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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 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 people negotiate key issues such as identity, morality, justice and belonging, and you will study how these processes produce new connections between different literatures and discourses.

Develop your own research trajectory

The Research Master’s in Literary Studies offers you the freedom to focus on a topic that fascinates you. While the core courses provide a clear grounding in both literary theory and cultural history, the programme encourages you to set out your own research path. We offer a broad selection of electives and our tutorial set-up allows you to explore topics in-depth and in close collaboration with a small group of students and a Faculty member. The specialisation the programme provides makes for excellent preparation for a PhD trajectory upon graduation.

Discover Literary Studies (research)

In this video a student of this Master’s explains in less than 5 minutes how this programme is structured and what you will learn.


Individual research trajectory

Choose your interest

36 ECTS electives

Over 50 language electives

Work experience

Internship possible

Why study Literary Studies at the University of Amsterdam?

  • Ideal study environment
    Amsterdam is an international urban hub with a lively literary culture. Our diverse cultural partners include Perdu, De Balie, Goethe Institut, Stedelijk Museum and many more.
  • Self-driven research
    You focus on your own research interests and develop an individual research trajectory.
  • Language concentration
    We offer over 50 electives in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian, and Slavonic literatures.
  • Dutch literature
    This is the only Research Master’s worldwide that offers more than 10 courses in Dutch literature.
  • Exceptional research environment
    The programme draws from the richness of the University’s internationally-ranked Faculty of Humanities.

Degree certificate

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).

Facts & Figures
Degree programme
Research MA Literary Studies (research)
Regular study programme
120 ECTS, 24 months
Language of instruction
Starts in
CROHO code
University Quarter