Universiteit Leiden

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Literary Studies (MA)

About the programme

The one-year Master’s in Literary Studies offers an exciting and challenging mix of theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

The programme offers five specialisations:

Programme structure

The courses that you will follow depend on the specialisation of your choice. Generally, you will follow several core courses, elective courses and finally a Master's thesis.

For a detailed programme, see the Prospectus of the specialisations of your interest. Please note that the programme in the Prospectus shows the content of the current academic year.

Anthonya Visser

Professor of German Language and Literature

“Literary Studies at Leiden University is unique primarily because of its interdisciplinary nature. Students are invited to choose their own specialisation, such as an approach to a specific issue or a particular topic.”

Yra van Dijk

Professor of Dutch Literature in a Global Perspective

Yra van Dijk

"In the MA, students arrive on another level, where they take themselves and their academic work more seriously. At that point, it motivates them (and myself) to explore together what the study of literature can bring them, as much as what they can bring to Literary Studies. Finding your discipline and deepening your knowledge is an amazing process of self-discovery, personally and professionaly."


"To prepare students for the job market, we have an ongoing conversation about what lays ahead. Once students really know their ambitions, I can bring them in contact with my network in the field of journalism, literature and in the academy, in order to find positions from editor at a Publishing House to PhD-positions."

Critical thinkers

"I turn my students into critical thinkers by letting them read crucial texts and taking time to discuss them together, asking them to weekly write essays with feedback. Most of all: they learn to critically analyse and interpret literary texts as being revelatory of the most painful truths in society."

Full-time and part-time

All Literary Studies specialisations are offered both in full-time and part-time. Please note that the part-time study mode does not offer any evening classes.

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