English Literature - Master's Programme in English

Academic year 2023/2024

Photo for English Literature - Master's Programme in English 2023/2024

The literature and culture of the English-speaking world continue to exert an incalculable influence in the present moment. The Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Literature, will allow you to explore in-depth some of the most important texts in a body of cultural practices whose roots go back to the early modern period. It offers an opportunity to engage with the extraordinary variety of writing in English, which ranges from canonical landmark texts to the most recent and emergent literary forms.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Literature will introduce you to new critical and theoretical perspectives on this body of writing and enable you to gain a deeper and broader perspective on issues relating to Anglophone literature and culture as well as to key debates within contemporary scholarship. These issues include questions of migration and borders, colonisation and empire, race and ethnicity, environmentalism and media, and the transformation of literary and cultural practices.

Our programme offers a first-rate foundation for research students, both from Sweden and abroad, who wish to reconsider literature's role in the construction, interrogation and revision of a nation's culture and identity. It is also excellent preparation for students who wish to continue with doctoral studies.

During the programme, you can expect to

  • Gain a deep and broad perspective on issues which profoundly affect English literature as well as contemporary life and scholarship.
  • Combine course work with research training and conduct your own research work in the form of a Master's thesis.

Student Profile

You are passionate about literature in English and the history and politics of Anglophone cultures. You value critical and innovative thinking and enjoy drawing connections between literature and other concerns, ranging from questions about ethnicity to the environment and beyond. You like working in an international environment. Your social skills are very good and you enjoy articulating your thoughts and expressing your opinion in front of your fellow students. You are willing to take responsibility for your success and you are used to planning your own work.

Since a PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future, you would value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in your field, and developing your skills as an independent researcher.


The programme leads to a Master of Arts (120 credits) with English as the main field of study. After one year of study, it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Arts (60 credits).

All specialisations of this programme


The Master's Programme in English, specialising in English literature, consists of two years of full-time study. The content of the programme draws upon the Department's specialised competence in research and teaching within the subject. Over the course of the programme, you will take four core courses (each worth 7.5 credits) in English literature. The four core courses are complementary and are designed to deepen and broaden your knowledge of the diversity of writing in English. You will also complete a Master's thesis worth 30 credits in this area.

In addition, you are required to take six courses (worth 60 credits in total) from a range of modules on literature, theory, and contemporary critical debates. Many of these modules include elements of English literature, allowing you to study this literature transnationally and comparatively. You may also opt for an internship worth 7.5 credits in your third semester or study abroad.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

Literary Theory 7.5 credits

Reassessing Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature 7.5 credits

Genre, Mode, Literary Form 7.5 credits

Rethinking 19th Century American Literature 7.5 credits

Semester 2

Literature and Intersectionality 7.5 credits

The New Modernisms 7.5 credits

Archives of Empire 7.5 credits

Reading the Contemporary: Post-45 American Literature and Culture 7.5 credits

Semester 3

Nineteenth-Century British Fiction 7.5 credits

Inventing America: The Writings of the Colonies and the Early Republic 7.5 credits

Writing the Postcolony 7.5 credits

Modernism and Modernity in America 7.5 credits

One of the courses can be substituted for Practical Placement 7.5 credits.

Semester 4

Degree project 30 credits

Learning experience

For many of your courses, you will meet weekly in small seminar groups for two hours with a tutor. The working style is exploratory and you will be expected to engage with primary sources, develop and express your own opinions and work towards independent arguments in your coursework. The final element of the programme is your Master's thesis, a piece of independent research written with the advice and support of a designated supervisor. Our programme assists you in progressing toward more independent and collaborative forms of working and researching.

English is the working language of the Department of English. In the programme, instruction, class discussions, and examinations are in English, as are all teaching materials.

Studying at Uppsala, you will be part of a community of staff and students with different international and cultural backgrounds. We foster an intimate, active research community through our research seminars and lively visiting lecturer and conference events where visitors, staff, and students gather in conversation.


Completing the Master's Programme in English, specialising in English Literature, will help you develop and refine your research and analytical skills in ways that will prepare you either for doctoral study or for employment beyond the university. Our programme has been producing successful graduates for over ten years and provides excellent preparation for doctoral studies and an academic career. It also aids you in developing key skills valued by employers in journalism, publishing, tourism and creative industries, and other related educational and vocational careers.

Our graduates work as lecturers and researchers at universities (such as the University of Michigan, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Uppsala University, University of London) or have obtained positions in the public and social sectors, such as Cambridge Health Alliance, European Association of History Educators, and Czech National Agency for International Education and Research. Other career paths are English teacher, translator, editorial assistant, text consultant, and rights and production coordinator in a publishing company.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit two programme-specific documents: 1. a statement of purpose (1 page) in which you clearly indicate which specialisation or specialisations of the programme you are applying to; 2. one or two independently written academic essays totalling no less than 8,000 words. The issues treated in the essay and the method used should preferably be relevant to the selected specialisation of the Master's programme.

These two programme-specific documents should be sent via email to masters@engelska.uu.se. Submit all other supporting documents with your application to universityadmissions.se as instructed in the application guide.

Please note that the language requirement for this programme is proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 7. The requirement can be met by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, such as IELTS or TOEFL:

IELTS for English 7: an overall score of 7.0 and no section below 6.

TOEFL iBT for English 7: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, total score of 100.

Students with a Swedish Kandidatexamen in English (as the main field of study) also fulfil this requirement. For questions, contact the study counsellor at the Department of English: studievagledare@engelska.uu.se

English Literature

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M5555 Application

Language of instruction: English


Academic requirements

A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university, with English (or an equivalent) as the main field of study.

Language requirements

Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 7.

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies with emphasis on the quality of the Bachelor's thesis (or equivalent project work); and
  • a statement of purpose.

Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 200,000

Contact and further resources


For programme-specific questions, please contact the Study Counsellor:


+46 18 471 12 47

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:


Department of English

Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 L

Box 527, 751 20 Uppsala

018-471 1247 018-471 1245