Universiteit Leiden

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Dutch Studies (BA)

Programme structure

Dutch Studies is a unique bachelor’s programme in which you will quickly acquire fluency in spoken and written Dutch at a high academic level, at the same time gaining deep understanding of the culture and history of the Netherlands.

Programme outline

Dutch Studies is a great example of the Dutch phrase klein maar fijn: small-scale, but delivering the best possible quality. Each year around 30 international students with a passionate interest in Dutch language and culture take part in this three-year bachelor’s in Leiden. In this programme you swiftly learn spoken and written Dutch at a high level; at the same time you gain academic, practical, and professional skills that will prove to be valuable in your further career. Do you want to continue your studies, perhaps in a research master? Or would you like to work as a translator, NT2 teacher, consultant or in another profession at academic level? Your Dutch Studies degree will open many doors!

Some of the courses

Our teachers are experts in language acquisition. You will get to practice regularly with your fellow students as well as with native Dutch speakers, while also reading Dutch newspapers, literature and watching Dutch films.  

After the first semester, most lectures will be given in Dutch, ensuring a high level of proficiency. Upon graduation you will be able to confidently speak Dutch and present your bachelor's thesis (a report on research or an internship) in both spoken and written formats at the CEFR level C1.

You will explore fascinating questions in the topic Linguistics, such as issues as whether it is harder to learn Dutch when your mother tongue language is Japanese or when it is Swedish, and if there really exists such a thing as a ‘knack for languages’.

The courses on Dutch literature will give you an overview of the history of Dutch literature and the opportunity to read and dissect the most important literary works, such as Multatuli’s ‘Max Havelaar’ (1860) or ‘Hilda van Suylenburg’ (1897) by Cécile de Jong van Beek en Donk. 

In the course Representation of The Netherlands in Film, you will analyse and reflect on the representation of societal themes in Dutch films, such as ‘Süskind’ (2012), ‘Michiel de Ruyter’ (2015)”, and De Libi (2019). 

This course deals with Dutch history from approximately 1780 until now. Attention is given to political, socio-economic, religious and cultural aspects. Which political incidents were of great importance to the Dutch identity? How are these incidents remembered to date? And what do the recent political developments mean?

In your classes on Art History we focus on understanding the phenomenon of famous Dutch and Flemish artists and their impact. Artists we will discuss include: Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Mondrian.

Detailed programme

Below you can find an overview of the curriculum. For a detailed description of the courses, see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

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How do you fill in your electives?

The third year of your programme offers more flexibility and freedom of choice, with one half of your study credits (EC) in both your first semester (normally spent abroad) and the second semester (back in Leiden) coming from elective courses. This includes courses offered in other programmes. You may also chose special packages in Dutch Literature, Linguistics, History or Art History. Alternatively it is possible for you to organise an internship.

First year
Course EC
Beginners Course 1A - Language Acquisition I 0
Speaking/Listening1A, Language Acquisition I 5
Reading/Vocabulary 1A, Language Acquisition I 5
Writing/Grammar 1A, Language Acquisition I 5
Culture and society of the Netherlands: An inside view 5
Dutch Debates – Topical Questions in Dutch Society, Culture I 5
Dutch Painting 1400 – 1950: Introduction to the Art History of the Netherlands, Cultuurwetenschap I 5
Core Curriculum: Philosophy of Science 5
The Netherlands in Dutch Feature Films, Cultuurwetenschap I 5
Inleiding Nederlandse taalkunde 5
Reading/Vocabulary 1B - Language Acquisition I 5
Writing/Grammar 1B - Language Acquisition I 5
Speaking/Listening 1B - Language Acquisition I 5
Second year
Course EC
Second Language Acquisition: Introduction 5
Mondeling presenteren over taal, Taalvaardigheid II 5
Nederlandse geschiedenis 1: Van Prehistorie tot Patriottentijd 5
Nederlandse letterkunde 1: Van Middeleeuwen tot Verlichting, Cultuurwetenschap II 5
Stumbling Blocks in Dutch as a Second Language 5
Schrijven over cultuur, Taalvaardigheid II 5
Analyse van poëzie en proza, Cultuurwetenschap II 5
Nederlandse geschiedenis 2: Van Napoleon tot Wilders, Cultuurwetenschap II 5
Nederlandse letterkunde 2: Van Romantiek tot heden, Cultuurwetenschap II 5
Schrijven over Taal, Taalvaardigheid II 5
Vijftien eeuwen Nederlands, Taalwetenschap II 5
Core Curriculum: Introduction to Literary Theory 5
Digital Text and Data Analysis 5
Third year
Course EC
Academic Writing 5
The Dutch language as a cognitive system 5
Sociolinguïstiek, straattaal, tussentaal, social media en meer 5
Syntax 1 5
Language Policy and Multilingualism 5
Oral Examination on the Departmental Reading List 5
Tweedetaalverwerving: Didactiek 5
Tweedetaalverwerving: Verdieping 5
Approaches to Literature 5
Echo, Influence or Plagiarism? Productive Reception in Dutch literature 5
Auteur en media 5
Contemporary novels 5
BA-eindwerkstuk Nederlandkunde/Dutch Studies 10
Thesis seminar 0
Keuzeruimte (Dutch Studies) 15
Tweedetaalverwerving: Didactiek 5
Tweedetaalverwerving: Verdieping 5
Discretionary Space
Course EC
Tweedetaalverwerving: Didactiek 5
Tweedetaalverwerving: Verdieping 5
Introduction to the History of the Netherlands 5
Course EC
Set of electives for non-Dutch Studies students
Course EC
Writing/Grammar 1A, Language Acquisition I 5

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