International Programmes 2019/2020

Master English and American Studies Master English and American Studies

Paderborn University • Paderborn

Master of Arts
Course location
Teaching language
  • English

Courses and examinations are held in English, and all student work has to be submitted in English.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter and summer semester
Application deadline

Non-EU applicants:

  • 15 March for the following winter semester
  • 15 September for the following summer semester

EU applicants:

  • 31 May for the following winter semester
  • 15 January for the following summer semester
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The Master’s degree in "English and American Studies" explores the literatures and cultures of English-speaking regions and includes language training as well as mandatory work and teaching experience. All classes in this study programme are taught in English and impart an in-depth understanding of cultural, literary, historical, and political relations in anglophone countries, particularly in Great Britain and the USA. The literature courses situate contemporary English and American writing in broader historical contexts and cover a range of fictional and non-fictional genres. In cultural studies, classes examine different media such as photography, film, fine arts, and music while at the same time provide case studies and broader overviews of more general cultural phenomena.

Alongside this, the programme offers advanced English language practice, imparting oral communication and writing skills at a professional level and teaching students to produce texts in different formats and for various audiences. They have the opportunity to develop and complete independent research projects in literary and cultural studies and present these projects in English with near-native proficiency. Moreover, they gain skills such as intercultural competences and cultural empathy, which help them understand and analyse cultural materials and processes from various angles.

One main focus of the MA programme is developing critical literacy with regard to media and other texts, especially by analysing and applying cultural studies methods and theories. Previous seminar topics include Shakespeare’s Stage and Old and Middle English Literature and Culture as well as Victorian Culture and Transcendentalism. In addition, there have been seminars on Photographic Representations of Englishness, Modernist American Poetry, Gender and Power in the American Theatre, Dementia, Postcoloniality, Trump’s America, Brexit, and many more. While literary studies includes literary history, narratology, performance theory, and the relations between literature and culture, cultural studies courses deal with visual representations, the new media, and popular culture to discuss cultural history and dynamics in anglophone societies from a broad perspective. There are, of course, numerous overlapping research areas in which literary and cultural studies come together. Students can choose to specialise in either of the two areas or adopt an interdisciplinary approach across anglophone regions and analytical methods in order to comprehend larger cultural developments.

As a research-oriented MA programme, English and American Studies prepares graduates for a career in academic research, particularly if they are interested in pursuing a PhD. Furthermore, the acquired competences match essential requirements in many other professional areas in a globalised, post-industrial service economy, especially in the cultural sector. Graduates are able to critically engage with a large number of text forms and produce texts for various target groups in the media sector. Students who have successfully obtained this degree find themselves particularly well equipped to take up jobs in sectors ranging from adult education, journalism, and publishing to cultural or educational management, advertising, the tourist industry as well as international business and politics.

Course organisation

Since the Master’s degree in English and American Studies has a strong international outlook and aims at preparing students for international academic work as well as an international job market, it includes a mandatory, one-semester study abroad and a six-week internship in an English-speaking country. Both the semester abroad and the internship are self-organised, but the University of Paderborn offers numerous exchange programmes and informal contacts that can help students find a suitable academic or internship-related institution. Students are encouraged to use their experience abroad to prepare for possible future career options.

They are also required to prepare and conduct a tutorial for BA students in a literature, cultural studies, or practical language course at the University of Paderborn. By doing so, the MA English and American Studies students gain teaching experience at university level, which provides them with the opportunity to increase their classroom confidence and develop basic pedagogical skills.

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A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
  • Integrated study abroad unit(s)
  • Language training provided
Integrated study abroad unit(s)

Students study abroad for one semester in an English-speaking country, e.g., at one of our partner universities in the UK, Ireland, USA, India, etc.

  • Self-organised
  • Third semester (recommendation)
Integrated internships

Six-week internship in an English-speaking country 

  • Self-organised
  • In or after the third semester (recommendation)
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Semester contribution
Approx. 300 EUR
Costs of living
Estimated average cost of living per month:
800-900 EUR
(Information provided by the UPB International Office)
Funding opportunities within the university
Academic Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in English and American Studies; minimum grade point average: 2.3 (Students who have completed their degree in related fields are also welcome to apply. Depending on their background in English and American Studies, they might have to complete additional courses before beginning the programme.)

Language requirements
  • Proof of advanced knowledge and use of the English language (TOEFL score of 250 points computer-based test/ Cambridge Advanced Certificate graded A and B or Cambridge Proficiency Certificate graded A, B, or C as well as level C1 Certificate / IELTS score 7.0 Academic Module)
  • Depending on previous studies and diplomas, proof of English language knowledge might not be required

  • Knowledge of the German language is not required for this programme. (We recommend studying German language courses as part of the “Studium Generale” module.)
Application deadline

Non-EU applicants:

  • 15 March for the following winter semester
  • 15 September for the following summer semester

EU applicants:

  • 31 May for the following winter semester
  • 15 January for the following summer semester
Submit application to

International applicants:

Universität Paderborn
International Office
Warburger Straße 100
33098 Paderborn

German applicants:

Career advisory service

For general information about the German job market, application workshops, networking possibilities in and around Paderborn, or getting involved with the community, see InRegio:

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Other
Support programmes for international students
Specialist academic advice on the course and on the German university system

Paderborn University

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