English, Master's, 2 years

With a master’s degree in English, you are highly trained in reading carefully and evaluating sources, communicating clearly and discriminating between fact and opinion.
  • TuitionNone
  • Years2 Years
  • Intake20
  • Grade requirementsMinimum C
  • LanguageEnglish
  • ECTS120
  • StartAutumn

Main content

Globally, English is probably the most important language today. Taking a master’s degree in English will enrich your knowledge of the linguistics, literatures and cultures of the English-speaking world, while conducting independent research in the form of a thesis worth 60 ECTS.


With a master’s degree in English, you are highly trained in reading carefully and evaluating sources, communicating clearly and discriminating between fact and opinion.

Society needs people who recognize the power of literature and humanities, and how books have an impact on communities and individuals. The master’s degree in English will qualify you for work in both public and private sectors.   

Our graduates work in translation, export industry, public administration and teaching—both abroad and in Norway.  

72% of alumni with a master’s degree from the Faculty of Humanities say that they have found relevant work within two years of graduating.   

You can continue in academic research by pursuing a PhD.


The programme covers two academic years (four semesters) and starts in the autumn.  

Semesters 1 and 2 

  • Choose your specialisation in literature/culture, linguistics, or a combination  
  • Follow a combination of obligatory and elective courses worth a total of 60 ECTS 
  • Choose a topic for your thesis 

Semesters 3 and 4  

Student life 

The Department of Foreign Languages is situated in the Humanities building (lenke) in the University’s city centre campus. Here, you will work side by side with master’s students in nine different languages. In our reading rooms you will be integrated in a friendly environment with students and staff members from all over the world.  

The relationship between students and staff is informal, and the atmosphere is friendly. Because the number of students is quite low, the social environment surrounding the program is great. 


In this study programme, you have about 8 hours a week of seminar groups and discussions. This means that most of your time is taken up by studying (in year 1) and working on your master’s thesis (in year 2). 

Master’s thesis 

You will spend the second year of the programme writing your thesis (worth 60 ECTS). You will receive individual guidance during the research and writing process. 

The master’s thesis is an individual research project on a subject of your own choice taken from one of the main disciplines in the programme:  

  • Linguistics 
  • Literature and/or culture 

What you will learn

Choose to specialise in Linguistics, where we look at the historical evolution of the English language and the different varieties of English that emerged as the language spread to new territories. We also study the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the language–its phonology, grammar and lexicon–and how to apply this knowledge to understand how the language works. 

  • How do new varieties of English emerge and evolve, and how has this happened in the past?  
  • How and why does language change occur?  
  • What changes are currently under way in the English language? 

Or specialise in English literature and culture, to deepen your knowledge of historical and contemporary English-speaking literatures and cultures. In historical survey courses, you will explore literary genres and how English literature evolved into what it is today. You will also learn literary theory and methodology–how to analyse and interpret literature, reading texts closely, analysing them in terms of literary history and literary form, and creating your own interpretations.  

  • How does literature affect us and change our lives? 
  • How can literature make the world a better place?  
  • How can we understand culture and history through literature, and vice-versa? 
  • How does literature evolve, and what forces shape its evolution? 

As a master’s student in English, you are included in a tightknit community of master’s students and staff. Follow courses based on relevant and new research and write a thesis about a topic that interests you.

Study period abroad 

You can spend your second semester as an exchange student at one of our partner universities in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand.

See list of recommended exchange agreements

How to apply

The master's programme in English is not available for international applicants residing outside the European Union/EEA/EFTA.

Follow the guidelines on how to apply depending on which applicant group you belong to.