MA NTS application: Corona Update

Problems with language tests and official certifications due to the corona crisis? Our admission procedure has been adjusted. For more information, please click here.

Confirmation of compulsory attendance required and provided for your visa application

We recommend that candidates apply for their visas as early as possible. In the current pandemic situation, German embassies and consulates may require a document confirming that your attendance is compulsory during the Winter term 2021/22 (“Nachweis der Präsenzpflicht / Präsenznachweis”). The university’s administration has now pledged to provide such confirmation. Successful applicants will receive this document together with their official admission to the programme.

General information on admission requirements and procedures 

Admission to the Master of Arts programme National and Transnational Studies: Literature, Culture, Language is offered for each fall semester.

This is a very selective programme which admits only those applicants who can prove that their interests and previous qualifications make them especially suitable for this degree course. Applicants are selected by a departmental admissions committee.

Detailed information on the application requirements and the selection of applicants can be found in the latest amendment (Änderungsordnung) to the general programme regulations for this M.A. course (Prüfungsordnung):

PDF: Amendment of regulations (Änderungsordnung) [de], version from 12 June 2020 (German)

An English version is currently being prepared and will be published as soon as possible. In the meantime, the most important aspects of the application requirements can also be accessed below on this website.

Application requirements:

Prospective students must have completed a first academic degree (Bachelor or equivalent) with a standard period of study of at least 6 semesters.
This first degree must be in a field which is thematically relevant to this M.A. programme. These fields are:

  • Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Book Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • History
  • Political science
  • Sociology
  • Social Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • Education
  • Art History
  • Psychology

Applicants must prove a special qualification and suitability for this programme, which is assessed through the grades attained in MA-relevant focal subjects during their BA studies (or equivalent) as certified by their BA diploma (or equivalent) and transcript of student records, through the application essay, the CV and (where applicable) evidence of previous international and professional experience (see below).

All prospective students should have a strong interest in literary and cultural studies, linguistics and/or book studies, as well as in the study of national and transnational identities.
Applicants who have already dealt with national and transnational identities in their undergraduate studies are especially welcome.
Students previously unfamiliar with the methodologies of literary and cultural studies, linguistics and/or book studies should be prepared to familiarise themselves with these fields during their first semester on the M.A. programme.

Language skills

As English is the official medium of instruction on this M.A. programme, excellent English language skills are a precondition for enrolment. Students' English language skills must correspond to the "C2" level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Applicants who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate their language skills through the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE, grade A, B or C) or another equivalent language certificate (e.g. CAE grade A or B; TOEFL iBT 109+; or IELTS Academic 7.5+). Please note that we consider you a native speaker if English is an official language in your country.
If you have a type of language certificate which is not listed here, and are not sure whether this will be acceptable, you may contact the English Department's student advisory service  (e-mail, for advice. It is best to do this well before the application deadline, because if your present language certificate is not acceptable and you need to acquire a different one (e.g. CPE, CAE, TOEFL, IELTS Academic), this usually takes some time.

German language skills are desirable (e.g. to facilitate everyday life), but not mandatory. Hence, it is not necessary to submit a German language certificate like DaF or DSH. However, those students who wish to learn German while they are here can attend German language courses at the University's Language Centre at different levels.


If your language test has been cancelled or postponed due to the Corona crisis and you are uncertain whether you can still submit your language certificate in time for our usual deadline: Please check the Corona Update on this page for further information.

Further qualifications

We welcome prospective students to include proof/reference of potential stays abroad, internships, or extracurricular activities and other qualifications you think are relevant for your application (e.g. campus groups, reading groups, activism). These qualifications are desirable and not obligatory, and we also take into account that not everyone has the possibility to stay abroad for long amounts of time, or to take up (often unpaid) internships. In addition, we take into account whether applicants speak different languages, so if you do, for instance, because you come from a multilingual country or have studied languages during your BA, do include information on your language proficiencies in your CV.

Application materials and deadline

All applicants must complete the online application form on the university's application platform (Bewerberportal) [de] and then upload all their other application documents (see the list below) as pdf files.
The uploaded copies of educational and language certificates must be certified copies. A certified copy carries a confirmation by an official body that the copy is a true copy of the original; it also carries the seal of this official body. Uncertified copies are not accepted in these cases; failure to submit certified copies can lead to the rejection of the applicant.

Documents in any language other than English or German have to be translated into one of these two languages by an officially certified translator. The translation must also be accompanied by a (likewise certified) copy of the document in its original language. International applicants should also consult the admissions website of the university's International Office.

Application documents must include:

    • proof of qualification for admission to higher education, e.g. a school leaving certificate like Abitur, A-levels or international equivalent (certified copy)
    • undergraduate diploma(s) (certified copy)
    • transcript(s) of records: enlists titles of and performance in courses taken in previous degree programme(s) (certified copy)
    • proof of language skills (certified copy; for non-native speakers only)
    • short essay (c. 2,000 words / 5 pages, in English)
    • curriculum vitae (in tabular form)
    • proof of stay abroad (where applicable)
    • proof of internships (where applicable)

For the MA NTS, the application period will begin in May 2021. One application per candidate is possible during this period; applications outside the designated application period cannot be accepted.

Applications will be processed in two phases and places will be offered accordingly. Applications received by 31 May will be evaluated in time for notifying candidates between early and mid-June. Applicants from outside the EU are strongly advised to apply by 31 May at the latest. In this way, successful candidates have a maximum of time to apply for visas (which can be time-consuming) and also to arrange funding, travel, and accommodation before the start of the MA NTS orientation week, likely in October 2021.

Candidates applying from 01 June onwards will be notified after the application period has ended.

For more information, contact:

Essay task 2021

Rising calls by the populist right in various countries to put the nation “first” and recent nationalist government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are both instances which indicate that the idea of national borders and national identification still has a wide appeal. Indeed, today the power of the nation state has become naturalised to an unprecedented degree, despite the ever-growing body of scholarship on its constructedness. Some critics argue that the nation state (as a form of political organization, cultural sphere, identitarian reference point, vehicle for collective self-determination, or as interpretive category) will last much longer than most scholars had thought. Others foresee the nation state’s final decline in recent nationalistic spasms. Literary and cultural developments across a vast array of genres have long since engaged with such questions, and in their wake, areas of inquiry such as national and transnational studies, postcolonial studies, and diaspora studies have proliferated.

Drawing upon a contemporary text of your choice* or referring to an area of linguistic inquiry, explain your own understanding of these current dynamics in a short essay of approximately 2,000 words. Draw on the disciplinary knowledge you have acquired during your BA studies and also take into account positions you find in related disciplines either in the humanities or social sciences in order to discuss the tensions between national and transnational ways of making sense of the world. 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 nationalism and the nation state today. Use an example of your choice to tackle the supposed incompatibility of national and transnational or cosmopolitan identifications.

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

* Along the lines of contemporary literary and cultural studies, 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, music and music videos, activist practices, etc.

MA NTS application: Corona update

Problems with language tests, official certifications, and postal service due to the corona crisis? Our admission procedure has been adjusted.

1. Language certificates

Some applicants will not be able to submit a language certificate due to the corona pandemic. While English language skills remain essential for this MA programme, it is currently possible to apply without proving your language skills during the application process if you upload the following documents instead:

a. A brief statement that you cannot submit the required language certificate due to the corona pandemic (e.g. due to closure of langue testing centres) and that you will submit this as soon possible. Feel free to download a sample text here: DOCX: download sample letter

b. Provide proof that you cannot obtain a language certificate, for example because your registration for a language test has been cancelled. (Such a proof could be a screenshot or a cancellation email.)

Upload all of this in one single pdf-document when asked for the “certificate of English language skills.”

Additionally, inform the Student Admissions Office by sending an e-mail to, indicating that you plan to submit your language certificate as soon as this becomes possible again.

Please note: When starting your online application (initial electronic registration) you will be asked “Which of the following English language tests have you passed?” Select “None of the above” to continue the electronic application procedure.

2. Certification of documents

Should you be unable to have documents certified due to the Corona pandemic, you could apply with uncertified documents. In this case you’d need to email the Student Admissions Office a confirmation that you will provide certified copies or originals once this becomes possible again. Make sure to include proof of why certification is currently not available to you. Keep safe all application documents: Successful applicants must submit all required documents upon enrollment at the University of Muenster.

Further information on master applications: