Application portal for Winter Semester 2023/24 is now open! Apply between May - July 2023

The application portal for the 2023/24 winter term is now open, and can be accessed via the university's application platform (Bewerbungsportal)! Further details, including information on the Essay task for 2022 and the necessary application documents can be found on the Admissions page.

If you have any questions regarding your application, please first read our Frequently Asked Questions page. Should your question not be covered by the information included, please send an e-mail to

Application phases and deadlines for academic year starting winter 2023/24

Relocating and planning your studies may take quite a while. To maximise the time successful applicants have to prepare, we offer three consecutive application phases. This gives successful candidates more time to apply for visas (which can be time-consuming) and to arrange funding, travel, and accommodation before the start of the MA NTS orientation week, likely in October 2023. Particularly applicants from outside the EU are strongly advised to apply as early as possible.

The application portal opened on May 2nd and it will close on 15 July 2023. The earlier you apply, the earlier you will be notified.

  Deadline Places offered
1 07 May 2023 Around 12 May 2023
2 11 June 2023 In the week starting 19 June 2023
3 15 July 2023 After 28 July 2023

Essay task 2023
The dynamics of borders: National and transnational perspectives

Not only since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of the ‘border’ has regained much attention around the globe. Borders have been violently drawn and redrawn, moved or maintained, abolished or avoided. They may be open for most goods and capital but simultaneously impermeable for many human beings. They leave legacies and shape national, collective, individual, and often transnational histories. The porosity of borders is constantly modified according to political and economic agendas, many of which rely on the longevity of coloniality and thereby on the interplay between power and race, gender, class, and/or ability. The border, then, never is a neutral fact. As such it raises a number of questions: Who gets to decide how borders operate? What role do nation states play in their maintenance and what role do borders play in the maintenance of nation states? How do borders as concepts impact the literary and cultural imaginations of both the national and the transnational? How do they shape regions as ‘borderlands’?

Literary and cultural products across a vast array of genres have long since engaged with such questions, particularly in research fields such as national and transnational studies, postcolonial studies, and diaspora studies. Drawing upon a contemporary text of your choice* or referring to an area of linguistic inquiry, explore your own understanding of the dynamics of borders in a short essay of approximately 2,000 words. We encourage you to choose a text that allows you to draw on your own disciplinary knowledge acquired during your BA studies and connect it to transnational perspectives. Also take into account positions you find in related disciplines, either in the humanities or social sciences. 

In other words: Draw upon a piece of artistic expression or use an example from linguistics to try to explain the ambivalence of what is happening to the notion of the border with regard to transnational developments and/or the nation state.

Your essays must meet commonly accepted standards of academic writing with regard to both form and referencing. Essays containing plagiarism will be disqualified.


*We use ‘text’ in a wide sense here, encompassing but not limited to novels, drama, poetry, books as artefacts (book studies), museum exhibits, films, (new) media, video games, architecture, activist practices, music and music videos, etc.

Welcome to the pages of the Master of Arts (M.A.) programme "National and Transnational Studies: Literature, Culture, Language" (NTS) at Muenster University!

This two year (four semester) programme offers:

  • A specialisation in anglophone literatures and cultures from around the world, and in English linguistics, combined with an interdisciplinary orientation towards other modern languages and literatures, history, and social anthropology. The programme also draws on scholarship from other fields such as sociology or political science.
  • Reflections on nationalism and nationality as cultural (rather than merely political) phenomena: How are nationalism and nationality constructed through literature, language and other forms of cultural expression? 
    (with topics including theories of nationalism, tradition and memory, national aesthetics, canon formation, and varieties of English)
  • Research on the global role of English with a focus on New English varieties in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. The programme offers the possibility to apply different approaches to the study of World Englishes, including for example sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, language attitude research, phonetics, or (variational) pragmatics.
  • Explorations of complex cultural dynamics beyond national frameworks in an increasingly globalised world
    (with topics including colonialism & postcolonialism, migration & diasporas, transculturalism, English as a world language and the sociolinguistics of globalization)
  • Studies in a wide range of literature, cultures and varieties of English
    (e.g. British Isles, North America, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific)
  • Advanced understanding of theoretical approaches from literary and cultural studies as well as sociolinguistics, including reflections on selected approaches from the social sciences (e.g. social anthropology, sociology, political science)
  • Courses on anglophone literatures and cultures (incl. film and media), English linguistics, and subjects  from related disciplines (e.g. other languages and literatures, history, social anthropology)
  • Combination of taught courses and independent research
  • International orientation reflected in the possibility of spending one semester abroad. The compulsory module "Work Experience" can likewise be completed abroad
  • Course language: English
    Due to the interdisciplinary orientation and the integrated External Module students can participate in thematically relevant courses in other departments and disciplines, where the language of instruction may also be in other languages (e.g. German, Spanish).

As the focus of the M.A. NTS programme is on anglophone literatures and cultures and on varieties of English, students will mainly be based in the English Department. Our staff possess a broad range of specialisations, ranging from Shakespeare to Bollywood and from Adam Smith to Zadie Smith. Linguistic research foci range from sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics to phonetics and pragmatics. Current research projects include Mobile outer circle speakers’ attitudes towards different varieties of English, Standardisation processes in Nigerian English, The Language of English Pop and Rock Music, Translocality in the anglophone Caribbean, or the global spread of Jamaican Creole. This variety is reflected in our teaching and in the wide range of topics available for students' own research choices.  Our MA NTS students form a friendly and lively community that is characteristically shaped by the diversity of students' cultural backgrounds. The high proportion of international applications we receive every year from outside Europe reflects this diversity. Inclusiveness and pluralism are at the heart of this MA programme which is why we especially like to welcome international students to Münster.

Interdisciplinary components can be chosen from a number of related fields and departments, such as other literatures and languages, history, or social anthropology. Beyond our established partnerships, our students have also taken classes in fields like sociology and political science.

The various options for individual choice and specialisation enable students to develop precisely tailored academic and professional profiles in preparation for national and international careers in both academic and non-academic sectors.
Preparation for academic careers (e.g. via PhD study) is facilitated through this Master programme’s strong orientation towards research, as well as towards recent disciplinary and theoretical developments.
Preparation for non-academic careers is facilitated through the programme’s emphasis on international perspectives and on transferable skills. Students are trained not only in self-organised independent work, but also in team work and group projects. They develop their media competence and possess advanced English-language skills in oral and written communication. A compulsory module "Work experience" is also part of this programme.
Potential fields of employment for our M.A. graduates include academic institutions, media and publishing, advertising and public relations, museums, festival organisation, consulting, national and international organisations dealing with migration, language policy or international cultural relations, as well as multinational private businesses in various sectors.