Over the four semesters, the study programme involves a broad-based approach in which most students work on all of the subdisciplines of English, with an option to study one field in depth – British or American literature, Medieval literature, or Linguistics. Interdisciplinary work is a key aspect of studies in the Department and there are intensive weekend seminars for some classes during which students and professors meet in a congenial setting to investigate a subject in detail. The study programme culminates with the writing of an original thesis in a field of the student's choice. Students can participate in research colloquia and explore their ideas in a setting of peers. The Department has extensive and up-to-date physical and electronic library resources.


The study plan comprises 5 modules worth 12 ECTS each, which cover the following subjects: English linguistics, English philology, English literature 1500-1780, English literature from 1780 to the present day, American literature. Students will choose their MA thesis topic in one of these 5 subjects.

Responsable du programme d'études / Verantwortliche/r für das Studienprogramm:

Masterdays 2022

The English Department will present its MA programme on Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 March 2024, from 16:30 to 16:45, in room MIS 03 3117.

A list of the classes prospective MA students may visit during this week can be found here [pdf].


Areas of specialisation for all MA supervisors of the English Department

  • Professor Thomas Austenfeld
    • American Literature from 1492 to the present
    • In particular: from Emerson to the Civil War,
    • Realism and Naturalism,
    • American modernism, especially women writers
    • American poetry, all periods
    • Regional literatures, especially Southern and Western
    • The short story
    • African- American and Native American literatures
    • Autobiography and Memoir
  • Professor Dimiter Daphinoff

    Generally, English Literature from 1500 to the present, including but not necessarily limited to: 

    • Early modern drama (1575-1642): Shakespeare to John Ford
    • Restoration comedy: Etherege, Wycherley, Dryden, Congreve
    • Satire and the novel
    • The Eighteenth-century novel: Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Fanny Burney, and others
    • The Gothic Novel
    • Lord Byron
    • Jane Austen
    • The Brontës
    • Oscar Wilde and G.B. Shaw
    • The 'Theatre of the Absurd' (Samuel Beckett, and others)
    • Utopian and dystopian fiction
    • Contemporary British fiction: John Fowles, Angela Carter, A.S. Byatt, Ian McEwan, and others
  • Professor Elisabeth Dutton

    Generally, medieval English literature and language - Old and Middle English - including but not necessarily limited to: 

    • Early English theatre
    • Medieval religious/devotional writing
    • Medieval women’s writing
    • Medieval romance
    • Medieval saints
    • Geoffrey Chaucer
    • John Gower
    • William Langland
    • Non-playhouse Tudor drama 
  • Professor Indira Ghose

    English Literature from 1500 to the present, in particular:

    • Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Middleton, Marston, Chapman, Webster, and others

    • City comedy

    • Revenge tragedy

    • Sixteenth and seventeenth century poetry and prose

    • Literature of the British Empire

    • Comedy

    • Satire

    • Humour in literature

    • Intertextuality

    • Travel writing

  • Professor Didier Maillat

    MA theses should examine English data and would typically fall into the following areas:

    • Pragmatics, i.e. the scientific study of meaning in use and in context
    • Experimental pragmatics
    • EFL and in particular the study of meaning acquisition in L2 and meaning influences from L1 into EFL
    • Cognitive linguistics, i.e. the relationship between cognition and language
    • Experimental cognitive linguistics
    • Experimental psycholinguistics
    • Pragmatics of argumentation
    • Semantics and pragmatics of spatial language
    • Special topics involving an analytical focus on advertising language, argumentative discourse, humour, and deceptive discourse
    • Linguistic analysis of literary texts
  • Doctor Steve Oswald

    Steve Oswald routinely supervises theoretical, empirical and experimental MA research work in the following areas (please note this list is not exhaustive):

    • Pragmatics
    • Argumentation theory
    • Rhetoric
    • Fallacies
    • Deception and manipulation
    • Discourse analysis (media, advertising, politics, etc.)
    • Humour research
    • Metaphor
    • Argumentative and pragmatic aspects of conspiracy theories

MA thesis

The official submission procedure you must follow to submit your MA thesis can be found here in French and in German. Explicit and specific guidelines can be downloaded here in French and in German.