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Study programme

In the Bachelor's English Language and Culture, you study the rich and vibrant cultural, literary and linguistic heritage of the English-speaking world. You are introduced to fields of study such as World Englishes and World Literature in English.

Programme structure

In this programme you develop a broad foundation in the field of English studies through language, literature and linguistics. You cover the traditional canon of English literature and examine the newest forms of contemporary English literature from around the globe. You also explore the history and structure of the English language, and its variation around the world. The programme offers you the opportunity to specialise in either ‘World Literatures in English’ or ‘English Linguistics and Literature’ during your second and third years. Alongside the core programme, you can select a minor in one of your fields of interest. You can also decide to study abroad for a semester or do an internship.

  • The first year

    The first year of the programme provides you with a broad, general overview of the entire field of English studies.

    • The literature courses serve as an introduction to the history, literature and cultural theories of the English language.
    • The linguistics courses introduce you to World Englishes; the origins, development and spread of English, and ways of analysing language in use.  
    • In the Academic Writing courses, you will learn and refine various skills necessary for academic writing as well as develop your academic skill set. You will work on improving your argumentation, presentation and research skills using a variety of multimedia tools.
  • The second and third years

    During the second and third years, the programme offers students the opportunity to specialise in one of two tracks: you can choose to specialise in either ‘World Literatures in English’ or ‘English Linguistics and Literature’ through a choice of new and innovative courses, such as ‘Contemporary World Literature’ and ‘Language in Society’.

    • In the linguistics courses, you examine the complex relationship between language and society, both in the present-day as well as over time. The courses in literature explore contemporary literary and cultural theory.
    • In addition to the core courses, you will be able to tailor the programme to your specific interests by choosing from a range of elective courses. 
    • In the third year, you will have the opportunity to spend a semester or year studying abroad, and/or completing an internship.
  • Learning and assessment

    English Language and Culture is a three-year Bachelor’s degree that consists of 180 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) credits. Each academic year accounts for 60 ECTS spread across two semesters, with each semester comprising two 8-week blocks and one 4-week block of classes.

    As a Bachelor’s student, you are expected to spend an average of 42 hours a week on your studies.

    • In your first year, 12 to 15 of those hours will be spent attending lectures, while in your second and third years you will have approximately 8 to 10 hours of class. 
    • The remaining time will be spent on self-study, preparing for lectures and seminars, completing coursework and assignments, as well as exams.
    • You will attend both lectures and small group seminars.
    • Lectures generally introduce the main topics of the course, discussing and explaining course readings and literature.
    • In the seminars, you will work closely with your fellow students, collaborating on assignments, presentations and talks.
    • You will be tested by means of written and oral exams, presentations, essays, reports and assignments.
    • Your final grade for a course is determined by the results you receive for each of these.
  • Honours programme

    Highly-motivated students may qualify to take part in a selective honours programme. This programme accounts for an additional 30 ECTS and will help familiarise you with various other aspects of academic research and prepare you for a subsequent Research Master's degree.

  • Studying part-time

    It is possible to enrol in this programme as a part-time student.

    • Part-time students follow the same programme as full-time students. However, the course load of the programme will be 40 credits per year instead of the full-time course load of 60 credits per year.
    • The duration of the programme is four and a half years.
    • Part-time students need to be flexible with regards to the timetable as the courses will be taught during the daytime – there are no separate nighttime courses. Additionally, the timetable changes approximately every eight weeks. 
    • Students who are interested in studying part-time need to contact the study adviser to discuss the options and consequences. 

Detailed course information

Visit the UvA Course Catalogue for a detailed overview of the English Language and Culture courses.