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Humanities Research: Literature & contested spaces

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Master Postgraduate Amsterdam

Course description

Qualification Master of Arts
Field of study General programmes
Course summary Literature plays a role in the representation and shaping of contested spaces. In this master, you explore how literary texts have played a role in shaping our experience of such contested spaces.
Course description Novels, poems, and plays shape our perceptions and affect our lived experience of such spaces as the nation, wilderness, or the body. These spaces are contested in our current context, and have been in the past centuries. We encourage you to pursue your fascination with the ways in which literary representations interact with real or imagined spaces, geographies and ecosystems. You focus on literature and three kinds of contested space: the (trans)national, the environment, and the body. We welcome students who are keen to hone their critical thinking and research skills; we offer you the chance to pursue your research interests under the guidance of specialists in the field. Our program is taught by enthusiastic lecturers whose research focuses on the relations between literature and the body, transnational exchange, and ecocriticism. The lecturers in the program are specialists in the field of English or American Literature, from the early modern period to now. We also draw on the expertise of researchers of Dutch literature from the Golden Age to now. Our lecturers, mentors and tutors will provide you with individual guidance in the pursuit of your research interests.
Study subjects In your first year, next to the core courses and modules in the Humanities Research Master, you also choose 4 MA courses offered by the department, or opt for a course from other departments in the faculty. In your second year, you will follow other courses related to your specialization and you will further enhance your in depth knowledge. For a course schedule see the PDF on our website.
Course objectives The Research Master specialization Literature & contested spaces prepares you for a career as a researcher. We will train you in the skills required to pursue a PhD within academia, and guide you in the writing of a research proposal for a PhD project. You may also become a researcher outside the academic setting or embark on a career outside the field of research, for instance as an editor, a teacher or a language policy worker in education for a local or national government.
ECTS credits 120.00
Duration 24 month(s)
Language of instruction English
Instruction modes group discussion, group assignment, individual assignment, literature study, oral presentation, research, research proposal, tutorial, working group, self study
Accreditation -

About the institution

Department faculteit Geesteswetenschappen
Information about the institution Ever since it was founded in 1880, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has been known for its distinctive approach to knowledge. VU is an open organization, strongly linked to people and society.


Admission requirements
  1. In order to be admitted directly we require a full Bachelor's degree and an average grade of minimally a 7.5 out of 10.
  2. A certified list of the academic results obtained to date (qualifications and lists of grades).
  3. The student should have a proficient level of academic English, proof of excellent study results and motivation for doing academic research.
  4. Unless English is your first language, you must be able to prove your knowledge of English is sufficient.
  5. We require a motivation letter including a description of your research interests.
Language requirements
IELTS listening 6.5
IELTS overall band 7
IELTS reading 6.5
IELTS speaking 6.5
IELTS writing 6.5
TOEFL internet based 100
TOEFL paper based 600
Professional experience required -
Duration 24 month(s)
Application deadlines
Start date EU/EEA Students Non-EU/EEA students
1 Sep 2019 1 Jun 2019 1 Apr 2019
1 Sep 2020 1 Jun 2020 1 Apr 2020
Tuition fees
Year EU/EEA Non-EU/EEA Institutional
2019 (FT)€ 2083n.a.n.a.

In short, the following rules apply:

  • The “EU/EEA rate” is the regular fee for students from within the EU/EEA.
  • The “non-EU/EEA rate” is the rate for students from outside the EU/EEA.
  • The “institutional rate” is for all students who have already obtained a bachelor’s or master’s degree and who want to start a second programme leading to a degree at the same level or at a lower level.
  • Note that FT, PT and D stand for "full-time", "part-time" and "dual", respectively.

Make sure you contact your institution to find out what rate applies to you. The rates listed here are estimates.


Orange Knowledge Programmes (OKP), Fulbright grant, Holland Scholarship, Orange Knowledge Scholarship Programme (formerly NFP), Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Brazil, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso China, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Indonesia, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Korea, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Mexico, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Russia, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Thailand, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme - Neso Vietnam, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme China, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme Korea, Orange Tulip Scholarship Programme Taiwan, Oranje Tulip Scholarship - Brazilië, Oranje Tulip Scholarship - Indonesë, VU Fellowship Programme

For more scholarships, visit:

Course website More information about the course


Contact information for the study programme

Irena Bunic

International Student Advisor

Janet van der Meulen

Coordinator of the Research Master

Contact information for the institution


study info

Telephone number +31205985252
Course website More information about the course
Institution website More information about the institution