P42 int broch English language and culture
English Language
and Culture

English is a true world language. In this programme, you will obtain an excellent command of English, while studying the culture and literature of English-speaking countries. In addition, you will be able to explore the linguistic aspects of the language.

The BA programme in English Language and Culture has a uniquely broad scope. It covers English in all its varieties, from the earliest beginning in the Middle Ages to the present day. As a student of English in Leiden, you will learn to speak, read and write the language at an advanced near-native level. At the same time, you will familiarise yourself with the literature of English-speaking countries, including Great Britain, Ireland, the United States, Canada, and various African, Asian and Caribbean nations. You will also study Old and Middle English texts, which will bring you right on the doorstep of the Middle Ages. Additionally, you will explore the language itself from various theoretical and pragmatic perspectives, including the relation between language changes and societal changes over the ages.


Over the course of the programme, you will study the following areas: language, literature, linguistics and philology. Within these four areas, the programme offers courses on more specialised topics, such as Anglo-Saxon studies, Renaissance literature, Gothic and horror literature, translation studies, the analysis of metaphors in language use, and historical sociolinguistics.

Bachelorgids UL Tahani Lalmahomed foto

Tahani Lalmahomed
Senior student

‘In the second year, you can choose between American and British literature. I've chosen American literature and during the first semester we discussed the period of slavery in the United States. This was intriguing: gaining more background information about the subject will make the literature much more interesting. During the programme, everybody needs to choose a specialisation: literature, philology or linguistics. I've chosen literature. I'd love to pursue a career in this field, which is also the reason that I've filled my elective space of 30 ECTS with a minor Journalism.’

Curriculum: English Language and Culture

English Language and Culture 2023 vs 4

Why study English in Leiden? 

  • You will develop a near-native command of the English language and learn to think and write about all possible aspects of language at a high academic level.

  • If you want to know more about Old and Middle English, then Leiden is the place to be.

  • You will be taught by enthusiastic and accessible lecturers who enjoy international reputations as scientists in their respective fields.

  • English Language and Culture is an internationally oriented, ambitious and, above all, enjoyable programme.

Internship options

An internship is an ideal way to find out what really interests you, as well as an excellent way of finding out out whether the kind of job that appeals to you will also suit you. An internship will offer you work experience, additional skills and valuable network contacts. Companies where our students have done internships typically include publishers and translation agencies, both inside and outside the Netherlands.

Studying abroad

A stay in an English-speaking country is a unique experience. It will give you an even better command of the English language and every opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture. As a result of Brexit, opportunities to study in the UK for the moment are limited, but we have excellent connections with universities in e.g. Ireland, the United States and Canada.

Your future career

After obtaining your diploma, you will find yourself in demand on the job market for positions in education, government, or publishing. Graduates of the English Language and Culture programme typically find jobs with organisations such as:

  • International accounting and tax consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Koninklijke Bibliotheek Nederland (the Netherlands Royal Library)
  • Lemniscaat Publishing
  • the American School of the Hague


Part of the admission and application procedure is participation in the matching module. Matching helps you determine whether the focus and level of the programme are for you. You receive advice in order to solidify your decision to start this programme.

P43 int broch English language and culture

Location: Leiden


year programme, 180 ECTS


English-taught programme established




largest lecture size


maximum tutorial size