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Modern Languages

In today’s world, knowing a second language is not an option but a necessity. Employers are looking for graduates with languages and cultural skills and the truth is that with internationalisation, we are seeing more and more bilingual, if not trilingual, young people entering the employment market. Wouldn’t your profile look stronger if you were to develop your language skills?

Our subjects are designed to be as practical as possible and ensure that you will be able to communicate in the language you are studying, and to do so successfully, which means understanding the culture as well. Our teachers are generally native speakers who will encourage you to experience the language by yourself, be it through films, newspapers, talks and books or by travelling to countries where the language is spoken. There are also opportunities to study or work abroad.

The benefits to you, apart from making you more employable, are joining a rich social and cultural mix of students and developing knowledge and understanding of different countries, cultures, societies and business environments that will no doubt enrich your travels.

  • 65% of businesses identified a need for foreign language skills in their employees.
  • Modern Languages graduates are highly employable and go into a range of careers. 87% of graduates went on to further work or study, 85% of whom were in professional or managerial jobs.
  • More than 1 in 3 students who undertook a job placement abroad were hired or offered a job by their host company.

* Sources: CBI, Chambers of Commerce, British Academy, House of Lords Select Committee.

We offer a range of modern languages at various levels, including: Arabic, British Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and professional English (as a foreign language).

Whether you are a beginner or have some proficiency, our courses are flexible and there are different ways we can help you build your language skills: 

As part of your degree programme - for credits

  • As a minor subject in some course programmes, making up one third of your course. 
  • As a study option in some course programmes, taking one language class per week. Please ask your main course tutor if it is possible to study a language module for credits towards your degree. 

Separate from your degree - not for credits

  • As an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student, you can register independently with the Modern Languages Centre as part of the University Learning Programme. You will be asked to pay a deposit (currently £75) which will be refunded upon successful achievement. 

As a postgraduate taught student - not for credits

  • If you are a postgraduate research student you can study a language alongside your research degree at no extra cost. 

As an associate student - part-time, not for credits

  • If you are not a student at the University, you can also enrol with us on a part time basis. The fee for this is currently £330 per module for one academic year. When you join one of our classes, you're likely to find yourself in a group with people of all ages and backgrounds. This variety of profiles is one of the strengths of our students' learning experience, as each individual can learn from the input of fellow class members. What you will all have in common is a level of language skills that is broadly comparable. Mature students, those studying part-time, in employment or who otherwise have no association with the university, can feel comfortable and confident that their contributions and achievements will be recognised. Our classes take place during the day and evening. Your commitment would be a two hour class per week in addition to time for homework and general consolidation. Our experience is that part-time students generally cope very well with their course and have been amongst our best achievers!

Certificate in Languages for Business (CLB) 

  • If you would like to develop a language for business purposes or your work we can now offer you special business classes in French, German and Spanish. This course will lead to a Certificate in Languages for Business (CLB) which is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Linguistics Education Trust (IoLET), the only awarding body specialising in professional language qualifications. This course addresses learners with some previous knowledge of the language, such as a GCSE or A-Level qualification.

We have state-of-the-art language facilities to help your learning, including language laboratories equipped with international multimedia viewing and recording facilities. The Language Research Centre is integrated with four high quality sound booths, with two-way glass finish, for students to carry out audio and video recordings, interpreting, video conferencing, and aural and data analysis work. 

For further information on any aspect of studying a modern language, contact

Last updated Monday 28 November 2016
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