The department has a vibrant research culture, and research activities span a wide range of disciplines. The staff participate in several different projects, both in Norway and abroad, and are responsible for the interdisciplinary profile of the university. The research activities are divided into two different research groups: Division of Language and Communication and Division of Literature and Cultural History:
The linguistic research at the department comprises a range of different topics; language systems, language usage, language development in society and language development in human beings.
Communication research has a cross-disciplinary, problem based approach to the study of oral and written communicative practices.
Research within the Division of Literature explores a wide variety of topics from many different cultures and eras. The Division includes specialists working on Nordic, Germanic, Francophone, Anglophone (British and American), and Hispanic literature, as well as literary theory.
Research within cultural history lays emphasis upon European political history – particularly British, French, and German – as well as the history of the European union. It is interested in economic, social, and cultural themes, as well as the history of ideas and politics.