M.A. On Campus

Literary Studies (research)

24 months
11440 EUR/year
2168 EUR/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


In the Literary Studies (research) programme of the University of Amsterdam, 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 Literary Studies (research) programme of the University of Amsterdam 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.


The Research Master's in Literary Studies is the perfect preparation for a PhD programme as well as a broad range of careers.

An Academic Career

The Research Master’s in Literary Studies trains and prepares students for a future in academia and most of our students continue on to careers in the academic and cultural sectors.

Students from this programme regularly manage to obtain admission to funded PhD programmes, recently including positions at the University of Amsterdam, the University of Giessen and the University of Warwick. The independence of this programme is perfect if you want to learn how to design and organise your own research trajectories.

The programme also addresses the more practical side of academia: you will learn how to write a PhD proposal and are encouraged to participate in conferences and write articles as part of your research trajectory.

The Job Market

At the same time, you will also gain a valuable foundation for a variety of professions in the cultural sector – for example, in publishing, literary and cultural institutions, museums and journalism. You are qualified for positions with strong analytical and investigative components, and will be highly-trained in writing and public speaking with strong research and communication skills that can be widely employed.

You will have gained insight in the production of knowledge and the ways in which narratives and discourse inform contemporary debates on literature, culture and identity. This skill set is valuable for a wide range of professions, especially within the cultural sector. 

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Key Debates in Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Practices of Literature: Literary Cultures and their Impact
  • Literature, History, and Reading Historically
  • Bodies and the Posthuman
  • Close Readings: Love and Madness
  • Contested Realities: Debating the Novel

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines


120 ECTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
  • A/3.6 (American system)
  • 2.1 HONS (an upper second class honours degree in the British system)
  • B (ECTS-system), or 
  • 7.5 (Dutch system)

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree from the UvA or from another accredited university in the humanities or liberal arts. Examples of relevant degree programmes are Literary Studies, Comparative Literature, or Language and Culture (language programmes, including Dutch language). Applicants are expected to have a demonstrable affinity with research in the field of Literary Studies
  • GPA of at least an A/3.6 (American system), 2.1 HONS (an upper second class honours degree in the British system), B (ECTS-system), or  7.5 (Dutch system)
  • English language requirements

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    11440 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 11440 EUR per year during 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    2168 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 2168 EUR per year during 24 months.

Living costs for Amsterdam

1000 - 1500 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Literary Studies (research)
University of Amsterdam


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