You will meet your fellow students and your tutor during the (online) 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.
It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been (conditionally) admitted to our Bachelor’s programme in Linguistics. Congratulations!
Although it may still seem far away, we hope to welcome you to the programme’s orientation in the first week of September. The courses of Linguistics will start a week later. By mid-July you will receive more detailed information. During the Orientation days you will get to know the programme, our teachers, your fellow students and our study society Babel and its activities. You can already take a look at the website of Babel or our own page for new students. By mid-July you will receive more detailed information.
Keep an eye on your UU-email address as well: every month we will send you our newsletter hUUmannews full of practical info and fun events. Do you already want to take a quick look behind the scenes to see what is happening at our faculty? Follow us on Instagram @HumanitiesUU.
Getting up to speed
You will be informed about the required readings for your classes in block 1 in due course, but if you would like to do some more general background reading before you begin your studies in Utrecht during the summer months, we recommend the following resources:
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language (Penguin, 2015)
Laurie Bauer, Language Myths (Penguin, 1998).
Student Life in Utrecht
Studying in Utrecht could be a very familiar experience, but it could also be something brand new. It could help to read up on life as a student in Utrecht, for example regarding housing, sports, and health and safety. Check Student Life to see what our students think are the city’s hotspots, or what their favourite places on campus are.
Keep in mind that the availability of student housing in Utrecht is limited and in high demand. As a student, you must arrange housing yourself. We advise you to start as early as possible.
Are you not joining us?
Have you decided not to join our programme in September? That’s very unfortunate, but you could help us and yourself a lot by cancelling your application in Studielink.
Students with special needs
Utrecht University wants all of its students to be able to study without limitations. If you have a disability, such as dyslexia, that may affect your study progress or your access to our education, you can apply for special facilities and support.
You can apply for practical provisions via Osiris Student from July 1. Please also make an appointment with your study advisor. If you cannot log in to Osiris Student yet, make an appointment with your study advisor anyway. Any information you provide will remain confidential.
Orientation days: First week of September (you will receive more information by mid-July)
Start 1st period: Monday 4 September 2023 (week 36)
Start 2nd period: Monday 13 November 2023 (week 46)
Winter break: 25 December 2023 - 12 January 2024 (week 52 and 53 and week 1 and 2)
Start 3rd period: Monday 5 February 2024 (week 6)
Start 4th period: Monday 22 April 2024 (week 17)
You can find additional information on the Academic Calendar.
Should you have any questions concerning the application procedure please contact the Student Desk. If you have any questions concerning the programme please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you a good summer and look forward to meeting you in September!
Dr. Joost Zwarts
Programme coordinator BA Linguistics
The time has come to start with the BA Linguistics programme at Utrecht University. Teachers and students are looking forward to meeting you! That is why we organize, together with the study association Babel, a number of activities that are meant to get to know each other and to help you find your way at the university and in the programme.
You are expected on Monday September 4 at 11 am for the first meeting. Mail to email@example.com to know where exactly you need to be. The rest of the week there will also be introduction activities but no classes yet: the two courses From Language to Linguistics and Psychology of Language will start a week later.
In this letter we highlight a few important points about the introduction.
- More information about the programme (and the books of the first period): https://students.uu.nl/en/hum/linguistics-ba/new-student/orientation. We encourage you to read that information well.
- More information about the study association Babel: https://svbabel.nl/index.php/voor-eerstejaars/.
- The introduction will be conducted in English.
- You are expected to participate in all the introduction activities, but activities in the evening hours are optional.
- The university will provide a free lunch on Monday (vegetarian and vegan). If you have allergies that we could take into account mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you want to buy something at the university then you can’t get around with cash money, but you need a bank card.
- You have to pay a contribution for some of the optional activities during the introduction. This will be around 35 euros. There is the possibility that a package deal ticket will be available to purchase. This, however, will be determined by the overall price of the activities.
- On the website www.svbabel.nl you can find important information about the study association Babel, that mediates in the purchase of textbooks and organizes various activities. During the introduction week you can become a member of Babel.
- The introduction has a second part in November, the so-called Breekweek (November 6-8). This is a first-year camp organized by Babel, for which we will organize fun activities so you can bond with other students, but also reflect about our experiences in the first course period. Every first-year student is expected to participate. Mark these dates in your calendar.
- If you have questions about the introduction of Linguistics, feel free to send an email to email@example.com.
- If you have questions about the programme Linguistics, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have other questions, then contact the teaching administration office: email@example.com
See you on the 4th of September!
The Introduction Committee of the BA Linguistics and SV Babel
Below are the books that are needed for the courses of the first period. The books for later courses will be announced later. It is important to have the books before the courses start on September 11.
Psychology of Language
- T. Harley (2017). Talking the talk: Language, psychology and science. 2nd edition. Psychology Press.
From language to linguistics
- Isac, D. & C. Reiss (2013). I-Language: An introduction to linguistics as cognitive science. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press.
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.