Bachelor’s Degree

At the start of the academic year of 2013-2014 a lot changed. The bachelor’s degree ‘Engelse Taal en Cultuur’ was revised completely and our new firstyears faced an academic year filled with courses that we not-firstyears had never seen before. This new programme is still surrounded by confusion so we wanted to present to you what is known so far.

Year 2013 and above

In 2013-2014 a new system was introduced to the bachelor’s degree of ‘Engelse Taal en Cultuur’ at the University of Utrecht. This new system ensures that bachelor graduates leave this university having completed a more structured degree. More so than before this ensures the value of your degree; it is now easier for other universities to evaluate your degree as they can be certain a number of elements is present as well as a sense of coherence.
The new system is build around so-called ‘pakketten’. Everyone starts with the ‘basispakket’: a package deal of eight mandatory courses. Subsequently, students are asked to pick one or more ‘verdiepingspakketten’ that serve to further develop your degree. Because the ‘verdiepingspakketten’ are built around a central theme. This new system ensures that there is some direction in your degree. Besides these ‘pakketten’ you are also asked to complete a minor and even then there is still room for additional courses (whether you choose these completely based upon your interests or choose to follow another ‘verdiepingspakket’ is entirely up to you).


Year 1

Your first year at the University of Utrecht is almost completely made up of your ‘basispakket’. This means you do not choose your own courses yet or have to steer your degree in any direction. As the ‘basispakket’ is made up of both literature and linguistic courses you get a varied overview of where a bachelor’s degree in English might take you. Within these literature and linguistics courses you will also master the arts of writing essays, presenting and pronunciation. The first year also includes one ‘academische context’ course which you will need to complete your major (‘Kracht van Literatuur‘), this course is not a part of the ‘basispakket’.

For more information, visit


Year 2-3

In your second and third year you will have to start choosing courses to further build your degree. In block 1 of year 2 you will be required to take US Literature and Culture after Kennedy to complete your ‘basispakket’ but for the rest of year 2 and 3 you are free to choose as you like. However, there are some requirements as explained below. Within your bachelor’s degree there is a distinction between a major and your ‘profileringsruimte’. Your major makes up most of your degree and is more structured as to guarantee quality of the degree. Your ‘profileringsruimte’ serves to broaden your view and also includes room for courses that do not have to fulfill any requirements.


1. You need to complete your ‘basispakket’ (60 ECTS)

2. You need to complete at least one ‘verdiepingspakket’ (30 ECTS)
The ‘verdiepingspakketten’ ensure that there will be coherence within your bachelor’s degree. Each package consists of 4 courses that revolve around the package’s central theme. In total each ‘verdiepingspakket’ is equal to any other in terms of study points (30ECTS each) and level (all consist of level 3 courses). ‘Verdiepingspakketten’ also function as entrance requirements for several master degrees.
The ‘verdiepingspakketten’ are as follows:


Sidenote: there are several reasons why taking a ‘verdiepingspakket’ in year 2 is a logical choice.

  • It relieves some of the pressure of choosing courses as you will choose a 4-course-deal which leaves you with only 3 course-shaped gaps in your planning instead of 7.
  • If you realise that the ‘verdiepingspakket’ is not what you expected it to be, you will probably still be able to switch courses and therefore switch ‘verdiepingspakketten’.
  • You can use your second year to decide what you really want to do with your degree and choose your minor accordingly.

3. ‘Academische Context’ courses (22,5 ECTS)
In order to check this point the individual courses have to meet a few requirements.

  • One level 1 course within the domain; you have already completed this course as it’s included in your ‘basispakket’ (namely ‘Kracht van Literatuur‘)
  • One level 1 course outside of the domain
  • One level 3 course within the domain TLC (these will all be taught in block 3)
     – ‘Methoden van Hypothese-toetsend Onderzoek’
       – ‘Methoden van Onderzoek naar Interculturele Communicatie’
       – Literary Toolbox
       – ‘Vertalen en Vertaalwetenschap’

Sidenote: these ‘Academische Context’ courses are all level 3 courses.

4. Thesis (7,5 ECTS)

To complete your bachelor’s degree you will have to write a thesis. For students who started their bachelor’s degree in 2013 or later the subject of your thesis should be in line with your ‘verdiepingspakket.’ More information on the process of writing a thesis can be found under the heading ‘thesis’ on this page.



Minor (30ECTS)
A minor is a fixed set of 4 courses. Much like a ‘verdiepingspakket’ it is coherent and has a central theme. Students of English are required to choose a minor within Geesteswetenschappen but outside of the bachelor ‘Engelse Taal en Cultuur’, as your minor serves to broaden your perspective instead of narrowing it through specialisation (which is what the ‘verdiepingspakketten’ do).
Click here for a list of minors within Geesteswetenschappen.

Please note that the ‘Educatieve minor’ is formatted in such a way that it stretches over two years (courses are taught in block 3, 4, 1 and 2 respectively). If you want to do this minor, realise that you will need to start in year 2 if you want to complete your bachelor’s degree in the designated 3 year window.

Free choice (30ECTS)
Whether you want to take on another ‘verdiepingspakket’, a second minor, do an internship or follow some completely random courses* just because they peeked your interest: you can fill up these ECTS with whichever courses you want!
*mind master’s degree entrance requirements though, your free choice provides  a great opportunity to get in that specific course for that one master’s.



Within your major you have to complete four courses (30ECTS) that are at least level 2. Additionally you have to complete six courses (45ECTS) at level 3 .

1. Mandatory courses (60ECTS)
In your first and second year you should have completed the following eight mandatory courses:

  • Written English (TV1), Spoken English (TV2) and Accurate English (TV3)
  • Academic Reading, Introduction to Old and Middle English and Shakespeare’s World
  • Linguistics I and II

Once you have completed these courses, level-wise you still need:
– Two courses that are at least level 2 courses within your major
– Two courses that are at least level 2 in either your major or your ‘profileringsruimte’
– Four level 3 courses within your major


2. Mandatory choice & ‘Academische Context’ (67,5ECTS)
Five courses (37,5ECTS) have to be completed that count towards your mandatory choice. Additionally you have to complete four (30ECTS) ‘academische context’ courses. You can choose from this set.  Mind the following:

– At least three courses (22,5ECTS) have to be level 3

– In your mandatory choice:

  • You need two ‘letterkunde’ courses (15ECTS)
  • You need two ‘taalkunde’ courses (15ECTS)

– Two of your ‘academische context’ courses are mandatory and usually completed in your first year:

  • Inleiding Algemene Taalwetenschappen
  • Inleiding Algemene Literatuurwetenschappen


3. Thesis (7,5ECTS)
To complete your bachelor’s degree you will have to write a thesis (which counts as a level 3 course). This has to be relevant to at least one level 3 course you have completed. More information on the process of writing a thesis can be found under the heading thesis on this page.



If you followed the rules within the major you should now have six level 3 courses and four courses that are at least level 2. To complete your bachelor’s degree you will need to make sure that you have six courses that are at least level 2, which means you might have to mind these regulations when choosing courses within your ‘profileringsruimte.’
Whether you want to take on a minor, do an internship or follow some completely random courses* just because they peeked your interest: you can fill up these six courses with whatever you want!
*mind master’s degree entrance requirements though, your free choice provides a great opportunity to get in that specific course for that one master’s.

[tab: Double Bachelor’s Degree]

Looking for some extra challenge and thinking of maybe adding some extra education to your years in Utrecht? Then take a look at the procedure to enrol in an additional bachelor’s degree, thereby completing a double bachelor in only three years time.

[tab: Thesis]

When you write your thesis you have to link it to one of the courses you have taken. You will be appointed a ‘begeleider’ after you’ve submitted your thesis proposal. You can submit proposals by emailing to However, before doing so make sure you read through this.

[tab: BSA]

BSA, or Bindend Studie Advies is a measure of the university that tells them the likelihood of a student succesfully completing the bachelor’s degree programme. The BSA states that in your first academic year you will need at least 45 out of 60ECTS (6 out of 8 courses).
Before februari you will get a prelimary advice based on the ECTS you have collected thus far. If this advice is negative and you continue but don’t get the 45ECTS necessary for a your BSA you will be unable to register for ‘Engelse Taal en Cultuur’ for the next four years. If you do quit before february this rule does not apply and you will be able to reenroll the next academic year.