Master of Arts in East European Languages and Cultures

A ‘Languages and Cultures’ programme focuses on languages in order to gain access to the underlying cultures. Our Master’s programme offers a unique combination of language specialization and an in-depth study of Eastern European society. The curriculum contains elective tracks focusing on professional experience, an in-depth, or a broadening knowledge acquisition.

Master's Programme
1 year 60 credits
Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
About the programme
Programme summary
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Off to a good start
After graduation


The Master’s curriculum brings together specialization in Slavic languages and an in-depth study of Eastern European cultures and society. The integrated study of languages and cultures offers an unmediated access to the historical developments that have led to the unicity of Russia and South-Eastern Europe. It will enable you to understand this unicity but also to occupy a critical position vis-à-vis the region’s specific place in Europe and the world, and any ensuing issues. We also focus on a broadening and an in-depth knowledge acquisition in the fields of literature, linguistics, and history. The Master's dissertation is the final component of the Master’s programme. Our programme’s curricular flexibility allows you to tailor the curriculum to your interests, with a focus on social engagement, advanced academic research, an study-abroad experience and/or a professional experience (via the work placement).

For whom

The admission requirements vary. Depending on your prior education, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.


The curriculum consists of three equal sets of course units: general course units, the Master's dissertation, and elective course units.

The set of general course units contains three types: thematic course units, a research seminar and a project-based course unit. You will have to combine these into a coherent whole. You take at least two thematic course units. These course units offer an in-depth focus on a number of topical Eastern European themes, i.e. language, memory and identity. These themes are then contextualized in the broader humanities. In the research seminar, you choose one of four tracks. Each of those research seminars ties in closely with our research expertise in Slavic and Eastern European studies. Your choice of elective track should tie in as closely as possible with your choice of Master's dissertation topic, and the research you set up in that respect. Finally, you also take a project-based course unit, in which you work on a topical issue from one of the thematic course units in an active and creative manner.

The Master's dissertation set contains the Master’s dissertation an sich, which involves conducting independent research guided by a supervisor and is the final component of the Master’s programme. The set also contains a methodology course unit that helps you prepare for the Master's dissertation and offers you the skills you need for science communication.

The set of electives contains a work placement module (preparation for the labour market), a research module (preparation for a research career) and a set of electives that can be chosen freely (further in-depth or broadening study, depending on your interests, plans for the future or your Master's dissertation). .

In addition to the (domain) Master’s programme described above, you can also choose a Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master). Find out more at (in Dutch).

Labour Market

Our Master’s programme gives access to the same job opportunities as do similar Master’s programmes in languages (Linguistics and Literature, Languages and Cultures).

Our programme focuses on a region that holds a pivotal position in Europe and the world. Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia have become EU member states. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia are candidate member states and thus a priority of EU foreign policy. Still, the relation between the EU and South-Eastern Europe is highly intricate. As the world’s largest country, Russia is an important player on the world stage in terms of politics, economy and culture. In the past decade, Russia has (re)gained importance as a geopolitical player on the European continent and beyond. Graduates with a solid knowledge of these countries/languages/region are a valuable asset to any sector where they can take on an intermediary role.

Our graduates find employment in companies who have business ties with Russia, South-Eastern Europe and Eastern Europe in general. They are recruited to assist on trade missions or to work at a company’s international branch. A Master’s degree in Eastern European languages also gives access to jobs in the cultural sector (theatres, publishers, libraries), the social sector (often after advanced studies), the media sector, or (inter)national organisations and government agencies.
After taking the Master’s Programme in Teaching (in Dutch: Educatieve Master) you can start as a teacher in adult or secondary education. Some of our graduates also find employment as a translator and/or interpreter.
To graduates with a special interest in an in-depth academic study of the humanities (linguistics, literature, (cultural) history, philology) our programme offers attractive options for a research career, as well.