Universiteit Leiden

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French Literature and Culture (MA)

About the programme

Learn the newest insights from established scholars.

Programme structure

The master's programme in French Literature and Culture spans two semesters. We cover a wide range of topics literary and cultural, from which you may freely tailor your own programme. This programme consists of four courses and an MA thesis:

  • Courses 1 and 2: Any two courses from the French Literature and Culture programme;
  • Course 3: Any course offered in the French Literature and Culture programme; or any other course offered in the MA in Literary Studies;
  • Course 4: Any course offered in the French Literature and Culture programme; or any other course within the MA in Literary Studies; or a course on a literary subject taught in another MA; or a course offered in the MA in Linguistics: French Language and Linguistics; or a course offered via Masterlanguage (do note that Masterlanguage courses are 5 or 6 EC instead of 10).

For a detailed programme, see the Prospectus.

Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may differ slightly.

We also offer a combined programme of Literary Studies/French courses and Linguistics/French courses:

  • Two courses (20 EC): MA Literary Studies/French
  • Two courses (20 EC): MA Linguistics/French
  • MA thesis Literary Studies/French (20 EC)

This programme is particularly recommended if you plan to apply for the Educational Master afterwards.

In collaboration with the master’s programme in French Language and Linguistics, courses are offered on issues in French cultural and linguistic politics and on interdisciplinary issues such as plurilingualism, diglossia, “verlan” and creole languages, where the study of literature and linguistics comes together.

In order to broaden your horizon, you may choose one course among the many courses offered by other tracks of the master in Literary Studies or from the MA in Cultural Analysis: Literature and Theory.

Annelies Schulte Nordholt

Researcher and University Lecturer

Annelies Schulte Nordholt

“The MA in French Literature and Culture at Leiden gives you great freedom to choose the direction of your studies. Focus your studies on the period of Medieval, Early Modern literature or modern and contemporary literature and more. You can even combine French literature courses with French linguistics courses. The programme is taught largely in French, and boasts one of the highest language levels in the Netherlands.”


"Detailed feedback from teachers on your written and oral work is the first step towards learning how to critique and evaluate ideas and theories. The next step is learning how to critically comment on, and correct, your own work and that of others."

Memory of World War II

"My personal research interest is primarily within three fields: French post-war literary texts and the memory of the Holocaust and World War II; the representation of urban space and city life in French modern and contemporary literary texts; and theories of literary creativity in modern French thought."

Is French Literature and Culture the programme for you?

Check the admission requirements to find out if you are eligible for this Master's programme

Check the admission requirements

Full-time and Part-time

You can follow all Literary Studies tracks both full-time and part-time. Please note that the part-time study mode does not offer any evening classes.

Research and academic rigour

All of our teaching staff are internationally active scholars. We regularly update our courses to reflect contemporary academic debates and the very latest insights – many from the research conducted by lecturers on the programme. The academically rigorous design of the programme enables you to develop essential skills in academic writing, critical thinking, , and independent, high-quality academic  research, culminating in your master's thesis.

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