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B.A. program "English Studies"

As a student of the B.A. program "English Studies", you will devote yourself to the diverse aspects of the English language and its literatures and cultures. You will be introduced to academical methods such as critical reading and writing. Your language competence will benefit from specific language classes and from the fact that all classes are held in English.

Focus areas of "English Studies" in Cologne are

  • film and media studies
  • literature and life sciences
  • Postcolonial English literatures
  • Gender and Women's Writing research
  • (Historical) Corpus linguistics
  • psycholinguistics
  • language acquisition research
  • bilingualism

Please find further information in our flyer "English Studies - B.A." and on the following webpages concerning

  • prerequisites, application, enrollment
  • switching (university or program),
  • studies and
  • exams.

"English Studies" has to be combined with a second subject which may - depending on that subject's prerequisites - require a separate application. In principle, "English Studies" can be combines with every B.A. subject offered at the University of Cologne. An overview of possible combinations can be found here: Fächerkombinationen im 2-Fach Bachelorstudium (Zentrale Studienberatung).


In the Bachelor degree programme for English Studies you will learn the basic grammatical and communicative aspects of the English language as well as its historical development. You will become familiar with literature in the English-speaking world from previous centuries up until the present day, also studying their cultural, social and historical contexts.

You will be introduced to scientific methods such as critical reading and written composition.

Additionally, your practical competence in the English language will be developed through language courses and the fact that all of the courses are held in English.

As in all subjects in the Faculty of Humanities, you will gain valuable key skills in addition. For example, through the use of current media and presentation techniques, you will practice problem solving strategies in a variety of areas, affording you transferable skills, which will qualify you for a range of positions.


It is recommended that students begin their studies in the winter semester as it is only possible for those students entering the degree at a higher level to begin in the summer semester. The recommended number of semesters to complete this degree programme is 6 semesters (3 years). The bachelor degree programme English Studies can only be studied in combination with another subject. You can find information concerning the possible combinations with other subjects here:

Central elements of this degree are the modules for the practical use of language, literary studies, linguistics and cultural studies. These modules afford students with a basic understanding of these areas, upon which the advanced modules further into the degree are based. These in turn aim to reinforce and broaden this fundamental knowledge. You will find a detailed module plan here:

Students are able to demonstrate their progress through exams taken at the end of courses. The grades attained in these advanced modules count towards the final grade (i.e. these grades will be included in the final result of your bachelor degree). In the last stage of the English Studies degree programme, you will be required to take an oral exam and to write a dissertation in one of your degree subjects. Students gain a total of 78 Credit Points (CP) through English Studies degree, 4 of which can be attained by doing a compulsory internship related to your subject or independent studies. Further CPs are attained in your second degree subject, in integrated studies (the built-in free choice modules in your degree, which allow you to take courses offered by other faculties and subjects, from the Writing Centre or Professional Centre) and in your bachelor thesis. While it is not compulsory to spend some time living in an English-speaking country, it is very highly recommended.

When registering for the bachelor exam, students must be able to present evidence for their having taken part in two degree guidance seminars (the seminar offering advice for students in their first semester and the seminar offering advice on the final exams and advanced stage of the degree programme). You can find the dates for these seminars here:

Credit points (CP) are the "currency" of your degree. 1 CP is equal to about 30 hours of work. You receive 2 CPs for a participation certificate. Since every session is equal to 2 hours of work, a seminar with an average of 15 sessions per semester will mean that, through attendance and participation, you will have done 30 hours of work (contact time). This is equal to 1 CP. The remaining 30 hours of work (1 CP) is completed through the preparation for and the follow up of the course (approximately 2 hours per session). Depending on the degree subject and course type, you can achieve further credit points by taking an exam, writing an essay or doing a presentation. Should you need a different number of CPs for your university, please discuss the matter with the individual lecturer of the course.


The International Office (das Akademische Auslandsamt) is responsible for ascertaining whether school qualifications completed abroad fulfil the entrance requirements for higher education. Foreign applicants will be required to take a university-level German language exam (DSH/German language exam for the entrance to a German University) before enrolling at the university. More information can be found on the International Office website: 

In order to qualify for the English Studies bachelor programme, applicants must fulfil the following requirements:

- German university-level language exam (DSH)
- English language skills at the level of B2 (CEF)

Have to be presented at the beginning of the degree

- further foreign language skills at the level of B1 (CEF)
- intermediate Latin (das "kleine Latinum")
Can be attained throughout the course of the degree

In order to apply for the English Studies bachelor programme, students must be able to present proof of their proficiency in the English language at the level of B2 (CEF). This can be attained at the Student Information Office in the English Department I. The following certificates qualify students to attain this:

- the TELC Certificate (The English Language Certificate) with explicit declaration of  B2 CEF 
- the Cambridge First Certificate
- IELTS Certificate (minimum 5.0)
- Valid TOEFL Test (minimum points: paper-based test: 500; computer-based test: 173; internet-based test: 61 – minimum of 15 points in the 4 subsections)

N.b. since VHS courses do not include a final exam, the proof of B2 proficiency can only be gained through the Cambridge First Certificate.

In addition, students must be proficient in a further foreign language (B1 level (CEF) for modern European foreign languages) as well as the intermediate Latin certificate (das “kleine Latinum”) and be able to present proof for each of these. Proof of the additional foreign language can be attained at registration to the first bachelor exam in the deanery (Dekanat), i.e. can be attained during the course of the degree. The Examinations Office (Prüfungsamt) for the Humanities Faculty is the point of contact for students concerning these matters. 

The Classics Department is responsible for the recognition of qualifications in Latin attained abroad (an understanding of Latin can otherwise be attained through language courses offered by the Classics Department). The contact details of the Classics Department can be found here:


The enrolment fee at the University of Cologne is approx. 320,- € per semester.
The Department of English is not involved in the process of application, admission and registration. For information and assistance in these matters please refer to the International Office of Cologne University: