The Master's Programme in English Literature provides a comprehensive study of literature from across the Anglophone world. Courses highlight how literature shapes and is shaped by history, its relevance for contemporary issues such as climate change and conflict resolution, and its ability to challenge and refine a reader's ways of thinking. Building on a diversity of critical approaches, the program helps students refine their abilities to think analytically and creatively.
The master's programme in English literature gives students the
opportunity to study a broad range of literary and cultural texts
in English, while specializing in an area of their choice under
the leadership of a researcher in that field. The English section
can offer supervision in English, Irish, American and
post-colonial literatures, and is particularly strong in the
areas of romanticism, modernism, and contemporary literature.
Each year, students are offered courses organized around socially-relevant themes, key literary periods and genres, and/or prominent authors. All master's level courses include training in secondary research and literary theory, practice in close analysis, and feedback on students' written work.
In moving from coursework to the master's thesis, students move toward a more specialized focus and more independent research. This research is supported by each student's supervisor and by a series of organized work-in-progress seminars targeting the skills needed for master's-level research.
The programme consists of:
60 credits coursework in English literature (ENG-3000-level)
60 credits Master's thesis (ENG-3992)
The mandatory coursework includes:
ENG-3192 Literary and Cultural Theory; and
One course from each of these categories:
3000-level Period-Based Studies (such as Modernism, Major Authors or Contemporary Poetry)
3000-level Studies in Genre (such as Short Fiction or Development of the Novel)
3000-level Literature and Society Courses (such as Literature and Justice; or Literature and the Environment)
Literary and Cultural Theory and Period Studies courses are offered in the fall. Studies in Genre and Literature and Society courses are offered in the spring. The remaining 20 credits of coursework may be fulfilled by choosing from any ENG-3000 courses offered in literature/culture. Specific courses being offered vary, and will be stated in the course catalogue for the current semester.
Students wishing to substitute courses from other relevant fields (typically selected to support research for the master's thesis or during an exchange) may apply to have this substitution approved on an individual basis (up to 20 credits).
The master's thesis is theoretically-informed work of independent research on a limited topic within English literature. Theses are 70-100 pages in length (1.5 spacing, Times New Roman 12).
Students are assigned a supervisor appropriate for their topic. The topic of research will be decided upon in collaboration with a member of the English section.
In order to reach the learning goals, students should expect to
work 40 hours a week attending and lectures, seminars and
The master's thesis requires independent research and writing on a specialized topic chosen by the student in collaboration with a supervisor. Students are expected to anticipate and organize their research and writing tasks and to produce work to be discussed at regular meetings with their supervisor.
Most courses include written assignments or oral presentations that must be approved in order to take the exam.
The most common forms of examination are home exams written on assigned topics over a one-two week period or term papers on topics that students choose in cooperation with course instructor. Grades range from A-F, where A is the highest grade and F is fail.
For further information about work requirements, exam formats and evaluative criteria, see the individual course descriptions.
Bachelor in English
Admission to the master's programme in English literature
requires a bachelor's degree (180 ECTS), or equivalent
qualification, in English literature, or a degree combining
English literature and a closely-related discipline (minimum 80
ECTS in English). Applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or
equivalent issued in Europe, Canada, USA, Australia and New
Zealand: An average grade equivalent to C or better (in the
Norwegian grading system) is required. Applicants who hold a
bachelor's degree or equivalent issued in countries other than
the above mentioned region/countries: An average grade equivalent
to B or better (in the Norwegian grading system) is required.
More information on formal admission requirements - international applicants: Read more here.
Applicants from Norway or Nordic countries:
The application deadline for Norwegian and other Nordic applicants is 15 April.
Applicants from outside the Nordic countries:
The application deadline for international applicants is 1 December.
Are you an international applicant?Read more here.
How to apply: Read more here.
After completing the master's degree in English literature, candidates will have the following learning outcomes:
- has gained advanced knowledge about English literature from a diversity of national contexts and periods, with specialized knowledge in the area chosen for the thesis
- understands and can engage with diverse theoretical approaches to literary and cultural texts
- can apply knowledge from one literary sub-field within a new sub-field
- can analyse and interpret literary texts in relation to history, genre, and socio-cultural debates
The candidate can:
- evaluate and engage with literary criticism expressing diverse perspectives and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
- analyse existing literary theories and interpretations and work independently on theoretical or interpretive problems
- use relevant methods of historical and literary research and creative thinking to develop ideas in an independent manner
- formulate research questions and carry out an independent research project about English literature in the form of a master's thesis and related presentation with the support of supervision and in accordance with the norms of research ethics
The candidate is able to:
- communicate sophisticated content to specialists and the general public using appropriate literary critical terminology
- apply his or her knowledge and skills in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects
- contribute to new thinking in the field of English literature
English master's candidates possess sought-after analytical and
creative thinking skills and are respected for their skills in
oral and written communication. A master's degree in English
literature prepares students for work in the literary and
cultural industries through positions in publishing, journalism,
museums, libraries, and bookstores. It also prepares graduates
for a wide range of jobs that require culturally-sensitive
international communication. The independent work of the master's
thesis provides experience relevant for higher positions in the
government and in business.
Finally, the programme qualifies students for admission to doctoral programmes in literature, thereby providing possibilities for further research career.
Exchange studies abroad will make you more attractive on the job market. Studies abroad will increase your learning outcomes, improve your language skills, give you unique adventures and international experience. Students taking the Master's in English Literature are encouraged to make use of one of our exchange agreements in the second semester.
For an updated overview of exchange universities, please take a look at UiT's webpage on student exchange.
The application deadlines are:
1 February (autumn semester)
1 September (spring semester)