Japanese Cultural Festival
Japanese Club- KU
Japanese language learners at a cultural festival
Prof.Ralarala of Cape Peninsulla University, South Africa, The Dean SHSS, the Chairperson of LL&FL,Dr.Nthiga and seminar participants after the launch of a book on forensic Lings

The Department offers high quality training in the following areas:

  1. Literature
  2. English and Linguistics
  3. Foreign Languages(French, German, Japanese, Korean)

The Department  of literature, linguistics and foreign languages is a community of lecturers, scholars,  and researchers who are committed to the  generation, advancement and dissemination of  knowledge in literature, languages and related areas as well as to the training of highly qualified professionals with impeccable language and literature skills..
Fact Sheet                       
The Department boasts of members of staff whose expertise is sought after both at the international, national and regional levels in the areas of language and literature research and consultancy, curriculum development, translation and interpretation, language testing, integrated literature and language teaching  curriculum, multilingual issues, editing and proofreading, Drama  and theatre arts among others.

Staff and Specialization

We have a committed team of 60 full time academic staff members who have various areas of specialization and   interests. These include:

  • African literature
  • Children’s literature
  • Drama and theatre arts
  • Caribbean literature
  • Oral literature
  • Theoretical linguistics
  • Applied linguistics
  • Language education
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Translation and interpretation
  • Language planning, policy and education
  • Language pathology
  • English grammar
  • Multilingual matters
  • French as a foreign language
  • French linguistics
  • Teaching French as a foreign language
  • German as a foreign language
  • German linguistics
  • Teaching German as a foreign language
  • Japanese language and culture
  • Korean language and culture

Specialty and Branding
The Department offers the following courses:

Beginner course in French, German, Japanese and Korean Languages

Certificate courses in  English, French, German, Japanese

Bachelor of Arts ( Literature, English&Linguistics, French, German)

Bachelor of Education( Literature, English&Linguistics, French, German)

Master of Arts( Literature, English and Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, French)

Master of Teaching French as a Foreign Language

Ph.D( Literature, English& Lingusitics, Applied Linguistics, French)

Course Structure
Students studying for the B.A degree may register for two (2) other subjects in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Those taking  B.ed degree are strongly advised to combine their chosen subjects as per university guidelines for subject combination
Postgraduate Students
There are currently over 300 M.A. students enrolled across  the Regular Programme and  CEP in  the various specializations in the department. There are about 20 Ph.D students across the areas of specialization.We have both local and international postgraduate students.

Study Mode and Duration

The Department offers, full time, continuing education programme(CEP) and  digital school of virtual and open learning (DSVOL) modes of study.
The certificate courses take a minimum of  six months, the bachelors   programmes shall  take a minimum of four years. The M.A. degrees shall extend for a minimum period of 2 academic years and are offered according to the following patterns:

  • Coursework, examination and project
  • Course work, Examination and Thesis.

The Ph.D in Literature is by coursework, examination and thesis

PhD in English and Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, French are offered through thesis only.

The PhD programmes shall take a minimum of three years.


In addition to well trained human resource the department boasts of resource rooms for Literature, English and Linguistics, French, German, Japanese and Korean Languages. The resource rooms have valuable reference books, dissertations, journals and audio visual facilities. Our German Language resource centre is the largest in East Africa and we are the largest trainers of German language experts in the region.

The department also boasts of language labs with a capacity of up to 100 students per sitting with equipment for language practice. In addition, we have the Digital Centre which hosts the only French language teachers’ in service training center in East Africa where experts in French as a foreign language continually retool teachers of French from the region in collaboration with the French Embassy and the Association of Francophone Universities(AUF). The Centre also has video conferencing equipment to enable communication with member universities.  

Students’ Destination
Our programmes are market driven and our graduates fit into various professional fields:  teaching, the media, speech therapy, publishing, curriculum development, language testing, public relations, education consultancy, language consultancy, theatre and performing arts, and the N.G.O world in general.

Research activity

The department has a wide range of research areas across the specializations. Among these are African literature, children’s literature, African linguistics, language education, translation and interpretation, teaching French as a foreign language.  The research is both by staff and postgraduate students.

Non Degree



Course Structure
Students studying for a B.A degree may register for English and linguistics and two (2) other subjects in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Those taking B.Ed  are strongly advised to combine it with literature.
Study Mode and Duration
The Department offers its programmes in the regular, digital and institutional-based modes of study. Both our undergraduate programmes take 4 years, with students taking two (2) to four (4) units each semester while our certificate programmes take six months divided into two semesters. The Postgraduate Diploma in Translation Studies shall take a minimum of 18 months. The diploma is offered through course work, examination and research project. The M.A degree in English and Linguistics and M.A. in Applied Linguistics shall extend for a minimum period of two (2) academic years. The Degree is offered according to the following patterns:

  • Course work, examination and project
  • Course work, examination and thesis

The Ph.D in English and Linguistics is offered through thesis only and takes three (3) years.

Master of Arts

Entry Requirements

  • The Common regulations for all Masters degrees in the University shall apply.
  • The general requirements for all Masters degrees in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) shall apply.
  • The following shall be eligible for registration for the Master of Arts of in the Department:

A holder of at least Upper Second Class honors Bachelors degree with English/or Linguistics.

Duration and Pattern of the Course

  • The Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and the Master of Arts in English and Linguistics shall extend over a period of 18 months.
  • Both courses will be taught according to the following patterns.
    • Option A: Coursework, examination and project
    • Option B: Coursework, Examination and Thesis.
  • In the first year all students will take 8 units (in addition to the School Unit), 4 of which will be core and 4 electives.
  • In the second year, students taking option (A) will take four (4) units in the first semester two (2) of which will be core and two (2) electives. In the second semester, they will carry out research and write a project equivalent to 4 units.
  • Students following option 'B' will carry out their research, write and submit a thesis.
Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics

Masters in English and Linguistics

Doctor of Philosophy( Phd) in Linguistics

General studies in English language and linguistics are core in any university for they lead to careers in diverse fields. The market for grammarians and linguists has continued to broaden to areas such as teaching, lexicography, translation, media and language and speech therapy among others. There is a shift in the job market that includes shifts within the industrial, cultural and social paradigms that encourages consumers to look for information and skills that satisfy their linguistic goals.
The Department seeks to redefine the role of linguists in academics and language-related fields. It trains professionals in the English language and linguistics better suited to meet the challenges that linguistic diversity poses for the Kenyan academia and the society at large, today and in the future.

The Department of English and Linguistics, one of the oldest and well-established departments in the country, believes that there is a dire need to train people who are well-grounded in English grammar and all areas of linguistics. English grammar is the foundation upon which all the language skills are anchored. It is important to master English grammar now that it is the medium of instruction right from mid -primary to the tertiary level. In linguistics, special attention is given to African languages because many of the theories in this area are designed with Western languages in mind and thus they do account for a lot of the linguistic phenomena evident in African languages. It is, therefore, imperative that we investigate other languages, especially African ones, with a view to accumulating relevant data and subsequently developing relevant theories.
There is a paucity of well-trained grammarians and linguists in the market and our graduates would be employed as consultants in language matters, curriculum developers, material developers, policy makers, teachers, tutors, lecturers, researchers, lexicographers, translators and media personnel among others.


  1. To train experts in grammar and all areas of linguistics
  2. To research on African languages and others
  3. To create a data bank of African linguistic phenomena in all components of language

Admission Requirements

  1. The common regulations for all doctorate degrees of Kenyatta University shall apply.
  2. The common regulations of the Department of English and Linguistics shall apply.
  3. Those eligible for registration for Doctor of Philosophy in English and Linguistics shall be holders of a Master's degree in English and /or linguistics or equivalent qualifications from any other University recognized by the senate of Kenyatta University.

Duration and Pattern of the Programme
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in linguistics should take a duration of three years. It shall take the form of Research and Thesis.

Upon fulfilling all the requirements, candidates shall be awarded a PhD in linguistics of Kenyatta University.

Certificate In German   msword     pdf
Certificate In Japanese   msword    pdf
Certificate in Korean languages

Beginners Course in Portuguese

Beginners Course in Japanese Language and Cultural Studies

Beginners Course in Korean
Diploma In Japanese  msword     pdf
Bachelor Of Arts(BA) in German  msword     pdf

Bachelor Of Education (BE.D) in German  msword     pdf

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in French

Bachelor of Education (B.ED)  in French

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Japanese

Postgraduate programmes

PhD (French)

Master Of Arts - French  msword    pdf

Masters in Teaching French as a Foreign Languages    msword     pdf

Master in French Didactics

Credit hours
For Bachelors and Masters programmes – 35 credit hours
For Certificate programmes – 35 credit hours

Modes of study

  • Full time
  • IBP
  • Open Learning


  • En plus des cours obligatoires offerts dans chaque année d'études, les étudiants du programme
  • B. A. prennent deux cours au choix en troisième et en quatrièmes années.

Tous les enseignements, les devoirs et les examens sont en français. 

Pour couvrir tout le programme de B. Ed/ B.A., quatre années règlementaires sont exigées. 

Tout étudiant inscrit au programme doit passer des examens dans toutes les unités enseignées. Des examens finaux comptent pour 70%, tandis que l'évaluation continue compte pour 30%. Le classement doit être en conformité avec le règlement commun de l'Université pour le Programme B. Ed, / BA



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chairperson english

Dr. Purity. M. Nthiga
Department of Literature, Linguistics, and Foreign Languages


Department News and Events

Literature Supervisors for MA and PhD Students

>>>>>Literature Supervisors for MA and PhD Students


We wish to notify you that the university and therefore the department is going on with the processing of postgraduate work during the Covid-19 university closure. This includes: Presentation of...

Forensic linguistics seminar hosted by English and linguistics in BSSC

The Chair, Dr. Nthiga, addressing the participants in the forensic linguistics seminar Pariciants of the seminar on forensic linguistics enjoy a health break Prof. Monwabisi Ralarala from the Cape Peninsulla...

Japanese Language Activities

Japanese Cultural Festival Japanese Speech Contest at the Embassy Japanese language learners at a cultural festival Students of Japanese with lecturer Japanese Cultural Festival Japanese language learners at a cultural...

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