British Studies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Deadline: Apr 30, 2024
80 place StudyQA ranking:2180 Duration:2 years You need IELTS certificate

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The Centre for British Studies offers an MA British Studies. We offer a unique learning experience due to a cohort of international students with different first degrees, the interdisciplinary study programme which combines theory and practice, and the personalised tutorials aimed to foster early-stage independent research.

The programme consists of teaching units (lectures, seminars, theme-oriented project work, etc.) covering the following topics:
  • the history of the United Kingdom
  • the UK's legal systems and their development
  • the history of literature and culture in the UK
  • the history of ideas and mentalities in the UK
  • the UK's economic and social history since the Industrial Revolution
  • the UK's present social stratification
  • the development of Britain's political system
  • cultural studies - theories and methods

The Centre involves professionals active in British and German companies and financial institutions, television, law firms and the arts in its Master's programme, so that students are not only taught by university teachers, but are also in constant contact with people who run businesses, theatres, museums and other public service institutions.
The Master's Phase is completed by a three-month work placement and a six-month thesis.

Educational organisation

The postgraduate degree course in British Studies is an interdisciplinary teaching programme. The course lasts two years and consists of a one-year Certificate Phase followed by a Master's Phase which also lasts a year. Having successfully completed the Certificate Phase, students receive a "British Studies" certificate. After successful completion of the entire course, students are awarded the degree "Master in British Studies".
The Certificate Phase comprises about 30 weeks of teaching, divided into two phases of about equal length. The first phase consists of a series of lectures and seminars which are compulsory for all students. In the second phase students can choose three out of six options (see course outline below). Students have to attend an average of at least 20 hours of classes per week. These may include suitable classes taught in other departments.
During the Master's Phase, students take part in advanced seminars including "transdisciplinary optional modules", which can be chosen from any other Master's programme. Furthermore, they spend three months with a firm or institution in Britain. The final part of the Master's Phase is dedicated to writing a six-month Master's thesis.
The course is taught in English.

Modules of the course
The Master's course British Studies contains the following modules equalling 120 ECTS credit points:

a) Compulsory Modules
  • Introductory Module (5 ECTS)
  • History (5 ECTS)
  • Law, Economics, Politics (10 ECTS)
  • Interdisciplinary Project I (10 ECTS)
  • Career Skills (6 ECTS)
  • Advanced Academic Writing and Debating (5 ECTS)
  • Placement (15 ECTS)
  • Master's Thesis (30 ECTS)

b) Compulsory Elective Modules
Three out of the following six modules have to be chosen:
  • Interdisciplinary Project II (8 ECTS)
  • Economics and Management (8 ECTS)
  • Politics and Society (8 ECTS)
  • Law in Context (8 ECTS)
  • Media, History,and Culture (8 ECTS)
  • Culture and Literature (8 ECTS)

c) Compulsory Elective Modules at Other Departments
External optional modules may be chosen from any other Master's programme that offers such modules.

Modules for students of other HU programmes
Students from other HU Master's programmes can attend the following modules:
  • Advanced Seminars - Theory and Research (5 ECTS)
  • Advanced Project Workshop (5 ECTS)

Study abroad unit(s)

During the Master's phase, students spend about three months with a firm or institution in Britain.


The course includes a three-month work placement in a company or a public institution in Great Britain. The Centre offers students substantial help and support in finding suitable positions.
We are grateful to the numerous and prestigious British organisations who support us by providing internships for our students, including, among many others: several MPs and MSPs, the National Trust, Pearson Plc, the German-British Chamber of Commerce, city councils, organisers of prestigious cultural festivals, National Museums of Scotland, and many more.

Forms of assessment

Various types of individual and collective assessment are used during the course, such as written or oral exams, short presentations or talks, essays, research papers, reports and portfolios.
At the end of the course, students are required to write an academic Master's thesis.

Course objectives

The aims and objectives of the course are:
  • to enable students to add competence in British Studies to qualifications acquired during their first degree course
  • to prepare students for positions in firms and institutions which deal with the United Kingdom or other English-speaking nations
  • to provide students with an understanding of the characteristic features and the transformations of British identities and institutions in a European perspective
  • to teach students interdisciplinary methods and approaches, enabling them to think and work contextually
  • to provide students with the competence to acquire and integrate knowledge independently and to make research-based decisions
  • to provide students with competence in cross-cultural understanding, communication, and mobility.

Language requirements

Applicants must have a very good command of English. The application must contain proof of your proficiency in the form of a TOEFL certificate (minimum score of 600 for the paper-based test, or 250 for the computer-based test, 100 for the internet-based test), a Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (any grade), a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (grade A or B), or an IELTS test (level 7.0).
Furthermore, a working knowledge of German is highly recommended.

Academic requirements

Applicants must hold a university degree at the time of formal enrolment (September of the enrolment year). This first degree can be in any subject. With around 130 applications for 30 places, admission is highly competitive. The diversity in standards of university teaching and grading throughout the world makes it impossible to impose any formal requirements on the minimum grade to be obtained. As a rule of thumb, though, successful applicants with a Bachelor's (e.g. BA, LLB, BSc) or similar degree tend to have graduated within the top 10-15%, successful applicants with a Master's (e.g. MA, LLM, MSc) or similar degree within the top 15-20% of their class. We will, however, consider the individual circumstances of each case.

Enrolment fees

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin enrolment fee: approx. 240 EUR per semester (including public transport)

Costs of living

Approx. 750 EUR per month

Job opportunities

There are numerous job opportunities (more difficult for non-German speakers), especially during holidays. However, the MA British Studies is a full-time and intensive 18-month course, so there might be no time for a regular part-time job.

Arrival support

The Centre provides an information pack before the students' arrival in Berlin. This includes information concerning visa application, registration in Germany, matriculation, (student) accommodation and other useful tips for living in Berlin. The friendly and helpful staff at the Centre support new students in getting acquainted with Berlin as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Services and support for international students

The Centre runs a tutorial system. The tutors are the academic staff of the Centre. Each tutor is responsible for five to six students ("tutees"). Thus, the students have an opportunity to discuss their academic achievements or individual problems more privately and personally.
All course lecturers are also available for academic consultation.
Furthermore, the administrative staff of the Centre practise an open-door policy which allows students to find a helping hand at any time.


Most of our students find accommodation in student residence halls run by the "Studentenwerk" (Association for Student Affairs). Furthermore, students will be provided with information about other forms of accommodation in Berlin, e.g. via useful and trusted internet links.
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