Studying in M.A. groups

The programme

Master of Arts in English and American Studies
Studying in M.A. groups
Foto: Mimi Thian on

Our M.A. programme in English and American Studies comprises four semesters (or a total of 120 ECTS), the final one of which includes the composition of an M.A. thesis (30 ECTS). During your studies, it is possible to take advantage of the wide network of international partnerships of the university to spend a semester abroad, e.g. via the Erasmus+ programme.

We introduce our institute and the M.A. programme in the following brief virtual tour:

M.A. English and American Studies in Jena
Video: Universität Jena

The primary objective of our M.A. programme is the thoroughly research-driven analysis of the English language and Anglophone literature(s) and culture(s) from the Middle Ages to the present day. Students can choose between a general profile which comprises all aspects of English and American Studies or specialize in either linguistics or literary studies. In both areas, the programme aims at developing advanced knowledge of theoretical concepts and methods of linguistic and/or literary analysis.

These major components of the programme (60 ECTS) are coupled with a set of advanced practical language classes (30 ECTS), which presuppose a sound command of English pronunciation, lexis, grammar, presentation skills and essay writing, but polish these skills for professional academic purposes. All M.A. classes at our institute are taught in English.


  • English linguistics

    Our linguistics modules combine cognitive and usage-based theoretical approaches to language with a comparative (i.e. contrastive and typological) perspective on the structure of English. They are intended to provide students with the ability to conduct independent research projects on the basis of a broad theoretical background knowledge and appropriate empirical methods, including data retrieval from corpora as well as descriptive and inferential statistics.

    The following topics are thus offered regularly as part of our module catalogue:

    Research modules (10 ECTS)

    • Corpus linguistics
    • Language development (First and second language acquisition)
    • Discourse analysis
    • Linguistic typology and language universals

    Thematic modules (5 ECTS)

    • Contrastive linguistics (English-German)
    • Principles of language change
    • English varieties around the world
    • Cognitive linguistics
    • Usage-based linguistic theory
    • Grammatical categories in comparative perspective
    • Statistics for linguists

    A more detailed overview of the modules (including their aims and forms of assessment) can be found here.pdf, 103 kb

    The language of instruction is English. Knowledge of German is not required but will be beneficial. Courses are taught as seminars, in small groups, combining lecture sequences, plenary discussions and student presentations.

  • Literary and cultural studies

    Modules in literary studies investigate Anglophone literatures and cultures from around the world and from different epochs. The individual courses thus often cut across the British, Northern American and Medieval Studies sections of the institute.

    Our module catalogue comprises the following courses, each of which is offered in relation to a specific topic that varies from semester to semester:

    Research modules (10 ECTS)

    • Culture/culture
    • Text/context
    • Literary history/History of literature
    • Literary categories and conventions

    Thematic modules (5 ECTS)

    • Intermediality
    • Oeuvre/author
    • Advanced perspectives on genre
    • Theory of literature/methods of interpretation
    • Fiction/Non-fiction
    • Intercultural studies
    • Interdisciplinary perspectives
    • Language and literature
    • Reading course

    A more detailed overview of the modules (including their aims and forms of assessment) can be found herepdf, 103 kb.

  • Modules at associated departments

    In both research and teaching, our institute is linked to other academic departments at the University of Jena. Students of English and American Studies may thus also obtain credit points from associated M.A. programmes, such as

    • Modern History (Neuere Geschichte)
    • Indo-European Studies (Indogermanistik)
    • Literature - arts - culture (Literatur - Kunst - Kultur)
    • German linguistics (Germanistische Sprachwissenschaft)
    • Cultural Anthropology / Cultural History (Volkskunde/Kulturgeschichte)
    • Political Science (Politikwissenschaft)
    • German as a second and foreign language (Auslandsgermanistik)

    In addition, modules without credit points ("Zusatzmodule") can be taken in the context of, for example, the following M.A. programmes:

    • North American Studies (Nordamerikastudien)
    • German Classicism in its European context (Deutsche Klassik im europäischen Kontext)
    • Medieval studies (Mittelalterstudien)
    • Romance cultures in the modern world (Romanische Kulturen in der modernen Welt)
    • Slavic languages, literatures and cultures (Slawische Sprachen, Literaturen und Kulturen)
    • Caucasian studies (Kaukasiologie)

    Please note, however, that almost all of these modules are taught in German.

How to apply


Applicants are required to hold a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in English and/or American Studies, or an equivalent degree for a related subject (Humanities, esp. Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Literary Studies). The bachelor’s grade point average must be 2.5 or higher (German and US systems, equivalent to German "good"). Applicants state their ambitions and interests in a letter of motivation written in English and prove that their level of English is sufficient by submitting a language proficiency test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Proficiency Exam). The requirements are further specified here en.

Please note that the M.A. programme presupposes foundational knowledge in linguistics and/or literary studies and skills of essay writing involving linguistic and/or literary analysis.

Further information on the application process

Information on how, where and when to apply can be found on the web pages of the Master Service Centre en. Should you have any more specific questions after studying the links provided here, please contact us at