Undergraduate course

English Linguistics: History of English

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring and Autumn

Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

In English linguistics at 200-level, students take the same course as either ENG221 (school exam) or ENG261 (term paper).

The course introduces central aspects in the historical development of English, and aims to give students insight into central topics of the history of the English language. The course may either look at several stages in the development of English, or focus on one specific stage of development. Moreover, the course can include both language-internal and language-external examples, and look at tropes in word- and sentence structure, pronunciation, vocabulary and spelling. Normally, the course will further include a study of primary texts from an earlier stage in the development of English, along with theoretical readings.

ENG221 is an elective course in the specialization in English at the 200-level.

Students specializing in linguistics, in addition to ENG221, take the following courses:

- ENG263 (term paper in modern linguistics) and

- One course in English literature and culture, either ENG222 or ENG224.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student should:

- have extended his or her understanding of the English language from a historical perspective.

- Have insight into the principles of changes in languages in general and an understanding of changes in English specifically.


The student:

- can discuss and analyse English in light of historical developments

General competence

The student:

- has practiced a critical and independent approach to central linguistic questions.

- can express himself or herself in correct academic English

Required Previous Knowledge

While there is no formal requirement, the reading list and teaching presuppose that the students have in-depth knowledge of English grammar and phonetics, which corresponds to good results in the courses ENG114, ENG115, ENG107, ENG108 and ENG109.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

It is recommended that students have completed the introductory semester as well as ENG114, ENG115, ENG107, ENG108, ENG109, ENG122 and ENG125, or equivalent.

Specifically, it is highly recommended that students have completed EXFAC00AS Language and Communication, ENG100, ENG114, ENG115, ENG107, ENG108 and ENG109 with a good result, or have equivalent knowledge (cf. Required Previous Knowledge).

For students with a background other than the Norwegian school system, a level of competence in English corresponding to C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages is recommended.

Access to the Course

The course is open to all with admission to the University of Bergen.

For exchange students:
Applicants have to document English language proficiency to access the course. Student should hold a level of C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR). For valid tests, please see uib.no/exchange.

Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching

Seminars: up to 24 hours (normally 2 hours per week for 12 weeks).

In the case that less than five students register for a course, the organized teaching may be adapted to fit the number of students. If this occurs, students will be informed at the start of the semester, and before the registration deadline 1. February/1. September.

Students are expected to take part in and actively contribute to teaching. This expectation is also the basis for the preparation towards the exam.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

There are no compulsory assignments, but the students will be given a written task, and it is recommended that students complete this task.

Forms of Assessment

The exam is a four-hour school exam.

The school exam may be digital.

Examination Support Material

No aids are permitted in the school exam.

Grading Scale

The exam is marked in the grade scale A-F, where F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

There is an exam in the course at the end of each semester.

Reading List

The reading list is comprised of general topics in the history of English, as well as primary texts. The reading list will be available by 1 June for the Autumn semester, and 1 December for the Spring Semester.

Course Evaluation

The teaching is evaluated in accordance with the quality control system of the University of Bergen.

Programme Committee

The Program Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study program, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.

Course Administrator

The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.


Contact Information


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    28.11.2017, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline