About UCL Dutch

UCL houses the oldest centre for Dutch Studies in the English-speaking world. The Department of Dutch was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. 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. 

Today it offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degree programmes and, as part of the UCL School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS), provides a uniquely supportive environment for those studying Dutch language, literature, history and society from the early modern period to today. In addition to the department's own staff, visiting lecturers and professors from the Netherlands and Flanders together with visiting students from Dutch and Flemish universities ensure regular contact between the department and the Dutch-speaking countries.The department's research interests are varied, broadly encompassing:

  • the Dutch language, critical language awareness and the teaching of Dutch as a foreign language;
  • Dutch literature, especially the Dutch Golden Age, the twentieth century, women's studies and colonial and post-colonial literature,
  • Dutch and Belgian political and cultural history, especially the modern and contemporary period,
  • translation studies and comparative literature.

The range of expertise is reflected in the courses on offer to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Various other UCL departments, including History, History of Art and Geography, have academic staff with highly specialised expertise covering the Low Countries (i.e. both the Netherlands and Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) and parts of the world in which Dutch used to, or continues to, play a role, including the Dutch Caribbean, South-East Asia and parts of Africa and the Americas.

The Dutch Department organises a range of cultural events, often in association with other centres and institutions. It plays a prominent part in various national and international organisations concerned with Dutch Studies and has excellent contacts with universities in the Netherlands, Belgium and further afield.

The department is also fortunate in being able to host an annual Dutch Writer in Residence programme. This involves a Dutch or Flemish writer, whose work has been translated into English, being in residence in the department for part of the year. The department is also the editorial base for the long-standing and award-winning international research journal on interdisciplinary Low Countries Studies, Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies.