Course Types and Modules

BA Courses

The Language Module consists of four courses, which have to be taken during the first year of studies. The courses are evaluated throughout both semesters and at the end of the second semester, which means that Grammar I and Grammar II as well as Writing Skills I and Writing Skills II have to be taken in consecutive semesters.

Autumn semester

  • Grammar I
  • Writing Skills I

Spring semester

  • Grammar II
  • Writing Skills II

In these courses, students will further their knowledge of the English language and become acquainted with the accepted practices of academic language usage. The Language Module and the Core Curriculum form the Propädeutikum. Students need to pass all Propädeutikum courses in order to be allowed to continue with their studies.

For Grammar and Writing Skills, you do not need to register for the course assessment; once you are registered for the courses (both semesters), you are automatically registered for the assessment. How do you register correctly for a course? Go to our KSL Registration site.

Applies to BA major and BA minor 60 ECTS students.

The Core Curriculum comprises six courses, which are part of the Propädeutikum, therefore cumpulsory and need to be taken in the first year of BA studies. The six courses are distributed evenly between the autumn and the spring semester.

Autumn semester

  • Introduction to Literature
  • Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • Earlier Englishes

Spring semester

  • Analysing Literature
  • Analysing Language
  • Literary History

The literature lectures provide an overview of important terminology and methodology in literary studies while the seminar offers the opportunity for in-depth discussion and practice. The language and linguistics lectures give an overview of the most important terminology and methodology in the field of Language and Linguistics and provide students with a historical introduction to earlier forms of the English language.

The Core Curriculum and the Language Module form the Propädeutikum, which means that students need to pass all Core Curriculum and Language Module courses in order to be allowed to continue their studies.

Applies to BA minor 30 ECTS students.

The Reduced Core Curriculum is part of the Propädeutikum and thus compulsory. The Reduced Core Curriculum course are distributed evenly between the autumn and the spring semesters.

Autumn semester

  • Introduction to Literature
  • Introduction to Language and Linguistics

Spring semester

  • Analysing Literature
  • Analysing Language

The literature lecture provides an overview of important terminology and methodology in literary studies while the seminar offers the opportunity for in-depth discussion and practice. The language and linguistics courses give an overview of the most important terminology and methodology in the field of Language and Linguistics.

The Reduced Core Curriculum and the Language Module form the Propädeutikum, which means that students need to pass all Reduced Core Curriculum and Language Module courses in order to be allowed to continue their studies.

Applies to BA major and BA minor 60 ECTS students.

In general, we offer two Focus Modules per semester, one in the field of Literature and one in Language and Linguistics. Focus Modules consist of an ungraded lecture that covers a broader topic and a choice of seminars, which take up and develop different aspects of the thematic focus. To complete a Focus Module, students must attend both the ungraded lecture and one of the seminars offered within the same module and comply with further grade requirements. Focus Modules are usually graded on the basis of a seminar paper of about 4’000 words (or equivalent work specified by the instructor) in connection with the seminar. If any of the parts of a Focus Module is not duly completed, the courses cannot be accredited.

Students can freely choose among the Focus Modules on offer and among the different seminars available within each Focus Module.

A Focus Module (ungraded lecture, seminar and assessment) has to be completed within one semester.

How do you sign up correctly for a Focus Module? Read the information on "KSL Registration".

Every BA lecture on offer within the department, including those that are part of a Focus Module, can also be taken as an ungraded course. In this case, they are evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

BA majors need to complete two ungraded lectures, one in the field of Literature and one in the field of Language and Linguistics. Additional ungraded lectures can be counted towards their optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

BA minors can take BA lectures as part of the optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

BA seminars, including those that are part of a Focus Module, can be taken as graded free-standing seminars (seminar plus seminar assesment for 7 ECTS), or as ungraded seminars (4 ECTS) that are counted towards the total number of optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

BA majors need to complete three graded BA seminars: one seminar in the field of Literature, one in Language and Linguistics and one in either field.

BA minors 60 ECTS have to complete one graded BA seminar in a field of their choice.

BA minors 30 ECTS can complete one ungraded BA seminar of their choice as part of their optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

How do you sign up correctly for a seminar? Register for the seminar (4 ECTS) by the course registration deadline. In addition, register for the seminar assessment (3 ECTS) by the assessment registration deadline if you want to take the seminar as a graded course. For further information go to our KSL registration site.

Advanced Reading List

Instructors in the Department of English have compiled a substantial list of key texts – some “classic”, some cutting edge – that students are expected to have read as part of their BA studies. The goal of this Academic Reading List (ARL) is to promote students’ ability to read and study independently thereby transferring skills and methods acquired in the classroom to their independent exploration of literary and linguistic (i.e. sociolinguistic and discourse-analytic) texts. The main purpose of the ARL exam is to ensure that by the time they have completed their main academic curriculum, students are sufficiently familiar with these representative works.

Inevitably selective, the ARL reading material reflects important concepts and paradigms, landmarks in the development of literary and/or scholarly styles and research practices, and refers to important social settings and cultural contexts where linguistic, communicative and literary practices occur. Thus, while the ARL can only give a small impression of the vast scope and diversity of English studies, it opens up paths for advanced thinking and further research. The ARL comprises two categories, a core list and a specialist list.

Reading List.pdf (PDF, 69KB)

Examination

All students will be expected to sit a short written ARL exam which they must pass before their final registration for their BA thesis. We recommend taking the exam at the end of the fourth term of study.
The ARL exam is offered twice a year in the penultimate week of term. Retakes take place at the beginning of the following semester.
Lasting 30 minutes, the ARL exam comprises six to eight short-answer questions addressing the core list and the students elected specialist list. Students are advised to read the texts attentively to prepare for the exam.
 

For more information regarding the ARL, please look at the ARL section.

Applies to BA major students only.

The BA thesis concludes your BA programme. In order to register for the BA thesis, all compulsory modules, with the exception of the Research Module, must be completed. The BA thesis is about 15,000 words long and has to be completed within three months of registration. Please consult the page "Thesis Information" for more details and deadlines.

While writing their BA thesis, students are required to attend a BA colloquium, in which they have the chance to present their ideas and thesis and get feedback from professors and peers. Only the BA thesis is graded; the BA colloquium is ungraded and is thus evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

Students who study under Study Plan 2014 [2010] are required to do a 13 ECTS BA Module. This means completing two semesters of the BA colloquium: once for 1 ECTS, and once for 2 ECTS. The two colloquiua do not have to be taken in consecutive semesters, but the last one has to be taken while writing the BA thesis (please keep this in mind when planning your Stay Abroad).

Students who study under Study Plan 2017 complete a 14 ECTS Research Module. This means completing two semesters of the BA colloquium for 2 ECTS each. The colloquiua need to be taken in consecutive semesters; students write their BA thesis in the second semester of the colloquium (please keep this in mind when planning your Stay Abroad).

How do you register correctly for BA colloquia in KSL? Go to the "Special Cases" paragraph on the KSL course registration site.

Applies to BA major and minor 60 ECTS students.

The Stay Abroad is a compulsory component of the BA programme. Majors must spend six months abroad, for which they will be awarded 10 ECTS; minor 60 ECTS students must spend at least three months abroad, for which they will obtain 5 ECTS (or more in case of a longer stay abroad). In both cases, students are expected to visit countries in which English is a dominant spoken language. Whilst abroad, students can either work or study. Stays Abroad have to be approved in advance by an International Coordinator (please consult the Who to Ask list). Once the Stay Abroad is done, a dossier of files must be submitted in order for the points to be allotted. As part of that dossier, students write a report of 750 words or commit to giving an oral presentation at the annual Stay Abroad meeting (usually in November). Please read the detailed information in the Stay Abroad section of the website, which includes information about possible exceptions to the Stay Abroad requirement. The Stay Abroad is ungraded (pass/fail).

Applies to BA major students.

A total of 15 ECTS has to be earned in courses outside the department (Electives / Wahlbereich). The choice is not restricted to the Faculty of Humanities. You can take courses offered by any faculty within the university if they are open to Electives (Wahlbereich) students. You can also take courses offered by other universities within or outside of Switzerland. Please note that a learning agreement (signed in advance) is required for the acknowledgment of courses taken at other universities. All Elective (Wahlbereich) courses have to be graded.

You can gain optional credits (Wahlleistungen) by doing independent work, such as attending an academic conference, organising a course or event (e.g. readings, reading-groups, etc), conducting linguistic fieldwork or archive research, participating in the Drama Group, etc. Independent Studies (IS) have to be approved by a member of the teaching staff who will supervise the project as well as by the Independent Studies Coordinator. Department staff may advertise IS options. Please read the detailed information on Independent Studies and fill in the Independent Studies Form. Independent Studies are ungraded.

Workshops are application and practice-oriented classes, such as Use of English, Advanced Academic Writing, and Creative Writing. They are evaluated on a pass/fail basis without a grade and can be taken optionally in order to acquire the necessary total number of optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

Tutorials are offered regularly for lectures and seminars. In tutorials, students can revise and expand on the content of the lecture, discuss open questions or explore a topic in more depth.

Students can attend as many tutorials as they like, but they can only take two tutorials for credit. Regular attendance of and participation in a tutorial can earn you 1 ECTS towards the total number of your optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

MA Courses

There are two foundation lectures: Foundation Lecture Literary Theory and Foundation Lecture Language and Society. They familiarize students with important theoretical discourses and approaches in the fields of Literature, and Language and Linguistics.

MA major students need to complete and pass both foundation lectures in order to be allowed to continue their studies.

MA minor students need to complete and pass the foundation lecture of their chosen specialization.

MA major-minor combination students must technically complete three foundation lectures, but there are only two. In the MA major, students take the foundation lecture of their major's specialization, replace the second foundation lecture with a free-standing lecture and acquire an additional 1 ECTS in their optional credits (Wahlleistungen). In their MA minor, students complete the foundation lecture of their minor's specialization.

You can also take a foundation lecture as an ungraded course in the other specialization, which will then count towards the total number of optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

How do you sign up correctly for a foundation lecture? Read the information in the "Special Cases" paragraphs on our KSL registration website.

Seminars are thematic courses based on discussion and interaction. They can be taken either as graded (total of 7 ECTS) or ungraded (4 ECTS) courses. For majors, a total of four seminars has to be graded, of which at least three have to be taken within the chosen specialization. For minors, one seminar has to be graded, typically within the chosen specialization.

If taken as an ungraded course, a seminar counts towards the total number of optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

Major students must acquire 14-18 ECTS in the other specialization.

Minor students can acquire a maximum of 9 ECTS in the other specialization.

How do you register correctly for an MA seminar? Find out at our KSL registration website.

MA major students need to complete at least one ungraded lecture for 3 ECTS credits.

MA minor students need to complete three graded lectures for 3 ECTS credits each.

Ungraded lectures can also be counted towards the optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

How do you sign up correctly for an MA lecture? Go to the "Special Cases" paragraph of our KSL course registration website.

Every year, the department is host to numerous invited speakers from other universities, who offer students a valuable opportunity to deepen and expand their understanding of English language and linguistics, and literature.

In accordance with Study Plan 2017, MA Major and Minor students are required to attend at least three such presentations hosted (or co-hosted) by a Department of English staff member. Your attendance will be confirmed by securing a signature from the host (or co-host) using a standard form (see below). Advance notice on guest lectures will be posted each semester on our homepage and on our "Guest Lectures & Events" page.

It is not permissible to collect credit for guest lectures for which you are already receiving credit as part of a seminar or lecture series.

For every guest lecture, fill in the form "Guest Lecture Attendance" and secure a signature from the host (or co-host) of the guest lecture right after the event. Once you have attended all your guest lectures, submit the forms to your study counsellor.

Form Guest Lecture Attendance (PDF, 41KB)

Workshops are application and practice-oriented classes. They are evaluated on a pass/fail basis without a grade and can be taken optionally in order to acquire the necessary total number of optional credits (Wahlleistungen).

You can gain optional credits (Wahlleistungen) by doing independent work, such as attending an academic conference, organising a course or event (e.g. readings, reading-groups, etc), conducting linguistic fieldwork or archive research, participating in the Drama Group, etc. Independent Studies have to be approved by a member of the teaching staff who will supervise the project as well as by the Independent Studies Coordinator. Department staff may advertise IS options. Please read the detailed information on Independent Studies and fill in the Independent Studies Form. Independent Studies are ungraded.

In tutorials, students can revise and expand on the content of a lecture, discuss open questions or explore a topic in more depth. Please consult the course booklet for any MA tutorials offered.

You can attend as many tutorials as you like, but you can only take 1 tutorial for credit. Regular attendance of and participation in a tutorial can earn you 1 ECTS, counted towards your optional credits.

Applies to MA major students only.

The MA colloquium is a course over the last three semesters of MA major studies. Students enter either the Language and Linguistics or one of the Literary Studies MA colloquia, according to the topic of their planned MA thesis. Usually students begin the colloquium in their second semester and remain in the colloquium until their fourth and last semester. The MA colloquium is a problem-oriented research colloquium in which students have the chance to discuss their work, their problems, theories and methodologies, and peer-review their written work and presentation skills. Its format is variable (fortnightly, block-sessions) and will be announced by the professors in charge. This module is compulsory for MA major students but ungraded.

We are currently running MA colloquiua for the pre-2017 study plans and Study Plan 2017. Please make sure you register for the right KSL version when you do your colloquia. For further information, please visit our KSL course registration website and read through the paragraph on special cases.

The last semester of the MA studies is reserved for the writing of the MA thesis. All other graded modules of the MA programme have to be completed before registering for the thesis. The MA thesis needs to be registered both within the department and with the Dean's Office. Please consult the page "Thesis Information" for more details and deadlines. The MA thesis is 30’000-40’000 words long.