For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.
In the Bachelor's programme in English Language and Culture, you study the rich and vibrant cultural, literary and linguistic heritage of the English-speaking world. As you work your way through the traditional canon and world literature in English from around the globe, you will study the origins and development of the language, diverse varieties of English like Australian, South African, Indian and Singaporean, as well as how they are perceived and represented in the literary and media worlds.

Programme structure

In this programme, you develop a broad foundation in the field of English studies through language, literature and linguistics. You will explore the history and structure of the English language, and its variations 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 a full year, or to 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 major genres and theoretical approaches to English literature, and to the history of writing in English up to 1800. The linguistics courses introduce you to World Englishes; the origins, development and spread of English, and ways of analysing language in use.
    • As part of your core literature and linguistics courses you will take classes on Academic Skills, where you will learn and refine the tools and approaches needed for academic research and writing. 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 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 texts from the nineteenth century up to the present day, including postcolonial literatures in English. 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.
Bachelor's Week Information session (recording)

See this recording of our March 2023 live session, in which teachers and current students illustrate the English Language and Culture programme in detail.

Curriculum

Please note: This is the study schedule of the shared programme of the Bachelor's English Language and Culture. View the UvA Course Catalogue for the programmes of the specialisations.

COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • English Linguistics 1: Stories of English
    Period 1
    6
  • English Literature 1: Genres, Texts and Contexts
    Period 1
    6
  • English Linguistics 2: English and Englishes
    Period 2
    6
  • Literary Theory
    Period 2
    6
  • Texts in Focus 1
    Period 3
    6
  • English Literature 2: Early Modern Literature
    Period 4
    6
  • Rhetoric and Writing
    Period 4
    6
  • English Linguistics 3: Language in Use
    Period 5
    6
  • English Literature 3: The Eighteenth Century
    Period 5
    6
  • English Linguistics 4: Research in English Linguistics
    Period 6
    6
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • English Literature 4: The Nineteenth Century
    Period 1
    6
  • English Literature 5: Modern and Contemporary Literature
    Period 5
    6
  • Texts in Focus 2
    Period 6
    6
  • Restricted-choice electives: core courses
    Period 2
    Period 3
    12

    You may choose between 'English Linguistics 5: Language in Society' and 'Literature and the Postcolonial World'.

  • Restricted-choice electives: core courses
    Period 4
    6

    You may choose between 'Contemporary World Literature' and 'English Linguistics 6: The Changing English Language'.

  • Restricted-choice electives: programme-related courses
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    Period 4
    Period 5
    12

    In addition to the restricted-choice core courses (18 EC, see above), within the curriculum, students must follow a minimum of 12 EC in programme-related elective courses. For the 12 EC programme-related electives you can choose from the list in the course catalogue.

  • Free-choice electives
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    Period 4
    Period 5
    12
COURSES SEM 1 SEM 2 SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 EC
  • Philosophy of the Humanities (LCA and English)
    Period 1
    6
  • Debates in English Studies
    Period 2
    6
  • English Research Seminar
    Period 4
    6
  • Free-choice electives
    Period 1
    Period 2
    Period 3
    Period 4
    Period 5
    30
  • Bachelor's Thesis English Language and Culture
    Period 5
    Period 6
    12
Compulsory course
Elective
UvA Course Catalogue: English Language and Culture
  • Minor and electives

    Next to your regular courses and your specialisation, you will also have 30 ECTS worth of space to fill by doing electives, a minor, an internship or by studying abroad.

    Electives

    In theory, any course can be taken as an elective, from courses offered by the Faculty of Humanities to those offered by other faculties or even other universities. Most programmes offer separate electives.

    Minor

    A minor is a cohesive teaching programme that consists of 30 ECTS. Doing a minor is not mandatory. However, it may be a good way to prepare for a Master’s programme or for a certain profession.

  • Internship and studying abroad

    The programme allows for you to do an internship and/or to study abroad for a period of time.

    Internship

    You can enrich your study programme as well as your CV by doing an internship. This will allow you to gain experience at an organisation in the field of Ancient Studies and gives you an impression of the job opportunities they offer.

    Studying abroad

    The UvA is closely involved with international programmes involved with cooperation and exchange within Europe, the United States and Canada. This gives you the opportunity to study abroad for a period of time. As an English Language and Culture student at the UvA, you will also be eligible to apply for the prestigious Harting Scheme, the oldest internationalization programme in the world, which offers the opportunity to spend your third year at a British or Irish university.

  • Double Bachelor's and Honours programme

    Would you like to be challenged even more? You can choose to do two Bachelor’s degrees or follow the Honours programme.

    Double Bachelor’s in Humanities

    The Faculty of Humanities offers the possibility to obtain a degree from two different Bachelor's programmes. By means of exemptions you can obtain two degrees with a reduced effective workload. The double Bachelor's is intended for motivated students who are looking for an extra challenge and/or a broader perspective during their studies.

    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.

  • 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.
  • Studying part-time

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

    • Part-time students follow the same programme as full-time students. However, you follow less courses per year and the course load of the programme will be 30 credits per year instead of the full-time course load of 60 credits per year. Part-time students complete the programme within six years.
    • As for full-time students there is a Binding Study Advice (BSA): in the first year it is required to obtain a minimum of 24 credits in order to re-enroll for the second year.
    • The tuition fee for part-time students is lower than the fee for full-time students, for more information see tuition fees.
    • Part-time students are not entitled to the Dutch student loan system.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • 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.