Prospective Students

BA in the English Department at the University of Geneva

Studying English in Geneva

The English department is dedicated to the study of English language and literature in their historical, geographical and cultural contexts. We question the human condition by studying the individual and his/her interaction with culture in its broadest sense. Studies concentrate on representations of Man and his world in English-language literary texts, as well as the historical and social development of the English language.

The Department does not offer basic instruction in English language acquisition; students are expected to have acquired a reasonable degree of fluency in speaking, reading, and writing English before they begin the first year.

Examples of recent courses

- Varieties of English
- Chaucer’s Heroines and Female Heroes
- Body Dysmorphic Discourses: Fat Fictions
- Visuality and Narrativity in Contemporary Texts
- The Impact of Frankenstein
- Shakespeare in Performance
- Narrating Slavery
- Empire and Ecology
- Fictions of India

- Black Women in the City
- Time Travel and Narrative in 20th Century Literature
- The Creole Continuum: Caribbean Literature & Culture
- Making a Spectacle of Women
- Mimesis in Life and Art: Mansfield, Lawrence and Woolf
- Early Modern English Literature and the Material Text
- Literature and the Environment
- Cowboys and Indians
- Browse the complete list of courses currently taught

Teaching staff

There are at least one professor and several other teachers for each of the four main fields of the department: medieval literature, modern English literature from the 16th to 21st century, American literature, and linguistics. The department is renowned for its research in literature and linguistics and this reputation is combined with the importance given by the department to teaching (which takes place entirely in English): as highly-qualified researchers in their respective domains, our teachers commit themselves to making the study of English a stimulating and enriching experience.

Professional prospects

You may have heard it said that "training in the humanities either opens all doors or leads nowhere".

There is some truth in this inasmuch as such studies do not lead directly to a specific career. They do, however, provide an opening to a number of professional fields.

Examples of possible professional areas

- Teaching
- Journalism, radio, television, editing
- Libraries, documentation centres, archives, bookshops
- Museums, national heritage organisations, tourism
- International organisations, diplomacy
- Firms, banks, administration, human resources management, public relations
- Cultural events, the art market, galleries
- Literary, linguistic and/or philosophic research and creation

Most of these professional activities require computer skills and a knowledge of languages – abilities which studies of the humanities provide.

Moreover, each domain has its own special requirements, or indeed additional training at the masters level. Find out beforehand about the specific requirements for the path you are aiming to follow.

Faculties and skills acquired

As a graduate from the humanities, you will have acquired a wide range of knowledge and polyvalent skills:

- Analytical capacity
- Ability to take a global approach and to have a critical mind
- Ability to formulate and link questions in a coherent way
- Awareness of complexity
- Comparison and utilisation of different
- Ability to communicate

- Ease in oral and written presentation
- Reasoning and argumentation skills
- Autonomy
- Openness to dialogue
- Self-discipline and perseverance
- Curiosity and imagination

Activities and student life

To view the large range of cultural activities on offer within the department (theatre group, film club, department journal,...), please click on the Students tab at the top of the page or visit this link.  These activities allow students of the English department to meet in an informal setting outside class. Moreover, the university offers an extensive range of classes, sports and creative activities for all students, which can be consulted on the following link:

Student mobility

The English department strongly encourages each student to go and study abroad during his or her studies. There are several possibilities, which offer excellent ways of consolidating your knowledge of the English language, whilst simultaneously providing valuable experiences in renowned institutions or in a professional setting. Moreover, such stays abroad expose the student to a different and enriching cultural experience. Here are some possibilities:

Mobility, grants, and language exchange programmes



Study and research grants
The university has links, programmes and grants, which allow students to enrol in and pay for a semester, if not a whole academic year, in a university abroad. The Berrow Scholarship, for example, provides an opportunity for research and instruction for a year at Oxford University.

An exchange programme which allows students to study for one semester in a European unviersity that adheres to the Bologna agreement. Therefore you can follow a semester of study in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, etc.
LAP Programme
This programme allows you to reside in England for a year by teaching French in an English school, thus combining professional experience with a language stay.
Language stays abroad
The department can help you to organise a language stay lasting from a few weeks to a few months.
Language practice in Geneva
This programme consists of language exchange between students of different mother tongues based in Geneva.