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English Languages and Literatures, Doctorate

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #101 (ARWU) Bern, Switzerland
In the English Department at the University of Bern, we consider it our mission to familiarize our students with English Literatures and Linguistics in all their complexity, scope and richness, as well as to provide them with the necessary methodological and theoretical tools to approach these burgeoning fields of study.
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The department also offers an exciting research environment that allows the students to choose and profit from cutting-edge scholarship in a wide variety of subjects. We help students develop their interpretive, linguistic and critical skills in order to understand the rich contexts in which cultural texts, literatures and languages evolve and change.

The department is also embedded in an extensive national and international scholarly network, which ensures the influx of foreign scholars and views that enliven the intellectual environment we offer.

Located in the culturally vibrant capital city, the English Department moreover offers an active student life with many opportunities to pursue activities and exchange ideas outside the curriculum and academic sphere.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date

    Application deadline: October 15 (for spring Semester), March 31 (for fall Semester)

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Duration description

      Graduate schools, doctoral programmes and doctoral studies last 3-5 years.

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Research Domains:
  • Sociolinguistics and Discourse Studies
  • Medieval English Studies
  • Modern English Literature
  • North American Literature and Culture
  • Literary Theory

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

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. It should contain:

  • an abstract
  • an outline describing the theoretical and methodological basis of the proposed thesis
  • bibliography
  • copy of your MA dissertation
  • letter of recommendation from one of your professors

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.

General information on admission at doctoral level:

Tuition Fee

  • International

    368 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    368 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 184 EUR per semester and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

The fee for doctoral students is 200 CHF per semester. Additionally, a registration fee of 100 CHF is charged for the first or re-admission.

Living costs for Bern

  • 1655 - 2130 CHF/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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