Modern Languages and English BA

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
Q3R1
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
4 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Mandatory
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB at A Level including B in English and pass Access to Leeds.
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in Language Zone

At Leeds, you can study English with one of 10 languages.

On this four-year course you’ll study literature and culture from a global perspective and reach a professional standard in your chosen language.

You’ll study literatures in the School of English, from Old English to Jane Austen and Shakespeare, romantic poetry, American and African literatures. To complement this, you’ll explore literatures from across the world (often in translation) and study the cultures and societies of the countries where your language of choice is spoken.

Your language modules will ensure that you’ll reach a professional standard in your chosen language through intensive learning and your year abroad, where you’ll further enhance your linguistic skills and enrich your knowledge of how your host country.

You’ll be able to choose to take your Final Year Project either with English or with your chosen language.

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.

Choose one of the following languages

We offer the following languages at two entry levels: beginners or with prior experience (eg A-level or equivalent). If you have prior experience in Arabic or Thai, please contact us before applying:

  • Arabic (from beginners' level only)
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Thai (from beginners' level only)

You must include your chosen language 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 These include rare copies of magazines and unpublished letters with materials across the range of languages that we teach, from medieval Latin to the Leeds Russian Archive.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

On this joint honours course, you'll combine English with your chosen language.

In your first year you’ll study foundational modules in English studies, designed to help you make a successful transition to university study. You’ll have the option to study a module that introduces concepts which are important to a wider understanding of languages, cultures and societies.

In the following years you’ll build on this foundation as you’ll explore richly diverse literary texts across different genres, including fiction, poetry and drama. You will see these in the context of a variety of historical periods, places and cultures. 

Whether you’re starting your language from beginners’ level or with prior knowledge, you’ll reach a professional standard in your chosen language through intensive learning practice and a year abroad. Depending on the language that you are studying, you'll spend either Year two or Year three in a country where your chosen language is spoken.

If you're taking your language as a beginner, you'll focus on building up quickly your language skills through your compulsory language modules. If you are an advanced learner, your compulsory language module will allow you to consolidate and broaden your language skills.

You’ll complement your language studies by exploring the cultures and societies of the countries where your chosen language is spoken, as well as other countries around the world. You'll choose from a range of topics including literature, cinema, popular culture, history, and politics.

In your final year, you’ll take a compulsory language module. You’ll be able to choose to take your Final Year Project with either English or your chosen language.

Depending on your choice of Final Year Project, you'll also have the flexibility to choose from a range of more specialised English or cultural modules to deepen your knowledge. You might have the opportunity to enhance your professional language skills through modules on translation, interpreting or languages for business.

A degree in English and modern languages will equip you with the skills and international experience that prepare you for a range of different careers.

Course structure

Every student takes compulsory weekly classes in their chosen language and a selection of compulsory and optional modules in English. They also take further modules in culture and society.

Find out more information on typical modules for the different language combinations of this course. You can study the following languages as part of your Modern Languages degree:

The English modules follow the structure below. This list represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Year 1 compulsory modules

  • Reading Between the Lines (20 credits) - This module equips students with a critical vocabulary for sophisticated literary study, introducing the creative, argumentative and exciting discipline of ‘English Studies’. Through close analysis of specific texts across a range of periods and forms, students will encounter some of the varied theories that have shaped and continue to underpin the discipline. Students will find out how an English degree might change the way we read and see the world, while developing their academic skills through guided critical reading, collaboration with peers in group presentations and seminar discussions, and a variety of assignments designed to introduce them to the different formats of assessment required throughout the degree.

  • Writing Matters (20 credits) - Writing and communication skills are vital to most professional careers, but they are especially valuable in the field of English studies. This module explores debates around a canonical literary text, examining theoretical approaches and rhetorical strategies used to write about literature. Students will hone their own writing skills by engaging ethically with the text and the ideas of others, developing structured arguments, expressing ideas clearly and concisely, working with feedback, and practising writing as a process. As a result, students will cultivate a deeper understanding of how writing works, learn how to share insights with greater efficacy and sophistication, and practice how to transfer this knowledge to future workplace contexts.

Optional modules (a selection of typical options, 20 credits each)

  • Modern Fictions in English
  • Drama: Text and Performance
  • Poetry: Reading & Interpretation
  • Race, Writing and Decolonization

Year 2 compulsory modules

  • Writing Environments: Literature, Nature, Culture (20 credits) - This module examines what it means to live as human beings on a more-than-human planet. We’ll investigate how literary texts from different times and places have understood the relationship between nature and culture. We’ll address human impacts on the environment in relation to historical phenomena such as colonialism. And we’ll explore the insights that literature can offer at a time of concern about climate change and other environmental issues.

  • Body Language: Literature and Embodiment (20 credits) - This module explores the relationship between embodiment, language and representation across a range of literary forms, genres, and periods, addressing questions such as: what does it mean to be ‘human’? Can technology change who we are? How do we navigate the relationship between the body and the mind? It examines how critical theorists and creative writers and life writers have treated and imagined this relationship between material bodies and literary representation, in order to better understand both the possibilities and limitations of literary expression.

Optional modules (a selection of typical options, 20 credits each)

  • Medieval and Tudor Literature 
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Modern Literature 
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • The World Before Us: Literature 1660-1830 
  • Other Voices: Rethinking Nineteenth-Century Literature 
  • American Literature
  • Contemporary Literature

Year 3 compulsory modules

  • Final Year Project (in either English or LCS) (40 credits) - This module encourages independent, self-directed learning, providing a culmination to the research strand emphasised in other modules. It fosters a wide variety of responses to the challenges it offers students, since any final year project might take one of a number of forms. Most importantly, it promotes academic creativity and the exploration of individual intellectual interests.

Optional modules (a selection of typical options, 20 credits each)

  • Current Practice in Creative Writing
  • States of Mind: Disability, Neurodiversity and Mental Health in Contemporary Culture
  • Digital Englishes
  • Gender, Culture and Politics: Readings of Jane Austen
  • Disposable Lives?
  • Queens, Vikings, poets and dragons: Old English and early medieval Britain
  • Contemporary Postcolonial Texts
  • Refugee Narratives
  • Folklore and Mythology
  • Angry Young Men and Women: Literature of the Mid-Twentieth Century
  • Lost in Fiction: The Metafictional Novel from 'Don Quixote' to 'House of Leaves'
  • American Danger

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.

We also use different types of assessment. Usually we use a mixture of exams and essays, but you may also be assessed on oral presentations or group work in some modules. Support will be on hand throughout your time at Leeds – for example, you’ll be able to attend extra classes on exam technique, structuring an essay and public speaking if you need them.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

Grade A is required in English.

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

  • Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required.

  • Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.

Other course specific tests:

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. The Access course must include English modules.

Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

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. The Access course must include English modules.

Please contact the 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. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, M1, M2 including D3 in English. Where a post-A level language route is taken, M2 in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.

International Baccalaureate

35 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in English at Higher Level. Where a post-A level language route is taken, 5 points at Higher Level in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2, H2, H2, H2, H3, H3 including H2 in English. Where a post-A level language route is taken, H3 in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not required.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

AB in Advanced Highers including English and AABBB in Highers - OR A in Advanced Higher English and AABBB in Highers. Where a post-A level language route is taken, a B grade in Advanced Higher in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not 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: 80% including 8.5 in English. Where a post-A level language route is taken, 8.0 in the relevant language is required. Where Chinese or Japanese is taken, a GCSE in any modern language is required. Where any other beginner language route is taken, previous experience in language is not 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 a contextual 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 contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer: BBB at A Level including B in English and pass Access to Leeds

Extended project and Access to Leeds offer: BBC at A Level including B in English 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: £9,250 (per year)

International: £24,500 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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

Read our guidance about applying.

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

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 2024

This course is taught by

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
School of English

Contact us

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Undergraduate Admissions

Email: artsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

By taking this joint honours course you’ll gain the language and professional skills to prepare you for an international career in a wide range of sectors. You’ll acquire proficiency in one of the world languages and attain an international perspective by exploring key literary genres.

As well as demonstrating that you’re intellectually versatile, this joint honours course will equip you with a wide range of transferrable skills that employers value such as:

Leeds graduates have pursued careers across the globe and in a range of sectors including: education, the media, law, publishing, the civil service, 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.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

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

An integral part of your degree is the opportunity to spend a year abroad in a country where your chosen language 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.

If you're studying Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian or Thai, you’ll spend your second year abroad and you’ll be studying an intensive language course.

Otherwise, you’ll be spending your third year abroad and, depending on your hosting country, you may be able to complete a work placement, undertake a British Council school assistantship or study at one of our partner universities.

Whatever your options, you’ll gain a new perspective on other cultures and societies across the world.

Students studying French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish can carry out a work placement, including working as a Foreign Language Assistant.

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.