The MA in English and American Literary and Cultural Studies combines advanced coursework with a semester abroad, for instance at one of our partner universities, and practical work experience, including an international internship. Students focus on a wide spectrum of English-language texts, ranging from medieval to contemporary literatures and cultures. A strong emphasis on cultural studies methodologies allows them to gain expertise in popular culture, gender studies or political rhetoric. The critical analysis of literary genres and visual media (photography, film, TV, and comics) plays a central role in the curriculum. Students can also choose from a variety of interdisciplinary courses as part of their electives (Studium Generale) and gain professional experience as teaching assistants or by contributing to research projects in the department. To be eligible for the MA programme, students must have completed a BA in English or American Studies with a clear emphasis on literature and culture or another suitable degree in the humanities. Applicants from other disciplines may be asked to acquire relevant knowledge in English and American Studies during their first semester in Paderborn. Excellent spoken and written English is required for admission, and practical language courses will then help students to reach C2 level. As all classes are conducted in English, no prior knowledge of German is required.
Is this the right course for me?
- You would like to learn more about English-language literatures and cultures?
- You wish to arrive at a better understanding of their historical and contemporary contexts?
- You’re interested in exploring and applying theoretical concepts?
- You enjoy academic discussions and want to improve your academic writing and presentation skills in English?
- You're thinking about a career in research/academia?
The MA programme consists of a total of eight thematic and practical modules and a final examination module. Students may choose to distribute modules over different semesters. Nonetheless, certain recommendations will help you to make the most of your studies:
Students are advised to complete the language module (1) with courses on academic writing, oral communication and language
consolidation over three semesters to ensure the continuous development of their practical language skills. The three thematic modules – English Literature, including Anglophone literatures from the Commonwealth (2), American Literature (3) and Cultural Studies (4) – contain three seminars each and can be completed in any order and combination. Students are free to choose topics according to their own interests, while the cultural studies module contains one obligatory seminar with a historical orientation. Module 5 allows you to gain valuable teaching experience through a tutorial for one of the department’s Bachelor courses. In the 'Studium Generale' module (6),
students take at least two courses from across the university's study programmes. Modules (7) and (8) introduce an international perspective and are recommended for the third semester. The internship abroad (7) consists of six weeks of work experience in an English-language environment of the students' choice. The study abroad (8) takes you to a university in an English-speaking country for one semester. You can either choose from our various exchange programmes or organise your own stay. At the host university, you will complete one seminar each from literary studies, cultural studies and the wider humanities. You may also start preparing for your MA thesis.
The final semester is then devoted to the MA thesis, written on a topic of the candidate's choice. In an oral examination (consisting of the thesis defence and two additional topics) and a four-hour invigilated essay students demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of further areas of study covered in the programme.
- Student initiatives (book, film & conversation clubs, workshops)
- International conferences on current topics
- Regular events with international scholars and authors
- Exchange programmes with English-speaking universities
- Creative writing workshops
- Informal MA-meetings with students and staff
Das Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik unterhält Partnerschaften mit verschiedenen ausländischen Universitäten, u.a. in den USA, Großbritannien und Irland. Im Rahmen dieser Kooperationen sind Studienaufenthalte im Ausland möglich.