Master's in English

Confront the complexities of English languages and literatures. Improve your methodological skills. Investigate your research interests. The MA in English offers a wide variety of topics, theoretical approaches and historical perspectives to explore.

The MA programs convey profound historical and systematic knowledge of the varieties of the English language as well as English-speaking literatures and cultures. They promote expertise in theories, concepts and methodologies in the field of English literatures and language and linguistics, advance oral and written competences in English academic discourse, and instruct students in developing their own research questions and independent academic work.

Basic information
Degrees: 

Master of Arts in English, Universität Bern, with special qualification in:

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literary Studies
Number of credits: 120 ECTS credits
Degree programs:
  • Major English 90 ECTS credits with special qualification in:
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Literary Studies

 

  • Minor English 30 ECTS credits with special qualification in:
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Literary Studies
Combination possibilities: several
Duration: 4 semesters
Language: English
Beginning studies: Fall or spring semester

Requirements for MA major (90 ECTS)

The MA major study program consists of three semesters of courses (seminars and lectures) and a final semester devoted to the MA Thesis. A minimum of 72 credits have to be earned within the chosen specialization (e.g. Language and Linguistics), and another 14-18 credits in the other field (e.g. Literature).

In the course of their studies, MA majors are required to complete the following graded modules:

  • 2 Foundation Lectures (4 ECTS each)
  • 4 seminars (7 ECTS each, at least three within chosen specialization)
  • MA Thesis (30 ECTS, within chosen specialization

The following modules are compulsory but ungraded:

  • 1 lecture (3 ECTS)
  • 3 guest lecture attendances (1 ECTS)
  • 3 MA colloquia (6 ECTS, within chosen specialization)
  • Optional ungraded credits (Wahlleistungen) must be acquired from courses on offer within the department or in the form of Independent Studies (14 ECTS).

Requirements for MA minor (30 ECTS)

In the course of their studies, MA minors are required to complete the following graded modules (all within the chosen specialization):

  • 1 foundation lecture (4 ECTS)
  • 1 seminar (7 ECTS)
  • 3 lectures (3 ECTS each)

The following courses are compulsory but ungraded:

  • 3 guest lecture attendances (1 ECTS)
  • Optional ungraded credits (Wahlleistungen) must be acquired from courses on offer within the department or in the form of Independent Studies (9 ECTS).

Up to 9 credits can be acquired in the other specialization.

Program structure of the MA major (90 ECTS)

The MA major program consists of 90 ECTS covering three semesters of courses (seminars and lectures) and a final semester devoted to the MA thesis. The MA major program consists of three phases:

  1. Induction Phase: In this phase, MA major students complete the Foundation Lecture Literary Theory and the Foundation Lecture Language and Society. Both foundation lectures must be passed to continue with the MA studies.
  2. Focussing Phase: In this phase, MA major students complete four graded seminars, one ungraded lecture and attend at least three guest lectures (ungraded).
  3. Completion Phase: This phase consists of the Research Module, which in turn consists of the MA Colloquium (three semesters) and the MA Thesis.

Optional ungraded credits (Wahlleistungen) can be acquired during any of the phases.

Program structure of the MA minor (30 ECTS)

The MA minor study program consists of 30 ECTS spread across four semesters.The MA minor program consists of two phases:

  1. Induction Phase: In this phase, MA minor students complete the foundation lecture of their chosen specialisation (Foundation Lecture Literary Theory or Foundation Lecture Language and Society). The foundation lecture must be passed to continue with the MA studies.
  2. Focussing Phase: In the Focussing Phase, MA minors complete three graded lectures, one graded seminar and attend at least three guest lectures (ungraded).

Optional ungraded credits (Wahlleistungen) can be acquired during any of the phases.

Please check the appendix to Study Plan 2017 (PDF, 185KB) on the MA programs for more information.

The master’s degree program in English consists of a major with 90 ECTS credits and a minor with 30 ECTS credits.

The major in English can be combined with any minor taught at the University of Bern, with the exception of English with the same special qualification or emphasis.

Study program structure
Major ECTS  Minor ECTS 
90  30 
Minors you may choose

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master's degree programs in English with special qualification in Language and Linguistics OR Literary Studies (major):

a) Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Literatures in English from the University of Bern or an equivalent degree. Additional attainments of up to 60 ECTS credits may be required. *
b) Bachelor minor in Languages and Literatures in English from the University of Bern or an equivalent degree, provided that the master's degree can be successfully completed with an additional maximum of 60 ECTS credits.*
* Additional attainments can either be admission requirements which must be fulfilled in order to complete the master's degree program or admission requirements which must be fulfilled before admission to the master's degree program. The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

Please consult the admission requirements for the minor as presented in the plan of studies.

The bachelor's degree may not be more than ten years old. Exceptions are possible where justified. 

Language requirements

It is strongly recommended that you obtain a qualification in a classical language (Latin and/or Greek).

If you are applying with an international degree, you must provide evidence of having achieved the minimum grade in one of the following language tests (the choice is yours) provided this is not more than six months old at the time of application. Any test with a date older than this will not be accepted.

Language test  Minimum grade
TOEFL paper 600
TOEFL internet 100
IELTS   7

An exemption from the English test is possible if you have completed your studies in the subject English within a language community, in which English is the main spoken language.

 
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M A in Languages and Literatures in English with special qualification in Linguistics or Literary Studies, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester.
Renewal of semester registration → Self-service
Recognition of academic achievements
Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration
   

Application with a Swiss degree

Online application
Assessment
Steps from application to registration
 

Application with an international degree

Online application
CHECKLIST - Documents for your application / Important information
Steps from application to registration

 
For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

Students who have obtained their MA in English find employment in a wide number of fields and institutions related to education, research, publishing, journalism, and public administration, for example. The Students’ Committee regularly organizes Alumni events which bring together current and former students to learn more about possible careers. Here are some useful links:

Academic jobs in English
Teacher Training for Sekundarstufe II at the „Pädagogische Hochschule
Berufsbildungszentrum (BIZ) Bern
Beratungsstelle Berner Hochschulen