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Full Time MA Degrees in Languages, Literature & Culture, Belgium

We have 9 Full Time MA Degrees in Languages, Literature & Culture, Belgium

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What is the 'Master of Western Literature' all about?. The Master of Western Literature is a unique initial master's programme aimed at an in-depth, intercultural and comparative study of literature in different Western traditions and epochs. Read more

What is the 'Master of Western Literature' all about?

The Master of Western Literature is a unique initial master's programme aimed at an in-depth, intercultural and comparative study of literature in different Western traditions and epochs. As one of the world's oldest universities, located in a multi-lingual society and at the heart of Europe, KU Leuven is a unique location for a programme that focuses on the dynamic interactions between various literatures, languages, and cultures, as well as on intercultural and international aspects of literature.

This master's programme stands out both nationally and internationally for its advanced degree of specialisation in literary studies and its unique intercultural and multilingual perspective.

Specialists in various national literatures and in literary theory collaborate to ensure the high level and quality of the courses. The programme's broad spectrum of national literatures allows you to combine these according to your own interests and thus to deepen your knowledge, à la carte. At the same time, this advanced level of specialisation is combined with a critical, theoretical and broadly comparative perspective. Finally, the concept of 'Western' literatures is thoroughly examined and questioned against the background of more general social, political, and cultural perspectives, both from historical and contemporary points of view.

This is an initial master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The programme does not take for granted the key terms in its title: 'Western' and 'literature.' Rather, it aims to investigate the development of literature, literary systems, and traditions in the West and to address the challenges that these phenomena meet with in our contemporary globalised society.

Notions like the canon, tradition, literary genre, and poetics are critically examined and placed within relevant historical contexts. They are studied in relation to the general concepts that determine them, such as civilization, culture, identity, and alterity. The idea of 'Western' literature is also scrutinized from an ideological perspective: what is the relation between literature, nation, language and territory and how has this relation changed in a context of decolonization, globalization, and changing relations between East and West? Within this general theoretical and comparative perspective, the 'building blocks' of Western literature - the different linguistic or national literary traditions - are not neglected and a wide range of elective courses offer ample opportunities for studying these literatures in more detail.


  • The student can make a critical analysis of a literary text and situate it in the broader cultural-historical context of Western literature.
  • The student can develop a scholarly and critical interpretation of literary texts and other cultural phenomena and can communicate this interpretation in both written and oral form for both a scholarly and a general audience.
  • The student has an informed understanding of the specific status of literature as a linguistic system that interacts with broader social and cultural contexts.
  • The student is familiar with the diverse ways in which Western literature has been an object of study, both from a historical and a contemporary perspective. The student is familiar with historical and current engagements with the following questions: (a) what is Western literature?, (b) how has the idea of Western literature been conceptualized and problematized, (c) how does Western literature interact with its contexts?, and (d) how do different literary traditions interact within the larger framework of Western literature?
  • The student is familiar with new methods and approaches within literary studies, cultural studies and literary theory. The student can critically assess these methods and approaches and apply them in a specific research context.
  • The student understands the ways in which different humanities and social science disciplines influence literary studies. The student can employ insights from these disciplines in his or her own research.
  • The student can formulate a research question and gather the primary and secondary material necessary for the research. The student can conceptualize, structure and compose a MA thesis.
  • The student can communicate research results in both oral and written form for an academic audience.
  • The student can communicate research results to non-specialized audiences.
  • The student follows the deontological and ethical codes of scientific research in his or her research.
  • The student has an insight in diversity and intercultural interaction and can use this insight to participate in contemporary social and cultural debates.
  • The student develops a lasting interest in Western literature and culture.
  • The student develops a critical literacy that he or she can deploy in different professional and social contexts.
  • The student who takes language-specific modules has an advanced knowledge of the literary historical traditions in that language and can connect these to broader developments within the Western literary tradition.
  • The student who takes language-specific modules that are taught in a foreign language has a C2 (or at the very least a C1) proficiency level for understanding (listening and reading), speaking (production and interaction) and writing. This holds especially for students who write their MA thesis in a foreign language.

Career perspectives

As a graduate of the Master of Western Literature programme, you will have acquired a wide range of skills that you will be able to use in a large number of professional contexts. Your strengths will mainly be your ability to reflect on complex cultural phenomena, your insight into and facility with plurilingualism and interculturality, and your ability to bring those insights across in the media and/or in educational contexts.

Through your advanced insight in intercultural relations, you will be exceptionally well placed to work in an international context (e.g., embassies, European institutions, translating services, and international companies). In addition, you will have acquired an extensive knowledge of literature and the skills for reporting on it. The publishing world, the media, and journalism will therefore offer more possibilities.

After taking a teacher training programme, you will also be able to start teaching.

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What is the Master of European Studies. Transnational and Global Perspectives all about?. This.  interdisciplinary programme. Read more

What is the Master of European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives all about?

This interdisciplinary programme engages students to study Europe both as a transnational community and as an actor in a globalised world. The programme offers insight and knowledge about the nature and functioning of Europe both in the contemporary world and in a historical perspective. Interaction with staff members from various disciplines and faculties (Social Sciences, Arts, Law, Economics, and Theology) exposes students to a wide range of theoretical approaches and allows them to acquire the necessary methodological skills. The programme strongly emphasises the need to engage in a critical debate about the challenges that confront Europe with respect to its internal, diversified identities and its interaction with other actors in the world. 


The programme consists of five interdisciplinary modules. You choose four courses from one particular module.

  • Module 1: European History, Diversity, and Culture focuses on historical diversities and transnational movements and institutions in Europe.
  • Module 2: EU External Relations analyses the external policies and relations of the European Union within the context of globalisation and new forms of global governance.
  • Module 3: Globalising Europe investigates different dimensions of globalisation and their relevance for contemporary European society, politics, and culture.
  • Module 4: Europe - Asia: Interactions and Comparisons offers students the possibility to complement their European perspective with knowledge of developments in contemporary Asia.
  • Module 5: Russia, Wider Europe and the EU unveils connectivities and dynamics in the history and current affairs of wider Europe and its relations with Russia.

In addition, you will be asked to select two courses from the list of electives. Finally, all students take the course 'Transnational and Global Perspectives on Europe' and write a master's thesis.

This initial master's programme can only be followed on a full-time basis. All courses are taught during the day and for most courses your attendance is required. It is therefore not possible to combine a job with this demanding programme.


The multidisciplinary ‘Master of European Studies: Transnational and Global Perspectives’ engages students to study Europe as a continent of strong interactions across national boundaries and constant exchanges with the outside world. By choosing one of the five modules, students focus on

  • transnational perspectives on European history, society, diversity and culture;
  • the external relations and policies of the European Union;
  • the position and interactions of Europe in a context of globalisation and global governance;
  • the interactions and comparisons between Europe and Asia or the connectivities and dynamics in the history and current affairs of Russia, wider Europe and the European Union.

The multidisciplinary and research-based education enables students to acquire skills to understand, contextualize and assess complex challenges that transcend disciplinary boundaries as well as national and regional borders. It allows students to engage in a critical debate about Europe within a context of complex internal and external dynamics, and formulate alternative options. Interaction with staff members of various disciplines and faculties exposes students to a wide range of academic approaches in the study of Europe. Supervision by individual staff members, particularly in the context of their master thesis, provides students with focus and guidance for their own research.

Career paths

 MAES graduates are equipped with in-depth knowledge of various aspects of European politics, law, history and culture, are schooled in various research methodologies, and are able to communicate their findings to a diverse audience. MAES graduates are thus well positioned for a wide range of professional pursuits.

Many alumni work for European institutions and interest groups, provide advice on European affairs to national, regional or local administrations and governments, or work as European affairs officers for private companies and non-governmental organisations. Others are engaged in national and multinational diplomacy.

Many hold academic positions in European politics, economy, history and culture at universities all over the world. Still other alumni inform the public about European affairs as journalists and cultural officers.

Having delivered its first graduates 20 years ago, MAES counts many prominent figures in European affairs among its alumni. Many of them attribute their MA degree in European Studies as a decisive factor in their career success.

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What is the Master of Cultural Studies about? . The term ‘cultural studies’ first of all refers to the study of cultural policy at all levels of policy-making and management in the public sector (local, regional, national, international). Cultural policies are anchored in legal texts and best practices. Read more

What is the Master of Cultural Studies about? 

The term ‘cultural studies’ first of all refers to the study of cultural policy at all levels of policy-making and management in the public sector (local, regional, national, international). Cultural policies are anchored in legal texts and best practices. Our programme has a strongly practice-based approach to these policies. ‘Cultural studies’ also refers to a specific type of analysis and interpretation of culture. This approach to cultural studies is mainly indebted to the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Our KU Leuven team has always been an active contributor to this particular field as well.

The MA in Cultural Studies places the following emphases:  

  • cultural theory and concepts
  • applied narrative
  • art, media and performance
  • contemporary culture
  • interdisciplinary objects of study and methodologies
  • project-based learning


The Master of Cultural Studies is an interdisciplinary programme that aims at preparing the student for a wide range of executive functions in the cultural field (cultural mediation, criticism, media, heritage). In order to achieve this goal, the programme offers a combination of theoretical and practical modules.

At the end of the programme, graduates:

  • have an in-depth knowledge of the structure of the cultural field and the aims and functions of cultural policy in Flanders (to a lesser extent) and Belgium/Europe (to a larger extent);
  • are fit for employment in a cultural institution or organisation;
  • are aware of the current definitions of culture and the theoretical debates on these definitions;
  • are capable of writing an individual research report;
  • have developed a solid scientific attitude towards the major methodological aspects and issues in the field of cultural studies.

Career perspectives

As both a hands-on and theoretically oriented programme, the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies prepares students for careers in a wide range of fields. On the one hand, many graduates become public servants and cultural policy officers at all levels of government (local, regional, national, international). On the other, many graduates enter the large field of creative industries (music, television, print and online media). The programme's regularly updated internship database provides a good overview of the possibilities open to students of cultural studies.

A fair number of students combine their studies (in 2 years) with a teachers' training programme, which prepares them for a teaching career. Students eager to find their way in the cultural sector should realise, however, that working in culture rarely entails a nine-to-five job. Special qualities such as passion, enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, teamwork and good verbal and communicative skills are crucial. This programme in aims to hone those qualities.

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What is the 'Master of Linguistics and Literature' all about?. The programme emphasises the academic study of English in all its aspects, ranging from the theoretical and historical study of the English language and literature to creative mastery of the living language, both spoken and written. Read more

What is the 'Master of Linguistics and Literature' all about?

The programme emphasises the academic study of English in all its aspects, ranging from the theoretical and historical study of the English language and literature to creative mastery of the living language, both spoken and written. The curriculum combines theoretical courses with seminars - and is designed to develop your academic skills and communicative ability.

Benefiting from the research and expertise of English scholars at the Faculty of Arts, students from both Belgium and abroad live and study in a vibrant international atmosphere and further master both their proficiency in English and their methodological, critical-theoretical, and heuristic skills.

Our team of internationally -renowned experts will prepare you for a career in communications, intercultural relations, education, translation, linguistics, and research, not to mention the avenues offered in the vast media sector.


The main goal of the programme is to broaden and deepen students' knowledge of English linguistics and literature, both in its theoretical aspects and its applications. The overall aim of the programme is to train highly proficient students of English to investigate and situate relevant linguistic and literary research topics in an autonomous way and to communicate their findings and insights effectively.

This aim implies an excellent command of English as a prerequisite for research and scientific communication. It also implies a good grasp of research procedures, including systematic training in methodology and experience in sustained research, e.g. through the writing of an MA dissertation under the supervision of qualified staff member.

Building on BA degrees in languages and literatures (including English), the programme emphasises the development of a sound theoretical and methodological framework, the ability to take part in critical debates about data and research findings, and the stimulation of independent thinking.

Career perspectives

Combined with a teacher-training certificate, this degree offers a strong qualification for graduates who wish to teach English in secondary or higher education. Graduates are thoroughly familiar with leading contemporary research in a particular field of English linguistics or literary criticism and are thus perfectly equipped for research at a higher level (PhD programmes / research projects, etc.). Graduates also develop the communicative skills required to report, both orally and in writing, on research findings and insights. Those skills can be used in a broad range of professional contexts where the ability to digest, synthesise, and present complex phenomena is essential.

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The Master of European Social Security is a one-year advanced master's programme organised by KU Leuven's Faculty of Law dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense, including cash benefit schemes, pensions and health care systems. Read more

The Master of European Social Security is a one-year advanced master's programme organised by KU Leuven's Faculty of Law dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense, including cash benefit schemes, pensions and health care systems.

What is the Master of European Social Security all about?

The programme provides an in-depth study of social security and social protection from a legal, economical, sociological, administrative and philosophical perspective. In addition to being multidisciplinary, the curriculum contains a strong comparative and multinational component focusing on the provision of social protection rights across Europe. This gives you the opportunity to understand the many different approaches to social security that co-exist within our old continent. At the same time, you will gain a better understanding of your own national system. The programme also includes careful study of the role of international bodies such as the European Union.

As a student in the programme, you become part of an international network of experts in the field of social security. Students come from various European countries and beyond and have different academic backgrounds. The teaching staff consists of renowned professors from KU Leuven and other European universities specialising in various disciplines related to social security.


The programme comprises 60ECTS and starts with the summer school in August. The programme concludes the following academic year (July of next year).

The Master's programme is offered in two options:

  • a more practice-oriented track
  • a research-oriented track

The two tracks share 30 ECTS in common coursework and 30 ECTS in specialised, track-specific coursework.

Admission to the research-oriented track is based on your end results of the examinations organised at the end of the Executive Summer School and is subject to the decision of an Academic Selection Committee. Only a maximum of six students are admitted to this track every year.

The classes and workshops organised in Leuven (Belgium) are grouped into a limited number of weeks. Remaining coursework is completed via digital learning platform. The platform connects you to Europe's best lecturers who guide you through their specially designed course materials remotely.

This unique teaching platform offers the best of both worlds: an authentic university experience at one of Europe's foremost universities during your two stays on campus and the flexibility to complete the majority of the programme from home. Throughout the programme, you will be connected to a unique international network of universities and be in contact with teaching staff and fellow participants from all over Europe.

Is this the right programme for me?

The ideal prospective student should:

  • have a good knowledge of his/her own social security system and its workings;
  • be able to formulate research questions and carry out corresponding research in the area of social security;
  • have an open attitude toward other scientific disciplines and other national social security systems;
  • have good English language skills. (There are no special arrangements made for improving language skills during the programme.);
  • be able to collect relevant information about his/her own social security system and evaluate this information as to its quality and relevance for the research questions being dealt with;
  • be able to critically evaluate national social security research within his/her mono-discipline;
  • have the ability to form an opinion about social security issues, motivate it with scientific arguments and formulate it in a debate with others;
  • hold an appropriate degree in a social security-related discipline. (Very occasionally, students with an academic education in other disciplines but who possess long-term experience in an area of social security and research skills may be admitted the programme.)

While all prospective students should have knowledge of social security acquired by study, those with practical experience, e.g. experience working in a social security administration, are particularly valued. Some previous exposure to European social affairs and/or foreign social security systems is also helpful.


The programme is a specialised, research-based education, dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense. It provides the students with an in-depth study of social protection from a legal, economic, sociological and administrative perspective, confronting the students with the most recent research and several national backgrounds, thus stimulating individual reflection.

At the end of the programme the participants should be able to :

  • design and carry out individual research projects in the area of social security, as well as participate in the conception, execution and supervision of team research;
  • put their national/monodisciplinary approach in a broader perspective by including other disciplines and abandoning a merely national point of view;
  • recognise national and temporal contingencies from essential social security boundaries;
  • take up unfashionable positions if their research so demands;
  • take part in and position themselves on a good multidisciplinary and comparative basis in any debate concerning social security issues;
  • deliver results and opinions that contribute to the advancement of social security related research in Europe;
  • translate research results to the broader public;
  • make research results relevant for policy making; be able to translate questions from policy-makers into research questions, deal with them and explain the results to policy-makers.

Career perspectives

Graduates are professionally active in areas related to social security (social or private insurance institutions, social administrations, social and economic policy-makers).

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