What is a BA?

The BA, short for Bachelor of Arts, is the first academic degree you can obtain from university. For people wishing to continue their studies, it provides the basis for an MA, Master of Arts. For more detailed information on the BA click here.

What is a module?

The module is the central component of the course of studies. Each module focuses on specific knowledge and/or skills and thus constitutes a major step towards the final degree. Usually, modules consist of different courses that are linked thematically. For further information see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §10/2.

What is a credit point?

1 credit point (CP) equals an average workload of 30 hours. To complete a module, you must collect the required number of CPs from various courses. The CPs will only be awarded if you have fulfilled all the necessary requirements for a specific course. For further information see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §10/3. 

Where can I enroll for the BA programme?

Candidates who wish to study English have to enrol for a BA at the university secretariat. Note that you can only start a BA in English in the autumn term. The registration deadline for each autumn term is 30 April. You can find the application form here.

What do I have to know before starting my studies?

For useful information concerning the start of your studies, please consult the university's Studies page.

How is the Basel BA structured?

For information concerning the overall BA structure of the Faculty of Arts see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §5–12.

How many subjects does the BA programme consist of?

The BA programme consists of two equal subjects (Studienfächer) and a free area (komplementärer Bereich). The Studienfach Englisch may be studied as one BA subject in combination with any other BA subject. In the free area students may choose any modules/courses they wish in order to give their studies a more individual profile. For further information see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §5–10.

What is the BA-Studienfach Englisch about?

The BA-Studienfach Englisch deals with the diverse forms of the English language, English literatures and cultures. These contents are approached and organised in terms of the following academic emphases. These emphases are complemented by courses on civilisation. 

What are the aims and objectives of the BA English?

For detailed information concerning the BA curriculum see the PDFs Wegleitung BA Englisch auslaufend (phased out), Sample Study Plan BA English since 2013, and Wegleitung BA Englisch (since 2013).

When can I start the BA in English?

The BA English starts in the autumn term. Candidates who wish to study English have to apply online for admission. The registration deadline for each autumn term is 30 April. For further information please contact the university's Student Administration Office.

How long does it take to study English at the BA level?

The BA is conceived as a three-year course of full time study. It may, however, be taken part time; this results in prolonged studies. For further information see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §10 (PDF).

With what other BA subjects can the BA English be combined?

In general, the BA English can be combined with any other BA subject offered by the Faculty of Arts and a selection of other subjects from other faculties at the University of Basel. For more detailed information and exceptions see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §6–8 (PDF).

Can I study English as a Haupt- or Nebenfach?

Within the BA system there is no distinction between Haupt- or Nebenfach. English can only be studied as one Studienfach in conjunction with a second Studienfach within the overall BA structure of the Faculty of Arts (see previous question).

What exams do I have to pass for the BA English?

To find out more about the departmental exams and other forms of assessment click here.

The final Bachelor exam is outlined in Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Bachelorstudium §21–23 (PDF).

How is the BA programme in English structured?

To find out more about the BA setup see the PDFs Wegleitung BA Englisch auslaufend (phased out), Section 4, or Wegleitung BA Englisch (since 2013).

Where can I find information about the courses that are offered?

The courses are described in the university's Course Directory.

What course formats do the BA modules consist of?

See course formats below.

How do I enroll for courses?

Freshers have to enrol for courses on the notice boards in the department and in MOnA. All others have to register in MOnA and, if so indicated in the course description, also on other platforms (e.g. ADAM), by e-mail to the instructor or department secretary or on lists posted on the department's notice board (2nd floor, rear building). 

Do I need Latin for the BA?

Latin is no longer required for the BA.

I study at another institution (e.g., Hochschule für Musik). Can I integrate a BA English into my study programme?

For combinations with a subject from outside the Faculty of Arts please ask at the Dekanat Phil.1.

C2 equivalence

On successful completion of the BA in English at Basel University, a graduate’s English language skills are at the European Language Portfolio C2 level. Students applying for teacher training may attach this Statement of Language Proficiency (PDF) to their application at the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) or similar institutions.

What is the MA-Studienfach Englisch about?

The MA-Studienfach Englisch deals with the diverse forms of the English language, English literatures and cultures. These contents are approached and organised in terms of the following academic emphases. These emphases are complemented by courses on civilisation. 

What are the aims and objectives of the MA English?

For detailed information concerning the MA curriculum see the PDFs Wegleitung MA Englisch auslaufend (phased out), the Sample Study Plan MA English (since 2013), and the Wegleitung MA Englisch (since 2013). 

When can I start the MA in English?

The MA English can be started both in the autumn and the spring term. Candidates who wish to study English have to enrol at the Student Administration Office. The registration deadline for the autumn term is 30 April, for the spring term 30 November. You can download the application form here.

How long does it take to study English at the MA level?

The MA is conceived as a two-year course of full-time study. It may, however, be taken part-time: this results in prolonged studies. For further information see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Masterstudium §10.

With what other MA subjects can the MA English be combined?

In general, the MA English can be combined with any other MA subject offered by the Faculty of Arts and a selection of other subjects from other faculties at the University of Basel. For more information and exceptions see Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Masterstudium §57.

Can I study English as a Haupt- or Nebenfach?

English can only be studied as one Studienfach in conjunction with a second Studienfach within the overall MA structure of the Faculty of Arts and a selection of other subjects from other faculties (see above). At first, there is no distinction between Haupt- or Nebenfach. Yet you will write your MA thesis in only one of the your chosen subjects. This subject will then be counted as your Major, while the other subject is your Minor.

What exams do I have to pass for the MA English?

To find out more about the departmental exams and other forms of assessment click here. The final Master exam is outlined in Ordnung der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät für das Masterstudium §27–29.

How is the MA programme in English structured?

To find out more about the MA setup seeWegleitung MA Englisch auslaufend (phased out), Section 4 or Wegleitung MA Englisch (since 2013).

Where can I find information about the courses that are offered?

The courses are described in the Course Directory.

What course formats do the MA modules consist of?

See course formats.

How do I enrol for courses?

You have to register in MOnA and, if so indicated by the instructors in the course description, also on other platforms (such as ADAM) or by e-mail to the instructor or department secretary. 

Do I need Latin for the MA?

Latin is no longer required for the MA.

I study at another institution (e.g., Hochschule für Musik). Can I integrate a MA English into my study programme?

For combinations outside the Faculty of Arts please ask at the Dekanat Phil.I.

For information concerning the BA and MA in Secondary Education (Lehrperson Sekundarstufe I & II) please visit the website of the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW).

C2 equivalence

On successful completion of the BA in English at Basel University, a graduate’s English language skills are at the European Language Portfolio C2 level.

Students applying for teacher training may attach this Statement of Language Proficiency (PDF) to their application at the Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW) or similar institutions.

What course formats are there and how many CPs do I get for the different course formats?

For information concerning CP ratings and corresponding requirements see the PDFs Wegleitung BA Englisch auslaufend (phased out), Section 4, or Wegleitung BA Englisch (since 2013)..

What is a lecture?

Lectures are mainly a form of one-way communication, but questions and feedback are always welcome. Taught in large groups of up to 150 students, individual lectures are given for one or two hours every week. In both literature and linguistics there are lectures that provide an overview of the basics of a field. Other lectures can be more specialised. Lectures may be offered in combination with a tutorial.

What is a (pro)seminar?

Proseminars and seminars are all highly interactive and work-intensive courses that are usually given for two hours every week. They are taught in relatively small groups (10–30 students), and students are expected to contribute to each session with group work, presentations or discussions. 

Proseminars are addressed to students at the beginning of their studies (1st–3th semester). They offer an introduction to some of the major themes and approaches in the respective field. Students are introduced to academic skills, such as different ways of reading texts or the formulation and execution of a short research project. 

Seminars are addressed to students who have successfully completed all introductory courses in the respective field (4th semester onward). Topics are more specialised than in the proseminars and the courses aim at the development of a more detailed understanding of specific questions and approaches in a given field.

What is a research seminar?

Research seminars are addressed to MA students. Topics are dealt with in depth and are more research-oriented than in a seminar. The aim of the course is not only to understand specific questions and approaches in a given field but also to apply and criticise them in a sophisticated manner.

What is a (pro)seminar paper?

Proseminar and seminar papers are forms to practise academic writing and develop other central skills such as brainstorming, obtaining and structuring information, reading, thinking, and re-reading. Dealing with a linguistic or literary research topic, the papers formulate a thesis (what you want to say in your paper) and develop a coherent, sustained argument rather than offering a survey of everything you know about a text or the topic you are dealing with. There are certain conventions regarding the style of academic papers. To write a formally acceptable paper you will learn to follow these rules. Most importantly, you will learn how to indicate precisely the ideas and materials you have integrated in the paper, i.e. to avoid plagiarism.

What are Academic Communication in English courses?

The courses in the module Academic Communication in English (ACE) prepare students for academic work in English linguistics, literature and culture, with a primary emphasis on academic writing. Students must pass three courses to complete the ACE module: the two courses Academic Writing in English I and II, and a third course that belongs to the module (such courses will focus on other forms of writing and communication in English, such as reviewing, translation, or creative writing, among other topics).

Where can I find out about the courses that are offered?

The courses are described in the Course Directory.

An information meeting for all freshers will be held on the first day of the autumn term at the Department of English, Nadelberg 6, Grosser Hörsaal (on ground floor of the rear building behind fountain). We strongly advise you to attend and take the opportunity to get to know members of staff and student groups as well as ask all sorts of questions you may have.

Please do not forget to enrol for your compulsory courses (cf. below).

What do I have to know before starting my studies?

For useful information concerning the start of your studies consult the university's website.

How do I enrol for courses?

Freshers have to enrol for the four compulsory first-semester courses (see below) in MOnA and on sign-up lists where required (see Course Directory).

It is my very first day at the Department of English – Where do I have to go?

An information meeting for new students is held on the first Monday of every autumn term at 18:15 at the Department of English, Nadelberg 6, Grosser Hörsaal (on ground floor of the rear building) and it is important that you attend. Please note that some of your compulsory courses may already start in the morning of or the afternoon of that first day.

When can I start my studies?

BA Students begin their studies in the autumn.

Compulsory courses

Students in their first semester should sign up for the following four courses. Please search for the courses in the autumn term's Course Directory:

  • Proseminar "Introduction to English Linguistics I: Structure and use - 35015" (several sections from which to choose, cf. course description. In order to ensure a good learning environment, we aim at no more than 25 students per class (4 sections). We ask you to register via the following doodle link and recommend that you create a doodle account: https://doodle.com/poll/65a9xiw9hfex4ntu. You may only register TWICE: once for a class section and once for a waiting list. Multiple voting (more than twice) will be removed and you will be assigned a place in a class with free seats after registration has closed. Should you have not made it into one of the courses and you are only able to register for the waiting lists, we guarantee that we will take you in the course with the least student numbers. The doodle will close on 9 September in order to finalize student distribution in the week before term starts.)
  • Lecture: "Research Methodology in Linguistics - 28850" (Tuesday 10–12, give this course priority)
  • Proseminar "Introduction I: Literary Studies - 35016" (several sections from which to choose, please sign up on the online sign-up doodle and then register in the corresponding section on MOnA (see course description for link)
  • "Academic Writing in English I - 35011" (several sections from which to choose, cf. course description. Please sign up in MOnA. The number of participants in each section is strictly limited to 20. If a section is full, you must sign up for one of the alternative sections. You may not register for more than one of the parallel courses.)

Please refer to the autumn term's Course Directory for detailed course descriptions.

Note that your course of studies is regulated by a number of regulations and guidelines.

Who is who?

If you want to know who works at the Department of English or if you want to contact a member of staff click here.

Where is what?

Where are the rooms and facilities at the Department of English? Please refer to the Department section of this website.