Institute of English Studies

Institute of English Studies

The Institute of English Studies of Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary is part of the Faculty of Humanities. It is situated in the heart of Budapest, in the neighborhood of Hungarian cultural institutions and the largest public library of the capital. The Institute was established in 1993 as the Department of English of the newly established University and Faculty; its founding father was the well-known lexicographer Dr. Tamás Magay.

Due to the growing number of students and the expanding faculty, two departments were established in 2000: the Department of Literary and Cultural Studies in English and the Department of English Linguistics. The Institute of English Studies coordinates tuition and research within these two departments. There are nineteen full-time faculty members in the Institute: among them two full professors, several associate professors, a number of younger colleagues who earned their PhDs within the past few years. There are more than 300 students in the BA program, the English teacher training MA program, and the disciplinary MA programs. In September 2013 we are going to launch the one-cycle MA program for teachers of English as a foreign language, which has to be taken with one of the corresponding programs for teachers of German, history or Hungarian.

The Institute conducts research and offers courses in a wide variety of fields. It has very successful Ireland- and Canada-related courses: our Department of Linguistics is one of the two places in Hungary where the Irish language is taught at a university level, and the Institute also boasts a Canada Center. The Institute is also committed to research in fields related to Protestant values: it hosts the Center for Hermeneutical Research, as well as the Jonathan Edwards Center – Hungary; the former specializes in the study of the Bible and literature, and the latter is part of a world-wide network whose work is coordinated by the Jonathan Edwards Center of Yale University in the United States. Members of the Department of Literary and Cultural Studies in English are involved in research in Shakespeare and Milton studies, both on a national and international level. Our colleagues have published extensively in various fields. Detailed information can be found on our website under the names of the individual members or our Institute.

Our Institute organizes several national and international conferences each year: we hosted international conferences on: Jonathan Edwards (2007), John Milton (2008), the Holocaust (2009), the King James Bible (2011), Northrop Frye (2012), North American Indigenous Cultures (2012), Representations of Ireland (2012), Interfaces in English Linguistics (2012), and J. R. R. Tolkien: Fantasy and Morality (2012; in collaboration with the Hungarian Tolkien Society).

Our students have numerous opportunities to study abroad either in various EU countries within the Erasmus program (e.g. Leuven/Belgium, Glasgow/UK, Madrid/Spain, Kosice/Slovakia, Wroclaw/Poland, and Krems/Austria) or through scholarships to study at Calvin College, Michigan, USA within a special program our University has been running for almost twenty years.

Diverse programmes in English studies have been offered at our University since 1993.


BA-level programme

The current BA-level programme in English lays a special emphasis on the development of marketable and practical knowledge and skills, primarily including a sound foundation of general English and other knowledge necessary for continuing studies in English. Apart from language development, courses are offered on the basics of linguistics, and the literature, culture and history of most English-speaking cultures (with an emphasis on European and North American countries).

Besides traditional and mainstream courses (extending in literature studies from the literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to that of the 21st century; while in linguistics mostly encompassing phonetics and phonology as well as descriptive grammar), the programme provides ample opportunities to enrol in less widely-offered courses including ones on the relationship between Christianity and literature, the history of Christianity in the UK and USA, Irish language, Canadian Studies, as well as the literature, culture, and language of the Middle Ages. The programme offers two tracks (1: literature and culture, 2: linguistics) and two specialisations (1: literature and culture, 2: translation and English for specific purposes), thereby extending students’ academic horizons.

Naturally, once enrolled in a BA programme other than English, one can also take up English as an academic minor. This is preceded by a competition-type exam, where successful candidates must have at least B2 level of English proficiency.

After completing the BA programme in English, students can continue their English studies at the MA-level and thus specialise in numerous fields; they can also become teachers of English as a Foreign Language in countries where a BA in English is a sufficient prerequisite for teacher training. (Note, however, that in Hungary as of September 2013 a new system of teacher training will be introduced, and prospective teachers will be required to do a one-cycle Master’s degree instead of a BA followed by a Master’s in teacher training.)


MA in English Studies (Disciplinary MA program)

In 2012, the Institute launched a new disciplinary MA program in English Studies. The objective of the two-year program is to acquaint students with a broadly defined concept of English literary culture, including its history, major trends, critical schools and, of course, its most representative works and authors. While holding a BA in English Studies and completing yet further foundational courses in the initial phases of the program are essential, students and instructors no longer just survey a given field, but instead aim at in-depth exploration. Therefore, detailed textual analysis with its associated historical dimension constitutes the core activity in class. Our choice of readings has been partly determined by the academic profile of the department and the religious mission of the University. As a result, the program places particular emphasis on Biblical and Christian traditions and explores, among other issues, the complex and continuing presence of the Bible within English literature. The foundation courses of the program also include linguistics and history, as well as courses on language use.

Duration of study: 4 semesters
Specialisation: English literature
Schedule: full-time

Entry requirements: BA degree in English Studies, or any degree in Humanities with at least 50 credits in English Studies. The missing credits can be acquired in the 50-Credit Pre-qualifying Block in English Studies (Részismereti képzés -- see below) before being admitted to the MA program.

Main subject areas:

  • English language and literature
  • English linguistics
  • British history and culture
  • Different periods in English literary history
  • English literature and Christianity

Possibilities for further education: Doctoral (PhD) programme.

For further information please contact Dr. Judit Nagy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Mrs. Réka Bauerné Kiss (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Ms. Krisztina Szilvássy (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The list of courses included in the program can be found here.

You can access the on-line application form by clicking here.


50-Credit Pre-qualifying Block in English Studies (Részismereti képzés)

Students with a degree in any other subject than English who do not have at least 50 credits of English major subjects must complete the 50-Credit Pre-qualifying Block in English Studies before they can apply for the MA in English Studies. You can apply on-line here.


Kodály Culture in Hungary and Worldwide Specialist Postgraduate Programme