Institute of English Languages and Literatures

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get help?

For questions about the M.A. English Literatures and Cultures please contact the programme coordinators Dr. Ellen Dengel-Janic or Prof. Dr. Christoph Reinfandt.

What courses should I choose in the core curriculum?

You can find the seminars and lecture courses relevant for the core curriculum in Campus under English Literatures and Cultures Master. Your first choice is a seminar. As two of the modules ELC-MA01-ELC-MA04 have to be finished with a term paper and a work group component organized in the seminars, the selection of a seminar is enough in these cases. The remaining two modules have to be finished with an oral exam about the seminar and an additional lecture course, so in these cases you will have to pick a lecture course in addition to the seminar. Listed seminars and lecture courses are freely combinable. The sequence of modules ELC-MA01-ELC-MA04 can be modified.

What is a Work Group?

Work Groups (3 ECTS)

  • Run parallel to advanced seminars (Oberseminare). 
  • The group explores an area related to the subject of the seminar and documents the work in a report and, if possible, a presentation of the results. 
  • The 2500-word report that must be completed must be based on substantial reading, the exact extent of which remains at the lecturer’s discretion (as a guide: for literature, approx. 150-200 pages). 
  • When the assessment requirements are satisfactorily fulfilled, the advanced seminar is worth 9 ECTS; the work group counts for a further 3 ECTS. Grades for the module will be awarded on the basis of the term paper in the advanced seminar, the work group counts as ‘coursework’ which will have to be ‘completed’ (ungraded).

Which modules in the core curriculum end with an oral exam?

Two of the modules ELC-MA01-04 will end with a 30-minute oral exam covering both the seminar and the lecture you've chosen for the modules. The instructor of the seminar normally conducts the oral exam. You can choose freely which modules you want to finish with a term paper/work group and which you want to finish with an oral exam. At the end, you need two term papers and two oral exams for modules ELC-MA01-04.

How does the final oral exam work?

The final oral exam is worth 10 ECTS points and lasts 1 hour. Normally, the supervisor of your M.A. thesis will conduct the oral exam. The oral exam will cover three broad areas, themes or periods that you and your supervisor will select.

How can I use the Practice Module (Professional Experience ELC-MA08)?

You have several options:

  1. You can do an internship of at least 6 weeks (full-time). Please check with one of the student advisors or professors to make sure your internship is suitable. You can go to the university's Praxisportal for internship opportunities.
  2. You can apply to become a tutor in the English department and teach a tutorial to undergraduate students for one semester.
  3. You can apply to become a tutor in the Research and Writing Center (/*Link*/) for one semester.

To finish the Practice Module, you will write a 1,500 word report, discussing your initial expectations, your tasks/activities, any problems you encountered (and how you dealt with them), and the lessons you've learned.

What are Independent Studies (Module Research I ELC-MA06)?

Independent Studies (6 ECTS)

  • Students explore a subject area relevant to the field independently and summarise the results in a report/portfolio, which may be documentary. 
  • A supervising lecturer will be chosen by the student depending on the subject area. Lecturers will provide contact hours for preparation and support.
  • Evidence of completion is rewarded with 6 credits (ungraded) after a report of 3000 to 5000 words or an extended documentation of the undertaken research has been handed in. Independent Studies provide students with the opportunity to distinguish themselves by having a portfolio on a thematic area that goes beyond the core requirements of their degree course. 

Topic Suggestions for Independent Studies:

  • Independent and systematic exploration of a larger topic area (e.g. the history of Petrarchism, the Romantic period, etc.) or theoretical concepts and ideas.
  • Documentary report on high-profile literary or cultural events (book fairs, festivals etc.) or of the reception of books, artefacts, events.
  • Taking on the responsibility of assisting with the preparation of new courses (documentation, methods, reading lists, etc.) in cooperation with a lecturer. 

What is the Research Colloquium (Module Research I ELC-MA06)?

In the third semester of your studies you will attend the M.A. colloquium with the prospective supervisor of your thesis. In the colloquium, M.A. candidates will present their thesis projects to the members of the colloquium in order to get feedback.