English Studies

Programme - first cycle - 180 credits


Admission requirements

General entry requirements + English B.

For Swedish Upper Secondary Grades merit rating will be calculated according to Områdesbehörighet 6/A6


final grades 66% national university aptitude test 34%

Kadi Levo Student English Studies“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.


The bachelor’s programme in English studies prepares you for work in numerous fields related to cultural production, the language arts, the manipulation of texts and the generation of creative content. The programme provides non-native as well as native English-language speakers with the skills needed to compete effectively in the global world. Our writing focus, a unique focus in Sweden, allows students to take elective courses emphasising both academic and creative writing skills. Your own oral production is also emphasised through courses in drama and rhetoric.


What is English Studies about?

Today, the combined number of second- and foreign-language English speakers in the world triples that of native English speakers (1.2 billion to 375 million, respectively). This development is having various and lasting effects on English as the global language.The UK and the U.S. are no longer the centre of English. English is becoming "decentred." The English Studies bachelor's programme at Malmö University is a home of "decentred" English—a place to study English in a truly international context, a place where being a second- or foreign-language speaker of English is not seen as a liability but as an enriching fact and even a potential advantage. 

What makes English Studies unique?

English Studies is a 3-year bachelor’s programme with one year of optional courses allowing you the opportunity to shape your own education.  You may choose to combine your studies with courses outside the field of English Studies, or focus more on the two main tracks of linguistics and literary studies. The final bachelor thesis will be completed within either English linguistics or literatury studies. Whatever you choose, writing will be an essential part of your studies. In the optional year you can apply to study at one of our partner institutions in Europe, Asia, the Americas or Oceania. Academically, the programme is characterised by the staff’s research interests.  On the literary path, research interests include critical theory, gender theory, cultural studies, and narrative analysis.  On the linguistic path, research interests include corpus linguistics, cognitive linguistics, and discourse analysis.  We are well aware what employers in this age of information and creative/professional production will demand from you: the ability to produce sophisticated texts, along with the critical thinking skills necessary to manipulate and analyse them.

Teaching methods
Through lectures, writing workshops, seminars, and project work you will learn how to approach problems creatively and critically. You will learn to read, discuss, analyse and write within a variety of discourses and genres in an environment recognizing and valuing involvement and diversity.  The focus on production, both written  and oral, will directly address the demands of working life in the global economy.


The gateway to a great career

Kadi Levo Student English StudiesKadi 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, she said.

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. 

Engaged in thought and action

Dorit Schafer, English Studies, Malmö UniversityStudent 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 realized 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 analyzing 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.

Stephen now works as copywriter at IKEA

Stephen Anderson, alumn–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 an 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 organizations, publishing houses, to name a few. Research these companies thoroughly before you even consider drafting a CV.


English Studies is a response to the need for second-language English speakers to compete effectively with native English speakers in the global village. The programme prepares you for work in fields related to cultural production, the language arts, the manipulation of texts, and the generation of creative content. These include writing and publishing, advertising, marketing, design, translation, and media and entertainment. An English Studies BA from Malmö, with its paths in literature or linguistics, and the emphasis on writing, will give you an edge when you enter the workforce. You will also be prepared to undertake postgraduate work in literature, linguistics, or creative writing.


Syllabus for students admitted autumn 2016

Other semesters:

Programme Code:
HGENS revision 11
Date of establishment:
02 March 2007
Date of ratification:
11 March 2016
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
29 August 2016
Replaces Syllabus ratified:
25 October 2013

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + English B.


The Bachelor in English Studies is a program that aims to reflect the diversity of contemporary English scholarship at the same time as it reflects the research interests of its faculty. The program is therefore designed around current understandings of the theory and practice of language and literature in its various social forms.

In linguistics, we emphasize such fields as phonetics, sociolinguistics, semantics, pragmatics, and discourse analysis, and also how the English language has developed into a global language of communication. In literary studies, the focus is the study of language-centered cultural production in general, including a special focus on narrative, relations between text and image, and literary and cultural theory. Particular attention is placed on examining the operations of power in the use of language with a special emphasis on gender, class, and ethnicity/race, but also on how technology and aesthetics are contributing to contemporary understandings of the world. This mix of subjects and perspectives enables the student to develop a sophisticated critical consciousness and an awareness of the ways in which language is structured and used for different purposes in a range of contexts. These contexts include, besides literature, visual communication, art, music, advertising, and span the emerging global-technological cultures of the English speaking world.

The program emphasizes the student’s own written and oral production, and offers the student a choice to include the performing arts and creative writing into the curriculum, thus merging critical and creative thinking. English Studies students gain skills that are applicable to a broad range of career opportunities, including teaching, media (editing, publishing, journalism, advertising, TV, radio, film, etc.), as well as business and administration. Students learn to analyze, evaluate, and create a wide range of texts. These transferable skills are recognized by employers who put a high value on: the construction of clearly expressed arguments; the logical presentation and analysis of ideas; the production of creative solutions; the competent management of large amounts of complex information; and the taking of initiative in conducting independent research.

The program provides a suitable foundation for graduate studies in English, creative writing, teaching, and other fields, both in Europe and worldwide.



For programme with start Autumn 2016:
Autumn 2016 - Semester 1
Spring 2017 - Semester 2
Autumn 2017 - Semester 3
Spring 2018 - Semester 4
  • See comment below
Autumn 2018 - Semester 5
  • See comment below
Spring 2019 - Semester 6
In the final semester of the programme it is compulsory for the students to select either the literary or linguistics option.

During semester 4 and 5 students take elective courses, with the possibility of these being at universities abroad.

Terms 1, 2 and 6 are part of the main field of study.

Learning outcomes

First-cycle courses and study programmes shall develop:
  • the ability of students to make independent and critical assessments
  • the ability of students to identify, formulate and solve problems autonomously, and
  • the preparedness of students to deal with changes in working life.
In addition to knowledge and skills in English, students shall develop the ability to:
  • gather and interpret information at a scholarly level
  • stay abreast of the development of knowledge, and
  • communicate their knowledge to others, including those who lack specialist knowledge in English
Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Bachelor of Arts/Science the student shall
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including knowledge of the disciplinary foundation of the field, understanding of applicable methodologies in the field, specialised study in some aspect of the field as well as awareness of current research issues.
Competence and skills
For a Degree of Bachelor of Arts/Science the student shall
  • demonstrate the ability to search for, gather, evaluate and critically interpret the relevant information for a formulated problem and also discuss phenomena, issues and situations critically
  • demonstrate the ability to identify, formulate and solve problems autonomously and to complete tasks within predetermined time frames
  • demonstrate the ability to present and discuss information, problems and solutions in speech and writing and in dialogue with different audiences, and
  • demonstrate the skills required to work autonomously in the main field of study.
Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Bachelor of Arts/Science the student shall
  • demonstrate the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical issues
  • demonstrate insight into the role of knowledge in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
  • demonstrate the ability to identify the need for further knowledge and ongoing learning.


Bachelor's Degree.
Bachelor of Arts with a major in English Studies.

Other Information

The language of instruction is English.

Progression requirements within the programme:

To continue studies from term 1 to term 2: 15 credits from term 1.

To continue studies from term 2 to term 3: 30 credits from term 1.

To start the final term of the programme:
150 credits (exceptions may be granted for students who have 90 credits from term 1-3.)


Further information

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, admissions@mah.se / +46 40 665 75 00.

If you need study or career guidence related to the programme, please contact Student and Carreer Advisor Viktoria Brännström (viktoria.brannstrom@mah.se).


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The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.