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Future and Prospective MA students

This page contains information destined for future and prospective MA students.


The MA in English at the University of Lausanne offers a high-quality and flexible program allowing students to explore their interests while preparing for a variety of careers. Drawing on the research strengths of the English Department, the MA begins with a required course in Critical Approaches and Theory and then offers students a choice of advanced seminars in English Literature, American Studies, Medieval English and Linguistics. The department also benefits from the expertise of two professors in Gender Studies and Comparative Literature.

The department is able to propose block courses by visiting professors on a regular basis, further widening the choices available to students. Numerous conferences, colloquiums, and intensive workshops are also organized throughout the year by the department and affiliated centers (for example, in Comparative Literature or Medieval Literature and Culture), often in connection to MA-level seminars.

Recent Block Courses

  • Trauma in Literature, Irene Kacandes (Dartmouth College), Autumn 2010.
  • Mythic Tales and Mythic Figures in Film, Art and Literature, Judith Buchanan (U.York), Spring 2012.


Coursework and the MA Thesis

Most Master’s seminars are based on staff members' current research projects, bringing students into contact with the most important and vital issues animating the humanities at the present. A strong emphasis on class discussion, group work, and personal interaction allows students to express and test ideas in a challenging but friendly academic environment, while the section’s strong commitment to writing skills allows students to hone this crucial craft. A team-taught workshop offers support during the process of formulating, researching and preparing the Master’s thesis.
Recent and Future MA Seminars:

  • Eco-Criticism
  • Celtic Literature
  • The Scottish Fantastic
  • Shakespeare and Selfhood
  • Writing, Wandering, Immigration and Exile in Contemporary U.S. Literature
  • Contemporary American Fiction
  • The Vietnam War in American Literature and Film
  • Framing the American West
  • Ernest Hemingway and Gender Trouble
  • Transnational American Queer Literature
  • American Gothic/American Fantastic
  • The Politics of Melodrama
  • Fifteenth-Century Dream Vision Poetry
  • Beowulf and Popular Culture
  • Arthur in Scandinavia: Old Norse Romance
  • Language and Emotion
  • Discourse and Cognitive Science
  • Creativity in Social Interaction
  • Language across the Lifespan
  • Linguistics: Language, Literature and Sexuality
  • Language & Identity
  • Robin Hood, from Sherwood to Hollywood
  • The Double: Short Story, Novel, Film
  • The Secret Shadow: Joseph Conrad and Mimetic Theory
  • Beauty and the Beast: Ancient, Modern and Postmodern
  • Reading, Translating, Rewriting: The Case of Angela Carter
  • Fairy Tales and Trauma Literature
  • Gender, Humour, and the Novel: Jane Austen
  • The Lesbian as Character and the Undoing of Norms in 20th-century Fiction
  • Gender and the Enlightenment, Daniel Defoe and the Early Feminist Debate


Study Trips and other Extracurricular Activities

In addition, the department organizes several study trips each year. The Medieval domain proposes a weekend in the Alps every April, devoted to reading and discussion of Chaucer and other medieval texts. The American Studies domain organizes an annual trip to Paris focused on the rich historical contribution of African American artists, writers and performers to the intellectual and cultural life of France. Film screenings, lectures and a reader are offered to students in order to prepare them for their journey. In June, the Modern English domain organizes a week-long visit to London and Stratford that includes attendance at several plays, tours of the theaters, workshops at the Globe, discussions with the actors and directors and on-site seminar discussions.

The department’s engagement with the arts of the theater is cultivated at home in Lausanne as well, and every year brings the preparation and performance of at least one or two productions. Some are created by the resident Sun and Moon Theater Company, others are directed and prepared entirely by students, and most have the opportunity to be shown at the annual FECULE festival (devoted to university theater productions) in the spring.

Recent productions:

  • Winter's Tale
  • Hamlet
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
  • Macbeth
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • The Tempest


An MA in English

In short, a Master's in English at Lausanne offers students an opportunity to widen their horizons and strengthen their thinking, research, and writing skills while offering opportunities to share ideas and participate in a variety of creative and scholarly activities. The strong emphasis on theory and cultural studies permits students to think about literature in new ways and in dialogue with other disciplines and media.

An MA in English also reinforces transferable skills sought after by employers, including strong writing ability, critical thinking, independence and creativity, and prepares students for careers in teaching, research, and a wide range of cultural institutions.

Practical Information

The linguistic standards of the English Department are high: to follow and participate in the courses and produce the required written work, you must have reached advanced level in English (C1 on the Council of Europe common reference scale).

The MA in the Faculty of Letters has two variants: a 90-credit programme over three semesters (Maîtrise universitaire ès lettres) and a 120-credit programme over four semesters (Maîtrise universitaire ès Lettres avec spécialisation). Look at the images below for an overview of the basic possibilities available to you for taking English as your sole discipline or as one of two disciplines within these variants.




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