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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Literary Studies
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Literary Studies

Are you interested in the study of literature? Investigate our tracks to see the courses we offer.

The one-year Master's degree in Literary Studies offers three tracks and you should click on the links below to find out more detailed information about each of them.

In the track in European Literatures and Interculturality you study the arts and literature of Europe. You will explore subjects such as the impact of globalization on European literature; and the shifting of world views within European art. You will focus on the language and culture you studied as a Bachelor's student.

The track in English Literature and Culture explores English literary classics and new works of English literature in their cultural context. As a student of this programme, you can draw from the full historical and geographical sweep of literatures in the English language.

In the Writing, Editing and Mediating track you focus on all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. You will improve your English writing and editing skills. In addition, you will learn to help others in their writing process. The track is meant for graduates with a near-native command of the English language.

Read more about the discipline of European Languages and Cultures.

Read more about the discipline of discipline of English Language and Culture.

Facts & Figures
MA in Literary Studies
Course type
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Why study this programme in Groningen?
Programme options
Writing, Editing and Mediating (WEM) (track)

What makes a text a good or captivating text? How do you recognize repetitions, inconsistencies, faulty logic and other problems in texts? What does it take to guide a text from writer to reader?

Working with texts in a professional setting involves a special set of skills. The Writing, Editing and Mediating Master's track (often abbreviated to WEM), offers students a choice of courses that focus on non-fiction writing for specific audiences, the history of texts in their various forms (from manuscript to digital book), proof-reading and correcting English texts, and producing texts for publication. Topics addressed include censorship, copyright, scholarly editions, critical theory and social issues in contemporary literature.Students on the course typically have a BA in English or in an Anglophone culture (e.g. American Studies). Some students with other humanities qualifications and a sufficient level of academic English are accepted by the admissions board.The one-year Master's track in Writing, Editing and Mediating (WEM) is a track within the Master's degree in Literary Studies and is run by the Department of English Language and Culture. It is taught and assessed wholly in English.

More information about this option

European Literatures and Interculturality (track)

Welcome to the Master's track in European Literature and Interculturality..

Based on cutting-edge research in literary studies, this unique and innovative literature programme is international in scope and comprises several modern European languages.The Master's track in European Literature and Interculturality is located at the Department of European Languages and Cultures. This international, interdisciplinary and multilingual environment offers excellent opportunities for research and immerses them in vibrant networks of experts across different European countries and languages. Students have to choose one major language. They can choose from the following languages: French, Frisian, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.The Master's track in European Literature and Interculturality provides you with academic skills and approaches that will prepare you to operate as a cultural expert wherever texts are involved: in the media, in institutions and in networks.Each course builds on a theoretical foundation, but at the same time trains your research skills and ability to communicate with a range of different audiences.

Examples of language-specific courses in literature currently being taught can be found in the course catalogue.

Besides, students may choose one or two interdisciplinary seminars in literature which are team-taught by experts from different fields. Examples of such interdisciplinary courses include: 'Literature and Conflict' and 'Modernist Geographies.'

More information about this option

English Literature and Culture (track)

Literary study is socially relevant: from the medieval to the modern, it maps the forces which divide and unite people. English is the global language of cultural exchange and experiment.

The themes of conflict and co-operation are at the core of the Master's track in English Literature and Culture, a programme that allows students a broad choice from a range of modules drawing on the full historical and geographical sweep of literatures in English.

It is a key tenet of the track that the academic study of English literature can be used to reflect on the ways that people - as individuals and as groups - interact with one another, and that it provides a catalyst for insight into contemporary social debates. Literature captures the separation and the solidarity of its writers and audiences in a manner particular to itself: it is a multidisciplinary practice that is as various as the texts it studies. The programme's core themes of conflict and co-operation are linked to sustainable society, a research priority of the university.For more information see: English Language & Culture.

More information about this option

Master's Honours Programme (honours program)

The Master's Honours Programme was developed especially for students who want to get more from their studies.

It is a programme worth 15 ECTS that is followed in addition to the standard Master's programme. It is a one-year interdisciplinary programme that is designed to introduce students to various aspects of leadership.

More information about this option

Entry requirements

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Writing, Editing and Mediating / English Literature and Culture: Minimum language requirements of TOEFL iBT 110 (with a minimum of 25 on all items), or IELTS 8.0 (with a minimum of 7.5 on all items). Minimum ERK level C1.

European Literatures and Cultures: Additional requirements English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items).

previous education

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students15 August 202201 September 2022
EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202201 September 2022
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2021-2022€ 1084full-time
non-EU/EEA2021-2022€ 13216full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

Your possibilities depend on your track. You might work as a translator, journalist or writer. You could also find a job in the field of education, research or publishing. Other options are functions at cultural organizations and government institutes.


The research projects of staff members are innovative and international and range from the analysis of (offensive) humor in controversial cartoons to garden writings and sustainability, from digital media representations to literary self-identification of marginalized or minority groups. Students have a free choice of dissertation subjects within the areas of staff expertise and are encouraged to develop new and innovative approaches and ideas. Examples of dissertations are:.

- From a barren desert to a microbial jungle: Deep-sea narratives in the Anthropocene
- Heimat als Heterotopie: Ortlosigkeit und Vielortigkeit der neuen Heimat in Keuns Kind aller Länder und Stanišićs Herkunft
- No de izquierdas ni de derechas: El discurso decolonial en la obra de Calle 13
- Le transculturalisme littéraire à travers deux « intrangères » issues de l’exil. Une comparaison entre L’art de perdre d’Alice Zeniter et Marx et la poupée de Maryam Madjidi
- Trauma - Ironi i ungdomsromanen Tio över ett. Hur kolliderande former skapar en personlig bild av Kirunas flyttning
- Ambivalent feminism: Hashtagification, YouTubification, and Eurovisionization of women's rights in Russia

Dissertations may be supervised by any appropriate member of staff. The following list indicates the areas of expertise of the various staff members:

Vera Alexander - English and Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Ecocriticism, Travel writing and mobility, Life Writing, Bildungsroman, Children’s Literature, Place, Space, Heterotopia, Diaspora, Transculturality.

Alberto Godioli - Humour and satire across media; Law and Humanities; Comparative literature, 19th-21st centuries; Italian literature and culture, including film; Modernism; Posthumanism.

Ester Jiresch - Scandinavian Literature, Culture, and History, Swedish Politics, Scandinavian Crime Novel, Modern European Culture and History, Gender Studies.

Christian Kirchmeier - Literary, Cultural, and Media Theory, Law and Literature, Morality and Literature, Theories of Society, Political Theory, German and Literature, Music and Literature, Theatre, Aesthetics.

Stella Linn - Translation Studies, Contemporary French and Spanish Literature, Migrant and Minority Literature, Urban Youth Language/Slang and Street Culture, Youth and Young Adult Literature.

Florian Lippert - Modern German literature, Modern European literature and culture, Film Studies, The European migrant crisis, Literary Theory, Film Theory, Reception Theory, Critical Theory, Systems Theory, Art and Literature in Philosophy, Sociology and Politics, Self-reflexivity, Surveillance.

Hugh McDonnell - 20th Century French and Spanish Political, Social and Cultural History, French and Spanish Politics, Culture, Identity, and Politics, The Idea of Europe and European Identity, Political Theory.

Konstantin Mierau - Empirical Study of Literary Reception, Prison Reading, Digimodernism and Literature, Spanish Golden Age Literature, The (Spanish) Picaresque Novel.

Ksenia Robbe - Russian Literature and Culture, Eastern European and Postsocialist studies, Postcolonial and Decolonial Theory, Memory and Time Studies, Feminism and Gender studies, South African Literature and Culture, Visual Art, Museums, Theatre and Performance, Aesthetics and Politics.

Camilla Sutherland - Contemporary Spanish-Language Literature, Women Writers, Gender Studies, Spatial Theory, Latin American Literature and Culture, Global Modernisms, Avant-gardes, Art History, Film Studies, Theatre and Performance.

Jeanette den Toonder - Contemporary French and francophone Literature, Migrant and Minority Literature, Literary Theory, Comparative Literature, Contemporary Quebec novel, Gender studies, Spatial Theory, Life Writing, Transculturality.

Pablo Valdivia - Multidisciplinary Humanities Research, Cultural Analytics, Cultural Narratives, Narrative Theory, Metaphor Theory, European Literature and Culture, Comparative Literary Studies, Film Studies, Visual Studies, Literature and Culture from the Golden Age till the Present, Art History, Theatre, Poetry, European Politics and Culture, Spanish and Latin American Literature, Culture and Society.

Vera Veldhuizen - Children’s Literature, Young Adult/Adolescent Literature, Picture books, Fairy tales, Fables, Narrative Empathy, Script Theory, Irish Literature, War Literature, Literary Theory, Cognitive Studies.

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						Testimonial of

    Freelance editor at EditUp

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    After I graduated, I wanted to gain experience and get even better at what I like doing best: writing and editing. I registered with the Chamber of Commerce and started working as a freelance editor at my own editing business 'EditUp', where I write, translate and edit academic and publicity texts for various clients. I work in Dutch and English for both digital and print media. I also have a part-time job as a content editor at Oberst BV.

    The knowledge that I acquired in the Master's track in Writing, Editing and Mediating has proven indispensable in both my jobs. I chose this track because of my passion for the English language and literature, and because I wanted to become an editor. The programme enables you to study interesting literature while at the same time training you in the field of editing. It taught me to write and edit, and also to support my writing and editing choices with relevant theories. I can now use this knowledge and these skills to justify my texts to my clients. The opportunity to gain practical experience in a placement gives the programme great added value. I was given the opportunity to do an internship at the Marketing, Communication and Sales department of Dutch National Opera & Ballet. I was responsible for writing, editing and translating texts such as biographies, flyers, interviews and articles for the magazine Odeon and the internal personnel magazine.

    The combination of academic and practical perspectives will help you translate your knowledge and understanding to the labour market. In my view, this is the strength of this Master's track!


University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts

Are you a non-EU/EEA student from Mexico, Russia, China, India, or Indonesia, starting a Master's programme at the Faculty of Arts? If so, you could qualify for the University of Groningen OTS/Talent Grant, Faculty of Arts, a partial scholarship which helps you to finance your studies.

Read more about the OTS/Talent Grant Faculty of Arts.

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Study support

Each Master's degree programme has a study advisor whom you can contact if you have questions or need advice about your degree programme and other study-related matters. Everything you discuss will be treated confidentially. If you have a more complex problem, for example study delay, a performance disability or if you are ill for a long time, you should contact a student counsellor.

In addition, you can also follow various courses at the Study Support section of the Student Service Centre (SSC), for example on study stress and holding presentations.