[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Master of Arts


Ma Kontakt


General Overview

Here is the student guide for international graduate students.

Examination regulations (General Section) for the Master of Modern Languages and Literature at the Faculty of Modern Languages (in German)


Master’s Degree Programmes in Contact Studies: French/Spanish/Italian


The three Master’s degree programmes share the following features:

(for further details, click on the desired sub-heading)

• Specialization in Contact Studies

The three Master’s degree programmes for French, Spanish and Italian reflect a heterogeneous, decentralized as well as diversified representation of the Romance-speaking world. They follow the Heidelberg tradition in their approach towards studying Romance philologies by refraining from a purely juxtaposed perspective, and rather, by adopting a perspective that recognizes the ways in which Romance languages are interwoven and interconnected with non-Romance languages, cultures and literature. Therefore, ‘contact phenomena’ and transcultural processes represent the overarching theme in these Master’s degree programmes that focus on literary, linguistic and cultural spaces.

• Interdisciplinary Studies

All three Master’s programmes offer an interdisciplinary component that can be pursued through various partner co-operations: The Spanish and French Master’s degree programmes simultaneously cooperate with Heidelberg University’s Master of Arts in Transcultural Studies, and through this partnership, essential theoretical concepts of transculturality are taught, which provide students with an alternative understanding when studying linguistic and literary approaches towards contact phenomena. The Master's degree programme in Italian focusses on European transculturality, which bases itself on the viewpoint that Italy embodies the cultural epicenter of Europe, and thus, the programme also strives to collaborate with other disciplines under the title, ‘Interdisciplinary Areas of Minor Studies’ (Interdisziplinären Ergänzungsbereich). Students have access to these courses through the Heidelberg Centre for European History and Cultural Studies (ZEGK) in the Faculty of Philosophy, and the subject areas are as follows: European Art History, History and Musicology.

• Second Romance Language

All three graduate degree programmes adopt a design that incorporates the acquisition of a second Romance language as well as becoming informed about its respective culture, literature and language. It is important to note that the Master’s degree programme in Spanish requires students to take part in Lusophone studies since they are considered to be an integral part of the Master’s overall design. In addition, Heidelberg University’s Department of Romance Studies intentionally provides students with a wide variety of courses in the so-called “small” or “minor” languages. Nevertheless, these languages equip students with a special linguistic competence; one that sets them apart from their eventual competitors in the job market. The selection is not only limited to Spanish, French, Italian or Portuguese, but it also extends to Galician, Catalan and Romanian. If a student demonstrates a particular interest in a theme or region, such as North African culture and literature, the French and Italian Master’s degree programmes allow the possibility to choose another relevant language to Contact Studies and to the student’s discipline. For example, a possible scenario would be to study Arabic instead of a second Romance language.

• Access to Research

This graduate programme is research-oriented and it looks at systems that encompass transcultural interconnectedness, which act as a starting point for the research’s theory-based approach. These systems are recognized as changing and dynamic, from which scientific discussions draw on their continual contemporaneity and relevance. A well-established understanding of the significant modern theories should be the foundation for subsequent specialized or reflective research work. The focus is placed on theories pertaining to identity, subject constitution, otherness, transculturality, nation-building as well as other fundamental concepts that equip students to adequately describe intricate language contact phenomena. The objective is to elucidate problems on terminologies, typologies and concepts, and to integrate aesthetic, linguistic, social and cultural perspectives to stimulate a comprehensive dialogue that spans across countries, disciplines and paradigms.

• Vocational Opportunities and Guidance

All three Master’s programmes aspire to create a highly qualified generation of young academics. They offer authentic and first-hand experiences through specific course formats (i.e. the forum). The forum is a mandatory course that enables students to create their own academic conference based on a theme that requires different steps concerning its overall organization, the conference’s conceptualization and its final implementation. Furthermore, in addition to their research orientations, the three Master’s degree programmes lead to stimulating, non-academic career perspectives by acquiring or further deepening another foreign language. An educational outline that promotes an interdisciplinary outlook on literary, linguistic and cultural issues, as well as the opportunity to participate in an internship over the duration of a few months within a cultural or scientific field, prepares students for the demanding work prospects outside of the academic realm.

Formal Technicalities:
• Start of Master Studies: Winter semester (recommended), summer semester
• Type of Studies: Full-time or part-time
• Duration of study programme: 4 semesters (as a full-time student)
• Number of Credits to be Completed: 120 (84 ECTS for coursework and exams, 6 ECTS for the final oral examination and 30 ECTS points for the Master’s thesis). A minor subject comprises of 20 ECTS.

Important Note: The three streams of study offer the option to select a major subject without a minor subject, or a minor subject can be studied in conjunction with a major subject. However, since the three Master’s degree programmes in Contact Studies already require the full number of credit points (120 ECTS), no minor subject can be added.

Application and enrolment:
  • General information regarding application and enrolment modalities for M.A. programmes with restricted access at Heidelberg University
  • Step-by-step instructions for applying to one of the three M.A. programmes offered by the Department of Romance Studies
  • Specific entry requirements: see individual degree programmes below 

Online Application for prospective German Students
 Deadlines: September 15 (for the winter term), March 15 (for the summer term)
Note: Enrolment is possible according to the current admission and enrolment regulations for the Master's degree programme. This is contingent upon the admission requirements and the general enrolment requirements being met.

► Online Application for prospective International Students
Deadlines: June 15 (for the winter term), November 15 (for the summer term)
Detailed description

Important note for Cultural StudiesAs of now, main seminars in Cultural Studies can be credited towards linguistic or literature main seminars, provided that suitable courses in cultural studies are offered during the respective semester. Students are not entitled to this offer, but they may receive permission to do so upon request.



Études transculturelles. Littératures et contacts linguistiques dans l’espace francophone
Transkulturelle Studien.
Literaturen und Sprachkontakte im frankophonen Raum

Transcultural Studies. Literature and Language Contact in the Francophone Area

(including an optional Double Degree with the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3: HeiMont-Transculturality. Transcultural Studies in the Francophone Area)

[Click here to show or hide further information]

Student's Guide for Heidelberg



This graduate programme’s curriculum focusses on analyzing literary, linguistic and cultural phenomena that occur through contact across territorial, ethnic, political and religious borders within the linguistic and the cultural Francophone area..

The specific interactions between linguistic and cultural francophone spaces, in addition to literary traditions in these spaces, are the cornerstone of this course of studies. The programme also considers Francophone regions from Africa to Quebec through a comprehensive perspective. Therefore, specific fields pertaining to Francophone literary studies, linguistics and cultural studies will be covered, as well as transcultural studies, while they connect to transcultural contact phenomena in the Francophone realm.

During the student’s studies, language, literary and cultural skills and knowledge will be deepened. The student’s skills and knowledge can also be further expanded based on the student’s interests during the third semester, as this semester allows for an academic exchange at a partner university. In addition, the student has the possibility to do an internship during their third semester, which would correspond with or compliment the student’s academic trajectory or main theme of study. The degree programme builds on the student’s B.A. in a Philological or a Cultural Studies programme. Previously acquired language competencies in French will be strengthened through the Master’s course of studies and language competencies in another Romance language will be acquired.


Important information regarding student admission and enrolment is outlined in the university leaflet (Merkblatt).

All regulations for the Master’s degree programme are included in § 3-9 and 11 of the Prüfungsordnung.

HOW TO APPLY: Step by Step Guidelines  | Declaration of Eligibility for the Examination



Legal and academic planning frameworks can be found in the document entitled Prüfungsordnung.

Detailed information on the study programme’s structure can be found in the Module Handbook: Modulhandbuch (single degree, Heidelberg)  |  Modulhandbuch (double degree; Heidelberg/Montpellier)


Course-Specific Counselling and Inquiries: Prof. Dr. Sybille Große


Since the winter semester of 2018/19, the Master's degree programme Transcultural Studies has been able to offer the option to study an international Double Degree thanks to the cooperation with Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3. In the case where a student chooses to do this type of Master’s degree, the first year of study is usually completed at the home university and the second year at the partner university. The Master's thesis is then supervised and evaluated by an authorized examiner from Heidelberg and Montpellier.
Information for students with Heidelberg University as their home university:
Study and examination regulations (incl. special section) for degree types with and without the Double Degree variant
Module Handbook for students starting the Double Degree programme in Heidelberg
Links to the Master's programs, which showcase where the courses to be taken in Montpellier are drawn from (in French):                       
Information for students with Montpellier as their home university (in French):
For further information, please feel free to contact the course-specific academic advisor.


Estudios iberoamericanos. Teoría y metodología del contacto
Iberoamerikanische Studien. Kontakt – Theorien und Methoden
Ibero-American Studies. Contact – Theories and Methods

[Click here to show or hide further information]

Aviso importante: Para el Master no se requieren conocimientos previos del portugués. Sin embargo es obligatorio para todos los solicitantes que no tienen mínimo un nivel A2 en portugués la participación en el curso preparatorio intensivo de portugués que empieza en septiembre (antes del inicio del semestre!). (mayor información).



This course of study’s orientation is based on a comprehensive concept that integrates Iberian and Latin American cultural spaces with Spain, Portugal, Hispanic America and Brazil. The subject matter of this respective programme therefore focusses on the interconnections between Ibero-American linguistic and cultural areas and its literary traditions.

Contact phenomena that emerge across territorial, ethnic, political and religious borders within a linguistic and cultural framework will be investigated. In doing so, attention will be placed on Ibero-American sub-fields such as literature, culture and linguistics as well as transcultural studies, which relate to transcultural contact phenomena that exist in Latin America, in the Iberian Peninsula and in between Europe and Latin America.

The programme builds on the student’s previously acquired B.A. in a Philological or a Cultural Studies programme while emphasizing literary, linguistic and cultural studies phenomena. Previous knowledge of Portuguese is not a requirement to start the programme.



(Deadlines: see above)

Important information regarding student admission and enrolment is outlined in the university leaflet (Merkblatt).

All regulations concerning this course of studies are included in the legal admissions policy document (Studien- und Prüfungsordnung, § 3-9 and 11).

Important note: For this course of studies, no prior knowledge of Portuguese is required, however applicants that cannot prove at least A2 level language skills in Portuguese must participate in an intensive, preparatory Portuguese language course at Heidelberg University, which takes place in September before the start of the semester.

HOW TO APPLY. Step by Step Guidelines | Official Exam Declaration



Legal and academic planning frameworks can be found in the document entitled Studien- und Prüfungsordnung.

Detailed information on the study programme’s structure can be found in the Module Handbook (das Modulhandbuch).


Course-Specific Counselling and Inquiries: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Sarah Burnautzki / Ricardo Coseano




L'Italia a contatto – lingue, letterature, arti
Italien im Kontakt – Literatur, Künste, Sprachen, Kulturen
Italy in Contact - Literatures, Arts, Languages, Cultures

[Click here to show or hide further information]



This course of study’s subject matter emphasizes Italian literature, culture and linguistics, which connect to transcultural contact phenomena in Italo-Romania. Simultaneously, a focus is placed on linguistic, literary and cultural contact phenomena in for example territorial, ethnic, political or religious contexts.

A separate focus on related, interdisciplinary disciplines is also integrated into the Master programme’s framework, as these topics carry important relevance for language and cultural studies in the Italian sphere. Therefore, this course of study’s curriculum aligns itself with a compulsory elective. The student is given a variety of choices: European Art History, Musicology or Transcultural Studies. In this manner, the interrelations between Italian language and cultural dynamics and related fields of study will be brought to light through an interdisciplinary perspective.

This Master’s programme requires students to have a previously acquired B.A. in either Philology or in Cultural Studies.


(Deadlines: see above)

Important information regarding student admission and enrolment is outlined in the university leaflet (Merkblatt).

All regulations concerning this course of studies are included in § 3-9 and 11 of the Prüfungsordnung.

HOW TO APPLY: Step by Step Guidelines | Declaration of Eligibility for the Examination


Legal and academic planning frameworks can be found in the document entitled Prüfungsordnung.

Detailed information on the study programme’s structure can be found in the Module Handbook (Modulhandbuch).


Course-Specific Counselling and Inquiries: Dr. Till Stellino
Responsible: Email
Latest Revision: 2024-07-11
zum Seitenanfang/up