About the programme

What do we teach?

The Dutch Studies field of study focuses on language and literature, including cultural education and translator training.

Why study Dutch?

Dutch is the mother tongue of an estimated 23 million speakers, living mainly in the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium. Apart from that, it is the official language of the Netherlands Antilles area and Suriname, and its daughter language, Afrikaans, is one of South Africa’s official languages.

You will gain knowledge about the language, culture, politics, trade, history and present state of Dutch speaking regions. Upon graduation, you may pass it on, and become a professional providing contact and communication with these areas.

For more information on graduate employment, see the “Profile of the graduate” section.

Organization of study

Dutch Studies at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University offers a single-major degree or, in combination with another field, a double-major degree. These options are available both in the bachelor’s and master’s programmes.

Bachelor’s programme of study

Our aim is to teach the students to independently communicate, read and write in Dutch as soon as possible – that is why the first year puts a strong emphasis on the language itself. In the three-year bachelor’s programme, the students complete courses on the basics of philology, focusing on three main areas:

  • the history of the literature written in Dutch
  • the history and sociology of Dutch speaking countries
  • basic linguistic disciplines (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax)

The single-major curriculum also comprises general cultural and social courses. All students are obliged to pass an English exam at the B1 level of the CEFR.

Master’s programme of study

The master’s programme of study (post-bachelor programme of study) uses specialised language exercises to ensure further development of the language skills acquired at the bachelor level; however, the main focus of the programme is to deepen the students’ conceptual understanding. The graduates have the knowledge and skills essential for complex scientific work. We concentrate on the following areas:

  • the methods of linguistic and literary research
  • the current areas of focus in linguistics: sociolinguistics, pragmatics, corpus linguistics etc.
  • the basics of the historical evolution of Dutch
  • literary theory, comparative studies, and the current literary and interdisciplinary approaches (critique of representation, postcolonial studies, gender studies, globalization etc.)

The methods are not taught with a view to theory only, but to practice as well.

Studying a linguistic field is intrinsically linked to student trips abroad, provided by the Erasmus+ programmes, inter-university and inter-faculty agreements, and by Dutch Language Union scholarships.

Every year, we host at least two experts from Dutch or Flemish universities, who give lectures. Ties are further strengthened by regular student and teacher meetings at international conferences and colloquia as well. You will have the opportunity to become a part of the international Dutch Studies network.

Approaching a centenary

The Dutch Studies programme at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University is the oldest of its kind in Central Europe, with its centenary to be celebrated in 2021. Our department also composed and published the very first comprehensive Dutch-Czech dictionary (authored by Zdeňka Hrnčířová and František Čermák).

The programme’s tradition stretches as far back as 1921, when the first Dutch classes in Prague were held by the important linguist F. Kalda. Over the years, the teaching staff included many outstanding experts, for example Professors Trnka, Polišenský and Janota. The most important figure to work in the field was undoubtedly Associate Professor Olga Krijtová, Ph.D., a translator and promoter of Dutch literature, and bearer of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

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