Literary and Linguistic Studies M.A.


Key Info

Basic Information

Master of Arts
Start of Studies:
Winter Semester, Summer Semester
Standard Period of Studies:
4 semesters
ECTS Credits:
120Mehr Informationen

What does that mean?

ECTS are credit points that measure the workload of one's studies.

German poss. English, French, Spanish

Admission Requirements

  • First university degree, required qualifications according to the examination regulations Mehr Informationen

    What does that mean?

    A first recognized university degree, through which the necessary education background for the Master course of study can be proven. The necessary knowledge needed in order for studies to be successful is determined in the respective exam regulations (PO).


  • Proficiency in German poss. English, French, Spanish --- Mehr Informationen ---

    What does that mean?

    --- Zur Einschreibung in diesen Studiengang muessen Sie Kenntnisse in allen Unterrichtssprachen nachweisen. Details regelt die Pruefungsordnung. ---

Admission to First Semester


Admission to Higher Semesters


Language Requirements

  • See Course of Study Description

Dates and Deadlines


The Master's in Literary and Linguistic Studies continues the philological and interdisciplinary approach of the eponymous Bachelor program. It offer both traditional subject-specific study and research opportunities as well as interdisciplinary components, that prepare students for modern disciplinarily linked research. The modules offered target the offers in the humanities and social sciences and the prospects of digitally processing information.

The literature and language of either German, English and American Studies, French, or Spanish will be studied in detailed. Students have the opportunity to select a topic of focus. Modules are designed to be both flexible in content and scheduling.

The intensive literary and linguistic studies are expanded through an interdisciplinary focus during the Master's program more than they are in Bachelor's program. Transdisciplinary modules were designed specifically for the course of study and fall under the research focuses Europe in the World, Cognition and Digital Humanities, and Theories and Methods, forming the core of the Master's program: How do collaboration and coexistence function beyond language and cultural borders in a globalized society? How can an individual cognitively master these linguistic and cultural challenges? And how can information and communication technologies be implemented in order to secure and process linguistic and cultural artifacts for future generations.

The Aachen Profile

This course of study takes advantage of that fact that it is housed in an excellent technical university. Students acquire knowledge from a broad spectrum of various disciplines of their choosing such as computer science, neurolinguistics, neuroscience, sociology, and the history of science. The Aachen course of study promotes examination of research-relevant questions from other disciplines but also with current events. The Department of Literary Studies, Linguistics, and Philosophy works closely together with the interdisicplinary HumTec Project at RWTH.


Degree Content

Core Area Specialization Area Interdisciplinary Area

Two of three topic areas:

  • Europe in the World
  • Cognition and Digital Humanities
  • Theories and Methods

Research and project colloquia - mandatory

One of four specializations:

  • English and American Studies
  • German and General Literary Studies
  • French
  • Spanish

Two of five subject perspectives:

  • History
  • Independent Study
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology

Master's thesis



The Curriculum

provides students with exceptional freedom to choose and shape their studies. In the specialization area skills in the studied language are expanded and advanced at the scientific level. In the core area students attend research and project colloquia, seminars, and lectures from two of the three offered areas. The interdisciplinary area underlines the multiperspectivity of the study concept. The final Master's thesis can be written in the core or specialization area. The fourth semester is reserved for the thesis and the last colloquium.

Core Area

In the core area students select two of the following modules and attend research and project colloquiua. The colloquia active include them in transdisciplinary research projects and help them learn to compare research methods from individual disciplines and apply them in other disciplines. Additionally, students are accompanied while writing their Master's thesis and can use it to contribute to current research.

  • Europe in the World: characterized by the three words interculturalism, intertextuality, and internationality. The module is oriented towards the cultural sciences and investigates the interdependencies of European and American literature. All three philologists have courses included in the module.
  • Cognition and Digital Humanities: In the focus area Cognition, this module offers a deeper look at the neurosciences and expanded understanding of the cognitive function of language and literature. This occurs by bridging linguistic and text-oriented disciplines as well as the anthropological-medical requirements of language use. Digital Humanities combines literary studies and linguistics with the increasingly important field of computer processing of data acquired in the humanities.
  • Theories and Methods: Analyzes the influences of different media on literary and non-literary artifacts and teaches about the application of methods for language analysis. Additionally, core terms from general art theory, philosophical aesthetic, and the fundamentals of edition philology will be worked on.

Specialization Area

In the specialization area students acquire further knowledge in the language they studied during the Bachelor degree. Their skills in literary and cultural sciences, lingustics, networking these, and philosophical consideration of individuals fields will be expanded, while they become more confident in applying the methods of scientific work and optimize their writing skills. Interculturalism and internationality as well an approach from multiple perspectives play a great role in all fields of specialization.

  • In English and American Studies: Students attend seminars and lectures on English linguistics, English literary studies, and American literary studies. They acquire a look at more recent research and choose where they wish to place their focus when selecting a seminar.
  • In German and General Literary Studies: Here the focus is on methodology, the history of German-language literature, and literature in an interdisciplinary context. Students must take at least once course in the field of "European-Jewish Literary and Cultural History", a field of research unique to RWTH Aachen.
  • In French and Spanish: Students advance their skills in linguistics, literary studies, and cultural studies. Historical aspects in all fields and more recent discoveries in research are also taught. Students also begin detailed work into individually selected topics.

Interdisciplinary Area

In the interdisciplinary component, students select two of five perspectives, which teach the skills and knoweldge in foreign disciplines both within and outside of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. This knowledge is also visited in the core area and is integrated into this component. Students can continue the perspectives they selected during the Bachelor studies or select new ones. They can select from the following:

  • History
  • Independent Study
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy
  • Society



General Prerequisites

A requirement for beginning studies is an initial university degree that documents the necessary background knowledge defined in the exam regulations. The examination board determines whether or not the admissions requirements have been met.

Language Requirements

The current examination regulation contains the current language requirements.


Career Prospects

This course of study qualifies its graduates for all fields of work both in academia and beyond. Since graduates are experts with text, they are also able to assume responsibilities outside of academia. They are also capable of working in literature archives and documentation offices, tourism, and foreign language instruction.

This program qualifies its graduates for all fields of work requiring them to understand and compose texts. Thanks to its orientation towards foreign language, the course of study prepares its graduates for careers in all areas that require a fundamental and comprehensive knowledge of foreign language and culture. Graduates with a foreign language qualification profile possess written and oral language skills comparable to a native speaker. Translation works, extracurricular foreign language instructions, or work in tourism are examples of the variety of professional work open to graduates.

Graduates are not just specialists with regards to textual work. They are also generalists with regards to general skills. Their ability to conduct independent information processing, documentation, and research is sought after by many companies. The program's interdisciplinartiy prepares them for the flexible, project-related switch between different content. The distinct focus on methodological skills in combination with theoretical analysis can be used in diverse ways - particularly when work with and the evaluation and implementation of scientific studies are required.

If you have studied the computer science focus, you will also have prospects in language technology.

Internships make it possible for students to develop professional prospects during their studies. The faculty supports it students with its own Career and Internship Service.

You can find a comprehensive summary of the skills our graduates possess in the employer information of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Career and Internship Service.


Examination Regulation

Regulations that apply for all Bachelor and Master courses of study as well as detailed information about the necessary documentation of required language skills can be found in RWTH’s Comprehensive Examination Regulation. Examination regulations are only published in German as they are legally binding.

Subject Specific Exam Regulations regulate academic goals, the course of study layout, and exam procedures. The appendix to the regulations contains the description of the modules, from which the course of study is composed.



The course of study is offered by the Department of Literature, Linguistics, Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The department's website contains additional information about the studies.