Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2016

Dutch BA

This four-year programme focuses on the language, culture and history of the Netherlands and Flanders, two regions neighbouring the UK that are among its largest trading partners. Students start learning Dutch from scratch and graduate as fluent and interculturally competent speakers of this global language.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Dutch BA
UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
European Languages, Culture and Society
Total intake (by subject area)
194 (2016 entry)
Applications per place (by subject area)
5 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

Foreign language preferred.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 16 points in three higher level subjects preferably including a foreign language, with no score lower than 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 28 credits awarded with Merit in the Level 3 units.

D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Foreign Language preferred.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Foreign Language preferred.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma Core with grade B, plus 2 GCE A-levels at grades AB. Foreign language preferred.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • No previous knowledge of Dutch is required, as you will receive intensive language training in the first two years if you start the subject from scratch. You may also start as a more advanced speaker of Dutch.
  • You can go on summer language courses after the first year and will spend the third year of study in Holland or Flanders (the northern part of Belgium), benefiting from the extensive contacts the department has with Dutch and Belgian universities including Amsterdam, Utrecht, Leiden and Antwerp.
  • You will study in a small, friendly department that has a high staff:student ratio, which is unusual in higher education.
  • You will have access to the most comprehensive Dutch Library in the English-speaking world, including our collection of Dutch and Belgian films and documentaries on DVD and multimedia learning resources.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

The Dutch BA is a four-year, single-subject programme. Each year, students take a total of four course credits. The intensive language course develops practical language skills while the cultural studies courses focus on issues of identities and communities, and ways of investigating contemporary culture. Aside from core courses, you can choose options in literature, history and sociolinguistics.

You may also take School of European Languages, Culture & Society (ELCS) courses, which allow students to study literature, film, art and culture from outside their subject area(s), focusing on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches from an interdisciplinary perspective and drawing on the full range of specialisms within the school.

The third year of study is spent in the Netherlands or Belgium, during which you may study at a Dutch or Belgian university, teach as a language assistant, or work on placement in a field related to your studies or intended career.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Dutch Language I

Optional courses

You will select courses from a wide range of options. Options may include:
Born out of Rebellion: The Netherlands from the Dutch Revolt to the Eve of World War I
Modern Dutch Literary Texts

You may also choose courses from a wide range offered by the School of European Language, Culture and Society, which may include:
Historical Linguistics: Language Birth, Death and Decay
Introduction to the Study of Language
Language in Society: Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Nationalism and Ethnicity in Contemporary Europe
The Holocaust Witnessed: Remembered, Represented
and many more.

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Dutch Language II

Optional courses

You will select courses from a wide range of options. Options may include:
At the Crossroads Of Europe: Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Multiculturalism and Identity
20th Century Dutch Literature: Themes

You may also choose courses from a wide range offered by the School of European Language, Culture and Society, which may include:
Historical Linguistics: Language Birth, Death and Decay
Introduction to the Study of Language
Language in Society: Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Nationalism and Ethnicity in Contemporary Europe
The Holocaust Witnessed: Remembered, Represented
and many more.

Year Three

Year spent abroad in the Netherlands or Flanders

Students currently complete a 4,000-word Year Abroad Project in the target language, and:
Any assessment required by a host university (if participating in a university exchange), or
A British Council Assistantship or work placement abroad.

Final Year

Compulsory course

Dutch Language III

Optional courses

You will select courses from a wide range of options. Options may include:
Advanced Translation from Dutch into English
Contemporary Culture and History of the Low Countries
Contemporary Culture and Society of the Low Countries
Dutch Literature 1930-present
Dutch Renaissance and Golden Age Literature
ELCS Advanced Level courses
Project in Dutch.

Your learning

We teach Dutch using modern communicative methods to develop fluency, accuracy and an understanding of stylistic issues. Literature, history, linguistics and cultural studies are taught through a mixture of seminars, group work, web-based courses and tutorials. You will be able to get involved with VirtualDutch, a collaborative teaching network between UCL and Cambridge, Sheffield and Nottingham Universities.


Courses are assessed by various methods: written and oral/aural examinations, essays, presentations and project work.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Dutch BA.


A substantial number of our graduates use their language skills in a variety of contexts, such as public relations (often for multinational companies, many of which have Dutch origins), insurance, banking, political and cultural institutions, or in teaching and translating. Some graduates go on to Master's or PhD programmes.

There is significant and growing demand for Dutch-speaking graduates, despite the recession, as evidenced by regular requests from employers to the department. In the English-speaking context, a university graduate with a good command of Dutch is rare indeed, giving the graduate in Dutch a major asset.

Belgium and the Netherlands belong to the world's most advanced manufacturing and trading areas and are among Britain's largest trading partners, housing the headquarters of numerous multinational companies and the political heart of the European Union and NATO. Dutch has 23 million speakers worldwide and Afrikaans, closely related to Dutch, has some 17 million.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Donor Provision and Welfare Coordinator, Anthony Nolan Trust (2012)
  • Teaching Assistant, UK (2012)
  • Lecturer, UCL (2011)
  • Financial Analyst, Pernod Ricard (2010)
  • Ethnic Minorities Disability Project Officer, Hampshire County Council (2010)

*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2016/17)
Overseas fee
£16,130 (2016/17)


Details about financial support are available at: www.ucl.ac.uk/study/ug-finance


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

Virtus UG Bursary


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

Application and next steps

Your application

You are able to take this programme without any previous knowledge of Dutch. However, the degree does require an interest in languages and a proven ability in language learning (see entry requirements). We take into account your academic performance and educational background, but also place great importance on your personal statement, your motivation to study Dutch, and your referee's report.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation makes you well-suited to our degree and you receive an offer, then we shall invite you to a post-offer Open Day, where you can experience the sort of teaching which we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainments as well as cultural awareness and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students