Dutch Studies

Dutch studies at the University of Sheffield

Overview

Spoken across the Netherlands, Flanders, Surinam and parts of the Caribbean, Dutch is consistently in the top five of languages most frequently requested by UK employers. 

With around eighty students on our programmes, we are the largest Dutch section in the UK in terms of student numbers. This popularity is a testament to the lively, ambitious atmosphere; there is always something going on and you’ll quickly feel included and at home with us.

Undergraduate degree Combinations

We try to be as flexible as possible, so you can study Dutch over a period of one, two, three or four years and you can start at either Beginner or Intermediate level. In addition to language, we offer a variety of modules on the history, culture and society of the Low Countries.

You can study Dutch language and culture as part of:

BA Modern Languages and Cultures

Within this degree you have two options:

  • Study Dutch combined with ONE other language and culture
  • Study Dutch combined with TWO other languages and cultures

Choose from these languages:

French

German

Russian

Spanish

Portuguese

Czech

Catalan

Italian

Luxembourgish

BA Modern Languages and Cultures

Dual Honours Degree

You can combine Dutch with the following non-language subjects:

  • Archaeology
  • Business Management
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Politics

You can even combine Dutch with a non-language subject plus another language.

Dual Honours Degrees

Dutch Studies at Sheffield

Why Study Dutch?

After Four Years

Modules

Course Structure

Language Modules

At Sheffield you can start studying Dutch from scratch, meaning you need no previous knowledge of Dutch. If you already speak some Dutch you can skip the beginners programme and enter at an appropriate level.

All our language classes are informal and taught in small groups. The emphasis is always on real language in real situations. Right from the start of the course you will be encouraged to speak as much as possible; after all, the best way to learn is by doing.

Dutch Cultural Contexts

Depending on your degree programme you can also opt for Dutch Studies modules. This is the opportunity to put your language skills in the cultural context.

We offer courses on contemporary society, culture and literature of the Netherlands and Flanders. Our small groups teaching means that you have real influence on your course. Many of our courses are aimed at making the most of your position: as a (native) speaker of English you will be in a prime position to negotiate Dutch issues for a global audience.

Dutch as a free credits module

You can also study Dutch as free credits as long as you have some experience with modern language learning. You would be taking the language classes only and you are taught together with the other undergraduate students.

News in Dutch Studies

Dutch Studies in Short Videos

banner with Maud Vanhauwaert

Modules

Year 1
Dutch For Beginners 4 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
For this intensive beginners language course you will work for 4 hours a week in small groups. Dutch is an accessible Germanic language spoken by 24 million people. We will work on all aspects of language learning and and you will read your first short book in Dutch before Christmas. With a bit of effort and dedicaton you will reach a generous CEF level A2. Our students tend to really enjoy this course.
Dutch Intermediate Language 3 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
This Dutch Intermediate module builds on the language skills you have already acquired before coming to university. At the end of this course you can understand and speak Dutch in common social circumstances, read all but the most complicated Dutch text without difficulty (perhaps with the occasional help of your dictionary) and write Dutch texts in both formal and informal styles. We work around a number of cultural and everyday topics and our lively conversation classes are an integral part of the course. In terms of CEFR you will have attained at least level B1.
Born out of Revolt and Concensus. The making of contemporary Netherlands and Belgium 1 hour per week;
two semesters
20 credits
In this module we cover the history and culture of the Low Countries. In our historical overview we visit cultural artifacts and 'windows on historical moments'. In the second semester you will pick your own topic to concentrate on.
Year 2
Dutch for Beginners  4 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
For this intensive beginners language course you will work for 4 hours a week in small groups. Dutch is an accessible Germanic language spoken by 24 million people. We will work on all aspects of language learning and and you will read your first short book in Dutch before Christmas. With a bit of effort and dedicaton you will reach a generous CEF level A2. Our students tend to really enjoy this course.
Dutch Intermediate 3 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
This module builds on the language skills you have built up during the Beginners' Dutch course in your First Year. At the end of this course you can understand and speak Dutch in common social circumstances, read all but the most complicated Dutch text without difficulty (perhaps with the occasional help of your dictionary) and write Dutch texts in both formal and informal styles. We work around a number of cultural and everyday topics and our lively conversation classes are an integral part of the course. In terms of CEFR you will have attained at least level B1.
Dutch Advanced 3 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
For those students who finished Dutch Intermediate in their first year, we offer an Advanced Dutch language course in Second Year. We will build on your vocabulary in Dutch, you will become more fluent and your grammar gets more and more sophisticated. This growing knowledge and confidence in Dutch means that we can introduce a translation element: you will work with a Dutch or Flemish visiting author and a professional translator. We also focus on speaking and presenting in Dutch with confidence and on writing longer pieces for a variety of audiences for example blogs, commentaries, opinion and creative pieces. You will reach level CEFR B2/C1.
Dutch Literature, Culture and Society: (post)colonial and Multicultural Netherlands 1,5 hours per week
one semester
10 credits
This course treats literature as a way of thinking about the world. We talk about real issues in the real world and look at how literary writing always says something about the culture, the circumstances and the situation of the text. You could call this a 'cultural studies' approach towards literature: we look beyond 'the words on the page. Also literally because this course includes quite a lot of history, in particularly colonial history and a discussion of contemporary Dutch society. We also look at British colonial history.

Dutch Project: Postcards from Ostend*

*this module runs if one of the content course above is not running

1,5 hours per week
one semester
10 credits
In the years that we run a project module, we reseach a current topic, collaborate with a cultural partner and work towards a clear end result that can be shared or presented. In the past this had led to collaborations with the Dutch Centre in London, the British Library, Flemish-Dutch House of Cultre deBuren. We have produced a play, short stories about Sheffield, literary translations, and a student conference.

Year Abroad

There are three Year Abroad options:

University Study Teaching Placement Work Placement

In the Netherlands we have links with:

  • Universiteit Utrecht
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen

In Belgium we are partnered with:

  • KU-Leuven (Campus Brussel)
  • RU-Gent

For many years now, our student opt for a teaching placement in the Netherlands. The section has links with the Early English Programme in Den Bosch.

This is for you if you like working in a team with children of various ages. Involves singing.

We have a number of work placements on our books but we also encourage you to find a work placement with your chosen business or charity.

We have our Year Abroad requirements, so we check what you suggest, but we believe that it is your Year Abroad and that you can shape your year according to your interests and ambitions.

Year 4
 
Dutch Intermediate 3 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
This module builds on the language skills you have built up during the Beginners' Dutch course in your First Year. At the end of this course you can understand and speak Dutch in common social circumstances, read all but the most complicated Dutch text without difficulty (perhaps with the occasional help of your dictionary) and write Dutch texts in both formal and informal styles. We work around a number of cultural and everyday topics and our lively conversation classes are an integral part of the course. In terms of CEFR you will have attained at least level B1.
Dutch Advanced 3 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
Dutch Advanced builds on Intermediate Dutch: your vocabulary grows, you get more fluent and your grammar gets more and more sophisticated. This growing knowledge and confidence in Dutch means that we can introduce a translation element: you will work with a Dutch or Flemish visiting author and a professional translator. We also focus on speaking and presenting in Dutch with confidence and on writing longer pieces for a variety of audiences for example blogs, commentaries, opinion and creative pieces. You will reach level CEFR B2/C1.
Dutch for Specialists 3 hours per week
two semesters
20 credits
This course is taught together with Dutch Advanced. We cover advanced reading and writing, introduce translation and we concentrate on speaking and presenting. We draw on a Visiting Author, a professional translator, and other guests and native speakers. You will be at a level that you can really benefit from much exposure with native speakers. We aim for CEFR C1/2 level.
Familie duurt een mensenlevenlang
Representation of family life in contemporary Dutch and Flemish Culture
1.5 hours per week
one semester
10 credits
This is a module about the family. Not just about Dutch or Flemish families, but about how families are represented in literature, in films, and in the media. The family is a powerful construct and in this course we will unpick the fixed expectations and roles and behaviour that are part of the family ideology. Most of our sources will be literary texts in Dutch and films or documentaries. We also include theoretical and reflective pieces on the family. Students find this course a real eye-opener.

Dutch Project*

*this module runs if one of the content course above is not running

1.5 hours per week
one semester
10 creditss
In the years that a project module runs we reseach a current topic, collaborate with a cultural partner and work towards a clear end result that can be shared or presented. In the past this had led to collaborations with the Dutch Centre in London, the British Library, Flemish-Dutch House of Cultre deBuren. We have produced a play, short stories about Sheffield, literary translations, and a student conference.
Dissertation in Dutch Studies

6 contact hours 
2 semesters
20 credits

Depending on your Degree Programme you can choose to write a dissertation on a Dutch Studies topic. This is likely to be in the field of contemporary Netherlands and Flemish literature or culture or on a sociolinguistic topic.

Student Translation Project

Culture of Creative Learning

* The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is current and relevant. Individual modules may be updated or withdrawn in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, curriculum review, staff availability, and variations in student numbers. In the event of a material change the University will inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.