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Education Bachelor's degree programmes European Languages and Cultures
Header image European Languages and Cultures

European Languages and Cultures

Would you like to become an expert on the cultures, languages and politics of Europe?

The degree programme in European Languages and Cultures (in Dutch: ETC, Europese Talen en Culturen) is designed to meet the growing need for academic trained experts with:

By studying the key linguistic, political, cultural and social topics of contemporary Europe, you will learn to understand the mutual relationship, differences and similarities among national and regional cultures. In doing so, you will learn to understand future challenges and inform advanced decision-making in cultural, political and educational institutions.

The programme has a flexible structure. From your second year onward, you will specialise in one of the profiles:
* European Language and Society
* European Culture and Literature
* European Politics and Society

During your third year, you can study abroad. The second and third year comprises subject-related courses taught in your major language. In addition, you can choose to specialise further by means of a Minor, elective courses and/or a short placement. Your Bachelor's degree is finalised with a thesis.

Facts & Figures
Degree
BA in European Languages and Cultures
Course type
Bachelor
Duration
36 months (180 ECTS)
Croho code
56124
Language of instruction
Dutch, English
Start
September
Faculty
Arts
Studie in Cijfers
Why study this programme in Groningen?
  • In-depth study of Europe's political, cultural, social and linguistic dimensions.
  • Wide range of languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.
  • Three specialisation profiles: Language and Society, Culture and Literature, Politics and Society.
  • Intensive language learning course units, usually in small groups, leading to a near-native proficiency level.
  • Wide range of Minors and elective courses to choose from.
  • Many seminars in Dutch in the programme European Languages and Cultures are offered both in English and in Dutch.
Programme

The first year compromises introductory course units to the three profiles within our programme: European Language and Society, European Culture and Literature and European Politics and Society. At the end of the first year you will choose one or two of these profiles, in which you will specialise throughout the rest of the degree programme. Furthermore, throughout the first year, you will follow language proficiency course units in your major language.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Introduction Linguistics (5 EC)
Studying Europe (5 EC)
Language proficiency 1a + 1b chosen language (10 EC)
Culture and Literature (5 EC)
Making Modern Europe (5 EC)
Academic skills (5 EC)
Intro Socio/ Applied Linguistics (5 EC)
Language proficiency 2a + 2b chosen language (10 EC)
Text and Context (5 EC)
Themes in European Politics (5 EC)

In the second year you will start to specialise in one or two of the three profiles (Language and Society, Culture and Literature, and/or Politics and Society) and further develop your academic skills. In addition, you will follow more proficiency training and course units in your major language.

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Theme course 3 within chosen profile (5 EC)
Elective (10 EC)
Language proficiency 3a + 3b chosen language (10 EC)
Language specific module 1 Politics and Society (5 EC)
Theme course 5 within chosen profile (5 EC)
Elective (10 EC)
Language specific module 1 Culture and Literature (5 EC)
Language specific module 1 Language and Society (5 EC)

In the first semester of the third year you have your minor. You can choose between the research minor, the work field minor with a placement, the pre-master/minor, the educative minor and the study-abroad minor. During the study-abroad minor you can raise your proficiency to near-native speaker level and follow in-depth course units.Your Bachelor's degree is rounded off with a thesis which must be written in your target language (with the exception of Russian).

Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Minor (30 EC)
Theme course 6 within chosen profile (5 EC)
Bachelor thesis (10 EC)
Language specific module 2 (10 EC)
Theme course 7 within chosen profile (5 EC)
Programme options
European Politics and Society (profile)

This profile focuses on political and social challenges in Europe, past and present. It deals with pressing questions about democracy, social cleavages and political values.

How do citizens relate to their region, their country and Europe?

More information about this option

European Culture and Literature (profile)

In this profile will study Europe's cultural production - such as literature, films, series, games, theatre, music, or fine arts - and its relevance for society and our daily lives.

More information about this option

European Language and Society (profile)

In this profile you will study topics such as the emergence and development of European languages within and outside Europe.

Attention will be paid, for example, to language use, language change and multilingualism.

More information about this option

German (specialization)
Italian (specialization)
Dutch as a foreign language (specialization)
English (specialization)
French (specialization)
Spanish (specialization)
Russian (specialization)
Swedish (specialization)
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 minor abroad, a career minor with a placement option, an assignment for an employer or entrepreneurship, a faculty minor, an educational minor or a university minor.

More information about this option

University of Groningen Honours College (honours program)

Honours College gives talented, motivated students the opportunity to challenge themselves even more by offering a programme that is followed in addition to the regular degree programme.

More information about this option

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is recommended
  • Maximum of 30 EC

An excellent way to further immerse yourself into the language and culture of your choice is to visit the respective country or language area. That is why the third year offers the opportunity for a one-semester stay in a country where your target language is spoken.

The Faculty of Arts has excellent contacts with many renowned universities within and outside Europe. A stay abroad is very useful, but also a lot of fun. And it looks good on your CV!

Entry requirements

Admissible Dutch diploma profiles

  • VWO Natuur & Techniek

    Met het VWO examen voldoe je aan de taaleis Engels. Zie 'vooropleiding' voor de specifieke eisen per major taal.

  • VWO Natuur & Gezondheid

    Met het VWO examen voldoe je aan de taaleis Engels. Zie 'vooropleiding' voor de specifieke eisen per major taal.

  • VWO Economie & Maatschappij

    Met het VWO examen voldoe je aan de taaleis Engels. Zie 'vooropleiding' voor de specifieke eisen per major taal.

  • VWO Cultuur & Maatschappij

    Met het VWO examen voldoe je aan de taaleis Engels. Zie 'vooropleiding' voor de specifieke eisen per major taal.

  • HBO propedeuse

    Met het VWO examen voldoe je aan de taaleis Engels. Zie 'vooropleiding' voor de specifieke eisen per major taal. Klik op de link voor meer informatie: https://www.rug.nl/let/studeren-bij-ons/bachelor/aanmelding-en-inschrijving/language-requirements-ba

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

For Dutch as a foreign language, Italian, Russian and Swedish, no previous knowledge is necessary. See the flowcharts below for more information for your prospective major language.

For Spanish, we offer two different levels: one for advanced learners and one for beginners. Students with a Dutch 'HBO propedeuse' diploma also need to meet the language requirements mentioned below.

French Plus (see the flowchart below for more information)

  • VWO + French as exam subject (with a sufficient grade)
  • 6 years of French in high school
  • High school diploma that clearly states an A2 level
  • Abitur + French as Leistungskurse or Profilfächer
  • DELF A2 (min 12,5 points for each part)
  • Valid TCF A2 (min 250 pts)

German Plus (see the flowchart below for more information)

  • VWO + German
  • Equivalent of A-level + German (obtained within the EU and not older than 2 years)

Spanish Plus (see the flowchart below for more information)

  • VWO with Spanish as exam subject
  • High school diploma that clearly states an A2 level
  • DELE A2

English (see the flowchart below for more information)

  • VWO diploma / subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher)
  • Equivalent of a VWO diploma for non Dutch students
  • Internet-based TOEFL test: with a minimum score of 90 and a minimum score of 21 on all components;
  • IELTS Academic Module 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 on all components;
  • Certificate from the University of Groningen Language Centre, at least CEFR C1 with B2 for no more than two components;
  • Cambridge: C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180
other admission requirements

Below you will find the flowcharts for your prospective Major language. There you will also find more information concerning the admission form and procedure.

Choice of degree programme check

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

Explanatory notes

The Faculty of Arts believes students can decide for themselves whether they match with their chosen programme based on the available bachelor programme information, by visiting the Open Days, and by participating in a Webclass and/ or Student for a Day. If you are unable to attend one of these activities, a final opportunity for matching is to contact one of the students of the programme in June.

If you have any further questions about matching, check out: www.rug.nl/matching

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025

Choice of degree programme check

The Faculty of Arts believes students can decide for themselves whether they match with their chosen programme based on the available bachelor programme information, by visiting the Open Days, and by participating in a Webclass and/ or Student for a Day. If you are unable to attend one of these activities, a final opportunity for matching is to contact one of the students of the programme in June.

If you have any further questions about matching, check out: www.rug.nl/matching

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
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 as mentioned below.

For Dutch as a foreign language, Italian, Russian and Swedish, no previous knowledge is necessary.

For Spanish, we offer two different levels: one for advanced learners and one for beginners.

French Plus

  • VWO + French as final subject (with a sufficient grade)
  • 6 years of French in high school
  • High school diploma that clearly states an A2 level
  • Abitur + French as Leistungskurse or Profilfächer
  • DELF A2 (min 12,5 points for each part)
  • Valid TCF A2 (min 250 pts)

German Plus

  • VWO + German
  • Equivalent of A-level + German (obtained within the EU and not older than 2 years)

Spanish Plus

  • VWO with central exam Spanish
  • High school diploma that clearly states an A2 level
  • DELE A2

English

  • VWO + English
  • Equivalent of a VWO diploma for non Dutch students
  • A subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher),
  • Minimum requirement of TOEFL iBT 90 (with a minimum of 21 on all items)
  • IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6 on all items)
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.
other admission requirements

Language requirement English: A VWO diploma or a subject certificate for VWO English (mark 6 or higher), 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). Cambridge C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency with a minimum score of 180.

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202501 September 2025
EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202501 September 2025
Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 13100full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

If you want to continue with a Master's degree programme after your graduation, as most students do, you will have a wide range of programmes to choose from. With a Bachelor's degree in European Languages and Cultures, you have access to the following Master's tracks at the University of Groningen:

Job prospects

There is a growing need for people with excellent languages skills as well as an understanding of European issues. These people are needed to help break down barriers, resolve conflicts, negotiate, transfer knowledge, issue advice, and present clear arguments and opinions.

Depending on the choices you make during your studies (such as your language, profile, Minor and Master's degree), you may find a career in teaching, journalism, publishing, business, tourism, within a social or cultural organisation, a government body, a political party or an international organisation such as the European Union or UNESCO.

Job examples

  • Policy officer at a municipality, ministry or non-governmental organisation
  • Communications consultant
  • Lecturer at a university, university of applied sciences, senior secondary vocational education
  • Journalist (newspaper, radio/TV, new media)
  • Teacher in secondary education
  • Manager in the national or international business world
  • Staff member at an international organisation such as the European Union
  • Staff member at an embassy
  • Researcher at a university
  • Political advisor
  • Publisher or editor at a publishing house
  • Translator
Research

Teaching and research are closely intertwined at the University of Groningen. All professors and most of the lecturers who teach your course units are also conducting research in their own subject fields. This means that your classes will be partly based on the Faculty's current research.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Open Dagdiverse locatiesMore information

Contact

  • 
						Testimonial of Lana Fahham

    I found everything I like and enjoy within this programme

    – Lana Fahham
    Read more

    Hello! My name is Lana Fahham, and I am 20 years old. I am currently in my third year of the European Languages and Cultures BA programme. I am taking English as my major language and following both the Language & Society and the Culture & Literature profiles. In my free time I enjoy reading, watching a movie/series, and swimming. As well as just spending some time with friends.

    Why European Languages and Cultures?

    I chose this programme because it is quite broad. I have always been interested in different languages, cultures, and literature. I found everything I like and enjoy within this programme. It was quite hard for me to choose what I wanted to study and what suited my interests, but when I visited the Open Day of ELC, I just knew that this programme was the perfect fit for me. There is so much variation and options to choose from regarding languages, subjects, and profiles. Aside from choosing a major language and main profile, you can also take courses in a second language or profile. The three profiles are: Politics & Society, Language & Society, and the Culture & Literature. I found the last two suited me perfectly, because they go in hand with my hobbies and interests. Due to the huge variation within this programme, you do not only develop a broad and critical perspective on Europe, but on the entire world. Hence, the broadness of this programme leads to many opportunities within and after your studies, which is exactly what I wanted.

    Read about Lana and why she chose to studie European Language and Culture in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Lana an e-mail!

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Cătălina Munteanu

    I can confidently say that my expectations were highly surpassed

    – Cătălina Munteanu
    Read more

    Hello everyone! My name is Cătălina, and I am 20 years old. I am from Moldova, and I have a deep appreciation for my cultural heritage. I am in my first year of the European Languages and Cultures BA programme, but I am doing a double Bachelor’s, combining it with the BA IRIO. I chose Spanish as my major language, as I have always wanted to manoeuvre such a melodious language. At the same time, I am taking Russian classes, which I find fascinating. I dance in my free time and adore reading and watching movies and series. Additionally, I love travelling and discovering the cultural richness of various societies.

    Why European Languages and Cultures?

    Throughout my life, I have developed a profound passion for culture, literature and languages, and their impact on societal norms and views. Hence, European Languages and Cultures aligned perfectly with my interests. At first, I was not sure if applying was a good idea, as I was already doing another Bachelor’s degree, which is why I decided to participate in the Web class. For a month I had the opportunity to delve into the subjects of ELC, getting to explore one profile per week. As a literary enthusiast myself, I was looking forward to the Culture & Literature profile, and I can confidently say that my expectations were highly surpassed. Getting to explore society through a literary lens, examining the influence of texts on world politics, and analysing contemporary issues depicted through art are the highlights of my experience.

    However, the programme is not limited to literary courses. The three profiles vary on the spectrum, by covering a vast spectrum of themes. From major literary themes and criticism (Culture & Literature profile) to language intricacies (Language & Society profile) and political discourse (Politics & Society), the programme develops a critical view of Europe from a multilateral perspective.

    Read about Cătălina and why she chose to studie European Language and Culture in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Cătălina an e-mail!

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Alina Staniloiu

    Due to its broadness, the programme can give me access to other domains, such as politics and literature

    – Alina Staniloiu
    Read more

    Hello! My name is Alina Staniloiu and I am an international student from Romania. Currently, I am in my second year of European Languages and Cultures, with European Language and Society as my major profile. Additionally, I am studying two foreign languages, Spanish as major language and French as minor language.

    I am also a student of the Honours College programme and the vice-chair of the seventh faction of Letteren Vooruit, a party that represents the students of the Faculty of Arts within the Faculty Council. When it comes to my free time, I love to spend time with my friends, and when I am not with them, you can find me biking around the city.

    Why European Languages and Cultures?

    Ever since I was in primary school, I was inclined towards the linguistic sphere, at first, being more interested in the structural aspects of languages. Later on, I discovered the beauty of the social part which fascinated me even more. As time passed by, I realized that I wanted to follow a path that involved the study of languages and their interplay with our society. Therefore, this study was the perfect match for me. Not only do I love its focus on my main area of interest, but also its broadness which can give me access to other domains, such as politics and literature. From my point of view, this BA programme does not limit your opportunities after graduation, but rather opens multiple doors for you, which is what we are all looking for.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Irina Sarah Dragomir

    I've chosen my programme for the interdisciplinary knowledge and research potential in European literature, linguistics and politics

    – Irina Sarah Dragomir
    Read more

    After having spent three years in another Dutch city and one year abroad, I decided to follow a second bachelor. At that time, I was still living away from Groningen and my main decision to study at this university involved a careful examination of the programme I was going to follow and a comparative analysis with other universities that provided a similar package of courses. I've chosen my programme for the interdisciplinary knowledge and research potential in European literature, linguistics and politics, as well as for the fact that I was going to learn a new language as part of my bachelor.

    The languages that all international students bring with them makes Groningen ‘feel’ like a truly internationalized, open-minded, tolerant and young city. The university has so many different student associations which organize events, parties, guest lectures, proms and competitions, that it is difficult to fit everything that there is in your free time! There is always a diverse choice of activities and I truly believe that any kind of student from any cultural background can and will feel part of the university community and part of Groningen.

    Read more about Irina Dragomir and ask her your question about studying in Groningen

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  • 
						Testimonial of Hans de Jong

    Wat me aantrok aan dit programma is de variëteit; hoe je de studie invult ligt bij jezelf

    – Hans de Jong
    Read more

    Hoi! Mijn naam is Hans de Jong en ik ben 20 jaar oud. Ik ben derdejaarsstudent bij de studie Europese Talen en Culturen. Als majortaal studeer ik Engels en daarnaast heb ik Spaans gestudeerd als tweede taal. Voor mijn profiel heb ik Taal en Maatschappij gekozen. Aangezien ik in mijn derde jaar zit, volg ik nu een minor in Internationale Betrekkingen, wat me tot zover erg bevalt. Buiten school houd ik me veel bezig met talen en ben vaak buiten in de natuur.

    Waarom Europese Talen en Culturen?

    Ik heb Europese Talen gekozen omdat ik zeer geïnteresseerd ben in talen, met name de Europese talen. Ik heb een lange tijd Engels willen studeren, maar ik was nog niet zeker over mijn keuze. Toen ik eenmaal deze studie had gevonden, stond mijn keuze al snel vast. Wat me aantrok aan dit programma is de variëteit; hoe je de studie invult ligt bij jezelf. Naast je hoofdtaal, in mijn geval Engels, kan je ook je eigen profiel(en) en/of tweede taal kiezen. Er is keuze uit drie profielen: Taal en Maatschappij, Cultuur en Literatuur en Politiek en Maatschappij. Van deze profielen heb ik Taal en Maatschappij gekozen, aangezien taal mijn hoofdinteresse is en goed aansluit bij de andere vakken. Binnen Europese Talen en Culturen is het echter ook mogelijk geheel andere keuzes te maken: it’s all up to you.

    Sinds de middelbare school heb ik zelf ook Spaans geleerd. ETC gaf me de gelegenheid om mijn Spaans uit te breiden én mijn hoofdtaal te studeren, Engels.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Nina Hamann

    After my graduation, I was certain that I wanted to study something that involves history, politics and languages. The study European Languages and Cultures offers me all of these aspects

    – Nina Hamann
    Read more

    My name is Nina Hamann and I am in my second year of studying European Languages and Cultures. My profile is European Politics and Society and my major language is English. I am also taking Russian as a second language. Besides my studies, I like to go to the gym, read, and meet friends.

    Why European Languages and Cultures?

    After my graduation, I was certain that I wanted to study something that involves history, politics and languages. ELC offers me all of these aspects. I also really like the broadness of the programme, which makes me feel secure about my future opportunities.

    Close

Web Class

Are you at secondary school and want to know what studying at university is like? The European Languages and Cultures programme is offering a web class! This online course from the University of Groningen is specially designed for secondary school students.

Are you interested? Please register here.

Read more

Study associations

Esperia

Esperia is the study association for the students following the programme European Languages and Cultures at the University of Groningen. The aim of Esperia is to combine academic activities which will help the students with their studies, with social activities that connect all the students in the association. To realize this goal, Esperia frequently collaborates with other organizations in Groningen in order to provide a vast array of activities to its members.
Activities organized by Esperia include socials, company visits, pub lectures, yoga sessions and an annual trip abroad.
https://www.svesperia.nl/
Read more
(Binding) study advice
  • A minimum of 45 EC in the first 12 months (binding)

You will be offered study advice after the 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 programme, 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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