The School of English Language and Literature was the first foreign-language School in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, opening in 1951 and functioning according to the founding law of 1931, which provided for an Institute of Foreign Languages and Literatures annexed to the Faculty of Philosophy. During this early transition period and up until 1982, the School operated under the supervision of the presiding Director of the British Council in Thessaloniki as well as of a three-person Supervisory Committee from the Faculty of Philosophy. With the changes in education laws (Reform Bill 1268/1982), the School ïf English, along with the Schools of French, German and Italian, was granted autonomous status equal to that of the other Schools in the Faculty of Philosophy. This statutory change marked the beginning of academic and administrative restructuring and modernization, with the originally unified School being divided into two, the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics and that of English and American Literature, which itself was soon (in 1987) to divide into the Departments of English Literature and Culture and American Literature and Culture. This restructuring in turn brought about a greater specialization in the subjects taught in the School of English, with the academic program reorganized to include a balance of general core subjects on the one hand and more specialized subjects on the other. Students were now offered the opportunity to develop their own interests by selecting from a range of elective modules from the different Departments as well as from a limited number of courses in related areas from other Schools in the Faculty. The number of subjects offered increased still further with the founding of the new Department of Translation and Intercultural Studies in 2003. As of 1995, the program of graduate studies has been in operation, offering specialization in the different areas of the four Departments.
The many and various aims of the program of study in the School of English include: