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MA Programme for English Studies

We welcome international students to the MA programme and value their contribution to a diverse academic debate and lively intercultural exchange that are indispensable in the fields of linguistic-, literary- and cultural studies.

Even though the programme's language of instruction and examination is English, the language of administration is predominantly German. Important legal documents such as examination regulations and module guides, as well as parts of the website of the English Department can only be provided in German. Therefore, from the winter-semester 2022/23, applicants have to provide knowledge of German according to the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH).

Please be aware that the programmes the English Department offers rely heavily on the students' autonomy and self-motivation. Due to the German academic tradition in general and the large number of students at the English Department in particular, students are personally responsible for handling the following matters:

  • Apply via Uni-Assist (Uni-Assist is an independent platform not associated with the English Department and has its own support team)
  • Become acquainted with KLIPS [Cologne Teaching, Information and Examination Services] and learn how to register for courses and/or examinations (Please see the exhaustive online tutorial of KLIPS in English: http://klips2-support.uni-koeln.de/en)
  • Choose courses and/or topics for examinations (the selection of courses depend on each student's individual academic interests and preferences)

Contact person for International Students:

We strive to provide all required information for students to successfully commence and complete their studies on our website. In case you cannot find an answer to your question there, please contact Dr. Shona Allan who acts as the supervisor for international students of the Master-programmes of the English Department.


Please note: the English Department is not directly involved in the process of application. All administrative matters concerning the application are handled by the examination office (Prüfungsamt) of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Therefore, the English Department does not accept any applications and cannot come to any decisions concerning the relevance for the MA programme of international qualifications (neither by email nor by phone) without the application having been submitted through the examination office first. Please do not send us any documents! We appreciate your understanding in this matter and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The examination office has set up a website with information detailing the application process for students with an international degree here: https://phil-fak.uni-koeln.de/en/studium/masterbewerbung/application-procedure


The master programme English Studies aims to enhance students' scientific and research-oriented training in the fields of English linguistics and Anglophonic literature and cultures. Students are integrated into current research projects in order to, among other things, encourage the development of their own scientific standpoint. The programme is designed to enable students to acquire and improve their analytical skills and methodological competency as well as develop their own research strategies. Similarly, students will be able to extend their ability to work constructively and efficiently with specialists of other subject areas in a goal-oriented environment.

The Cologne master programme English Studies offers two branches of study: "English linguistics" and "Anglophone Literature(s) and Culture(s)". It is possible to combine both branches to form a single-subject master. Alternatively, each of the branches can be combined with another degree subject to form a two-subject master (combined honours). For information about possible combinations with other degree programmes, please follow the link below:

Please note: The one-subject-Master English Studies requires you to successsfully complete modules in both "English Linguistics" and "Anglophone Literature(s) and Culture(s)". Therefore, we only recommend applying for the one-subject-Master if your Bachelor-programme has covered knowledge of linguistics as well as literary studies.

The "English Linguistics" branch of the degree programme is intended to extend students' knowledge of the synchronic and diachronic levels of theoretical and applied linguistics as well as the acquisition of language and theoretical models of linguistics. It focuses on the extension of linguistic work techniques, the ability to compare varying theoretical frameworks, as well as the capacity independently to analyse method-based and theory-governed language data on different fields of linguistics and proficiency levels and in the different stages of the English language.

The "Anglophone Literature(s) and Culture(s)" branch of the degree is designed to broaden students' scientific working methods and techniques necessary to literary and cultural studies. Equally it affords students with an overview of historical, genre and context-specific knowledge, enabling a better understanding of the various epochs, genres, topics and themes relevant to Anglophone literature and culture. This includes their representation in a variety of media, conveying an extensive range of literary texts (from previous centuries up unto the present day). This programme aims to enable students to approach audio-visual media critically and analytically on a high level of theoretical reflection. Students will be trained to independently approach a literary/cultural area of study and to develop independently researched projects/essays.

The focus areas of English Studies in Cologne are
• Film and Media Studies
• Literature and Life Sciences
• Postcolonial English Literature
• Gender Research
• (Historical) Corpus Linguistics
• Psycholinguistics
• Language Acquisition
• Bilingualism

For information concerning further research topics, please see the WebPages of the individual professors.


While it is recommended to begin the English Studies master in the winter semester, it is also possible to begin in the summer semester. The suggested time to complete the course is four semesters (two years). Courses are taken in English and, while it is not compulsory to spend some time living in an English-speaking country, it is very highly recommended. Within the English Studies master programme, two fields of study are offered: "English Linguistics" and "Anglophone Literature(s) and Culture(s)". All modules include a compulsory exam, the results of which count towards the final grade of the master programme (except those of the 'Ergänzungsmodule'). The master thesis can be written as a follow up to a module taken during the master programme and can be empirical or non-empirical. A module plan with a detailed overview of the module exams can be found here:

English Studies as a single-subject-master

English Studies as a two-subject-master


Applicants require a bachelor in English Studies or an equivalent degree programme with a final grade better than 2.5 according to the German grading system. It is also possible for bachelor graduates as well as graduates with a comparable qualification of a related subject to be accepted, providing their having attained a minimum of 40 CP in their previous degree for courses related to the MA programme English Studies and a final grade better than 2.5. This will be checked by the English Department I after the application has been submitted via the admission's office.

Language Requirements:

Even though the programme's language of instruction and examination is English, the language of administration is predominantly German. Important legal documents such as examination regulations and module guides, as well as parts of the website of the English Department can only be provided in German. Therefore, from the winter-semester 2022/23, applicants have to provide knowledge of German according to the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (DSH).

Upon application, applicants must be able to present proof of their proficiency in the English language at the level of C1 (CEF = Common European Framework), e.g. through the completion of a degree programme for which a B2 (CEF) level of proficiency is required.

In addition, students must be proficient in a further foreign language (B1 level (CEF) for modern European foreign languages) or have completed the intermediate Latin certificate (das "kleine Latinum") and be able to present documented verification respectively. These can be attained throughout the course of the degree and must be completed by the time of registration for the master thesis in the deanery (Dekanat). The admission's office of the Prüfungsamt for the Humanities Faculty is the point of contact for students concerning these matters.

If you have further questions concerning the procedure or requirements please contact Mrs. Sylvia Strick of the Master admission's office:


The enrolment fee at the University of Cologne is approx. 280€ per semester.

The first point of call for international students is the International Office (das Akademische Auslandsamt), which is responsible for applicants and enrolment. After enrolment the Centre for International and Public relations (das Zentrum für Internationale Beziehungen und Öffentlichkeitarbeit) of the Humanities Faculty becomes responsible for the supervision of international students.