Master Programs in English Literature and/or Linguistics: Aims

General Aims

The UZH Master programs in English Literature and/or Linguistics build upon and expand the skills and knowledge students gained during their Bachelor studies. At the same time, the programs are designed to offer a great deal of flexibility to advanced students wishing to pursue particular interests within either of these two areas.

Main Area I: English Literature

In the field of English Literature, students will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of theoretical debates, paying particular attention to the historical context of critical traditions and on how these relate to the wider cultural field.

Key areas explored include intermediality and audiovisual culture; the relation between literary history, identity, and collective memory (from the Renaissance to the present); and the politics of literary representation – e.g. in relation to gender or with a view to (post-)colonial power structures.

Students will practice their ability to describe aesthetic phenomena with great precision and increasing nuance, contextualizing works of literature in the broader cultural field and situating their own interpretations within specific critical debates.

Main Area II: English Linguistics

In the field of English Linguistics, students will learn how to develop their own research design in specialized areas in English linguistics, such as language use, variation and change; the relation between language and the mind; as well as language structure.

Students will have the chance to encounter, debate, and contribute to state-of-the-art research in historical linguistics (incl. medieval literature and culture), English as a world language, and the field of pragmatics, from both a synchronic and a diachronic perspective.

In doing so, students will learn how to reflect critically on their own choice of method and theory, and continue to hone their skills in preparing, analyzing, and interpreting increasingly complex sets of linguistic data.

Writing Skills, Stay Abroad Reports, and Independent Projects

In addition, the UZH Master programs in English Literature and/or Linguistics include advanced writing and media studies modules in which students fine-tune their ability to present complex material in an accessible and academically sound manner.

The program also provides students with the option of submitting research-based reports based on extended stays abroad, as well as gaining credit for documented independent projects that grow out of interests developed in the course of their studies. By the end of their studies, students will thus have acquired all the necessary skills to conduct independent scholarly work.

Job Prospects

The Master programs in English Literature and/or Linguistics prepare students for later employment in a range of areas, particularly teaching and education, editing, journalism, PR, advertising, marketing, film, translation, administration, and diplomacy. Moreover, graduates with a strong academic record will have the option of pursuing a PhD and thus lay the basis for a possible career in higher education.