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Master of Western Literature (Leuven)

KU Leuven
Program overview
1 year
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Start dates
September 2021

September 2022

September 2023

Program description

KU Leuven's Master of Western Literature is an initial Master’s programme aimed at an in-depth, intercultural, and comparative study of literature from different Western traditions and periods. Through a range of contemporary theoretical and methodological perspectives, you will learn to understand literature as a complex cultural phenomenon in constant interaction with society and other media.

What is the Master of Western Literature all about?

As one of the world's oldest universities, located in a multilingual society and at the heart of Europe, KU Leuven is a unique location for a programme that focuses on the dynamic interactions between various literatures, languages, and cultures, as well as on the intercultural and international contexts in which literature travels.

Neither the notion of ‘The West’ nor that of ‘literature’ is self-evident. This program interrogates the histories and affordances of these terms to investigates the multiple ways in which these phenomena interact with key challenges in our globalized world. We explore the relations between literature, nation, language and territory and how this relationship has changed in contexts of decolonization, globalization, and shifting relations between East and West.


This master's programme stands out both nationally and internationally for its advanced degree of specialization, its broad range of study trajectories and its sustained intercultural and multilingual perspective.

Specialists in literatures in different languages and in a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives collaborate to ensure the high level and quality of the courses. You can freely combine courses from almost a dozen national literatures to design a curriculum tailored to your own interests and ambitions. The programme’s combination of an advanced level of specialization and a sustained comparative perspective provides you with a multifaceted understanding of the ways Western literatures interact with social, political and cultural contexts, both historically and in the present.

Admission requirements

Please consult the programme website for recent information on admission requirements.

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Scholarships & funding

Please consult our website for recent information on available scholarships.

Tuition fees

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Career opportunities

As a graduate of the Master of Western Literature programme, you will have acquired a wide range of skills that you will be able to apply in a large number of professional contexts. Your greatest asset will be your ability to reflect on complex cultural phenomena and your insight into and facility with plurilingual and intercultural contexts, and your ability to communicate these insights in an effective, elegant, and sophisticated way. The combination of analytical skills, a capacity for abstract thought, and an appreciation of the complexity of cultural phenomena is much sought after in a range of professions.

Through their advanced insight in intercultural relations, our graduates are well placed to work in an international, multicultural context such as embassies, European institutions, translating services, and international companies. Because of their extensive knowledge of literature and the accompanying skill to critique it, many of our graduates take up important roles in the publishing world, the media, academia, and journalism.

After taking an additional teacher training programme, you would also be able to start teaching literature.

Contact school

Want to know more about this program, Master of Western Literature (Leuven)? Fill out the following form and include any questions you have. This information will be sent directly to the school, and a representative will respond to your enquiry.

About this institute

KU Leuven. Inspiring the Outstanding

KU Leuven is Europe’s most innovative university. Located in Belgium, it is dedicated to research, education, and service to society. KU Leuven is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and has a strong European and...

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Why study at KU Leuven

A Highly Ranked University

According to international rankings, KU Leuven is among the best 100 universities in the world. Moreover, KU Leuven was ranked as most innovative university of Europe by Reuters four years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019). All of KU Leuven’s disciplines proudly belong to the top 100 of their field. Scholars and researchers, teachers and visionaries, thinkers and makers all have their place in KU Leuven’s fertile intellectual habitat.

Most Innovative University in Europe

KU Leuven has been identified as Europe’s most innovative university for four years in a row by Reuters. By developing the most important drug against HIV, a new type of solar panel that converts oxygen into hydrogen and uncovering the secrets of Sagalassos, KU Leuven researchers have a profound impact on our everyday lives in nearly all fields of research. That innovative character is deeply embedded in the way we teach our students, by integrating relevant guest lectures, taking an Interdisciplinary approach and opening the most advanced research and education facilities.

A Comprehensive University

As a comprehensive university, KU Leuven offers a wide range of disciplines organized by 15 faculties. Each of these disciplines is ranked in the top 100 of its field according to the THE World University Rankings by subject. Half of the university’s faculties are even in the top 50 within their fields of study.

Contact info

KU Leuven

Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven

Contact school

Want to know more about Master of Western Literature (Leuven)? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


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