The application portal for the 2024/25 academic year is now open!

The application period for the M.A. NTS programme at the University of Münster has now begun! You can access the portal and submit your application herePlease keep in mind that you need to answer "yes" when the portal asks if you have already studied in Germany or at a university in another country or whether you are still enrolled at a university, otherwise you will be directed towards B.A. applications! For further information about the application requirements, please visit our 'Admissions' page.

MA National and Transnational Studies - Essay task for the Winter Semester 2024/25

Literary form and the transnational

The study of literature and culture thrives on a deep understanding of the interplay between form (discours) and content (histoire). Indeed, whether in novels, narrative poetry, drama, film, television series, comics, graphic novels, or video games: stories are always already mediated through form. This is also true of texts we understand as transnational, as transcultural, or postcolonial. In your essay, draw upon a text*, a piece of artistic expression, or use an example from linguistics to explain and demonstrate how literary form inflects transnational, transcultural, or postcolonial cultural production. For instance, think about narrative levels, syntactic and semantic structures, narrative structures, composition, intertextuality, paratextual elements, language use, etc.

To give you an idea of what kinds of questions you might engage with: How does intertextuality facilitate and/or subvert postcolonial practices of “writing back”? How can the narrative structure of museum exhibits obscure or highlight the epistemic power and colonial legacies of museums as institutions? How does editing and framing in a film negotiate modes of transnational (un)belonging? In literary and multimedia forms, how can the use of English – in its many forms, varieties, and accents – challenge Western/Eurocentric conceptualizations of the nation and its citizens as monolingual? Please bear in mind that your analysis needs to be rooted in the field of literary and cultural studies, or linguistics, or book studies.

Your essays must be approximately 2,000 words and meet commonly accepted standards of academic writing with regard to both form and referencing. Essays containing plagiarism will be disqualified.

*As an English Department, 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. 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.

Application dates for the academic year starting winter 2024/25

Relocating and planning your studies may take quite a while. To maximise the time successful applicants have to prepare, we offer two application phases. In this way, successful candidates have a maximum of 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 2024. Particularly applicants from outside the EU are strongly advised to apply as early as possible. The earlier you apply, the earlier you will be notified:

Application phase Application dates Notification

02 May 2024 – 10 May 2024

By late May 2024

11 May 2024 – 15 July 2024

By end of July 2024


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.