MA Literature and Media

Degree Programme Profile

Media play an ever-increasing role in society and culture, especially in terms of their textual references. Accordingly, there is a growing need for staff trained in using media. The master’s degree programme in Literary and Media Studies was designed to address that need, with an eye on both current academic trends and labour market requirements.

With its interdisciplinary and intermedial orientation and its emphasis on cross-cultural issues, the programme combines methods and approaches from literature and cultural studies with media studies. As a result, students acquire a set of key qualifications both broad and transferrable to various settings.

Above all, its literary and cultural studies basis, which profiles both internationality and interculturality, distinguishes the programme from the numerous (core) media studies master’s programmes at other German-speaking universities and also from those that focus on the relationship between literature and media but are mostly nationally oriented.

Course offerings are characterised by a balance between basic knowledge of literature and media studies on the one hand, and specific questions arising from current research projects on the other.

    At a glance

    • Programme start: Summer and winter semester
    • Standard programme duration: 4 semesters
    • ECTS points: 120
    • Final examination: Master’s examination (accompanying the programme)
    • Academic degree: Master of Arts (MA)

    Structure and Curriculum

    The standard duration of the MA Literature and Media is four semesters. The programme is available as a full-time or part-time option and may be started in the winter or in the summer semester.

    The total workload of 120 ECTS points comprises a core area totalling 60 ECTS, which consists of basic and advanced modules, as well as a practical and a specialisation module. The remaining points are earned in the distribution area and the master’s thesis, which are worth 30 ECTS each.

    The curriculum offers a wide range of electives to enable an individualised degree programme with personal areas of specialisation.

    Students who choose the master’s programme in Literary and Media Studies complete the following modules:

    Fundamentals of Media Studies

    The module is designed as an introduction to media studies. Accordingly, students are provided with basic knowledge in key fields of media studies (especially media history, media aesthetics, media sociology) as well as an analytical toolkit enabling them to deal with different media genres and formats, especially in the age of technological and digital media (19th to 21st century).

    [10 ECTS points]

    Comparative Literary and Media Studies

    This module is designed to expand the literary and cultural studies expertise students have obtained in their undergraduate studies in terms of theory, methodology, and cultural comparison. Moreover, it aims to introduce students to comparative approaches in literary and media studies. The focus is on the areas of thematology, imagology, intermediality/interart, and media comparison. In addition, students are trained to understand media as generating factors of literary production on the one hand, and literature as a prominent space of media reflection on the other.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Literary, Media and Cultural Theory

    The first objective of this module is to provide students with original concepts and approaches of literary and media theory to guide their readings of literature and media, putting them on a higher level of abstraction. In addition, students are to acquire a solid understanding of key cultural studies theorems in order to enable them to analyse literary and media artefacts in a way that incorporates aspects of cultural studies. Finally, the module is designed to familiarise students with classical and current concepts of cultural theory, thereby introducing them to a more complex concept of culture that equally captures its material, mental, and social dimensions.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Film and Visual Studies

    This module is about expanding and deepening students’ competences in literary and media studies with respect to visuality – that is, focusing specifically on film (especially its history, aesthetics, and theory) and other technical visual media. A film canon, curated for the degree programme and featuring 100 selected works, serves as a film studies foundation.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Electives in other subjects

    For the distribution area, students must earn at least 15 ECTS points in modules from other subjects. These can represent a continuation of prior minor subject studies with modules from that subject’s BA or MA course offerings. If the distribution area is not completely filled with modules from other subjects, the remaining distribution ECTS points must be completed in the following Literary and Media Studies modules: “Distribution Literary, Media and Cultural Theory” and “Distribution Film and Visual Studies”.

    [30 ECTS points]

    Distribution Literary, Media and Cultural Theory

    If the distribution area is not completely filled with modules from other subjects, the remaining ECTS points can be earned in the “Distribution Literary, Media and Cultural Theory” module, which is designed as an advanced continuation of the “Literary, Media and Cultural Theory” module.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Distribution Film and Visual Studies

    If the distribution area is not completely filled with modules from other subjects, the remaining ECTS points can be earned in the “Distribution Film and Visual Studies” module, which is designed as an advanced continuation of the module “Film and Visual Studies” module.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Practical module

    The aim of this module is to enable students to apply their theoretical knowledge to selected practical fields that expose students to possible career options.

    Students complete 8 weeks of non-university, full-time internships in at least two institutions in the literary, media and cultural sector (e. g. in publishing houses, press, radio and TV editorial offices, cultural offices, archives, museums, foundations). Whether or not credit may be awarded for prior work experience is decided by the Examining Board.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Specialisation module

    To help students prepare for their master’s thesis, this module provides the opportunity to engage intensively with specific questions and topics in literary and media studies. The aim is to apply both the specialist knowledge acquired during the programme and the associated methods and skills toward an independently selected, rigorous scholarly question. Among other things, the module includes an oral examination for which the specifically curated film canon is important.

    [10 ECTS points]

    Master’s thesis

    The master's thesis is a research paper written independently and in line with academic criteria which demonstrates that the student has in-depth knowledge of their subject and the ability to independently apply academic methods to concrete problems within a limited period of time.

    [30 ECTS points]

    For details on the programme’s structure and curriculum, please refer to the module handbook(130.3 KB) (130.3 KB, in German).

    Good Reasons

    Interdisciplinary, intercultural, international

    Its dual focus on literature and media, its comparative perspective and position between the classic national philologies, and the great number of foreign students (from countries including Ukraine, Turkey, Spain and, above all, China) make the degree programme equally interdisciplinary and intercultural, as well as highly international.

    Excellent student-faculty ratio and individual specialisation

    The way the degree programme is structured and organised not only ensures that students get a high degree of personal attention from instructors but also gives them ample opportunity to follow their own interests and pursue individual specialisations during their studies. Those seeking to pursue doctoral studies have the option of completing a structured doctoral programme through the Bamberg Graduate School of Literary, Cultural and Media Studies (BaGraLCM). Furthermore, a colloquium for doctoral candidates is offered each semester to serve as a space for interdisciplinary discourse and an open network to support candidates in their research.

    Director Dominik Graf is, for example, among the renowned guests in the series “Films at the University”.

    Practical relevance

    For our annual “Films at the University” event, we invite renowned directors from the German-speaking world to come to Bamberg for a lecture and subsequent discussion. In addition, there are regular excursions to destinations such as the Berlinale Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival or various film museums.

    Close links to research

    To advance their own research interests and to look beyond their own disciplinary boundaries, students have the opportunity to engage in exchanges with Bamberg-based scholars as well as guests from Germany and abroad at the Global Art Cinema Research Colloquium, which is organised on a regular basis. Well-known literary, media, and cultural studies scholars regularly visit the department to present their latest research and put their arguments up for debate.

    On nights devoted, for example, to the theme “China’s Cinecuisine” – members of the department come together in a family-like setting.

    Family-like community

    We deeply value personal support – and personal interactions. That is why instructors and students come together on various occasions to get to know each other and exchange views and experiences. For instance, students and alumni are invited every semester for a “Great Master’s Meeting”; likewise, a “Stammtisch” meets on a regular basis, providing a family-like atmosphere for lively conversations about big academic issues and small everyday matters.

    “Bamberg is pure culture”

    The City of Bamberg’s marketing claim sums it up perfectly: As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bamberg not only offers unique visual attractions but is also deeply rooted in cultural history, boasting a wealth of museums and galleries, the famous Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and the great E.T.A. Hoffmann Theatre, as well as multiple small stages and arthouse cinemas. For more information on life in Bamberg, see the University’s main website.

    Career Prospects

    Because of its interdisciplinary and intercultural openness, the master’s programme in Literary and Media Studies provides you with a broad set of key competencies that will enable you to work in various relevant fields.

    The degree programme qualifies you for careers in journalism (e. g. press, radio, television), in publishing houses, in theatres or cinemas, in municipal culture departments, archives, libraries and museums, or in foundations. But you may also choose to work in the business world, for instance in marketing or public relations. In addition, the degree programme enables you to enter a career in academia. After completing the master’s degree, you can continue your education within the framework of a structured doctoral programme.

    Alumni testimonials

    Choosing “Literary and Media Studies” helped me achieve my goals. The many skills I acquired (presentation, copywriting and editing, knowledge of different media) and the international network helped me enter the field of (international) corporate communications in Brussels and Nuremberg. They continue to guide my daily interactions with employees, business partners, and customers on the intranet, in the new media or, of course, in person.

    M. Hetzelein


    In my studies I learned to solve complex problems in a systematic manner, and to familiarise myself quickly with new content and to think analytically. These skills were very helpful for my career.

    Catalina Vrabie, Scrum Master at Siemens

    Application and Admission


    • Undergraduate degree in literary or cultural studies completed with a grade of “good” (2.5) or better
    • Interest in literature, film and other media, as well as in general aesthetic questions
    • Passion for the critical and analytical observation of cultural phenomena
    • Interdisciplinary openness

    Domestic applicants

    The degree programme may be started in the summer or winter semester. Please note that the admission process may take several weeks. To be able to plan your studies on time, you should apply as early as possible.

    Application period

    The application period begins in mid-May for the winter semester and in mid-November for the summer semester. Applications are accepted until the enrolment deadline.

    Application materials

    For information on the materials to be submitted for admission to the master’s degree, please see the website of the Academic Registrar’s Office.

    Application process

    Applicants who have earned their qualifying bachelor’s degree at a German university submit their application for the master’s degree programme online via the standard Master’s Application Portal of the Academic Registrar’s Office. If your application materials include foreign credentials, you must send them by post to the Academic Registrar’s Office along with a notarised German or English translation:

    Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
    Kapuzinerstraße 25
    96047 Bamberg


    International applicants

    Be sure to check the “International Studies” e-magazine for impressions, experiences and information about studying at the University of Bamberg as an international student.

    Application period

    The application period begins in mid-May for the winter semester and in mid-November for the summer semester. Applications are accepted until the enrolment deadline. Prospective international students who require a visa to study in Germany should send their completed application as early as possible but not later than 15 July for the winter semester and 15 January for the summer semester.

    Application materials

    For information on the materials to be submitted for admission to the master’s degree, please see the website of the Academic Registrar’s Office. Important information for international students in Bamberg is also available on the website of the International Office.

    Application process

    Applicants who have earned their qualifying bachelor’s degree at a foreign university should send their application materials by post to the Academic Registrar’s Office, along with certified German or English translations, if necessary:

    Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
    Kapuzinerstraße 25
    96047 Bamberg

    Helpful links about application and enrolment

    Part-time Studies

    The master’s degree programme in Literary and Media Studies is available as a part-time option.

    Studying part time is a great opportunity especially for students with children, students working part-time, or students with disabilities or chronic illness because it helps reduce the workload during the semester in exchange for extending the time needed to complete the degree.

    For part-time students, the standard programme duration of the master’s degree changes from 4 semesters to 8 semesters.

    You do not need to provide any reasons to enrol in a part-time programme. You may also switch from a full-time model to a part-time model during any semester’s enrolment period. This reduces the workload in each semester. Usually the maximum number of ECTS points to be earned per part-time semester is 18.

    Part-time studies are subject to the part-time study regulations (in German).

    More information on part-time enrolment is available on the University’s main website.

    Where to Start: Books and Films

    We have compiled a selection of recommended literature and films to provide some initial guidance regarding the concrete programme curriculum and to give students relevant works to help them build in-depth knowledge of the relevant subject matter:

    Our list of recommended reading not only includes introductory, standard works of literary, media and cultural theory but also provides an overview of the various options for pursuing individual fields of specialisation throughout the degree programme. Whether it’s comics and graphic novels, television and photography or disabilty, gender and queer studies – the programme in Literary and Media Studies may be fully customised to match students’ personal interests, career plans or research goals.

    Film studies is a key component of the degree programme and ranks among our scholars’ most important research focus areas. Students in this programme should know 100 films: The list, which is relevant for programme examinations, ranges from the beginnings of film history to contemporary international cinema. Designed to serve as a canon, it includes handpicked works that are essential for in-depth comparative media studies.

    Information on the Oral Examination in the Specialisation Module

    The oral examination lasts 30 minutes and covers three topics, each for approx. 10 minutes. One of the topics must be taken from the seminar in which you plan to take the oral examination (specialisation module). The other two topics usually come from other courses in the Literary and Media Studies programme (lectures or seminars). Please note: All three topics must be distinct, meaning there may not be any overlap. For example, it is not possible to choose one topic on director Alfred Hitchcock and another on director Zhang Yimou because both topics are film topics.

    When you would like to take the oral examination, first contact Manon Galefske to arrange a date for the examination, then contact your examiners to discuss possible topics. Once both has been done, set down the three topics in detail. No later than 14 days before the exam, email the examiner two questions per topic that you would like to answer in the exam. Once again, an example: If your topic is “The Hero and the Hero’s Journey”, the following two questions would be possible: 1. What are the essential elements of a theory of the hero? 2. What is the progression of the hero’s journey according to the model by Joseph Campbell and Christopher Vogler? No later than 10 days before the exam, the examiner will email you back two questions per topic in response to your six questions so that you can prepare for these questions. You add the six new questions to your own questions and then send the entire set of questions to the examiner.

    Contacts for this Degree Programme

    Degree Programme Representative

    Prof Dr Jörn Glasenapp
    Obere Karolinenstraße 8
    Raum OK8/01.25
    96049 Bamberg
    Tel.: +49 951 863-3101/3102


    Semester office hours:
    Tue, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

    Subject Advisor

    Dr Corina Erk
    Obere Karolinenstraße 8
    Raum OK8/01.23
    96049 Bamberg

    Tel.: +49 951 863-3103

    Semester office hours:
    Tue, 12:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    Secretary’s Office

    Manon Galefske
    Obere Karolinenstraße 8
    Raum OK8/01.24
    96049 Bamberg

    Tel: +49 951 863-3101
    Office hours:

    Winter semester 2023/24
    Wed - Thu, 8-12 a.m.
    or by appointment by email

    Central Student Advisory Service

    Iris Negrini
    Kapuzinerstraße 25
    Room 00.03a
    96047 Bamberg

    Tel: +49 951 863-1050
    Office hours:

    Mon – Fri, 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Mon, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

    International Office

    Dr Andreas Weihe
    Kapuzinerstraße 25
    Room 02.08
    96047 Bamberg

    Tel: +49 951 863 1048

    Examining Board

    Prof Dr Jörn Glasenapp

    Deputy Chair:
    Prof Dr Enrique Rodrigues-Moura

    An der Universität 2
    Room 02.22

    Tel.: +49 951 863-2139


    Postal address

    Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
    Fakultät Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften
    Institut für Germanistik
    Lehrstuhl für Literatur und Medien
    Obere Karolinenstraße 8
    96049 Bamberg

    Plese Note

    The programme is taught in German. For enrolment and successful studies, you need knowledge of German at least at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for most undergraduate study programmes, and at least level C1 for some undergraduate study programmes. If you have any questions concerning your intended Bachelor study programme, the Student Advisory Service and Subject Advisory Service are available to you.

    Please clarify the entry and residence regulations that apply to your nationality in advance with the authorities in charge (e.g. German embassies or consulates).