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 are in Dutch. Apart from Dutch language acquisition the first year consists of courses of Art History, Introduction to Dutch Studies, Language Analysis and Culture and Society of the Netherlands. This last course is an obligatory BSA course (please see the information on BSA in the Student Charter)
|Course||EC||Semester 1||Semester 2|
|Beginners Course 1A - Language Acquisition I||15|
|Dutch Painting 1400 – 1950: introduction to the Art History of the Netherlands||10|
|Introduction to Dutch Studies||5|
|Speaking/Listening 1B - Language Acquisition I||5|
|Reading/Vocabulary 1B - Language Acquisition I||5|
|Writing 1B - Language Acquisition I||5|
|Language Analysis - Linguistics I||5|
|Culture and Society of the Netherlands - Culture I||10|
The second year consists of advanced language courses, introductory courses on Dutch Linguistics, Literature and History of the Netherlands. Students are also attending courses of History of the Dutch Language and Methods of Linguistic, Literary and Historical Research. All the courses in the second year are obligatory.
|Course||EC||Semester 1||Semester 2|
Eerste en tweede semester
|Oral Proficiency: presentation and debating - Language Acquisition II||5|
|History of the Dutch Language - Linguistics II||5|
|Vocabulary/Writing - Language Acquisition II||5|
|Grammar - Language Acquisition II||5|
|Introduction to the History of the Netherlands until 1800||5|
|Introduction to Dutch Literature until 1800||5|
|Grammar/Writing - Language Acquisition II||5|
|Analysis of Literary Texts - Lanugage Acquisition II||5|
|Introduction to Linguistics||5|
|Methods of Linguistic, Literary and Historical Research||5|
|Introduction to Dutch History from 1800 on||5|
|Inleiding in de Nederlandse letterkunde 2 - Cultuurwetenschap II||5|
Apart from a required course of Dutch Language (Vocabulary/Writing/Grammar) and a final paper in the 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.
|Course||EC||Semester 1||Semester 2|
|Vocabulary, Writing and Grammar, Language Acquisition III||10|
Kerncurriculumvak naar keuze (afhankelijk van de gekozen specialisatie)
|Kerncurriculum: Inleiding Historische Wetenschap||5|
|Kerncurriculum: Inleiding literatuurwetenschap||5|
|Kerncurriculum: Talen van de wereld||5|
|Introduction World Art Studies||5|
Keuzeruimte 15 ECTS
|Final Paper Bachelor Dutch Studies||10|
Keuzeruimte 15 ECTS
Keuzevakken specialisatie taalkunde, aangeboden door Nederlandkunde/Dutch Studies
|Introduction Second Language Acquisition||5|
|Topics in tweedetaalverwerving||5|
Binding Study Advice (BSA): additional requirements
Bachelor’s thesis and graduation requirements
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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
In addition to the general requirements, the Department also requires students to have
successfully completed the first-year course ‘Introduction to Dutch Culture and Society’
For information on BSA in English, please see the website:
hum.leidenuniv.nl/dutchstudies. On the homepage, go to ‘Study Manual’.
You can also apply for this digital Study Manual. Please send your request to
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, Introduction to Linguistics, 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 BA-thesis worth 10 EC-credits.
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
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 written a
thesis in Dutch of a maximum of 1000 words (10 EC-credits). 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).