What does the English Language and Literature Study Programme offer?
The English Language and Literature Study Programme began as a department of the Faculty of Philosophy in 1994, and in 2009 it became one of the departments of the Faculty of Philology, University of Banja Luka. The curriculum at the bachelor level includes 35 obligatory courses and 7 electives, taught over eight terms, i.e. four academic years. Aside from the courses focusing on the study of language, culture and literature of English-speaking countries, there is also a group of courses dealing with English didactics, which allow students to put into practice what they know theoretically.
Enrolment in the English Language and Literature Study Programme
All candidates who apply for the study programme are required to take an entrance examination. The entrance examination for the English Language and Literature Study Programme consists of two parts, one of which tests the applicants’ knowledge of Serbian (weighted 10 points), and the other of English (weighted 40 points). Prior to the examination, the Faculty of Philology organises preparatory classes over a period of two days, in which the teaching assistants working at the English Department practice with candidates by covering all the topics to be tested in the exam.
What are the employment opportunities for English Language and Literature graduates?
After completing the bachelor degree programme at the English Department, students are awarded the academic title of English Language and Literature Teacher. The bachelor programme qualifies them to work not only as English language and literature teachers in primary and secondary schools, but also as copyeditors/proofreaders and translators/interpreters, as well as in many other sectors and industries.
Also, graduates can continue their education by entering a second-cycle programme (master degree programme), which lasts one year (two terms) and ends with students writing and defending a master thesis on a selected topic. Upon completing the programme, graduates are awarded the academic title of Master of English Language and Literature. After obtaining a master degree, one can apply to do a third-cycle programme (a doctoral programme). Candidates can choose between Language Sciences and Literary Sciences, both offered in the field of Philology, with each programme taking three academic years (six terms) to complete. The final part includes writing and defending a doctoral dissertation.
What are the pros of studying English language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka?
The English Language and Literature Study Programme of the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka runs a traineeship programme for its students. Since several years ago, English undergraduates have had a chance to spend three months of their junior or senior winter or summer term in a ministry or administrative body/agency of the Republic of Srpska and work as trainees, translating legal documents and assisting the respective department personnel with their daily communication in English with EU institutions and other international organisations. Around 80 students have taken part in the traineeship programme to date, and some of them have also found employment with the institutions they were trainees at. For the time being, this programme is one of a kind in the Republic of Srpska.
Also, for several years now, English undergraduates, along with students of other languages at the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka, have been required to take part in a language teaching practicum. It lasts one term, and during it, senior students teach foreign language courses for free to students, faculty and other personnel of the University of Banja Luka, under the supervision of their course mentors and in the presence of classmates also participating in the practicum. This is a chance for students to gain practical experience in real-life conditions, and it is a follow-up to the classroom observation conducted in formal and non-formal education settings the previous two terms. At the same time, interested citizens are offered courses of English, German, French, Italian, Russian, and Serbian for foreigners, also taught at the Faculty. After completing a course and passing the final test, course participants are issued a certificate by the Faculty.
In addition, the English Department runs the Centre for Foreign Languages and Translation, which works under the aegis of the Faculty of Philology. One of its primary goals is to provide translation and adult education services to the general public, while providing graduates and senior students with temporary employment opportunities, under the supervision of mentors from their respective departments.
Are study grants available and what is the procedure for obtaining one?
Students of the Faculty of Philology are eligible for several types of grants awarded by the Government of the Republic of Srpska. Every year, at the end of October, the Ministry of Education and Culture runs five different scholarship programmes, namely:
- A scholarship programme for successful bachelor, master and doctoral students enrolled in the Republic of Srpska;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor students in the category of other students;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor, master and doctoral students studying abroad;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor, master and doctoral students with disabilities, who are also beneficiaries of the Disability Allowance;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor students domiciled in one of the Republic of Srpska’s underdeveloped municipalities.
The scholarship competitions are advertised in the Independent Newspaper daily and on the web portal of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, more specifically, on the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture, www.vladars.net.
Exceptionally successful students are eligible for the Dr Milan Jelić Foundation grants, which are offered annually. The Foundation awards grants to especially gifted undergraduate and postgraduate students, enrolled in a first, second or third-cycle study programme at a local or foreign university. The competition opens at the end of October. For more information, please visit the official web page of the Foundation, www.fondmilanjelic.org.
In addition to these scholarships, students are eligible for so-called city or municipal grants, awarded by their local city or municipal administrations.