Judged best in the field
The highly regarded Keuzegids Master’s Selection Guide 2017 ranked Utrecht University’s Literature programme as the best in the field in the Netherlands.
Do you wonder how a literary work becomes a classic or bestseller in the Digital Age? Would you like to learn about the steps taken between publishing a manuscript and the media reviews, talk shows, or blogs in which the work is discussed? Then this Master's programme might be for you.
Literature today continues to inspire as a laboratory of ideas, dreams, and narratives, even while facing new challenges. Novels, poems, and short stories now reach their audiences through printed books, e-books, and audiobooks, and through the Internet. Literary texts, including the classics, are being adapted to games and TV dramas, yet a growing numbers of visitors to book fairs shows that literature itself remains a powerful medium.
In the Master’s programme Literature Today, you will learn to identify and critically evaluate the most recent national and international developments in literature, and to situate these from a historical perspective. You will be equipped with the tools to identify and explain the quality of literary works in times of increasing commercialisation. You will learn how literature circulates within the market as part of a creative industry sustained by centuries-old tradition, and you will investigate from theoretical and practical angles how to help to spread literature, explain it to a broader public, and translate academic insights for the reading public.
Critical reflection, building up a repertoire, the consolidation of writing skills, and an understanding of how literary institutions operate in an era of globalisation are central to your studies during this programme. You can also complete an internship with publishing houses, media corporations, libraries, literary foundations, or cultural institutions – the job market and professional field for which this Master’s programme prepares you.
You can choose from among the following tracks to tailor the programme to your interests and desired career path:
1. English and Comparative Literature (entirely in English)
2. Dutch Literature (in Dutch and English)
3a. French Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3b. German Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Hispanic Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
3d. Italian Literature (Modern Literature in European Languages)
Read more about these tracks.
As a graduate of the Master in Literature Today, you will be trained to critically engage with the challenges that confront literature in our globalised, digitalised, and commercialised world. The programme content approaches these challenges from both a theoretical and practical perspective so that you will be fully prepared for the job market.
During your studies, the programme will:
During your studies, you will become acquainted with different literary institutions that operate in the field of literature and culture. After finishing the programme, you can use the academic and practical skills acquired during your year of study and begin working at one of these institutions. Read more about possible career prospects.
The master's programme in Literary Studies at Leiden University offers you a specialised qualification in one of four languages and cultures or a comparative perspective on literature and culture, with each programme offering considerable scope for individual customisation.
We believe that freedom plays an important role in unlocking potential. The master’s programme in Literary Studies has a high degree of flexibility to enable you to tailor the programme to your particular interests. Your curriculum could include a single or combined major and electives from other specialisations – even other master’s programmes. You are also free to go abroad for a specific university course or an internship in order to deepen or widen your focus.
Academics from the renowned Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) teach the master’s programme in Literary Studies. This means that every class you attend is taught by scholars of international standing who are true experts in their fields. Small, interactive classes or one-on-one mentoring ensure you get the most from their expert guidance and advice. An important objective is to teach you the value of questioning: you will acquire a broad, investigative and critical approach to problem solving that can be applied to any challenge in any role.
The two-year Literary Studies (research) master at Leiden University integrates the study of media, art history and literary theory to bring you a unique and relevant qualification.
Create your own specialised area of expertise within the interdisciplinary master's programme in Literary Studies (research) at Leiden University. An expansive curriculum and flexible programme format give you the freedom to tailor your studies to reflect specific interests or career goals. Focus your studies on a medium, discipline, genre, or period in time. You will be able to study subjects and courses not available elsewhere.
The main research themes of the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, LUCAS, guide the themes of the courses offered. The themes are:
Taught by Leiden University's internationally-acclaimed Faculty of Humanities, this programme integrates the study of media, art history, literature and literary theory. At Leiden University, you are joining one of Europe's leading universities providing you with access to Leiden University's world-famous collection of manuscripts, books and periodicals.
During the programme you will develop outstanding academic skills and knowledge that incorporates global and comparative perspectives. Small classes ensure a high level of contact with your lecturers – many of whom are researchers at the leading edge of their fields.