Universiteit Leiden

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German Literature and Culture (MA)

About the programme

Learn the newest insights from established researchers.

The master's programme in German Literature and Culture offers a wide range of topics both literary and cultural, from which you may freely tailor your individual programme.

The German Literature and Culture specialisation consists of four 10 EC courses or equivalent and an MA thesis (20 EC):

  • Courses 1 and 2: Any two courses from the German Literature and Culture programme;
  • Course 3: Any course offered from the German Literature and Culture programme or any other course within the MA Literary Studies;
  • Course 4: Any course offered from the German Literature and Culture programme or any other course within the MA Literary Studies, a course on a literary subject taught in another MA, a course offered within the MA Linguistics: German Language and Linguistics, or a course offered via Masterlanguage.

Once you have decided upon your area of specialisation you are required to follow a number of additional courses, and are free to choose from courses offered at our German partner universities. Your master’s thesis will be completed under the guidance of a supervisor at Leiden University.

From 2017/18 we also offer a combined programme of Literary Studies/German courses and Linguistics/-German courses:

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

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

  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Self-study
  • Internship options
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays and reports
  • Oral presentations
  • Thesis

Anthonya Visser

Professor of German Language and Literature

Anthonya Visser

“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.”

Literature in society

"The purpose of the programme is to enable students to independently assess the function of literature in society and to analyse it in relation to other art forms, as well as to relevant topics within politics, religion, science and technology, law and justice, and so on."

Mirjam de Baar


Mirjam de Baar

“Time has taught us that solutions to social problems do not lie in technology, but in human potential. Technological solutions are essential, but so is the significance people attribute to this information through culture or language. Experience shows us that research within the humanities and social sciences often provides these solutions. This is why the research conducted by our humanities faculty is so highly relevant and important. I am very proud of the fact that Leiden University’s Faculty of Humanities is one of the world’s leading faculties in the field.”

Broad and relevant research:

“One of this faculty’s strengths is how incredibly broad it is. We conduct a wealth of relevant research in so many different fields and disciplines. We have egyptologists working on excavation sites in Saqqara and the Dakhla Oasis. We have linguists who are documenting, for the first time, languages that are spoken by vast numbers of people in the world today; others creating computer simulations of language acquisition by the brain. The extent and variety of the activity going on is tremendous.”

A stimulating environment

“When you join Leiden’s Faculty of Humanities you are joining a community of passionate, stimulated and ambitious students and staff from all over the world. Our academic environment is known for being conducive to interaction between individuals of all standing: at Leiden even the most junior researcher is treated as a valuable member of the community with important opinions to share. You also gain access to truly unique resources found nowhere else in the world, such as our famous collections at the University Library. Our lecturers and support staff are committed to your success, both now and in the future, and offer you the tools needed to develop into a critically-minded professional who can truly make a difference to the world.”

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.

Research and academic rigour

All courses are taught by academics who are active researchers. Content is regularly updated to reflect  research conducted by lecturers on the programme. The academically-rigorous design of the programme aims to develop in you essential skills in reasoning and critical thinking. An important focus of this programme is teaching you how to independently conduct scientific research and develop this data into a master's thesis.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, see the e-Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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