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English Language and Culture

The BA in English Language and Culture at the University of Groningen is consistently rated as the best in the country. We teach exclusively in English, and all of our students profit from our strong research culture.

The programme concentrates on different aspects of the English language and and on literature written in English: language proficiency, linguistics, and the literature from the Middle Ages down to the present day, from the birthplace of the language in England to the United States and all parts of the Commonwealth. We cover theory, the entire range of genres and modes of writing, besides placing a strong emphasis on the cultural context of literary texts.

In the first year of the BA in English Language and Culture you will read a broad range of literary texts and you will learn about English as a language. You will analyse many important works, study literary theory, and engage with writings in English from the beginning to the present.In the second year you will be able to choose courses on medieval literary studies, modern literature, and linguistics. For instance, you can study the writings of premodern women, the myth of King Arthur, the modernist novel, Shakespeare and his time, contemporary American and post-colonial literature, or Language in use or Phonology. You can fully dedicate yourself to your main interest by writing a dissertation on your preferred topic in your third year. There is a range of minors that complement an English Language and Culture degree, and many students spend time at a foreign university, for example in the UK or New Zealand. After the BA degree, many students pursue one of the two MA programmes we offer: such as English Literature and Culture; Writing, Editing, and Mediating or Applied Linguistics. You can also combine your MA in English with a teacher training course.

Facts & Figures
BA in English Language and Culture
Course type
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
Language of instruction
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?

At the University of Groningen we offer an integrated approach to the English language, linguistics, literature and culture. In addition, we concentrate on training academic skills.

CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
English for Academic Purposes (EAP): Persuasive Expression (5 EC)
English Linguistics: Sentence Structure (5 EC)
Making Meaning: Introduction to English Literatures 1 (5 EC)
English for Academic Purposes (EAP): Composition (5 EC)
English Linguistics: Sound Structure (5 EC)
Knowledge and Power (5 EC)
English Literatures: The Beginnings until 1550 (5 EC)
English Literatures from 1550: Periods and Contexts (5 EC)
EAP: Argumentation (5 EC)
English Linguistics: Sociolinguistics (5 EC)
Chaucer: Works and Background (5 EC)
Literary Theory for English Studies (5 EC)
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
EAP: Popular Contexts (5 EC)
English Linguistics: Meaning and Use (5 EC)
Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature (5 EC)
EAP: Debate and Discussion (5 EC)
English Linguistics: Language Change (5 EC)
Reading Middle English (5 EC)
EAP: Research reports (5 EC)
Group A: English Linguistics: Phonology Laboratory. Or, in alternate years: English Linguistics: Morphology (5 EC, optional)
Group A: English Linguistics: Research Tools (5 EC, optional)
Group A: King Arthur, Romance and Empire (5 EC, optional)
Group A: Modern Literature option (5 EC, optional)
Group A: Revolutionaries and Romantics in English Literature. Or, in alternate years: Sensation & Victorian Culture (5 EC, optional)
Group B: Broken Images: Anglo-American Modernism. Or, in alternate years: Sick Jokes: Postmodernity & English Literature (5 EC, optional)
Group B: English Employed (5 EC, optional)
Group B: English Linguistics: Lexicon. Or, in alternate years: English Linguistics: Syntax (5 EC, optional)
Group B: Medieval Literature option (5 EC, optional)
Group B: Saints and Sinners in Medieval England (5 EC, optional)
Group B: Shakespeare at Stratford (5 EC, optional)
Group B: World Literatures in English (5 EC, optional)
CoursesCourse Catalog >1234
Minor (30 EC, optional)
Group C: English Linguistics: Language Variation (5 EC, optional)
Group C: Language and Culture of Anglo-Saxon England (5 EC, optional)
Group C: The Century of the Self: English Literature & Identity (1900-) (5 EC, optional)
BA Dissertation (Linguistics, Medieval Literature or Modern Literature) (10 EC)
Group D: English Linguistics: Language in Interaction (5 EC, optional)
Group D: Modern Popular Literature (5 EC, optional)
Group D: Special Topic Medieval Literature and Culture (5 EC, optional)


In years 2 and 3 students choose modules from a number of options. In year 2: Group A: In block 2a 10 ECTS choice of 2 out of courses Group A; Group B: In block 2b 15 ECTS choice from courses Group B. In year 3: Group C: In block 2a choice of at least one module out of Group C; Group D: In block 2b choice of at least one module out of Group D

Programme options
Premodern Literature and Culture (track)
Modern Literature and Culture (track)
English Linguistics (track)
Minors (minor)

The fifth semester of your studies is dedicated to your Minor: a coherent set of future-oriented course units. It prepares you for a follow-on Master's degree program or for entering the labour market. You can opt for a Career Minor, a Minor abroad, a University Minor or a Faculty Minor.

More information about this option

University of Groningen Honours College (honours program)

The Honours College will give talented, motivated students the chance to be challenged even more by following Honours programmes and taking part in numerous other activities.

The Honours College comprises a broadening part and a deepening part and has a study load of 45 EC credit points besides the 180 ECTS credit points from your regular Bachelor programme.

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional
  • For an average of 16 weeks
  • Maximum of 30 EC
Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • Cultuur & Maatschappij
  • Economie & Maatschappij
  • Natuur & Gezondheid
  • Natuur & Techniek
  • HBO propedeuse

    Additional requirements English: Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components).

Choice of degree programme check

The degree programme will organize a matching procedure. Attendance is compulsory. The advice is not binding.

Explanatory notes

Are you a Dutch student planning to start a Bachelor's degree programme at the University of Groningen in September? If so, you need to register with Studielink by the 1 May at the latest. The Faculty will then invite you to take part in a matching activity to find out whether the degree programme is the right one for you.

The precise nature of the matching activity differs according to degree programme. After the activity you will be advised as to whether the degree programme is a good match for you. Registration by 1 May at the latest and participation in the matching activity are both mandatory. If you have any questions about matching, go to

Choice of degree programme check

If you intend to start with a bachelor degree programme at the University of Groningen in September, make sure to apply before May 1 in Studielink. The degree programme will give you the option to participate in a matching activity to see if you and the degree programme are a match. Which matchings activity they provide depends on the faculty and programme.

Any questions about matching? Check

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
language test

Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items), or IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items). Language Centre English Test (LCET) level C1 (B2 for no more than two components).

previous education

Dutch VWO diploma, a German Abitur, an International Baccalaureate diploma, a European Baccalaureate or another diploma that is sufficient for acceptance to a Dutch university. Students with Dutch 'hbo-propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned below.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202001 September 2020
EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202001 September 2020
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2019-2020€ 2083full-time
non-EU/EEA2019-2020€ 8900full-time

The Dutch government intends to halve the statutory tuition fees for specific groups of first year bachelor's students starting from the 2018/19 academic year.

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

As a graduate, you can find a career in teaching, translating and publishing, government, cultural organisations, tourism, PR and communications, or consultancy firms. The positions you could hold are varied, but your communication skills will always be very important.

Job examples

  • Publisher
  • Editor
  • Teaching
  • Literator
  • Interpreter / translator
  • Communications Advisor
  • Work within the international field

Research in the Department covers all areas of English literature and linguistics. Our particular strengths lie in modernism, pre-modern culture, and language development. We publish widely on topics such as critical theory, visual culture, travel literature, women's writing, medieval learning, and language acquisition and loss. Our staff members run or participate in a number of international research projects, including the Language Attrition project and the Hakluyt Editorial Project.

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If you want to know more about the programme English Language and Culture, please contact:

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						Testimonial of Charlotte Korten

    The Bachelor's programme in English is highly regarded and very varied

    – Charlotte Korten
    Read more

    Hi! I’m Charlotte, 21 years-old, and I am currently doing my third year in the BA program of English Language and Culture. I was born and raised in Groningen, making me a true stadjer as well as a student. When I don’t study, I enjoy reading, cycling, and going to the gym. English language and culture has always intrigued me. Additionally, my interest for reading, literature, and history played an immense role in me choosing English Language and Culture as my study. The program has a great reputation and is very diverse, making the degree incredibly interesting. The course really offers interesting aspects for everyone, no matter whether you prefer literature or linguistics. Since it is a fairly small study, you get to know most of your classmates very quickly, which makes the atmosphere very positive, homely, and safe.

						Testimonial of Jelle Brouwer

    Language, as well as literature

    – Jelle Brouwer
    Read more

    I have had an interest in the English language for years, and the Groningen programme is rated as the best in the country. I enjoy how the courses all seem to intertwine (e.g. subjects from sociolinguistics used in proficiency classes, for instance). The teachers are not there anymore to hold your hand and guide you through the entire process, though they are always willing to help if you are struggling. You go through a number of books every 8 weeks or so, instead of studying from the same books for an entire year. Once you get used to this speed, you will not experience that much stress. I find Groningen to be one of the nicest cities of the Netherlands.

						Testimonial of Amanda Moss

    Meeting the most fascinating people

    – Amanda Moss
    Read more

    Ever since I was in secondary school, I knew I wanted to work in a field involving reading and discussing literary works. This passion led me to enroll in the English Language and Culture programme here at the University of Groningen.

    This degree programme entails so much more than simply reading a lot of big books. The courses delve into creative and professional writing, the origins of the English language and its linguistic patterns, the numerous literary periods, key works and authors, as well as honing one’s oral skills. In addition to my course load, I am also the chairperson of the Groningen University Theatre Society. In that role, I have not only been able to practice public speaking, but I have had the opportunity to meet the most fascinating people from all over the world. Both seeing and hearing about their experiences has helped me realise that upon completion of the Bachelors program I will be furthering my studies by doing the Research Master in Literary and Cultural Studies here at this university.

						Testimonial of Student Ambassador Meike Haagsman

    There are many benefits to studying English: you'll acquire many useful skills about language interpretation and usage, learn about history and culture, and your English will be excellent when you graduate!

    – Student Ambassador Meike Haagsman
    Read more

    About Meike Haagsman

    Hi! My name is Meike Haagsman and I am currently a second-year student of the English Language and Culture programme. Aside from the study’s regular programme, I follow some extra courses within other departments of the Faculty of Arts. I partake in a yearclub via student association Dizkartes and in my free time I like to write or watch classic movies.

    Why English Language and Culture?

    I was originally in a different programme; technical study. Although I was fascinated by this, I soon realized that it wasn’t an interest that defined me. So I asked myself, what did I find more interesting than anything else (after all, I will likely spend the next 50 years of my doing this), and that was English. I have loved the language since my very first lesson, which is covered by the ‘linguistics’ part of the studies. The other main part, literature, suits me as well; stories are a passion of mine (whether I write them, read them, or watch them). In other words, this study is a perfect mix for me and others who have similar interests. In addition, there are many benefits to studying English: you’ll acquire many useful skills about language interpretation and usage, learn about history and culture, and your English will be excellent when you graduate!

    Read more about Meike Haagsman and why she chose to study English Language and Culture in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Meike an e-mail!


Web Class

Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at university is like? The English Language and Culture programme is offering a web class! This online course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for secondary school students. Get to know English Language and Culture by doing some reading and answering some essay questions or multiple choice questions. The course takes about 10 hours in total.

If you are interested in an English Language and Culture web class, register here.

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Study associations


NUTS has been the study association of the English department in Groningen for over 40 years, and we are still going strong. We make studying English a lot of fun by organising all sorts of activities throughout the year.
Our diverse events include: drinks, high-teas, pub crawls, pub quizzes, book clubs, game nights and career events. As a NUTS-member, you benefit from a discount on your study books at Studystore (via our website) and free entrance to most of our events. Besides this, NUTS annually organizes a trip to the UK or Ireland.
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(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after first year of study. You can expect a positive result if you have earned more than 45 ECTS credit points (out of a total of 60 ECTS). If you have earned fewer than 45 ECTS and are issued a negative result, you will not be allowed to continue with your degree programme.

You will receive preliminary study advice in December to make sure that you know where you stand. Please contact your study advisor as soon as possible if you have any questions about the BSA system. N.B. Some degree programmes use a tutoring system; please check with your study advisor.

Study support

If you have any questions or doubts about your studies, you can always contact the study advisor. He or she knows all the ins and outs of the program, Minors, study abroad and personal planning. Study advisors are impartial and everything that is discussed is treated confidentially. They can also help you find the right institutions and student desks for your problems.

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