makes it a good option for those who are interesting in such programmes.



Both Australian National University and Melbourne University give their students a possibility to combine their majors and minors in various classic and modern languages in their undergraduate programmes, although the literature studies are mainly linked to corresponding foreign language studies. In addition, Australian National University offers the possibility of combining graduate programmes in almost any way which makes it more interesting for students, as well as gives them better professional opportunities in their future. Both universities are positioned pretty high in WUR (33th and 35th respectively) in Arts and Humanities, but also amongst the top 100 world universities according to SR.


  • The University of the Witwatersrand – South Africa


The University of Witwatersrand, or also, Wits, as they call it, is a university located in Johannesburg, South Africa. Positioned as 201-300th overall world university in SR and 176-200th in WUR, it reaches some of the most famous world universities. As for the literature studies, there are different options in combining majors and minors for undergraduate programmes, as well as the possibility of choosing between several graduated programmes, such as African Literatures, Creative Writing (quite a unique graduate programme amongst all the mentioned universities), and others.


  • University of Sao Paulo – Brasil


Last but not least, we can’t forget to mention one of the best South American universities, situated amongst 151-200 best world’s universities in SR and 126-150 in Arts and Humanities according to WUR. The offer of literature courses is related mainly to Spanish, Latin-American, and Portuguese literature, which makes it an interesting destination for those who are interested in these languages and their literatures. However, Russian and German literature courses are offered, too.

These are, of course, our suggestions, and we would love to be able to support them with your personal experience. If you have an experience with some of the universities mentioned above or if you are currently studying literature don’t forget to review your university. Also, we always like to have a feedback from our readers, so any suggestions and opinions are welcome in the comment section below!

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Radka is currently a student of Spanish Philology at the University of Granada. Being from Slovakia and living in Spain, she never stops learning new things and getting new experience which she loves to share with other people. She's a really active person who loves DIY, cooking, playing ultimate frisbee, traveling whenever she can and spending the most time possible with her friends.

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