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English Language and Culture
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Is English Language and Culture the right fit for you? Find out by participating in our upcoming events, via the information available below and by watching our videos.

Can the English degree develop my creative side?

In this video, Assistant Professor Nicholas Carr and student David Slot discuss frequently asked questions about the Bachelor's programme English Language and Culture.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • About the programme

    When does the programme start?

    Just like all of the other Faculty of Humanities programmes, this programme will start in September. It is not possible to start at a different time. 

    Is it possible to do this programme in part-time?

    Yes, this study programme is also offered part-time. As a part-time student you attend the same lectures as the full-time students. Part-time students obtain 36 credits per year. The study duration has a maximum of six years, depending on any exemptions for electives.

    What is the difference between the English Language and Culture programme and a Bachelor’s in Literary Studies?

    In the BA English Language and Culture, the primary focus is on the literature, culture and linguistics of the English-speaking world. The BA Literary Studies focuses more on cultural analysis, as opposed to reading literature, and does not focus on the English-speaking world. The English BA involves much more reading of novels, poems and plays than the Literary Studies BA.

    What is the balance between language, linguistics and literature in the programme?

    In the first year, there are four literature courses, four linguistics courses, and one course focused on academic skills. Language and more academic skills are woven into the literature and linguistics courses. From the second year on, students can choose to either continue to balance linguistics and literature in the core programme or to focus primarily on literature.

    In which way is this programme focused on World English and World Literature and what does that entail?

    World English and World Literature are areas that are incorporated throughout our programme. The linguistics courses in the first year introduce you to different aspects of English (word formation, pronunciation, sentence patterns) and how to study these by looking at the historical development and spread of English around the world. The literature programme offers scope for studying a wide range of literatures in English, not just those that originate in the UK or the US. Our orientation to English as a world language, for both staff and students, is a reflection of the diverse and international community that comes together to form our English Department.

    What makes Amsterdam the perfect place to study English Language and Culture?

    Amsterdam is the perfect place to study English Language and Culture for three reasons:

    1. As a well-known international city with a mix of multilingual native inhabitants and numerous international inhabitants, Amsterdam is an ideal place to study English in a globalized setting.
    2. It has a very lively cultural scene, including numerous English-language events and activities, which allows you to explore topics covered in your courses outside of the confines of the university.
    3. The student community in Amsterdam comes from all over the world. Being able to mix and connect with such a wide variety of young people is made possible by their shared knowledge of English. In this sense, the city of Amsterdam is like the English BA in being a stepping-stone to the inter-connected world.
  • Electives and after your Bachelor's

    What are my options after I have completed my programme?

    Upon completion of this programme, you can opt to do a Master's or you can enter the job market right away. The combination of linguistics and literature in the English BA means that, compared to BAs that have only a single focus, our students are able to enter a wider range of MA programmes. In terms of employment, rigorous university qualifications in English are increasingly important in any field that operates in contact with the global marketplace. More specifically, though, our students are particularly well-equipped to enter jobs like teaching, publishing, translation, arts and culture, tourism, government, and the communications sector (marketing, PR). Many of our students use the English BA as a springboard for their own creative endeavours in writing, music, acting, film-making and other art forms. 

    Which options are available during my studies? Can I choose a minor during the Bachelor’s?

    You have a lot of flexibility to tailor the programme to your interests. Beside the required courses, you fill the remainder of the degree with 54 ECTS of electives (that is roughly the equivalent of nine courses). This can include a minor if there is a particular subject that you would like to delve into, but this is not required—you are also welcome to take courses in different subjects that you find interesting.

    Can I study abroad as well?

    Most definitely! A number of our students study abroad through Erasmus, Global Exchange, the Harting scholarship programme, or making arrangements on their own. While most students choose to study in an English-speaking country, it is perhaps good to know that this is not a requirement—the elective space in the degree gives you the opportunity to explore different subjects, languages and/or cultures!

  • Other questions

    I have a question concerning my admission. Who can I contact?

    You can find this programme's admission criteria on the 'Application & admission' page. If you need further assistance, please contact the Central Student Service Desk.

    What are my options when it comes to studying with a disability?

    The UvA finds it important that students are able to develop in an optimal way within a stimulating and comfortable environment. If you have a disability, you may need special facilities and support. The UvA offers various kinds of support and counselling.

    How do I go about finding accommodation and can the UvA assist me in this process?

    Finding housing in Amsterdam is often difficult because of the high demand with regard to student accommodation, but by starting your search on time and putting in some effort, students usually succeed at finding something. Many students find accommodation by word of mouth or social media. First-year Bachelor's students who live more than 40 kilometres away from Amsterdam are given priority, which greatly increases their odds of finding accommodation.

Sample class: language

Prof. D. Bertus van Rooy talks about the spread of English around the world.

Sample class: literature

Dr Ben Moore's lecture about H. Rider Haggard's novel King Solomon's Mines.

Copyright: Maryam Hassouni
Literature is about the human condition, it’s about us, it’s about our struggles, it’s about our existence, our relationships. I’m very interested in those kinds of important, big questions. Maryam Hassouni Read the interview