English is a world language: mother tongue of approximately 380 million people and spoken as a second language by over a billion more. As a student in Leiden you'll study prose and poetry through the ages, as well as other media, such as TV, films and their cultural impact. You'll learn how to analyse and translate texts in Old and Middle English (spoken in the Middle Ages). You will look at how sentences, words and sounds are structured and the development that the language has undergone. In addition to acquiring an excellent command of the English language, you'll become acquainted with the literature, culture and history of the Englishspeaking world, from the early Middle Ages to the present day, and learn how to communicate effectively in English.
In the course of the programme you'll focus on the following areas: philology, literature, linguistics and language acquisition. Within these four areas, the programme offers courses on more specialised topics, such as Anglo-Saxon studies, Renaissance literature, Gothic and horror literature, the analysis of metaphors in language use, and historical sociolinguistics. And should you want to delve more deeply, into, say, the cultural-historical impact of 9/11 or the morphology (word formation) of English used on the internet, you can specialise in one of these areas in a master's programme.
In the first year, English language skills will play an important role. You'll practice your English writing, listening and pronunciation skills, discuss phonetics and syntax, why English words are pronounced as they are and the structure of English sentences. Starting with an introductory course, you will also acquire basic skills for studying (English) literature, after which you will read and analyse texts. You will also learn how to carry out academic research and report on it in writing.
During the second and third year you'll dive more deeply into English language and its literature and culture. You will continue to hone your language skills, and further develop your research, essay-writing and presentation skills.
In your third year you'll have the option of doing a minor or an internship. However, you could also opt to spend (part of) your third year abroad! You'll also write your thesis, which will conclude your BA degree. You can choose your own thesis topic. In your BA thesis, you will demonstrate your academic skills by gathering and critically analysing primary and secondary sources, and reporting on them in clear and accurate academic prose.
As a graduate of this English programme you'll be an academic expert on a global language and culture. Moreover, having learned how to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, you'll be ideally qualified for many different careers. After completing this bachelor's programme you'll find yourself in demand with a variety of potential employers, working as an English teacher, for example, a governmental policy maker, or an editor.
In 2016 the Student Career Service of the Humanities Faculty conducted a survey among graduates. Alumni of English Language and Culture ended up in the following sectors:
Do you want to apply for the bachelors programme Linguistics at Leiden University? Find out how to apply by following the step-by step guide.
Are you curious, critical and involved in the world around you? At Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands, you can make a valuable contribution to tackling the various national and international challenges facing modern society. Together with academics and fellow students from all over the world, you will actively address these challenges. We keep an open mind, do not shy away from difficultdiscussions and allow one another the space to disagree. We expect the same active, open-minded and critical attitude from you.
We challenge you to look beyond your own boundaries. Leiden University welcomes anyone who wants to achieve their full potential. Our modest community size in the historical cities of Leiden and The Hague creates a highly personal and committed atmosphere. Together, we map out a learning path that suits you and your ambitions. You will also be encouraged to conduct research in cooperation with eminent and enthusiastic scholars. The knowledge and skills you develop here will benefit you for the rest of your life, regardless of the career path you choose!
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