Undergraduate course

Term Paper in English Linguistics: History of English

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


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 provides an introduction to central aspects of the historical development of English. The course may either examine several of the stages in this development, or focus on one specific period. Moreover, the course may cover both language-internal and language-external aspects, and examine features of word and sentence structure, pronunciation, vocabulary and spelling.

In addition to the theoretical literature, the course will normally include the study of primary texts from earlier stages of English.

ENG261 is an elective course in the specialization in English at the 200-level.

Students specializing in linguistics, in addition to ENG261, take the following courses:

- ENG223 (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

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

- has insight into the principles of language change in general and an understanding of changes in English in particular


The student

- can discuss and analyse English in light of historical developments

General competence


- have developed a critical and independent approach to central linguistic questions

- can express themselves in correct academic English

Required Previous Knowledge

While there is no formal requirement, the course reading and instruction presuppose that students have in-depth knowledge of English grammar and phonetics, equivalent to good exam results in ENG114, ENG115, ENG107, ENG108/118 and ENG109/119.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

It is highly recommended that students have completed EXFAC00AS Language and Communication, ENG100, ENG114, ENG115, ENG107, ENG108/118 and ENG109/119 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.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

The course is open to all students admitted to the University of Bergen.

For exchange students:
Applicants have to document English language proficiency to access the course. Students 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 fewer 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

Students have the right to supervision in working with the term paper. Supervision is also compulsory. Each student must complete 2 supervision meetings. Students must submit a draft of their term paper, attend supervision and follow guidelines and meet deadlines set by the Department and the course teacher. Students who fail to meet these requirements may not submit their term paper for assessment.

Compulsory assignments are valid for one semester following the semester of instruction.

Forms of Assessment

The exam is a supervised term paper of 4500 word (±10%), excluding the bibliography and any attachments, on a topic the student chooses in agreement with the course instructor. In the re-sit exam, students who have completed the compulsory supervision in the teaching semester submit their term paper without further supervision.

In addition there is an oral exam, in which the students are tested on the entire reading list as well as the term paper. The term paper must be approved before the student can take the oral exam. The oral exam is given a separate assessment.

When determining the final grade for the entire course, the grade of the term paper counts two-thirds, while the grade in the oral exam counts one-third. Both parts of the exam must receive a passing grade in order to get a passing grade in total.

The term paper fulfills the requirements for an independent piece of research that can be part of a bachelor degree.

Examination Support Material


Grading Scale

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

Assessment Semester

The exam in ENG261 is offered each semester, the regular exam at the end om the spring semester and the re-sit exam in the middle of the fall semester. In the re-sit exam, students who have completed the compulsory supervision in the teaching semester submit their term paper without further supervision.

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 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 Programme Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study programme, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.

Course Coordinator

The Programme Board for English

Course Administrator

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


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Semester paper and oral examination

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Oral examination

    • Exam part: Semester paper

      Submission deadline
      14.05.2018, 13:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam