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Comparative Studies Students

The MA program consists of eight modules out of which two are mandatory/core modules. You may choose your subjects and your study focus in the other six modules from all courses offered in the departments of the institute.

Basic Module (core) - The Basic Module is mandatory during the first and second semester of the Master's program. It provides you with a general introduction to the institute, its six separate and yet interlinked departments and the teaching and research done in each. You will get insights to the comparative approaches of the representatives of each department by a lecture series and team-teaching sessions. 

Professional English (core) - The Professional English Module consists of two seminars: oral presentation and academic writing. It aims at honing your academic writing and presenting skills. 

Project Module - The Project Module consists of two seminars as well as the practical seminar (organizing the students' conference). The mandatory form of exam is a presentation at the students' conference. You can choose a topic for the presentation based on one of the two other seminars. Instead of the practical seminar you can also teach a tutorial and write a short didactic paper on this.

Subject-specific Modules - The subject-specific modules are central to your studies: you will examine English and American language, literature and culture from methodological/structural, historical and/or theoretical perspectives. A module consists of two seminars, i.e. you need to combine two seminars to complete a module.

All of the seminars are taught by experts in the six departments in the Institute for English and American Studies: Medieval English Studies, American Studies, Linguistics, Modern English Literature, Anglophone Literature and Comparative Literature.

Since the MA course focuses on a comparative approach you can choose seminars in at least two and not more than three departments. Basically, each seminar can be combined freely with any seminar from one of the six departments. Two seminars in one department can also be linked to one module. By linking seminars, please note that you need to combine seminars either within one semester or in two consecutive semesters. There may be no semester in between the two seminars.

Within one module you need to choose seminars of the same categories: Function, Structure/Methods, History/Development. The seminars are listed accordingly in the online course directory.

Disciplinary Majors - Although the MA course is designed to ensue a comparative approach it is also possible to focus on just one subject area in English and American Studies, as all modules include interdisciplinary approaches themselves. In this case, you need to choose your modules exclusively from the seminars offered by one department within the institute, e.g. in American Studies or in Linguistics. The structure of your studies is the same one as in the comparative approach: Basic Module, Professional English Module, Project Module, four subject-specific modules and the Master's Module.
Master's Module - The Master's Module consists of two seminars (without exams), a master colloquium and the final master thesis (around 60-80 pages).
"APs" ("Abschlussprüfung") / Exams - Apart from the Master's Module each of the other modules is completed by an exam. In the basic module the AP is an essay, while the Project Module is completed by a 15-20 min presentation at the students' conference. The Professional English Module is completed both by an oral presentation and a research paper. One exam of the four subject-specific modules has to be a written paper, one has to be an oral exam, and the rest is optional.
"BNs" ("Beteiligungsnachweis") / credits for each class - In seminars where you don't take an exam you have to earn a "BN/Beteiligungsnachweis" that documents your attendance and participation in class. The BN may be a short in-class presentation or a short essay, but other formats are also possible. Each instructor decides on the requirements for a BN in their seminar, which s/he announces during the first class.
Curriculum - Registration for seminars are online only. Please visit the online course directory HIS-LSF to see all courses offered.

The MA students' conferences are at the heart of the project module and take place at least once a year in the winter term. The aim of the module is to provide graduate students with a first-hand experience in organizing an academic conference and to train them in relevant professional skills such as language and communication proficiency, text analysis and production, project and event management, presentation skills, audience management and media competence. While one part of the project module focusses on such practical knowledge, the other part includes academic research by presenting a paper at the conference.

This is how students in the past semesters developed themes, most of which address contemporary global concerns:

  • WiSe 2022-2023 – Beyond and Back Again: the Diversity of English Studies
  • WiSe 2021-2022 - English Crossing New Horizons
  • WiSe 2020-2021 – Compare, Contrast, Transform: Identity, Mentality and the Politics of Language
  • WiSe 2019-2020 – Made and Remade Continually
  • WiSe 2018-2019 – You Know Nothing… – Discourses Re-Thought
  • WiSe 2017-2018 – Unmasking Extremes: On the Edge of Reality
  • SoSe 2017 – The Inevitable Journey… Language, Culture, Identity
  • WiSe 2016-17 – “An infinite deal of nothing”?
  • SoSe 2016 – Challenging Perspectives – Life. Language. Literature.
  • WiSe 2015-2016 – Breaking Boundaries: Culture. Concepts. Constructions.
  • SoSe 2015 – Shaping the World
  • WiSe 2014-2015 – Imagined Identities – Literary Constructions
  • SoSe 2014 – Around the World in One Day
  • WiSe 2013-2014 – Always Look on the Dark Side of Life: Decoding the Dark in Literature and Linguistics
  • SoSe 2013 – Transitional Spaces
  • WiSe 2012-2013 – ECC – Experiencing Cultural Change

For more impressions of how fellow students set up their conferences, visit the conference blog http://macompconf.phil.hhu.de/ and stay updated on the current conference on Facebook

Currently, the module and examination regulations are only available in German for the entire Faculty of Arts and Humanities. You can download them as pdfs in the following links.

  • To check the specific contents and rules of the modules in the MAComp program, please download the Modulhandbuch. 
  • Please check the examination regulations here.

In this section, you can find useful downloads for organizing your studies and important documents such as the Transcript of Records and an "Anti-Plagiatserklärung" (a statement where you confirm that your paper/dissertation is entirely your own and that you have not used any sources without referencing them).

Please note that registration for exams and the MA thesis are now online via the Studierendenportal. Please check the page Prüfungen for a video tutorial.

If you want to know how to arrive to uni, click here

1) How do I register for seminars?

You need to register for each seminar via the online course directory HIS-LSF. Please note that there are deadlines for registration:

Winter term: 1st September to mid-October.

Summer term: 1st March to mid-April.

The deadline for courses in Linguistics varies – please view the course description in HIS-LSF and check with the Linguistics department. If you miss the registration deadlines due to delayed entry or other reasons, please contact the instructor of the seminar.

2) How do I register for exams?

On the HHU Studierendenportal. Here you can also view your current schedule, your overall course history and your records. There are also deadlines for registration:

Oral exams: 4 weeks prior to the exam date.

Written exams (papers): 8 weeks before you hand in your paper.

In most cases - except for the Basic and Professional English modules - the time of registration depends on what you have arranged with your instructor.

3) Where can I pick up my “BNs” (for students prior to Prüfungsordnung 2018)?

In case you need BNs in analogue form (PO 2013), you can contact your instructors via e-mail.

4) Is it possible to study abroad for a semester?

Yes, we highly recommend studying abroad. We have partnerships with universities in the UK (Aberystwyth, Leicester, Reading, Winchester), India (Mumbai), and the United States (Davis/California). Please visit this website for more information on partnerships, grants etc.: http://www.anglistik.hhu.de/auslandsstudium.html

5) I have completed all modules and taken all exams. How do I get my diploma?

As of PO 2018: The Transcript of Records is generated automatically through the Studierendenservice Centre (SSC). The entire process lasts around 6 weeks.

Until PO 2013: As soon as you have completed all modules you need to verify your Transcript of Records by Lisa Weißbach. Simply make an appointment and bring your documents along. Please use the blank form above. When you fill in the form, please state the titles of the courses in English and in German. The final transcript has to be printed out twice. To verify the transcript bring your BNs in the right order as well as your “Leistungsübersicht” (a detailed overview of the courses indicating the grades and credits) from the "Studierendenportal". Please do not staple the papers.