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You are hereUNIL > Department of English > BA > BA 2005 > 2005 BA: Third Year

Third year BA studies in English (2005)

| The third-year programme | Summary of the third-year BA programme | Essays | Plagiarism | Epreuves | Reading list (only for BA 2005 plan d'études!)

Congratulations on reaching your third and final year of the BA programme!

Please read this guide carefully and refer to it regularly. It is updated whenever necessary.

The third-year programme

In your third year you have even fewer classroom hours, leaving you more time for personal reading and research.

Assessment and validation

In the third year of the BA, your programme is very simple. By the end of the year, you must have validated four modules covering at least two fields of study (medieval literature, modern English literature, American literature, and English linguistics). A module consists of either a seminar or a course of lectures and lasts one semester. This means that you will be attending at least two modules each semester (on average).

In each module you must either make an oral presentation or write an essay (or both). You must write at least one essay in the course of the year (and possibly as many as four essays). Each course is assessed in a different way. Your teachers will inform you of how you should proceed to satisfy their requirements, and when you have completed them, they will enter the validation into the Faculty computer. You can view your academic record through my.unil.


Summary of the third-year BA programme

Autumn and/or Spring Requirements Validation Credits
Medieval English essay or oral presentation based on the work presented 5
English Linguistics essay or oral presentation based on the work presented 5
American Literature essay or oral presentation based on the work presented 5
English Literature essay or oral presentation based on the work presented 5

At the end of the year you take a 4-hour written épreuve and two oral épreuves. You choose which fields to present for the written and oral épreuves.

In the course of the year you must write an essay in at least one (and probably most) of these four modules.


During your third year, you must write at least one essay in the context of the four fields of study (medieval literature, modern English literature, American literature, or English linguistics). Please keep your completed essay(s) carefully: you may be asked to demonstrate that you have fulfilled the requirements.

In your essays, we expect you to apply everything that you have been taught about essay-writing, using EDGE as your guide. Third-year essays are typically 8-to-12 pages long.

Working with staff

Consult with your teachers about your choice of text(s), focus and topic before you start to write and keep in contact with them both during and after writing.

An unsatisfactory essay must be rewritten. It is normal to rethink, revise, and rewrite; the process of rewriting is an important learning experience.

Identifying sources

Identify all information or ideas that you borrow. Use your own words whenever possible, rather than make long quotations from critics. At the end of your essay, append a bibliography listing your primary text(s) and all the articles and books you read or consulted (secondary sources) while preparing and writing your essay.


Every essay must be written while you are following the module it arises from. To gain the course validation and associated credit, it must be acceptable and accepted before the course ends (though instructors may extend the deadline under certain circumstances).

Teachers will specify the deadline for handing in essays in each course, allowing themselves time to read the work and you the time to revise it (if required). Generally speaking, the deadline will be at least one month before the end of the semester. (Individual teachers may shift this deadline as a function of their availability.)


Write your name, address, and email address at the top of the first page of your essay, and clearly identify the module that it relates to.

If for any reason you need to have your work returned to you by post, provide a suitably large, stamped, self-addressed envelope when you hand your essay in.



Remember, unacknowledged use of someone else's ideas or phrasing and representing those ideas or phrasing as our own, either on purpose or through carelessness, is plagiarism - intellectual dishonesty - for which the penalties are severe (see below). EDGE provides you with strategies for avoiding plagiarism. If you have any questions about the concept of plagiarism or methods of proper documentation, request assistance from your teacher.

The penalties for plagiarism

The penalty for plagiarism involves failure for the essay and the corresponding module, which may threaten the completion of your studies. A student committing plagiarism will be required to write a replacement essay on another subject and thus take another module. In the event of a second offence, the student may be excluded from the section and even, depending on the gravity of the case, from the Faculty. Ignorance of the rules about plagiarism is no excuse, and carelessness is just as bad as purposeful violation.


The section on plagiarism was adapted from http://webster.commnet.edu/mla/plagiarism.shtml and http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml, both last accessed 18 July 2007.



At the end of your second year you took an épreuve in one of the four fields covered in the English department. At the end of your third year, you take three more épreuves (one 4-hour written paper and two orals) in at least two more fields of your choice among medieval literature, modern English literature, American literature, or English linguistics. In all, your four exams must have covered at least three of these fields.

Registering for épreuves

For all épreuves, you register on the Faculty web site. In cases where more than one member of staff teaches a course, please tick the name of the one teacher whose course you specifically attended, on which you wish to be examined.

Print out the registration form that is produced and give a copy of it to the teacher concerned. You can modify or cancel your registration at any time up to the registration date. (The relevant dates are displayed on noticeboards as well as on the Faculty website)

Once the deadline has passed, your registration for the épreuve becomes definitive; you cannot withdraw without penalty. If you do not attend, you will be considered to have failed (unless you produce evidence, such as a medical certificate, to justify your absence or withdrawal).

For more information on specific exams in the English section, and regulations for written and oral exams, follow this link: Exam procedures


Reading list (only for BA 2005 plan d'études!)

Throughout your studies in English you should read widely, in addition to the texts set for courses. Instructions for the English section's Reading List can be found in the file below, which specifies the range of texts that your reading should include.

BAReadList.pdf  (159 Ko)



Important disclaimer

All information in this document, which reflects our understanding of the Faculty rules at the moment of writing, is offered on a 'best intentions' basis. Only documents issued by the administration of the Faculty of Letters can be considered as 'official'.

Questions or problems

Questions concerning Faculty administration can be put to the secretary of the section, Eva Suarato Adams (office 5087).

Problems which cannot otherwise be dealt with should be adressed to the president of the section, MER Kirsten Stirling (office 5065), preferably during her reception hour.


Your personal electronic doorway to University courses and administration is MyUnil. In addition to listing your incoming email messages and linking to other parts of the UNIL site, it provides a window into your academic record.
When you have subscribed to a course you will see it listed on your personal MyUnil page along with a smaller window (called a 'portlet') containing 'documents de cours' which you can download and print out. These are generally course handouts (distributed in class) - but some teachers use this means to supply additional information (bibliographies, reference documents, etc.).

Study abroad

It is very important that you should spend time in English-speaking countries as a means of developing your proficiency in the language and gaining first-hand experience of English-speaking culture.

Summer schools

Universities in Britain and the United States provide a wide choice of summer courses - ideal for the holidays after your first year of study. Scholarships (restricted to Vaudois students, unfortunately) are available for language courses abroad. (If you are not Vaudois(e), check with the authorities in your home canton: they may have similar scholarships!)


The best time to spend a semester or an entire year in a British or American university is during your 3rd year (BA) or 4th year (MA). For Britain there is the Erasmus programme; for the United States, the Inter national Student Exchange Program (ISEP), etc. To participate in these, you will need to start planning 18 months ahead. Read the information about study abroad on the section website, and notices in the coeur de section before consulting Juliette Vuille or Kirsten Stirling (for Britain) or Prof. Soltysik (for the USA). There are also information sessions during the winter semester.

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