MA English Studies


The MA English Studies is a taught course with a strong research orientation that brings together the three fields of English linguistics, literary studies and cultural studies. The programme

  • is a consecutive two-year full-time course (or four-year part-time course) with a total of 120 ECTS points (60 ECTS or 30 ECTS points per academic year)
  • offers in-depth study of the English language and the literatures and cultures of Great Britain and Ireland (as well as other English speaking countries)
  • can be studied entirely in English and is fully modularised

The MA English Studies – Options for Specialisation

The MA English Studies encourages a specialisation in either Culture and Literature or Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, but also allows students to opt for no specialisation. Applicants/Students can choose between these three options:

Specialisation Culture and Literature

This specialisation offers a focus on

  • two of the most prominent approaches in the humanities: the history of ideas and discourse analysis
  • Cultural Studies: cultural history, popular culture, and processes of cultural and medial translation; a specific emphasis is placed on the intersection of culture with economics and politics
  • Literary Studies: a wide range of English literatures from the Renaissance to the present, closely examining literary texts as well as their relations to other discourses such as philosophy and religion
  • interdisciplinary options and work experience: a Wild Card module provides the opportunity to do an internship in order to get work experience in a related area (optional) or take courses from related fields of study
Specialisation Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

This specialisation focuses on the description and analysis of the English language in the light of current linguistic theories and teaching approaches. The following topics are covered:

  • the idiomatic element of language: construction grammar, valency theory, research on collocation and idiomaticity
  • foreign language teaching: lexicography, grammar, contrastive linguistics, speech perception and production, literacy development, bilingualism and bilingual education
  • first and second language acquisition and research on learner language
  • corpus linguistics
  • the English language: history and variation
No Specialisation

Students may choose to study a combination of the two major fields, dedicating an equal amount of their studies to both fields (no specialisation).

All Three Options

  • comprise special advanced language classes to further develop students’ skills in the English language as well as their academic skills
  • encourage students to choose modules from a range of related subjects (including North American Studies, Book Studies, Romance languages and others)
  • offer a number of places for studying abroad at other European universities
  • are taught entirely in English

More Information

  • Literary Studies: relations between literature and other discourses, e.g. philosophy, politics, religion etc. (Chair Prof. Dr. Rudolf Freiburg),
  • Cultural Studies: cultural history, processes of cultural and medial translation (Chair Prof. Dr. Doris Feldmann),
  • Linguistics: theoretical linguistics and its application to the description of English, including the perspective of foreign language learning (Chair Prof. Dr. Thomas Herbst).
  • The areas of research are also embedded into a number of well-established research centres, among them:

Depending on students’ specialisation they can obtain

  • a degree in MA English Studies: Culture and Literature
  • a degree in MA English Studies: Linguistics and Applied Lingustics
  • a degree in ‘MA English Studies’ (no specialisation)

The MA English Studies prepares for jobs that require sophisticated analytical skills, excellent writing as well as organisational competences. Graduates of the MA English Studies will have a wide range of career options in fields such as

  • academic posts and research
  • journalism and media
  • public relations and communication
  • publishing and editing
  • translation
  • library and information services
  • tourism
  • cultural management (e.g. museums, foundations, events)
  • diversity management
  • marketing and advertising
  • higher education and private schools

Students who already know that they would like to pursue a career in a non-academic context, can use our optional internship module as an opportunity to make contacts with potential future employers to gain hands-on experience beyond the university.

Depending on the chosen specialisation and individual choices, the course structure will differ. The examinations regulation (Fachprüfungsordnung, short: FPO) comprises model structures for each of the three paths. The current FPO can be downloaded as a PDF file (English and German). Open the PDF and scroll down to find the appendices:

  • Appendix 1 for Culture and Literature
  • Appendix 2 for Linguistics and Applied Linguistic
  • Appendix 3 for no specialisation

A listing of classes taught in the current semester can be found online in the course catalogue (UnivIS). For the English version click on the British flag (top right), then navigate to  >> Course List  >> English and American Studies >> Masterstudiengang English Studies >> Modulverzeichnis >> [choose specialisation])

The module handbook of the MA English Studies can be found here.

Read more about requirements and how to apply.