Bachelor's Degree in British and American Studies — Basic Information

The central areas for the BA programme in British and American studies are:

  • The English language and its varieties
  • Literatures and Cultures of the English-speaking world
  • English as a foreign language (EFL)

The perspective of British and American Studies in Bielefeld is not restricted to the United Kingdom and North America but also includes language varieties, literatures and cultures in other Anglophone countries and regions where English is used as a lingua franca, including parts of the Caribbean and Africa.

The aim of the undergraduate programme is to qualify students in literary and linguistic analysis and interpretation, and to enhance their familiarity with English across the full spectrum of language, literature and culture with a strong emphasis on communication.

It is important to note that British and American studies are not primarily about improving English language skills. All lectures and seminars are taught in English and all consultation with the teaching staff (emails, office hours etc.) is in English as well. The ability to read long, dense, complex scholarly and literary texts, to write academic English and to participate in seminar discussions and presentations in English is necessary for the successful completion of the BA. Although there are language courses in the basic modules, these are short and intense compared to what students have been used to at school and the aim is, in just 14 sessions, to build up advanced academic English skills on a solid foundation of good school English. Beginning students with serious language deficits will have to improve their English in self-study or take part in additional courses outside British and American studies. Being able to communicate easily in English in social or online settings is also no guarantor of success in completing a degree in British and American studies: only with serious commitment to many hours a week spent reading, doing written tasks, attending seminars and studying the seminar literature and materials can the demands of the degree be met satisfactorily.

(Anyone who finds the foregoing paragraph difficult to understand should not attempt British and American studies until they have worked at their English skills more.)

Phases of the study programme

Detailed information on the FSB and the structure of the BA Anglistik in its various forms from WS 2011/2012 onwards can be found here: BA Anglistik, 2011.

The BA programme essentially has two parts, the initial/basic phase and the advanced or profile phase. All students of English and American Studies study the basic modules.In the profile phase,students can specialise in one of the following profiles:
  • Language and Linguistics
  • British Studies
  • American Studies
  • English as a Foreign Language

Job perspectives

The BA programme is targeted at all professions in which communication is central. These include but are not restricted to publishing, public relations, cultural management, media, knowledge management, etc. The profile English as a Foreign Language is targeted at teaching at school and in continuing education programmes.

Possible combinations with other subjects

British and American Studies can be studied either as a major or as a minor subject. In each case a second subject must also be chosen. Students who want to teach at schools need to study a second school subject. See the table of possible subjects (in German).