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In the Bachelor's Literary and Cultural Analysis, you will develop the intellectual knowledge and skills to interpret and reflect on literature, art, and popular culture. The programme is taught entirely in English.

Programme structure

The programme comprises a number of mandatory subjects that introduce you to the fields of study, various methods of analysis and interpretation, and key theoretical concepts. You will focus on Cultural Theory and Cultural Studies, as well as tailoring your curriculum by choosing a minor and electives in a wide range of subjects. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or do an internship.

  • The first year

    The first year of the programme is introductory in character. This means that your courses will provide you with an overview of the entire discipline.

    • You will be introduced to the most important ideas, approaches, debates and topics in the field, and learn about discourse, intertextuality, intermediality, cultural capital, gender, semiotics, cultural memory and more.
    • You will test different ways of analysing and interpreting specific cultural artefacts, including narrative, rhetorical, discourse and visual analysis, and explore a series of case studies to strengthen and expand your analytical and interpretive skills.
    • You will study a number of philosophical concepts that are right at the heart of contemporary debates about the arts, popular culture and literature, and practice ways of relating particular cultural, literary, and artistic objects to different contexts.
    • You will develop specific academic skills, such as academic writing and conducting independent research.
  • The second and third years

    The second and third years of the programme build on the foundations laid in the first year courses, focussing specifically on Cultural Theory and Cultural Studies.

    • In the second year, you will engage with the historical philosophies that have shaped academic and intellectual debates to the present day, as well as contemporary and 20th century literature and cultural theories that have enabled new ways of analysing, interpreting and reflecting on literature, the arts and popular culture.
    • You will be introduced to Cultural Analysis and become familiar with the debates, approaches and concepts that are central to its development in the Humanities.
    • You will also be able to tailor the programme to your own interests by selecting a minor or elective courses in a wide range of subjects.
    • In the third year of the programme, participate in a research seminar designed to prepare you for your thesis research and writing, and work with your fellow students on concrete case studies ranging from installation art to theatre 
    • You will be able to further specialise in your field of interest through a range of electives or take the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or do an internship.
    • In the course, ‘Philosophy of the Humanities’, you will explore the historical and philosophical background of the Humanities, with a particular emphasis on the literary, cultural and artistic disciplines.
    • You will conclude your Bachelor's programme by writing a Bachelor’s thesis, your first major piece of independent research.
  • Learning and assessment

    Literary and Cultural Analysis is a three-year Bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS credits. Each academic year accounts for 60 credits (ECTS) and comprises two semesters, with each semester composed of two 8-week blocks and one 4-week block.

    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 will 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.

    Read more about the Honours Programme

  • 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. 

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Detailed course information

Visit the UvA Course Catalogue for a detailed overview of the Literary and Cultural Analysis courses.

UvA Course Catalogue: Literary and Cultural Analysis

Accreditation and academic title

The Bachelor's programme Literary and Cultural Analysis forms part of the broad label Literary Studies. The quality of this programme has been positively accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). This means that after successful completion of the programme you will receive a recognised Bachelor’s degree in Literary Studies and the title Bachelor of Arts (BA).

Read more about accreditation