From the inception of the University of Dhaka, the Department of English has played a pivotal role in projecting the ethos of academic research and dissemination of knowledge that are the core values of the institution. Its mission has been to establish itself as the chief centre of English Studies in this part of the world. It aims to produce graduates who are highly skilled in the English language and who have absorbed the great tradition of writing in English, ranging from the classics of English and American literature to contemporary works that reflects the diversity of English in global contexts. The Department of English has constantly evolved to keep pace with developments in academic curriculums worldwide which reflect the crosscurrents of change in sociopolitical and theoretical perspectives. The Department also aligns to the growing demands of globalization to offer studies in applied linguistics and English language teaching, equipping students with modern day methods and techniques of teaching English. The Department responds to the core values of sustainable development goals, making vital contributions to upscale the English language education standards in Bangladesh. The current curriculum is interdisciplinary to an extent to accommodate the intersection of English studies with other fields of study and research such as gender, environment, media studies and information technology. The Department hopes that studying such a curriculum will equip its students with the skills and vision required to contribute productively in national and international arenas and to be confident and conscientious citizens of the world.
The Department of English, University of Dhaka, is now a nationally reputed centre for academic excellence and literary creativity. The Department is situated on the first floor of the Arts Building. It has a multimedia room and a computer lab to provide technical support to the students. It has two seminar libraries: the Guhathhakurata-Rashid Seminar is the Literature Library and the Abi Md. Nizamul Huq Seminar is the Language Library. The Department publishes the peer-reviewed journal Spectrum which features original scholarly articles, book reviews, translations, interviews and creative pieces.
The Department offers courses for four-year B.A. Honours and one-year M.A. degrees in English. At the M.A. level, students can pursue either Applied Linguistics and ELT or English Literature degree. The Department also offers M. Phil and Ph.D. degrees. Many students from foreign countries, including India, Korea, Nepal, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Libya, Palestine and Somalia have studied in the Department in the past.
Scholarships and stipends are available for meritorious as well as needy students. These are provided by alumni and donors. The department arranges workshops, seminars, memorials and cultural programmes on a regular basis. Students participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, drama, debate, public speaking and cultural programmes.
Presently, there are thirty two full-time faculty members, one Professor Emeritus, one UGC Professor, one Honorary Professor and six part-time teachers working for the department. Some of them have specialized from reputed foreign universities in British, American, Caribbean and Postcolonial literature, while others have achieved higher degrees in ELT, Applied Linguistics and TESOL.
The English Department teaching faculty comprises highly qualified academics and professionals. They keep themselves updated by engaging in professional activities. These include research, conducting and participating in workshops, national and international seminars and conferences. They have published extensively in academic journals at home and abroad. Professors of the department have followed the footsteps of their peers in making significant contributions in the cultural and literary arenas of the country and have won several awards and prizes in recognition of their works.
During the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, both teachers and students of the Department played active and glorious roles. Some took on the vital role of organizing the freedom struggle inside the country while others fought on the war front. Professor Dr. Jyotirmoy Guhathakurta was martyred on the fateful night of March 25, 1971, while Mr. Rashidul Hasan, a Senior Lecturer, was abducted and killed by the Al-Badr on December 14, 1971, just before Victory Day. The Literature Seminar of the department has been named the Guhathakurta-Rashid Seminar in their honour. A number of students were also martyred during the liberation war. In 2008, the Chair of that time, Professor Dr. Khondakar Ashraf Hossain, took the initiative to build a wooden installation on the wall of the seminar library as a memorial for the teachers and students of the Department martyred during the liberation war of Bangladesh. Professor Kaiser Md. Hamidul Haq actively participated in our glorious liberation war.
BA (Honours) in English Programme General Objectives
The general objective of the BA (Honours) programme is to develop highly skilled English graduates who can serve the nation in different areas. In addition, the programme aims to develop a liberal humanistic attitude in the graduates to mould them into better human beings.
1. Duration: 4 Years
Total Semesters: 4 x 2 = 8 (Two Semesters a year of 26 weeks each) 2. Week-wise breakdown of each semester of 26 weeks
a. Classes : 15 weeks
b. Break : 2 weeks
c. Mid-term : 2 weeks
c. Semester Final Exams : 3 weeks
d. Vacation : 4 weeks
3. Total Courses, Marks, Credits and Grades
Number of 4 Credit Courses: 28
Marks: 28 × 100 = 2800
Each Course: 4 Credit Hours
Number of 1 Credit Courses: 8
Marks: 8 × 25 = 200
Each Course: 1 Credit Hour
Column 1 Value 3
Total Marks: 2800 + 200 = 3000
Total Credits: 28 × 4 + 8 × 1 = 120
a. 15 hours teaching is equivalent to 1 Credit hour and will be treated as 1 credit
b. Each 4 credit course: A full unit course. Required contact hours: 60
c. Each 1credit course: ¼th of one unit course. Required contact hours: 15
d. Minimum credits required for Four Year B.A. Honours Degree: 120
(Please note that the system of teaching as well as evaluation may be revised from time to time by the relevant authorities. The above provides a general guideline.)
4. 28 Courses of 4 Credits each and 8 Courses of 1 Credit (Tutorial & Viva-voce)* each will be taught as follows:
3 full unit
3 full unit
3 full unit
3 full unit
4 full unit
4 full unit
4 full unit
4 full unit
8 One-Fourth Unit courses (Tutorial & Viva-voce)
*Assessment for tutorials (5 marks) and viva-voce (20 marks) will take place every semester. However, the total marks will be finally shown in the transcript of the 8th semester.
5. Teaching and Evaluation of the 28 four credit (full unit) courses of 100 marks each:
Each course will be taught and evaluated by two teachers of the Department. If a single teacher teaches a course, then the semester final exam must also be evaluated by a suitable external examiner who may be either from DU or outside DU.
Each course requires 4 hours of classes per week.
Total classes in a semester for each course in 15 weeks: 15 × 4 = 60
Total Contact Hours in a semester for each course: 6
6. Marks Distribution for each four credit (full unit) course
Two Class/Mid-term Tests of 15 marks each: 15+15=30 Marks
(One test of one hour duration to be given by each teacher at his/her convenience. If both course teachers decide to give the test together, then the duration of the test will be two hours. Marks of two tests will be added. In the case of a single teacher teaching the course two tests will be administered by the same teacher.)
Class Attendance* and Participation: 5+5=10 Marks (Each teacher will give marks out of 5. Total of the two marks will be the marks obtained. A single teacher teaching a course will give marks out of 10).
Semester Final Examination of 3 hour duration: 4×15=60 Marks
(Two teachers will set questions and evaluate scripts. Marks obtained will be the average of the two marks.) There may be 4 broad questions or a combination of broad questions, short notes, etc.
Total Marks: 100; Total Classes: 60; Total Contact Hours: 60; Total Credits: 4
* Class Attendance Marking Guideline/Criteria
90% or above
85% to less than 90%
80% to less than 85%
75% to less than 80%
60% to less than 75%
Teaching and Evaluation of 8 one credit (1/4th unit) courses (Tutorial & Viva voce) of 25 (5+20) marks each:
For tutorials, each class will be divided into small groups of 10 to 15 students.
One teacher will meet students of one group once a week for one hour.
Students will not be given any written test. They will be encouraged to discuss topics and/or make oral presentations on topics included in the syllabus.
The Examination Committee will hold viva/oral examination at the end of every semester.
Total classes in a semester for each course in 15 weeks: 15.
Total Contact Hours in a semester for each course: 15.
Marks Distribution for each one credit (1/4th unit) course
Viva voce/Oral Exam: 20
Total Marks: 5+20=25
Lectures and discussion
Pair work, group work and individual work
Debates and discussions
Mini research projects
Virtual learning platforms
Explanation (Reference to the context)
Comparative Questions (cause and effect, argumentative, persuasive, descriptive, narrative)
Reading comprehension (Short note, Fill in the blank, Contextual Meaning Questions)
Paragraph and Essay Writing
Summarizing and paraphrasing
Academic writing (documentation, academic style, writing short academic papers)
The Examination Committee, consisting of four teachers, will be formed by the Academic Committee of the Department.
The committee will include a Chair and a Course Coordinator. The Chair may also be the Coordinator. If the Chairman and the Coordinator are the same person she/he will get remuneration only for one position.
If there is an external member, the committee will include three teachers of the Department, in the committee out of whom at least one should be a course teacher.
Chairperson of the Examination Committee:
She/He will be responsible for getting questions from the course teachers, moderating and printing the questions, holding of examinations, and publication of results.
Course Coordinator of the Examination Committee:
Each batch of students will have a fixed coordinator for all the eight semesters. The coordinator will prepare class routines, arrange and monitor classes, ensure smooth functioning of academic work, and help the chairperson in holding examinations and publishing examination results. In case any member of the committee falls sick, goes on leave, or is unwilling to be on the committee, the academic committee of the Department will nominate a substitute.
Each batch/section of students will have two class representatives (one male and one female) to maintain contact with the coordinator regarding their class progress and problems. Preferably every year, new class representatives will be selected.
Class Attendance: Eligibility for Taking Examinations
Students with 75% attendance in each course will be eligible to sit for examinations. Attendance below 75% going down to 60% will be considered non-collegiate and will be allowed to sit for examinations only after paying the required university fines.
75% and above
Below 75% to 60%
Non-collegiate (allowed with fine)
Discollegiate (not allowed to sit for exams)
Course teachers will submit the mark-sheets which will include marks for attendance, class/in-course tests, and final examination. Two tabulators will enter in the tabulation sheets all the marks obtained in each full unit course and 1/4th unit course, and process the examination results. Tabulation sheets will be sent to the Controller’s Office for preservation.
At the time of evaluation all marks will be entered in numerical form. Only at the time of submitting the final grade sheet and while finalizing the results in the tabulation sheet grades will be raised to the higher round number.
Transcripts issued to the students will include Letter Grade, Grade Points (GP), Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA), and Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). Transcripts will not include numerical grades. Numerical Grades, Letter Grades, and Grade Point (GP) will be given according to the following scale.
Grade Points (1 Unit Courses)
Grade Points (1/4th Unit Courses)
80 and above
75 to less than 80
70 to less than 75
65 to less than 70
60 to less than 65
55 to less than 60
50 to less than 55
45 to less than 50
40 to less than 45
Less than 40
(Does not take an exam)
Withdrawn (Does not attend any class and take any exam)
Promotion from one Semester to another Semester and the Final Degree:
A minimum SGPA (Semester Grade Point Average) of 2.00 will be required for promotion from 1st Semester to 3rd Semester (1st Year to 2nd Year), 3rd Semester to 5th Semester (2nd Year to 3rd Year), 5th Semester to 7th Semester (3rd Year to4th Year).
SGPA (Semester Grade Point Average) will be calculated by adding the credit/credits for each course in a semester, multiplied separately by GP obtained in the course, and dividing the total figure by total credits.
If in the First Semester a student obtains in the three 4 credit courses, and one 1 credit course the grade points 4, 3, 3, and 0.56 respectively, then his/her SGPA (Semester Grade Point Average) is (4×4 + 4×3 + 4×3 + 1×0.56) divided by (4+4+4+1), i.e. 40.56 divided by 13 = 3.12. For each Semester’s SGPA will be calculated like this. For instance, if in the Second Semester a student obtains the GPs (Grade Points) 3.75, 3,3, and 00 in the three 4 credit courses and one 1 credit course, then his/her SGPA is (4×3.75 + 4×3 + 4×3 + 1×00) divided by 13+13), i.e. 79.56 divided by 26 = 3.306.
The minimum GP 2.00 in each one-unit course (4 credits), and CGPA 2.00 will be required for the award of the B.A. Honours Degree. GP in the ¼th unit (one credit) courses will not affect promotion. Even if a student’s GP in the one credit course/courses is 00, but the SGPA/CGPA is 2.00 or more than 2.00, he/ she will be promoted and/or awarded the Degree.
It is expected that the Degree will be earned within the limit of 12 semesters, i.e. four years from the date of admission to First Semester.
Readmission and Drop-out
A student failing to get the requisite SGPA for promotion (16.a) from one year to the next, may seek readmission to study with the following batch. Time-limit for readmission is up to a maximum of one month after the publication of the result. In the case of readmission all grades earned earlier will be cancelled.
During the eight semester or four-year programme a student may take readmission only two times. If required the student may take readmission in the same class, but the degree must be completed within twelve semesters, i.e. six years.
A student failing to get a minimum yearly GPA 2.00 even after readmission for two times will be dropped out of the programme.
Improvement of Grades:
A student may improve grade/grades of any full unit (4 credit course/ courses) only once taking the final examination with the immediate next batch at his/her own risk if he/ she obtains a grade less than B.
A student may be allowed to improve grade/grades even after the eighth semester (fourth year) final examination following the usual rules.
A student getting F grade in any course/courses will be allowed to improve the grade/grades for a maximum of two times with the following batch/batches. Failure to improve the grade/grades will disqualify him/her from continuing the programme.
Retaking of examination for any class/mid-term test and ¼thunit (1 credit) course will not be allowed.
If the final examination of any course/courses is retaken, the grade/ grades of the particular course/courses obtained earlier will be automatically cancelled.
In addition to the usual fees, a fine of Tk. 1000 will be imposed for each course to be retaken.
The student will have to be mentally prepared to take the test of a particular course even if it is held on the same day of his/her other examination.
The same rules will be applicable in the case of any student getting 1.
In the case of a student getting W, he/she must pay a fine of Tk. 5000 and other fees to continue in a class. Besides, the Academic Committee of the Department must be convinced of the genuineness of his/her absence.