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Why study at SELCS?

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The School of European Languages & Culture (SELCS) comprises the Departments of Dutch, French, German, Italian, Scandinavian Studies and Spanish & Latin American Studies.

In any given year, SELCS academic staff and teaching fellows teach approximately 750 undergraduate students, 100 postgraduate taught (MA) students, 100 research students and 15 ‘short’ course students. Currently it has almost 50 academic staff, over 40 teaching fellows, 2 research associates, 2 postdoctoral fellows and 13 administrative staff.

The range of our research and teaching, at all levels, is distinctive for the following reasons:

Range of Languages

We focus on Dutch (including Flemish), French, Dutch-speaking, Francophone and Hispanophone Caribbean, German (including Austrian), Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Old Norse and Icelandic.

The programmes taught in School draw upon most of 30 or so ancient and modern languages taught at UCL. In addition, many programmes permit students to take courses in departments outside the School or at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).

Geographical Regions

The teaching and research interests of SELCS staff embrace Western Europe - Eastern Europe is covered by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES), with whom SELCS collaborates closely - and regions in which languages originating from Western Europe are spoken, for example Latin America, including the Caribbean, and the Maghreb.

Range of Themes

Themes we examine include colonialism and postcolonialism, cultural history, digital humanities, feminist theory, film, gender, language and language learning, linguistics, literature, history, history of analytical psychology and psychoanalysis, intellectual history, literary criticism, manuscript studies and book history, memory, national identity, politics and political philosophy, queer theory and gay studies, translation studies, travel writing, women’s writing, visual art.

Chronological Scope

Teaching and research covers everything from the Middle Ages to the present, with all periods represented equally.


SELCS accommodates students wishing to focus on a language or two or more languages and the cultures associated with them, as well as those who prefer an interdisciplinary approach examining genres and approaches that cut across conventional disciplinary boundaries.