Dutch Studies, 2017-2018

First year

The first year of Dutch Studies consists mainly of language acquisition courses. In the first semester English is used as a language of instruction; in the second semester all courses, except Philosophy of Science are in Dutch. Apart from Dutch language acquisition the first year consists of courses of Dutch Painting, Dutch Debates, Language Analysis and Dutch Society Represented in Dutch Movies. This last course is an obligatory BSA course (please see the information on BSA in the Student Charter)


Second year

The second year consists of advanced language courses, introductory courses on Dutch Linguistics, Literature and History of the Netherlands. Students are also attending courses Fifteen centuries of the Netherlands and Methods of Linguistic, Literary and Historical Research. All the courses in the second year are obligatory.


Third year

Apart from a required courses of Dutch Language (Academic writing and Oral Exam on the Departmental Reading List) and a Bachelor’s Thesis Dutch Studies, the third year consists of a modular course or a minor in Dutch Linguistics, Literature, History or Art History. Those courses are taken at another department, mostly the Dutch Language and Culture Department, The History Department or The Art History Department. In the third year the students are also required to take two Core Curriculum courses in order to obtain the general knowledge necessary for all the students of the Faculty of Humanities.


Discretionary Space

Due of the overlap with the courses in the regular BA-programme, the Discretionary Space courses may be only followed extracurriculair by the regular Dutch Studies students f

More info

Binding Study Advice (BSA): additional requirements
Follow-on master’s programme


The Dutch Studies Department trains non-native speakers of Dutch to become experts
on the Netherlands and the Dutch language. Students acquire extended knowledge
of the language and culture of the Netherlands. They also acquire the ability to tackle
theoretical and practical problems in a manner consistent with the practice in this field of
study. Most of all, students learn to independently reflect on the literature of the field.
Graduates have acquired a command of Dutch at C1 level for reading and listening skills.
For spoken interaction, speaking and writing, graduates have acquired a B2 level or
higher. For more information on these levels, see:

Achievement Levels

I. Graduates of the programme have attained the following achievement levels:
a. knowledge and understanding of the nature and scope of the discipline of Dutch Language, Culture and Studies, and thus
• the foundation and historical development of the Dutch language,
• an overview of writers, movements and works of Dutch literature,
• an overview of the history of the Netherlands and of Dutch art and cultural history, and
• aspects of contemporary Dutch culture and society;
b. knowledge and understanding of the key terms, instruments, research methods and techniques of the history of the Netherlands, Dutch linguistics, literary studies, art history and cultural history;
c. the ability to use the acquired knowledge and understanding to form a well-reasoned opinion on a topic in the discipline of Dutch, Language, Culture and Society that they have not yet covered.

II. This means that graduates in the field of literary studies:
a. have knowledge and understanding of a limited but representative body of primary texts from the Middle Ages to the present day;
b. are able to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired by placing the most important writers, texts and movements in a literary-historical context;
c. are able to analyse a literary text in a scholarly way and report on this.

III. This means that graduates in the field of linguistics:
a. have knowledge of basic Dutch phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics;
b. are able to apply the knowledge and understanding acquired through the most important research questions, research methods, theories and findings to the field of second language acquisition;
c. are able to analyse spoken and written language in a scholarly way and report on this.

IV. This means that graduates in the field of art history:
a. have knowledge of aspects of visual arts in the Netherlands from the Middle Ages to the present day, and have an understanding of the most important approaches in the discipline;
b. are able to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired by placing the most important Dutch works of art and movements, the influence of Dutch art abroad or the interaction between Dutch and foreign artists in an historical and cultural context;
c. are able to analyse the above art-history topics in a scholarly way and report on this.

V. This means that in the field of history graduates:
a. have knowledge of aspects of the history of the Netherlands from prehistory down to the present day;
b. are able to apply the knowledge and understanding they have acquired by placing the most important events and developments in a historical and cultural context
c. are able to analyse a historical topic in a scholarly way and report on this.

VI. Aims and objectives from the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Reference Propaedeuse Bachelor’s Listening B1/B2 C1 Reading B1/B2 C1 Spoken interaction B1 B2 Spoken production B1 B2 Writing B1 B2Furthermore, each Humanities programme at Leiden University trains the students in general academic skills formulated by the Faculty.

Binding Study Advice (BSA): additional requirements

In addition to the general requirements the Department also requires students to have
successfully completed the first-year course ‘Dutch Society represented in Dutch Movies’



The focus of the Bachelor’s programme in Dutch Studies lies on Dutch language and
culture. The first (propedeuse) and the second year of the Bachelor’s programme consist
of compulsory courses. English will be used as the language of instruction only in the first semester
of the first year. In the third year, there is room for a subsidiary subjects (worth a
total of 30 EC-credits, 15 EC-credits per semester).

First and second year

Teaching in the first two years concentrates on language acquisition: language acquisition courses represent half the credits in the first year and one third of the credits in the second year. In the first two years, special attention is also paid to the study of language from a scientific perspective. In addition, the first year includes introductions to Dutch Studies, Dutch Art History
and Dutch Culture and Society, while the second year includes introductions to Dutch
Linguistics, Literature and History. From the first year onwards, students are trained in
research methods and techniques.

Third year

The third year consists of advanced language training. An important part of the third
year is the Core Curriculum consisting of a Philosophy of Science course and one of the
following courses: Introduction to Historical
Studies, Languages of the World, Introduction to Literary Studies or World Art Studies.
During this last year students specialize in Dutch literature, linguistics, history or art history. They are also required to write a Bachelor’s Thesis Dutch Studies worth 10 EC-credits and follow a Thesis seminar.

Discretionary space

In addition to the main subjects and Core Curriculum subjects, the third year offers
students room for subsidiary subjects worth 30 EC-credits. Since students are also required
to choose their specialisation and write a Bachelor’s thesis, they are advised to select a
subsidiary subject of Dutch Linguistics, Dutch Literature, Dutch History or Dutch Art

B.A. Thesis and requirements for graduation

In order to graduate, students are required to have completed the full 180-EC-credit programme including the main Dutch Studies subjects, the Core Curriculum subjects, a
subsidiary subject and the Bachelor’s thesis.
To conclude the Bachelor’s programme in Dutch Studies, students must have followed the Thesis seminar and must have written a
thesis for 10 EC-credits in Dutch of a maximum of 1000 words per EC-credit. The thesis research and writing
must be carried out independently, under the supervision of a professor. The choice of a
supervisor depends on the choice of the thesis subject.
Read more about the regulations for the Bachelor’s thesis (in Dutch).


There are four specialisations:
1. Dutch Linguistics
2. Dutch Literature
3. Dutch History
4. Dutch Art History

Programme specific regulation

Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. Students may miss up til two out of thirteen lecuters (regardless the reason). Students who are absent more than twice have to contact the study advisor. If, according to the judgement of the student advisor, there are special personal circumstances involved, one can deviate from the rule of not being allowed to miss the lectures and tutorials more than twice. The study advisor makes a decision after having consulted the lecturer(s) and reports to the student and the lecturer(s) concerned.

Follow on master’s programme

Students in possession of a Bachelor’s degree in Dutch Studies are automatically admitted
to the one-year Master’s programme in Dutch Studies. The specialisation at which the students can be admitted depends on the specialisation chosen in the third year of the bachelor programme. Depending on their study results and courses followed in the third year of their bachelor programme, students can also be admitted to a two-year Research Master, e.g. ‘Study of Art and Literature’ or ‘Linguistics’

For more information on the Master’s programmes and the application procedure, see mastersinleiden.nl.