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Postgraduate Programs in Languages, Literature and Area Studies

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Postgraduate Programs in Languages

If you are one of life’s communicators you may decide to hone your skills further with a postgraduate masters degree in foreign languages. As at undergrad, universities in Europe give students the option of studying one or more languages, and in terms of choice the world is your language lab! For example University College London offers courses in languages as diverse as French and Israeli, while at Uppsala University in Sweden you can study languages as diverse as Albanian and Estonian.

It just goes to show the breadth of options within the study of languages, and this variety isn’t confined to the lingos themselves. For those who find the technical and/or scientific side of language more engaging there are plenty of institutions that offer courses in Linguistics and Phonetics. As with Area Studies, different languages may have their own university departments, and it is unlikely that you will find all modern languages courses on the same webpage.

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Postgraduate Programs in Literature

For those who love nothing more than curling up with a good book (or play!) what could be better than doing a degree that gives you an excuse to indulge? Whether you prefer 19th-century American literature, 16th-century Scottish literature or postmodern literature you will be spoilt for choice with the courses on offer at British and European universities. And, if you can’t make up your mind, you could consider a Masters in Comparative Literature, like the MLitt at Aberdeen University or the University of Vienna.

You can also find slightly more vocational degrees. For example in the United Kingdom Bath Spa University offers MA courses in Scriptwriting and Travel & Nature Writing, while the University of East Anglia is one of the many places where budding authors can study for a Masters in Creative Writing.


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Postgraduate Programs in Area Studies

Never has it been a more important (or fascinating!) time to immerse yourself in the inner workings of a country or group of countries, and when it comes to Area Studies you can pretty much take your pick of region and indeed university. We’re not just talking UK here either, Google pretty much any European university that springs to mind and you will be presented with a veritable buffet of ‘area’ courses, many of which are taught in English.

Postgraduate programs in languages

The possibilities are, if not endless, hugely multiplied!  Postgraduate courses can be found for any area you can think of: Western/Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, South East Asia and more. Certain countries sometimes have courses all to themselves, though this depends on the university. The subject focus may vary from institution to institution; in the UK for example, at the University of Liverpool Area Studies is incorporated into the School of Cultures and Languages, however at the University of Oxford social sciences tend to be at the centre of the curriculum, so anyone looking will find something to suit their strengths!

It is also useful to bear this wide definition of Area Studies in mind when researching courses; you may find it within the Faculty of Languages in one university and the Geography Department in another, so you may have to do a bit of digging. Plus, some universities may have separate centres for various regions, which can be misleading. For example, at Leiden University in the Netherlands the Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) only seems to include Asian Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, although on further investigation Leiden University also has Master’s degree programs in African and European Union Studies which are taught from its Humanities department, as well as a separate centre for Latin American Studies! As well as the general programs that incorporate several disciplines into Area Studies it is also possible to specialise even further. For example, at the Freie Universität Berlin you can focus your efforts exclusively on Environmental and Energy Studies of the Caspian Region in Asia or European Integration among many others. Alternatively Freie Universität Berlin offers a more thematic approach for those who have a subject area in mind but don’t want to narrow down their geographical areas of study. Under the ‘Trans-Regional’ headline there are Graduate Schools for Transnational Studies, Development Studies, Global Politics and even Theatre Studies.

Find postgraduate programs in EUROPEAN STUDIES

Career Prospects with Languages, Literature or Area Studies

Thinking ahead, completion of a postgraduate degree in Area Studies, Languages or Literature open up a wealth of career paths. Journalism, political risk, international development, NGO-work, law, finance, health, public policy, think tank-work, intelligence and consultancy are a cross-section and not even an exhaustive list of the job areas in which the skills and expertise gained are gratefully seized upon and fruitfully employed in the world of work.

Entry Requirements for Languages, Literature or Area Studies

As with most postgraduate courses it is usually necessary to get at least 2.1 in your first (undergraduate) degree. The majority of institutions require a personal statement or research proposal as part of your application. 

Tuition Fees and Funding 

The exact cost of a masters degree is difficult to pin down as it is very much dependent on the country of study and can range from a £2,000 to as much as £20,000 for a two year course (€2,400-€24,000). 
Also leave no stone unturned in your search for funding and scholarships, despite received wisdom from many sources that there is none, it is out there! If you are from the UK, check out the British Council website and that of your chosen university, and remember that funding applications must be made well over a year in advance, so you can never be too efficient in this game!


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