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Dutch Studies: Language, Culture and History - MA/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

This flexible programme combines in-depth exploration of the Dutch language area, comprising the Netherlands, Flanders, Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean, with practical acquisition of linguistic and intercultural skills and a range of specialisations in translation, literature, history and culture in the Low Countries, all in a global perspective.

Degree information

The Dutch Studies MA, unique in the UK, consist of a core module offering a choice of themes and concepts - Post-Colonialism, Memory, Collective Identities and Trauma - and options in Dutch literature, culture, history and society. It offers the opportunity to acquire and improve Dutch language skills as part of its regular programme, along with the methods, concepts and theories essential for the intercultural labour market.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme offers two pathways: taught and research.

Taught: core course (30 credits), taught modules (90 credits), dissertation (60 credits). Research: core course (30 credits), taught modules (60 credits), dissertation (90 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, one core module (30 credits), three optional modules (90 credits) full-time nine months or part-time two years, is offered. A Postgraduate Certificate, one core module (30 credits), one optional module (30 credits) full-time three months, part-time six months, is offered.

Core module
-Language, Culture and History. This core module permits research into two areas of major contemporary interest; for example, topics explored during the current year include the following: Trauma; Memory; Visual Culture; Queer(y)ing Sexuality.

Optional modules - students take a choice of optional modules on topics such as the following:
-Contemporary History, Culture and Society of the Low Countries
-Making Modern Dutch Literature
-Advanced Translation from Dutch into English
-Dutch Language
-Project in Dutch
-Modern Literary Theory
-Comparative Literary Studies
-Translation Studies
-Gender Studies
-Theoretical Issues in History and Literature

All students undertake an independent research project in the broad area of Modern Dutch Studies, which culminates in a dissertation of 12,000 words, for the taught pathway and 18,000 words for the research pathway.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations, class discussions and individual tutorials. Assessment is through a variety of methods including coursework, essays, oral presentation, unseen examination and project work. UCL Dutch is known for its advanced use of innovative digital teaching and learning resources.


As labour market intelligence by the University Council for Modern Languages (2011) points out, Dutch is one of the five most requested languages in the UK job adverts, ahead of Russian and even Chinese! This is due to the close economic and cultural ties between the Netherlands, Flanders and the UK. Moreover, the report points out that even if your trading partners speak English well, it still pays to speak their language, having developed intercultural skills as taught by UCL Dutch.

As graduates with Dutch are rare this makes for a very vibrant employment situation, even in times of economic crisis. There is demand for graduates who can help overcome the shortage of teachers of Dutch and translators from Dutch into English. The demand for teachers is from adult education institutes and increasingly from higher and secondary education; in the case of translators it comes from Dutch, Belgian and European institutions, from translation agencies and from business.

The programme, unique to the UK, will be of interest both to those who wish to enhance their knowledge of Dutch culture for professional purposes – in the field, for example, of education, media, commerce and tourism – as well as to students wishing to pursue their studies to a doctoral level.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Dutch is the largest Centre for Low Countries Studies in the Anglophone world. It was here that Dutch first attained the status of a serious academic discipline and a chair in Dutch has been occupied almost continuously since 1919. In both teaching and research the department is an internationally recognised centre for excellence.

UCL Dutch has one of the largest Dutch libraries outside of the Low Countries and hosts an annual Writer-in-Residence as well as regular research seminars by visiting lecturers and professors from the Netherlands and Flanders, together with exchange students ensuring close contact between the department and the Dutch-speaking countries.

UCL's central location offers students easy access to London's extraordinary resources, including the major collection of Dutch and Flemish Art in the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute of Art, and the Warburg Institute, among many others. The cultural offerings of the Dutch Centre Austin Friars, Flanders House, and the Dutch and Belgian embassies and associations, and a wealth of exhibitions, films and theatrical performances are all nearby.

Visit the Dutch Studies: Language, Culture and History - MA/PGDip/PGCert page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Jean Orr Scholarship - Single Award

£7,000 per annum, for one academic year only. This will be applied to the cost of tuition fees for the year, and any additional amount (if relevant) will be paid to the recipient as maintenance.

Value of Scholarship(s)



One scholarship for a postgraduate Master's student studying in one or more of the following Departments – History, French, Italian and Dutch – awarded on the basis of academic merit.

Application Procedure

Candidates will be selected by academic departments on the basis of the admission application form.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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