Literary Studies (research)
In this research-intensive programme, you will study literature as a cultural practice that is capable of (re)shaping the world. Literature offers critique and provides creative answers to new and old questions. You will examine literary texts and literary culture from a transnational, theoretical and historical perspective.
Literature as a dynamic cultural process
The Research Master's Literary Studies is rooted in cutting-edge literary studies research and the tools offered by this field. It explores the cultural relevance of metaphors, symbols, aesthetic experience, narrative, and perspective. You will analyse how literature operates or has operated in society, and investigate why meanings with particular social and political implications are attributed to literary texts. We focus on the dynamic cultural processes in which – through endless interpretation, reinterpretation, adaptation, and appropriation – people negotiate key issues such as identity, morality, justice, and belonging. You will study how these processes produce new connections between different literatures and discourses of an academic, artistic, political, or journalistic nature.
Develop your own research trajectory
The Research Master’s in Literary Studies offers you the freedom to focus on a topic that fascinates you. The UvA has a broad selection of electives to choose from and our tutorial set-up allows you to explore topics in-depth in close collaboration with a small group of students and a Faculty member. The level of specialisation the programme provides makes it an excellent preparation for a PhD-trajectory after your graduation.
Why study Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam?
- Amsterdam is an international urban hub with a lively literary culture. You’ll benefit from our connections to and partnerships with educational institutions, publishers, theatres, poetry stages, museums, bookstores, and much more.
- Self-driven research: You focus on your own research interests and develop an individual research trajectory. We have an elaborate tutorial structure that enables you to work closely with Faculty on the subjects that interest you.
- Crucial methodologies: Taught by teams of leading researchers, our core courses ground your research in methodological fundamentals. We address analytical, historical, philosophical, sociological, political, and psychoanalytical methods to approach literary texts and their place in the world.
- Concentration: You can concentrate on literature from a transnational perspective, from the perspective of a specific literature and/or through the lens of a specific theme or approach. We offer over 50 electives in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian, and Slavonic literatures, as well as in Comparative literature.
- Dutch literature: This is the only Research Master’s worldwide that offers more than 10 courses in Dutch literature. In addition, you can choose to further develop your Literary Studies research trajectory with the Master's programme Golden Age.
- Exceptional Research environment: The programme draws from the richness of the University’s internationally-ranked Humanities Faculty. Partner research schools include: the Research School for Literary Studies, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture, the Amsterdam School of Historical Studies, and the Huizinga institute.
- Our diverse cultural partners include international poetry stage Perdu, debate centre De Balie, Goethe Institut, Cervantes Institute, Research Centre for Material Culture/Museum of World Cultures, debate centre Spui25, Stedelijk Museum and many more.
Want to know more?
Reread all of the information at your own convenience in our factsheet.
The Research Master's programme Literary Studies is an accredited degree programme. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Literary Studies and the title Master of Arts (MA).
- Degree programme
- Research MA Literary Studies (research)
- Regular study programme
- 120 ECTS, 24 months
- Language of instruction
- Starts in
- CROHO code