“English Studies was perfect because it had everything that I was looking for: creative writing and academic writing.” – Former student Kadi Levo. She now works for the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
English Studies reflects our faculty’s research and the breadth of current scholarship. As is standard in Swedish higher education, the Bachelor programme comprises linguistic and literary components, with faculty specialising in either discipline. This combination fosters a sophisticated consciousness of how language is structured and used in a range of social contexts.
Language is our main form of communication: mostly we use it effortlessly, unaware of its intricacy and uniqueness; but linguistics aims to understand how it works, through grammar, phonetics, and semantics, and using tools such as corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis. You will learn to make detailed analyses of language data and examine socially relevant aspects of language use, to explain how it communicates ideas, exerts power, and builds solidarity.
Literature is written to entertain; but can it also shape society? Literary studies aims to familiarise you with poetry, drama and prose from the Renaissance to today, enhancing your understanding of how texts are constructed, how we respond to them, and how they relate to historical contexts and other arts. By using a range of critical frameworks, you will learn to relate textual details to issues such as identity, beauty, and politics.
Our teaching focuses on student participation and production. In lectures, writing labs, seminars, and supervisions you will learn to approach problems creatively and critically. You will read, discuss, analyse and write in a variety of discourses and genres. Academic Writing classes will instruct you in formal writing, and you may choose to develop your own work in elective Creative Writing courses. Other courses incorporate learning by doing, gaining insight into forms and techniques by trying them for yourself.
English at Malmö is set in an international context, drawing a culturally diverse student body to Sweden’s most cosmopolitan city. English is the lingua franca both in and out of the classroom, as well as for navigating and socializing in Malmö.
Malmö University envisions a world where diversity, knowledge and creativity are put to use for a sustainable society. English Studies aids this by training students to be critically engaged citizens. As language is the medium of social organisation, we see the analytic skills honed in English Studies as essential to a democratic polity.
Our students gain skills applicable to a range of careers, including media (journalism, publishing, TV, radio, film), teaching, business and administration. You will learn to analyse, evaluate, and create texts – transferable skills recognised by employers who value clear arguments, logical analysis, careful management of complex information, creative solutions and initiative in conducting research. The BA provides a strong foundation for graduate study in linguistics or literature, creative writing, teaching, and other fields.
Kadi Levo left Washington, D.C. having worked for two years as an au pair, completed an English Studies bachelor’s degree at Malmö University and then returned to a great career which can involve mingling with rock stars and her favourite artists.
Originally from Estonia, she had moved to America after high school but wanted to further her studies so she could write English “as well as a native”. She checked out English-language degrees in Scandinavia, but soon settled on Malmö.
Great choice of programmes
"English Studies was perfect because it sounded like it had everything that I was looking to study: creative writing, academic writing."
Having made that move, Kadi was happily surprised when she ventured into the unknown territory of being an international student.
"I had absolutely no idea what it was going to be like. I loved the fact that Washington, D.C. was so multicultural and when I got to Malmö it was such a pleasant surprise, it is so international. I started to tell people it was like a mini-D.C.!
"I had finished my high school three years before so coming back to university I was a bit intimidated and a bit scared. The first year felt relaxed; the professors were so helpful and the classes and workload were manageable. There were people who had come straight from high school and maybe their English was not quite as good, but there was a lot of help."
Study and travel
While she loved Malmö, her course also enabled her to study abroad.
"I did a whole year abroad as an exchange student – which was another great part of the programme. I went to Australia for one semester and England for another – it was awesome!"
After returning from her exchange studies, she started to consider life after graduation and moving back to America.
"I started to apply for internships in Washington, D.C.. Out of the many Smithsonian Museums in Washington, D.C., I applied to the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
"I had a call from a person saying she had my CV and loved the fact that I was from Estonia but had studied and lived in Sweden. She loved the fact that I had gone to a school in another country and done exchange studies.
"We have videos and photos from fieldwork and our museum has archives. These archives include music from around the world, from different countries and tribes."
It is the Folkways Recordings and Folkways Archives which are a huge draw, attracting the likes of Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters and, Kadi’s favourite, R&B artist Aloe Blacc.
Kadi’s current project is working on an annual folk festival in Washington, this year the focus is on Peru.
Student Dorit Scharf is from Germany. After high school she was a trainee at an Internet radio station and then went abroad to combine her interest in journalism with language studies. Now she is studying second-year English Studies.
"I really like the programme, says Dorit. A bit unexpectedly, I find the theoretical parts especially interesting. I have realised how language and literature reflect and influence society.
In-depth and practical
The programme has a major emphasis on your own motivation and initiative.
"Of course, you should have an interest in going in-depth and analysing the form of language as well as its content and underlying thoughts. You also should have the self-discipline to study on your own."
Dorit describes her class as an exciting mixture of Swedes and students from other countries, including native speakers of English.
Publishing or journalism
Elective terms offer the option of taking courses of your own choice or of studying abroad through exchange programmes. Dorit has been accepted for courses in England. After finishing her degree, she sees opportunities all around the globe. However, she has not yet decided on her future job.
"Maybe journalism or publishing, since I want to work with current affairs. Content and engagement are important to me. I am also thinking about further studies at a postgraduate level."
"I thought the quality of the education and educators was of a very high standard, and I was often inspired by the passion and enthusiasm of the teachers. Being an international faculty, it gave me the opportunity to network with a diverse range of people from all around the world and be exposed to viewpoints very different from my own."
Stephen’s job connects him with many creative and passionate people, and the daily work is often unpredictable and surprising.
"As the Copywriter in a project team, my responsibility is - together with an Art Director - to come up with the idea that best communicates a message and decide whether that aim is best served with text, imagery or both. These projects may be aimed at the web, for print or television."
Stephen definitely thinks that his education at Malmö University has prepared him for what he does today.
"The fundamental principles of how to write an effective and logically sound text have been invaluable. My education has also armed me with a degree of confidence that comes from knowing the rules, a willingness to break them and knowing I’m part of an ever-evolving and developing language."
What advice do you have for current students who are interested in a career in communications?
"Stay informed with what is happening in the world of communication - it is constantly evolving. Identify the kind of communication role you feel you would enjoy and/or be good at. You can seek out specialised educations to refine your skills or, like me, find a job that has the potential to increase your skill level and help you develop in your chosen career. If you choose the latter, start looking at what kinds of companies employ communicators. Advertising agencies, PR firms, global retailers, news organisations, publishing houses, to name a few. Research these companies thoroughly before you even consider drafting a CV."
Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2017
Enquiries about the English Studies programme should be directed to K3student@mah.se.
If you have questions about admissions, requirements or documentation, please contact the Admissions Office at Malmö University, email@example.com / +46 40 665 75 00.
If you need study or career guidence related to the programme, please contact Student and Carreer Advisor Viktoria Brännström (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.