Modern Languages BA

Year of entry

2023 course information

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UCAS code
R1R1
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
4 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Mandatory
Typical A-level offer
ABB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in Language Zone

This four-year Modern Languages degree allows you to study two languages, as well as a variety of optional modules covering culture and society. You’ll gain the language and professional skills to prepare you for an international career in many sectors.

Whether you’re starting your language from a beginners’ level, or with prior knowledge, you’ll reach a professional standard in your chosen languages through intensive learning practice and your residence abroad.

You’ll complement your language studies by exploring cultures and societies around the world, choosing from a range of topics such as literature, cinema, popular culture, history and politics. You can also enhance your professional language skills, through modules on translation, interpreting or languages for business.

To find out what it is like to study with us, visit the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies website.

What languages can I study?

On the four-year Modern Languages degree, we offer the following languages at two entry levels. You can start as a beginner, or start with prior experience (A-level or equivalent):

  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

We also offer Arabic and Thai from beginners' level. Please contact us before applying if you have prior experience.

Language combinations

Not all language combinations are possible because of residence abroad requirements. For example, at present it is not possible for students to study French, German or Spanish at beginners' level with post A-level Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian.

Please refer to this table to check that the language combination or pathway you wish to study is currently possible before submitting your application.

If you have any questions about your combination, please contact our Admissions team.

You’ll need to tell us your language combination in the ‘Further Details’ section of your UCAS application.

Specialist facilities

With a variety of specialist facilities and four libraries on campus, you’ll find plenty of space for study, group work and research.

The world-class Brotherton Library is home to a wide variety of manuscripts, archive and early printed material in its Special Collections – valuable assets for your independent research. These include rare copies of magazines and unpublished letters with materials across the range of languages that we teach, from medieval Latin to the Leeds Russian Archive. Our main library resources are also excellent, and the University Library offers a comprehensive training programme to help you make the most of them.

The Language Centre includes digital language labs, audio/video practice booths and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). The Language Zone offers excellent learning material in more than 50 languages, including online resources and advice. The Language Exchange and the Language Groups programme provide opportunities to practice with other learners and native speakers. You can also volunteer to help other learners and enhance your CV at the same time.

Our Martin Thomas Translation Labs feature state-of-the-art computing facilities for translation studies as well as Interpreter Training Suites – ideal if you are considering a career in interpreting.

We also have links with several institutions that support language-learning on campus, such as Instituto Cervantes (Spanish), Instituto Camoes (Portuguese) and Institut Ramon Llull (Catalan).

Course details

Whether you’re starting your language from beginners’ level or with prior knowledge, you’ll reach a professional standard in your two chosen languages through intensive learning practice and residence abroad – where you’ll spend up to a year in one or more of the countries where your chosen languages are spoken.

You’ll complement your language studies by exploring cultures and societies around the world, choosing from a range of topics including literature, cinema, popular culture, history and politics.

If you're taking your language as a beginner, you'll focus on building up quickly your language skills through your language modules. If you’re an advanced learner, your language module will allow you to consolidate and broaden your language skills. Every week you'll develop and extend your listening and reading knowledge while becoming more proficient in your speaking and writing skills.

In your first year and second years you'll take modules appropriate to your level and language choices. Beginners take more language classes to accelerate their learning. You'll also explore key aspects of the culture, history and society of the countries where your chosen languages are spoken and develop important research skills in introductory modules. Depending on your chosen language combination, you may also be able to study discovery modules to study subjects outside of your degree.

The residence abroad is a compulsory part of this course and is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in language and culture. It will either be in your second or third year of study, depending on which language combination you choose. See the Study Abroad and Work Placements section here for details.

Your final year will involve working on an independent research project which could be a dissertation, translation or podcast. Apart from your advanced language modules, you'll also have the flexibility to choose from a range of optional modules to deepen your knowledge. You may have the opportunity to enhance your professional language skills, through modules on translation, interpreting or languages for business.

The international outlook and knowledge you develop alongside advanced language skills will allow you to consider career options in a range of fields when you graduate.

Course structure

Language combinations

Please refer to this table to check that the language combination or pathway you wish to study is currently possible before submitting your application.

The information here represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Discovery modules

Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.

This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Our tutors are experts in their fields whose teaching is informed by their own cutting-edge research.

They are passionate researchers and dedicated teachers who use a range of teaching methods to help you benefit from their expertise, including lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops.

Independent study is also central to this degree, since it allows you to develop your skills in research and analysis. You’ll be able to apply your skills and knowledge in a final year research project on a topic of your own choice.

We're committed to an innovative and inclusive approach to teaching, which draws on a variety of activities, including flipped learning, group presentations and bespoke digital resources to prepare you for your seminar discussions.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We are creative in our approach to assessment and always use it to support your independent learning. We use a wide range of methods including essays, exams, presentations, podcasts, literature reviews, reflective logs, and group projects.

Assessments are designed to deliver the transferable skills needed for the world of work. Task-based activities are designed to evidence critical thinking, demonstrate initiative, and show knowledge of a range of relevant subjects and sources.

Support for assessments is integrated into our teaching, and you'll usually have the opportunity for formative assessments that allow you to practice your skills and do well in your formal assessments. We also run extra classes on skills such as public speaking, structuring essays and exam technique that you’ll be able to attend throughout your time at Leeds.

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

Where a post-A level language route is taken, a B grade in the relevant language is required.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass diploma with 60 credits overall, including at least 45 credits at level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. An interview and a piece of written work may also be required.

This course has additional subject-specific requirements. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

BTEC

We will consider the level 3 QCF BTEC at Subsidiary Diploma level and above in combination with other qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

M1, M1, M2. Where a post-A level language route is taken, M2 in the relevant language is required.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level. Where a post-A level language route is taken, 5 points at Higher Level in the relevant language is required.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3. Where a post-A level language route is taken, H3 in the relevant language is required.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BB in Advanced Highers and AABBB in Highers - OR - B in Advanced Higher and AAABB in Highers. Where a post-A level language route is taken, a B grade in Advanced Higher in the relevant language is required.

Welsh Baccalaureate

The Welsh Baccalaureate is not typically included in the academic conditions of an offer made to you for this course. If you choose to undertake the Welsh Baccalaureate we would strongly encourage you to draw upon these experiences within your personal statement, as your qualification will then be taken into account both when your application is initially considered by the selection panel and again when reviewed by the admissions tutor at the time your A-level results are passed to us.

Other Qualifications

European Baccalaureate: 75% Where a post-A level language route is taken, 8.0 in the relevant language is required.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

BBC at A Level and pass Access to Leeds.

Extended project and access to Leeds offer: BCC at A Level and A in a relevant EPQ and pass Access to Leeds

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 are available on individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 will be available on individual course pages from September 2023.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Applying

Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

You need to tell us your language combination when you apply. Input your chosen language in the Further Details section on your UCAS application.

Read our guidance about applying.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions

Email: lcsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

You’ll gain the language and professional skills to prepare you for an international career in a wide range of sectors.

This Modern Languages degree allows you to acquire proficiency in two major world languages. As well as demonstrating that you’re intellectually versatile, your languages degree will equip you with a wide range of skills across different disciplines which are attractive to employers. These include:

  • Good research skills and the ability to analyse complex information from multiple sources before drawing your own conclusions.
  • Communication skills enabling you to defend your views clearly, either verbally or in writing.
  • Strong organisational skills and the confidence to work independently or in a team.
  • A deep understanding of cultural diversity, allowing you to work effectively with people whose backgrounds differ from yours.

Leeds graduates have pursued careers across the globe and in a range of sectors. These include: education, the media, law, publishing, the civil service and diplomacy, business and finance and the charity sector. Many others have also pursued postgraduate study, including further training in language-based careers such as translating and interpreting.

Careers support

Leeds is the 5th most targeted university in the UK by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2022).

At Leeds, we are fully committed to developing your employability and career prospects. You’ll have a wealth of opportunities to develop your skills and make the most out of your time at Leeds and during the time you’ll spend abroad.

Experience of living abroad, combined with detailed study of languages and cultures, is valuable preparation for employment in a multicultural, multinational environment.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Our experts in the University’s Careers Centre will support you to make informed decisions about your career path, understand the opportunities available and the steps you need to take to pursue your choices. You’ll be encouraged to attend on-campus events including graduate recruitment fairs, employer networking and information sessions, and meetings with our alumni.   

The Union provides career-related support through the part-time job hub, student societies and other activities throughout the year. Clubs and societies are a great way to get involved in lots of activities and explore your interests. They’re also a great way to develop your skills such as team working and leadership. For example, you could be a key player in an award-winning sports team, or become a committee member and chair society meetings, or you could even project manage a volunteering trip overseas. The Union is home to School Reps who are appointed by students to represent the views and be the voice of students in your School.  

At Leeds, you can access support to help you start your own business. Whether you want to learn about enterprise or become an entrepreneur, we offer award-winning specialist support. 

As a student with us, you'll be guided in your career choices and prepared for life after your degree in a variety of ways. Workshops and events are organised for you by the School throughout the year and focus on networking, understanding the value of your language skills, hearing from alumni about their career experiences and hosting graduate recruiters who want to hire you.

We’ll also keep you informed of work/voluntary placements for your time abroad and of any other part-time and volunteering opportunities that you can fit around your studies. 

Study abroad and work placements

In most cases, you'll spend up to a year in a country where one of your chosen languages is spoken. It’s the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture while sharpening and refining your language skills every day. For many of our students, it’s the highlight of their degree.

Normally, if you are studying one of your languages as a beginner you’ll be spending your residence abroad in a country where this language is spoken. If you are taking two languages as an advanced student, you’ll either spend your year in one country or divide it between two countries.

If your language combination includes Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian, you’ll spend your second year abroad studying an intensive language course.

For all other language combinations, you’ll spend your third year abroad. Depending on your host country, you may be able to complete a work placement, undertake a British Council school assistantship, or study at one or more of our partner universities. You may also be able to combine a work placement and a study placement or supplement your main period of residence abroad with shorter periods, such as summer schools in the long vacation.

For students doing two Western European languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese), there is the opportunity to spend time in two different countries and to develop both of your languages.

Students studying two of the following languages - French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish - can carry out a work placement, including working as a Foreign Language Assistant (FLA).

Find out more about the options available for each of your chosen languages:

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.