Level of Study
Place of Instruction
Objectives and Content
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
On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- 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
- can discuss and analyse English in light of historical developments
- 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 EXFAC00SK Basic Linguistics, 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
Due to course overlap, a student cannot receive credits for ENG261 in combination with ENG201 (5 ECTS), ENG211/251 (5 ECTS) and ENG211 (10 ECTS).
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 and learning methods
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
The exam is marked on the grade scale A-F, where F is a fail.
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.
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.
The teaching is evaluated in accordance with the quality control system of the University of Bergen.
The Programme Board is responsible for the academic content and structure of the study programme, and for the quality of all the subjects therein.
The Programme Board for English
The Department of Foreign Languages at the Faculty of Humanities has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.
Type of assessment: Term paper and oral examination
- Withdrawal deadline
Exam part: Term paper
- Submission deadline
- 28.05.2020, 13:00
- Examination system
- Digital exam
Exam part: Oral examination
- 08.06.2020, 10:00