You will meet your fellow students and your tutor during the orientation. You will also receive information about all sorts of practical matters, such as ICT, academic supervision and the binding recommendation regarding the continuation of studies.
To the new first year students of Celtic Languages and Culture.
Dear student(s) of Celtic,
Welcome to Celtic Languages and Culture department! We hope that you will find your studies interesting and we wish you every success at the department.
Your studies begin with an Introduction on Monday and Tuesday 4th and Tuesday 5th September. The programme is mostly made up of activities organized by the student society Asterix. You can find the full programme on this website.
You will need the website of Celtic Languages and Culture for information about the study programme, timetables and other things. Make sure you have acquired certain books as well as having read the website before 11 September.
We request you to have the mandatory books for the courses: Introduction to Celtic Studies and Old Irish: language and culture 1 before the beginning of the courses. Order your books on time. See 'Reading list' for more information about ordering books.
All first year students, also in other studies, are required to write a grammatical test in the first year of their studies. For more information about the grammatical test see ‘Grammer Test’ on this website.
Other matters will be explained during the introduction. We look forward to welcoming you and we wish you every success with your new studies. Enjoy the holidays and we will see you on Monday 4th September!
With best regards,
on behalf of Peter Schrijver, professor for Celtic Languages and Culture and the other lecturers of Celtic,
Mícheál Ó Flaithearta
First of all: a very warm welcome to our bachelor! In a few weeks you will learn the most amazing things about the world of the Celts and embark on the path that will eventually lead to your BA degree. First, however, there are a few things that have to be arranged and explained, so that you can get off to a flying start!
Who are we? We are Asterix, an active study association that organises various activities throughout the whole year. These activities range from educational to completely social. We also offer the opportunity to order some of your books with a discount, and we keep in close contact with students from all years. The introduction will also be organised by us, and during those two days we will introduce you to Utrecht, the BA Celtic and of course our students.
To be able to offer you these great discounts on the books and the opportunity to join us for fun activities, we invite you to become a member of Asterix. Becoming a member is completely optional, as are the activities! Most of our students become a member of Asterix for the discount on the books and to get the opportunity to socialise with other Celtic students. In the past year we have, among other things, organised laser games, a movie night, a lecture by one of our teachers, a book market, Celtic seasonal celebrations, a study trip to Dublin and a very fun end to the year! If this has made your heart beat faster and filled you with longing to be a part of it, then follow this link to our registration form.
In this introductory package you will also find a list of the books for all of the first year’s compulsory courses. Some of these books are cheapest and easiest to order through Asterix, as they have to come from Ireland. Most of the others are very easy to find online (bol.com is a useful website for this!). Please keep to the deadline for ordering books through Asterix, and make sure you have the other books at the start of the block.
The last thing you will find attached is the programme for the introduction, which tells you very briefly what we will be doing during those two days. Monday’s lunch is taken care of by the university. A bottle of water might be a good idea to bring, but apart from that we will take care of everything you need, or we let you know if you need anything. Tuesday’s lunch will be a potluck, so we would like to ask you to bring something to share (store-bought is fine). On Tuesday evening we want to invite you to join us for dinner, for which you will have to pay yourself. All of our other members and our teachers are also invited, so this is a very nice way to get to know each other in an informal setting!
In the case that you won’t be able to make it to (part of) the introduction, because of illness or personal circumstances, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can take this into account. I would also like to direct you towards our Instagram and Facebook page and our website, https://sv-asterix.nl/, which has much more information about Celtic studies and Asterix! Finally, I would like to wish all of you a very good summer and I hope to see you in good health in September!
All the best,
Chair of S.V. Asterix 2023-2024
For the upcoming year, you will of course need books for your courses. To make this as easy as possible, Study Association Asterix has made a list of all the books you will need for the mandatory courses next year. A few of these books you can order through Asterix, to which you get an extra discount as an Asterix member. As for the other books, you will have to get them yourself somewhere else, such as Bol.com, Amazon or at an online/local bookstore such as Libris.
How does it work?
You send an email to email@example.com in which you state which books you want to order through us, and if you are a member of our association or not. We will then send you the total list & final price. As soon as possible, transfer the money to account number NL38 TRIO 0320 0512 42 attn. Studievereniging Asterix. In your transfer, please state the books you are ordering and if you are a member of Asterix, for example: “all books Old Irish, not a member”. Please also add your full name. If you’re not (solely) paying for yourself, please also include for which student you are paying (and include their full name!). The books will be distributed during the introduction, or at another date/time in consultation.
A few remarks:
- PLEASE NOTE: THE DEADLINE FOR ORDERING IS FRIDAY THE 4TH OF AUGUST! After this date, it is still possible to order through us, but then we will charge you the shipping costs as well (an additional 6-10 euros). If you order after the deadline, we also can not guarantee that we can get you your books in time for your first class, as the institutes we order them at are located out of the country.
- If you are having trouble paying for your books because you are short on cash, please let us know via email. In this case, we will try our best to come up with a solution.
- If you have any questions whatsoever on ordering books, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For other questions such as membership to Asterix, the introduction, the Van Hamel foundation or anything else, you can reach us via email@example.com.
Books you can order through Asterix:
Old Irish 1 (block 1):
- John Strachan, Stories from the Táin, 3rd edition (RIA). (members €10, non-members €12)
- Optional, recommended: John Strachan, Old Irish Paradigms & Selections from the Old Irish Glosses, 4th edition (RIA). (members €12,50, non-members €15)
Old Irish 2 (block 2):
- Rudolf Thurneysen, A Grammar of Old Irish (DIAS). (members €28,50, non-members €30)
Middle Welsh 1 (block 3):
- D. Simon Evans, A Grammar of Middle Welsh (DIAS). (members €23,50, non-members €25)
- Robert L. Thompson, Pwyll Pendeuic Dyuet (DIAS). (members €19, non-members €20)
Introduction to Celtic Studies (block 1):
- John Haywood, The Historical Atlas of the Celtic World, reprint 2009.
Old Irish: Language and Culture 1 (block 1)
- Ranke de Vries, A Student’s Companion to Old Irish Grammar, 2nd edition.
- John Strachan, Stories from the Táin, 3rd edition (RIA).
- Optional, recommended: John Strachan, Old Irish Paradigms & Selections from the Old Irish Glosses, 4th edition (RIA).
Old Irish: Language and Culture 2 (block 2):
- Rudolf Thurneysen, A Grammar of Old Irish (DIAS).
Middle Welsh: Language and Culture 1 (block 3):
- D. Simon Evans, A Grammar of Middle Welsh (DIAS).
- Robert L. Thompson, Pwyll Pendeuic Dyuet (DIAS).
- Sioned Davies, The Mabinogion (Oxford’s World Classics). [please note: this book is available electronically through the university library, but the page numbers can differ from the ones in the course manual. Even if you do not order this book, it is a mandatory item on the list!]
Middle Welsh: Language and Culture 2 (block 4):
- Natalia Petrovskaia, Delw y Byd: A Medieval Welsh Encyclopedia (MHRA) [note: this book is also available electronically via the university library.]
Historical Linguistics and Languages of the British Isles (block 4):
- Robert McColl Millar, Trask's Historical Linguistics, 2nd edition.
Happy book ordering!
Treasurer S.A. Asterix 2023-2024
Basic Grammar Test (TL1V19001) first-year students Celtic Languages and Culture & Linguistics
Knowledge of grammar and grammatical concepts
In order for you to be able to successfully participate in your programme in the Celtic or Linguistics department, you will require some basic knowledge of grammatical concepts and some basic competence in sentence analysis. It is important that all students start out with sufficient familiarity with linguistic concepts, so as to be able to communicate about language and linguistic expressions at a sufficiently sophisticated analytic level. However, it is our experience that not all students arrive with the same level of background knowledge in these areas. This divergence in the level of prior acquaintance with grammatical concepts and linguistic analysis tends to cause delays in the programme.
Obligatory grammar test
In order to avoid such problems, all first-year students in the Celtic and Linguistics departments are required to take a basic grammar test. The purpose of the test is to assess your knowledge of basic grammatical concepts and your competence in linguistic analysis. Because this is an entry-level test, no ECTS are awarded for this test. However, the test is an obligatory part of the programme for all students pursuing a BA degree in the aforementioned subjects. You are required to pass the test in order to pass your BA exam.
Language of the test
The test is offered in two variants: one in English and one in Dutch. You are free to choose which test you take. You should bear in mind, however, that the tests not only differ in language, but also in content. The Dutch test deals with different concepts (those from the Dutch traditional grammar tradition) than the English one (which fits the Anglo-Saxon tradition). And of course, the Dutch test will require you to analyse Dutch linguistic expressions, and the English test deals with English expressions. As a result, the practice materials for the two tests are quite different as well. For these reasons, it is important that you decide early on, in the beginning of block 1, which test you will be taking, and prepare accordingly. If you arrive here from a Dutch-speaking school system, the Dutch test is likely to fit your previous experience best. Otherwise, we advise you to assess on the basis of the practice materials available in Blackboard which of the variant tests best fits your skills and interests.
It is important to review how familiar you are with the grammatical concepts as we test them, as you may have been taught slightly different uses for some of the terms. We provide a list of all concepts tested, with example sentences, in Blackboard. Select the Blackboard site for “Toets basisgrammatica/Basic Grammar Test (TL1V19001)”; then navigate to “Course content” and open the folder “Course materials for Basic Grammar Test in English”, then select the document entitled “Grammatical terms, example sentences and further reading”.
If you find that some of the concepts do not seem entirely familiar, look them up in one of the online books and resources on English grammar listed in the document. You can also access lists with translations of grammatical terms in Dutch, English and various other languages in the “Cursusmateriaal voor Nederlandstalige toets” folder under “Course Content”.
Practice materials for the test are available on the Blackboard site. Navigate to “Assignments” and choose the “Practice assignments English” folder. It is important to prepare well for the test during the first weeks of block 1. The practice assignments are at the same level as the assignments on the test. Please refer back to the recommended reading if you find that you have trouble arriving at the correct answers in the practice materials.
Taking the test
The test will be administered in block 1, probably in week 4 or 5 of the block. The definitive place and time will be announced as soon as possible via Blackboard (look under Announcements). The test is not administered in Blackboard but with dedicated test software (Remindo). You will need to select the test in the correct language when logging on. You pass the test if you answer at least 70 out of 100 questions correctly. If you fail to do so, you will need to take a resit exam later in the year.
Taking the resit exam
If you are prevented from attending the test due to illness or other circumstances, you are required to inform the course administrator (dr. E.G. Ruys) via grammaticatoetsMT.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you cannot participate in the test, or if you do participate but obtain a failing grade, you need to take the resit exam. You will be informed of this via the Blackboard site. Of course, students who fail the test are urged to read up on difficult concepts and practice with the practice assignments available on Blackboard.
For those students who fail the resit exam as well, we will organize an extra instruction session – the so-called remedial seminar – in December or January, followed by a final resit exam. If you do not attend the remedial seminar, you will not be eligible to take part in this second resit exam.
In the unlikely event that you should fail both resit exams, you will need to take the test again next year. In this case, you need to register for the course Toets basisgrammatica/Basic Grammar Test (TL1V19001) in block 1 of the following year, via Osiris, during the regular enrolment period for blocks 1 and 2. In this case, you can take the test and resit exams again in the following year.
Students with a contract for teaching provisions (contract Onderwijsvoorzieningen)
If you are entitled to extra exam time or other provisions because of a disability or chronic illness, you are required to inform the course administrator at the beginning of block 1 (mail to: grammaticatoetsMT.email@example.com). If you are late in informing the administrator, it may not be possible to organise the necessary provisions.
Should you have any questions, please contact grammaticatoetsMT.firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state your name, student registration number and programme, as well as the year in which you started the programme.
Importance of passing the test in block 1
Finally, we want to stress again that it is important that you pass the test as soon as possible, preferably during block 1, because this will benefit the quality of your contribution to courses focusing on language acquisition, linguistics and literature, and the quality of these courses as a whole. It will also make these courses easier for you.
The BSA at the end of the first year determines whether you may continue with your studies. The BSA is a decision by the Board of Examiners about the continuation of your studies, based on your study progress.
For the academic year 2023-2024 the BSA norm is 45 EC.
The BSA is determined as follows:
- positive BSA
- if you have obtained at least 45 EC at the end of the academic year 2023-2024. Credits associated with exemptions or courses from previous years do not count.
- if you have completed the first-year program of your study at the end of 2023-2024. Both previously obtained results and exemptions are taken into account. For more information about this option please contact your study advisor.
- if you have obtained at least 45 EC at the end of the academic year 2023-2024. Credits associated with exemptions or courses from previous years do not count.
- negative BSA: if you fail to meet at least one of the conditions mentioned above.
You will receive your BSA at the end of July at your students.uu.nl email address.
If your binding study recommendation comes back negative, you may not enrol in the degree programme again for another four years for the same programme at Utrecht University.
Interim study recommendation
At an earlier point during the academic year, you will receive what is called the 'interim study recommendation'. This recommendation is not binding. It is issued in December or January of the first year of study, and is based on the results of the first study period. You will receive:
- a positive interim recommendation for 15 EC or more;
- a progress warning for 7.5 EC;
- a negative interim recommendation for 0 EC.
Terminating your enrolment before February 1st
If you want to drop out of your current degree programme and you terminate your enrolment before February 1st (through Studielink), you will not receive a binding study advice and will be able to make a fresh start with the degree programme next year. Please note that this only applies in the first year that you are registered for your current degree programme.
Students who receive a warning or a negative recommendation are advised to contact their tutor and/or Study Advisor. The tutor can provide additional information on study progress. The Study Advisor can help with a wide range of questions on faculty regulations and the more organisational aspects of the programme, such as drawing up a realistic study plan, or discussing support with academic skills. Students can also make an appointment to see the Study Advisor to discuss any personal or social circumstances that affect their studies. To qualify for an exception to the BSA rules, contact with your Study Advisor is a prerequisite (see further information under the heading Special Personal Circumstances).
Stopping your degree programme
Students who wish to cease their studies (or who must do so following a negative BSA) are advised to discuss the matter with the Study Advisor. There may be regulations in place for you from which you can benefit. The Study Advisor can also provide information on options for studying something else at Utrecht University, or transferring to a degree programme at a different institution.
If you know (or suspect) that you will not be able to meet the BSA criteria due to personal circumstances, you may ask the Board of Examiners to take this into consideration when making their decision. However, it is important that you report and present evidence of these circumstances to the Study Advisor as soon as possible after they appear. The study advisor offers relevant guidance to prevent study delay where possible and informs you about relevant regulations and procedures.
Special circumstances include:
- functional disorder
- serious mental problems
- serious family circumstances
- top-level sport
- management activities (for student organisations with full legal capacity, or as part of the organisation or management of Utrecht University, the faculty or the study programme)
Notifying the Board of Examiners
Further information on how to notify the Board of Examiners will follow in May 2024. Interviews with the Board of Examiners will take place in late June or early July 2024.
Read more about the binding study advice (BSA) and special circumstances in Article 7.4 of the General Education and Examination Regulations for Bachelor's degree programmes.