Welcome to the Department of English! Below you will find information that will help you plan your studies in the department. If you need more help, contact your study counsellor.
For incoming students we have prepared the HELP booklet which will explain everything you need to know about studying with us. Find the booklet both for BA and MA students below:
- For BA students: HELP Booklet 2018_19 for BA STUDENTS.pdf (PDF, 1.2 MB)
- For MA students: HELP Booklet 2018_19 for MA STUDENTS.pdf (PDF, 1.2 MB)
For crucial information on departmental writing standards, style sheets, and plagiarism, see the Writing Academic Papers page.
At the Department of English, we place value on respectful communication. The Conduct and Correspondence Guidelines.pdf (PDF, 139KB) explain your instructors' expectations in terms of communication, with an emphasis on email etiquette.
Sign up for the BA and MA Mailing Lists to get the latest information about KSL registration, guest lectures and other news from the department:
If you are a international students interested in studying at our department, please see here for more information.
You can also find some practical information with the International Office here.
For prospective MA students:
For specific information regarding the degree required, please see the official admissions handbook.
Please also be aware that there you will need to prove your English skills before you can be admitted to our department. If you are applying with an international degree, you must provide evidence of having achieved the minimum grade in one of the following language tests (the choice is yours) provided this is not more than six months old at the time of application. Any test with a date older than this will not be accepted.
|Language test||Minimum grade|
An exemption from the English test is possible if you have completed your studies in the subject English within a language community, in which English is the main spoken language.
For more information see here.
Prospective doctoral students
If you are planning to apply to study for a PhD in our department, the first step is to send in a proposal of your project. This should be sent to the professor whose fields of interest most closely overlap with your own. You can check the research expertise of the department’s professors here. If your research topic is very different form any of their research interests, it is recommended that you look elsewhere for PhD supervision – it is highly unlikely that anyone here would be in a position to supervise you.
Your proposal should contain:
- an abstract (500 words)
- an outline describing the theoretical and methodological basis of the proposed thesis (a minimum of 2500 words)
- bibliography (a minimum of 25)
- a copy of your MA dissertation
- a letter of recommendation from one of your professors
- applicants from outside Switzerland who do not come from a country in which English is a primary language need to submit one of the following English Language Test Certificates - IELTS 7.0 or Internet TOEFL 100.
Once the professor has examined your proposal, she or he will be in a position to inform you whether it is appropriate to formally apply for admission to the university. You will have to wait until a formal application is processed before we can give you a firm decision as to whether you will be admitted to study for the PhD in our department.
Information about formal admission to the University of Bern can be found here:
General information about doctoral degrees at the University of Bern can be found here:
Once a new PhD student has been admitted, an agreement called a Promotionsvereinbarung should be completed by the student and their supervisor and has to be submitted to the Dean's Office within 3 months.
Current doctoral students
All doctoral studies at the Faculty of Humanities are regulated by the Promotionsreglement der Philosophisch-historischen Fakultät der Universität Bern.
Please check for amendments on the website for doctorates at the Faculty of Humanities.
Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) and Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH)
The Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) is an inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching institution at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Bern. It provides the infrastructure for the systematic promotion of and initiation of networking among young scholars. Furthermore, it supports cooperation between faculties and universities.
The Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH) is the interdisciplinary graduate school of the faculty at the Walter Benjamin Kolleg. The GSH joins together a total of 70 doctoral students from all disciplines of the Faculty of Humanities. Twice a year the GSH admits graduate students from disciplines in the humanities, cultural studies, and social sciences to one of its three inter- and transdisciplinarily oriented doctoral programmes. Once part of one of the programmes, a member can get his or her desired degree in six to eight terms (20 ECTS).
Students in the department are eligible for a variety of funding opportunities. Please visit the faculty page on funding.
BA and MA in English
The BA programmes convey historical and systematic knowledge of the varieties of the English language as well as English speaking literatures and cultures. They introduce theories, concepts and methods of English language and linguistics and literature, advance oral and written competences in English academic discourse and instruct students in their own independent academic work.
The MA programmes convey profound historical and systematic knowledge of the varieties of the English language as well as English speaking literatures and cultures. They promote expertise in theories, concepts and methodologies in the field of English language and linguistics and literatures, advance oral and written competences in English academic discourse, and instruct students in developing their own research questions and independent academic work.