Master's Programme in English – American Literature and Culture

120 credits

It has arguably never been more challenging yet important to understand America's culture than right now. This Master's Programme in English, specialising in American Literature and Culture, offers a curriculum for engaging with this demand in which you will engage closely with key texts that have shaped America's literary culture from the revolutionary period to its contemporary global position. It offers an opportunity to engage with the rich diversity of American writing, from the canonical to the neglected and contemporary.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

The Master's programme in English, specialising in American Literature and Culture will introduce you to new critical and theoretical perspectives on this literature and enable you to gain a deeper and broader perspective on issues which profoundly affect American literature as well as contemporary life and scholarship. These issues include questions of migration and borders, colonisation and empire, race and ethnicity.

The programme offers a first-rate foundation for research students, both from Sweden and abroad, who wish to reconsider literature's role in the construction, interrogation and revision of a nation's culture and identity. It is also excellent preparation for students who want to continue with doctoral studies.

During the programme, you can expect to:

  • gain a deep and broad perspective on issues which profoundly affect American literature as well as contemporary life and scholarship,
  • combine coursework with research training and a thesis project,
  • be a part of the only programme of its kind in Sweden.

Student profile

You are passionate about literature, American literature in particular, and its history and politics. You value critical and innovative thinking and enjoy drawing connections between literature and other concerns, ranging from questions about ethnicity to the environment and beyond. Your social skills are very good and you enjoy articulating your thoughts and expressing your opinion in front of your fellow students. You are willing to take responsibility for your success and you are used to planning your own work.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in your field, and developing your skills as an independent researcher


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Arts (120 credits) with English as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Arts (60 credits).

The Master's Programme in English consists of two years of full-time study. The programme draws upon the Department's specialised competence in research and teaching within the subject. Throughout the programme, you will take a number of courses on literature, theory, and contemporary critical debates. Many of these modules include elements of American literature, allowing you to study this literature transnationally and comparatively. In addition there are core courses in American literature and culture designed to deepen and broaden your knowledge of the diversity of American writing. You will also complete a degree project worth 30 credits in this area. You may also opt for an internship worth 7.5 credits in your third semester or study abroad.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1

  • Criticism, Theory and Practice, 15 credits
  • Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture in a Global Context, 7.5 credits
  • The Atlantic World: Writing the Eighteenth Century, 7.5 credits

Semester 2

  • The Gothic and Romanticism, 7.5 credits
  • The Nineteenth-Century Novel, 7.5 credits
  • Modernisms, 7.5 credits
  • Topics in the Avant-Garde, 7.5 credits

Semester 3

  • The Literatures of Decolonization, 7.5 credits
  • World Literatures in English, 7.5 credits
  • Postwar American Literature and Culture, 7.5 credits
  • Literature and Neoliberal Crisis, 7.5 credits

One of the courses can be substituted for Practical Placement, 7.5 credits.

Semester 4

  • Degree project, 30 credits

For many of your courses, you will meet weekly in small seminar groups for two hours with a tutor. The working style is exploratory and you will be expected to engage with primary sources, develop and express your own opinions and work towards independent arguments in your coursework. The final element of the programme is your thesis, a piece of independent research written with the advice and support of a designated supervisor. Our programme assists you in progressing towards more independent and collaborative forms of working and researching.

English is the working language of the department of English. In the Master's programme, instruction, class discussions, and examinations are in English, as are all teaching materials.

Studying at Uppsala, you will be part of a community of staff and students with different international and cultural backgrounds. We foster an intimate, active research community through our research seminars and lively visiting lecturer and conference events where visitors, staff, and students gather in conversation.

Completing the Master's Programme in English, specialising in American Literature and Culture, will help you develop and refine your research and analytical skills in ways that will prepare you either for doctoral study or for employment beyond the university. Our programme has been producing successful graduates for over ten years and provides excellent preparation for doctoral studies and an academic career. It also aids you in developing key skills valued by employers in journalism, publishing, tourism and creative industries, and other related educational and vocational careers.

Some of our graduates work as lecturers and researchers at universities (such as the University of Michigan, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Uppsala University, University of London). Others have obtained positions in the public and social sectors, such as Cambridge Health Alliance, European Association of History Educators, and Czech National Agency for International Education and Research. Other career paths are English teacher, translator, editorial assistant, text consultant, and rights and production coordinator in a publishing company.

Career support

During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.