Are you looking for a 3-year Bachelor programme in Linguistics and Literary Studies that allows you to specialise in two languages?

Do you want to study in the multilingual capital of Europe, home to institutions such as the European Union, NATO and several multinational companies?

Become a multilingual professional!

Studying languages, literature and linguistics in the stimulating multicultural and multilingual environment of Brussels gives you the opportunity to discover the vast array of possibilities the city has to offer.

Our international degree in linguistics and literary studies, the first of its kind in Belgium, is designed to prepare you for the globalised labour market where multilingualism, world citizenship and international expertise are becoming increasingly important.

The three-year bachelor’s programme (180 ECTS) offers courses in up to seven languages. You can choose to study in two to four languages in the unique multilingual setting of the capital of Europe.

Is linguistics and literary studies something for you?

Do you have a passion for languages and literature? Are you an avid reader, and do you prefer to read books in the original language? Do you have a knack for picking up foreign languages? Do you enjoy exploring the structure of languages? Are you fascinated by the ways in which language and literature give expression to culture in all its diversity?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is ‘yes’, you are particularly suited to studying Linguistics and Literary Studies. By developing your talent, you will gain access to a host of exciting professions in cultural institutions, the civil service, and multinational companies, in fields as diverse as communication, education, IT, journalism, tourism, politics, publishing, and various other sectors that need polyglots such as you!

Why VUB?

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) offers high-quality English-taught programmes, supported by outstanding research. Being a student at VUB means studying in an international and open atmosphere of tolerance and diversity that will help you grow into an independent and critical-thinking individual.

VUB is a dynamic and modern university with almost two centuries of history. We welcome 20,000 students, 23% of which are international students from more than 148 different countries.

You will study on VUB's green campus, which is easily accessible by public transport. Our campus also boasts of one of the best student restaurants in Belgium, as well as other facilities including a running track, a gym, and a swimming pool. On-campus housing is guaranteed for first-year students.

Why the multilingual bachelor?

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Programme structure

Discover our courses

Programme structure


First of all: choose your languages

At VUB, you can study 6 main languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. At the start of your bachelor programme, you choose 2 languages. These 2 languages will form the basis of your study programme, which consists of 60 ECTS credits on a yearly basis. 1 credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of study which includes taught activities, individual study, coursework and exams.

In addition to increasing your proficiency in your chosen languages, you will take courses in literary studies, linguistics, and research methodology. Still hungry for more languages? In year 3, you can (but this is by no means compulsory) add a 3rd or 4th language to your programme.

What can I expect in year 1?

The first year is designed to help you develop your language proficiency as well as your academic writing and presentation skills. It also introduces you to the foundations of linguistics and literary studies.

  • Oral and written language acquisition and practice: You will become fluent in your chosen languages.
  • Linguistics: You will acquire insights into the foundations of language and will study language in multilingual contexts. You will also be introduced to the building blocks of linguistic study.
  • Literary Studies: You will acquire insights into the foundations of literary analysis and into the history of European literatures. You will develop your skills in analysing literary texts in your languages.

All courses are taught in the target language. For German, Italian and Spanish, courses start from scratch, and most students will have no or little proficiency in these languages at the start of the programme. For students of Dutch, however, a C1 level according to the Commom European Framework of Reference for Languages is required. Students of English and French need a minimum level of B2.

In addition to language-specific seminars and lectures in your main 2 languages (2 x 24 ECTS = 48 ECTS), all students take general introductory courses, such as Foundations of Language, Language in Multilingual Contexts, Foundations of Literary Analysis and European Literary History.

Year 2

In year 2, you continue to perfect your language proficiency and the insights you acquired in the first year, you hone your skills in critical thinking and develop your capacity to analyse, discuss and present linguistic and literary research.

The focus of your courses shifts to teaching you more about language structure, cognitive aspects of language and to the analysis of literature in diverse (urban) contexts. You will also get a first taste of research methods.

Year 3

In year 3, the 1st semester is marked by internationalisation. You can either study abroad in the framework of Erasmus+ or opt for internationalisation @ home, an international exchange programme developed at VUB in collaboration with our EUTOPIA-partners.

You can also decide to expand your language skills by adding a 3rd or 4th language (including Chinese) to your programme. It is also possible to opt for the educational module (taught in Dutch), in preparation for the educational master. In both your general and language-specific courses, you learn about language variation and language change and explore intermedial and intertextual relations between literature and other art forms such as theatre, dance, opera, visual arts or film.

Bachelor 1 Bachelor 2 Bachelor 3
Foundations of LanguageLanguage and CognitionLanguage Variation and Change
Language in Multilingual ContextsLiterature, Society and the CityLiterature and Intermediality: Storytelling across Media
Foundations of Literary AnalysisResearch MethodologyMobility Window: 30 ECTS
European Literary HistoryReason & EngageLanguage 1 (12 ECTS)
Language 1 (24 ECTS)Language 1 (21 ECTS)Language 2 (12 ECTS)
Language 2 (24 ECTS)Language 2 (21 ECTS)

6 different language modules

In your first year you can choose two language modules. Here are the courses of the language modules in each year: 

Do you want to learn more about the admission requirements?

Take me to the programme requirements


Before you start the Multilingual Bachelor, we will take a look at your previous education and your language skills. 

Academic requirements

To apply for this Bachelor programme, you need to have secondary school credentials that grant you access to a Bachelor degree in your home country.

You have direct access if you have graduated from a Belgian secondary school. In addition, some international secondary school degrees are held to be equivalent to a Belgian degree of secondary education and grant you direct access, provided you also have valid proof of your language proficiency. 

List of equivalent secondary school certificates

If you have a secondary school degree that is not equivalent to a Belgian degree of secondary education, you will have to meet our language requirements (see below) and send us your secondary school diploma and transcripts as well as a letter of motivation. The admissions committee then decides whether you are eligible to join the programme.

Language requirements

All students have to deliver proof of an advanced knowledge of English. We accept the following proof of English language proficiency:

1. an upper secondary school diploma from the Belgian educational system;

2. a certificate from the institution where you finished your secondary or higher education, stating that English was the language of instruction;

3. a certificate of one of the following language tests corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2: 

  • ITACE: minimum level B2
  • TOEFL: minimum level: 79 for the internet-based test
  • IELTS: minimum level academic module 6.5
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advance English (CAE): minimum grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): minimum grade C

Please note that the test result must have been awarded no more than five years prior to the date of enrolment.

It is mandatory that the language requirements are met before you are accepted at VUB. We do not issue letters of acceptance without it.

Students of Dutch are to have obtained level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Students of French are to have obtained level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

For German, Italian and Spanish, no previous knowledge is required at the start of your studies.

Application procedure

To find out if you can enrol in this programme this coming academic year, submit your online application file.

Deadline for non-EEA students

If you need to apply for a visa

before 1 April 2022

Deadline for EEA students

and holder of valid residence permit

before 1 September 2022

Start of the academic year 2022-2023

19 september 2022

Required documents

  • ID card / Passport copy
  • Passport photo (to be used for your student card)
  • Secondary school diploma or proof that you will graduate at the end of this school year;
  • Proof of English proficiency;
  • Secondary school results (not mandatory if you have direct access);
  • Letter of motivation (not mandatory if you have direct access) - don't forget to mention which languages you want to study

Even if you are not yet in the possession of all required documents, you can already submit your application and send us any missing documents as soon as they are available.


In addition to all the uploaded documents, also an interview via Skype is part of the application process. You will receive an invitation via mail from muba@vub.be for a Skype interview with one of the MUBA teaching assistants. In an online calendar you will be able to book an appointment of approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Topics that will be discussed include your personal background and your motivation.

Tuition fees

All Belgian universities offer high-quality education at a very reasonable cost. The main formula is the following: a fixed fee (per programme) + a variable fee (per credit)

For more information on our tuition fees, go to https://student.vub.be/en/student-administration#tuition-fee.

Programme code

When you submit your application on our online portal, you will be asked to select your programme. The programme code of this bachelor is 00722 (BA Linguistics&LiteraryStudies). Make sure you submit your application within the right programme. 

If you are experiencing issues with your application, do check the manual here. 

After Graduation

The Multilingual Bachelor's degree in Linguistics and Literary Studies opens many doors in different professional sectors. It also gives you the opportunity to start a master programme at VUB or elsewhere (worldwide). 

At VUB we have several master programmes which allow you to continue your studies after completing the Multilingual Bachelor.

Or after a prepratory programme at VUB

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After your master

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Want to know more about the programme?

We are looking forward to presenting the brand new Multilingual Bachelor to you. In the coming months you can find us at numerous events, where you will have the opportunity to ask your questions and meet our team. We will be available at: 

In person events

Online events

  • Virtual SID-in (February 16, 19 and 23)
  • Salon SIEP Virtuel (March 25-26)
  • Our programme will organise two virtual information sessions a month. During such a session, you can meet our team and ask in-depth questions about the programme.

Wil je meer weten over dit programma?

Schijf je hier in voor een online informatie sessie

In het Nederlands

Do you want to learn more about the programme?

Book your online information session here

In English

Any questions?

Don’t hesitate to write us an e-mail. We’d be happy to answer your questions!