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Online Dutch Course - Early Modern Dutch

Enrolment is now open for the following start dates: 22nd October, 12th November and 3rd December 2018.

University College London offers a tutor-supported online course teaching reading skills in Early Modern Dutch (i.e. the language of the Golden Age of the Netherlands and Flanders in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century). The course, which is taught on a one-to-one basis (i.e. each student is taught individually via Skype by his or her personal tutor), is open to both learners with or without prior knowledge of Dutch and is available worldwide. You decide whether your private online teaching sessions via Skype take place in the day time or the evening - for every Skype class, you agree with your tutor on a day and time that suits both you and your tutor.

The course consists of multiple modules which can be studied individually or as 'packages' depending on your interests or your starting knowledge of Dutch or Early Modern Dutch. After signing up your personal teacher contacts you and you receive an individual log-in and password for access to the online course modules. After you complete the course, you continue to have access to the course materials. At the bottom of this page, you find links to sign up and pay for the Early Modern Dutch courses.

Books Bredero

The so-called general module of the course is aimed at students with no or little knowledge of Dutch and therefore geared to general comprehension of the language. You practise your reading skills through various tasks and exercises on vocabulary, grammar and syntax, and content. The text materials you study are modernised versions of Early Modern texts. The course runs over 10 study weeks and is taken by all students with little or no prior knowledge of Dutch before they can move on to any of the other modules of the course.
In the specialist modules which are for students who have completed the general module or who have an intermediate reading knowledge of Modern Dutch, you learn to read texts in the original language of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. The specialist modules consist of three sub-modules: the first covers historical 16th and 17th-century Dutch texts, the second deals with texts on art from the period and the third covers original texts that are important for the history of Early Modern Dutch and Flemish culture. You choose one or two modules which are most closely associated with your own specialist subject. You again practise your reading through various tasks on the original spelling, Early Modern grammar and syntax, and vocabulary. The course runs over 10 study weeks.
The eighteenth-century module is for students who have completed the Specialist Module. The course content and the exercises are geared at developing advanced language, reading and translation skills in eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish texts. The studied texts are of a historical and cultural nature. The course runs over 5 study weeks.
The manuscript module can be taken by students who have completed the specialist or 18th-century module or who have an advanced reading knowledge of Early Modern Dutch. It focuses on developing reading skills in handwritten texts of the 17th and 18th century, although other exercises are aimed at improving your knowledge of the original spelling, vocabulary and grammar of the period. The studied texts are primarily of a historical nature. The course runs over 5 study weeks.

The course is delivered entirely online by means of a web-based learning environment. All your course work you send to your personal tutor via email for written feedback and corrections. You also participate in regular one-to-one Skype lessons with your tutor. They allow you to interact directly with your personal tutor and to get feedback and explanations on your course work, as well as advice and guidance on reading and understanding the language of the time. All our tutors are native speakers of Dutch and have been awarded a PhD degree in Early Modern Dutch. Click here to get to know our teaching staff.

The Early Modern Dutch Reading Skills Study Guide gives further details regarding the course. .

If you have any further queries or you are unsure about your starting level of Dutch, email the course tutor, Dr An (ucldava@ucl.ac.uk). 

You can read the testimonials of current and former students of the Early Modern Dutch course.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course you will have

  • the ability to read Early Modern Dutch
  • insight into the Early Modern Period in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • insight into language structure and good self study skills

What Materials Do You Need for this Course?

You need internet access and a computer (desktop, laptop or tablet) and webcam. The course includes live sessions using Skype.

The only printed book you need is a translating dictionary (Dutch/English, English/Dutch).

Course Delivery

The courses are  delivered by means of an online learning environment. After you complete the course you continue to have access to the online course materials. The courses include frequent (individual) teaching sessions via Skype.
Note that the Skype tutorials do not take place at a set time. You decide with your tutor for each individual call on a day and time that suits you both. Note however that once the Skype session has been arranged, calls need to be cancelled and postponed no later than 24 hours before the call is due to take place. If you don't cancel the call in time, it will be assumed to have taken place. If you decide to have the session at a new date, you need to pay an extra charge via the Online Store of UCL.

Students with no or little knowledge of Dutch may sign up for one of the following course packages. To register, click on the link below to pay via the UCL online store:

Registration and Fees

Students with an intermediate knowledge of Modern Dutch may sign up for one of the following packages. To register, click on the link below to pay via the UCL online store:

Students with a good reading knowledge of Early Modern Dutch may be interested in the following course. To register, click on the link below to pay via the UCL online store:

  • Early Modern Dutch - Manuscript (Module). 5 study weeks (£335.00)


If you prefer to pay by bank transfer, contact Sam, the financial administrator (s.keenan@ucl.ac.uk).

A note on fees - UCL has a no refund policy for course fees. Refunds of course fees minus a £100 administration charge will only be considered in cases of serious illness. Claims must be made in writing and be supported by verifiable documentation.