Modern Languages student takes German dictionary
Mode of Study
Full-time with language year abroad
4 years full-time with language year abroad
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020


Do you have an interest in languages and the desire to develop your linguistic skills to a professional level? Do you want to spend a year abroad, learning more about the culture and languages of another country?

This BA (Hons) Modern Languages degree course immerses you in 1-3 languages of your choice, while imparting the cultural knowledge and vocational skills that will make you a sought after professional in multiple countries.

Whether you’re experienced in speaking multiple languages or need to learn your chosen language from scratch, we’ll take your enthusiasm and mould you into a confident linguistic expert.

What you'll experience

On this Modern Languages course, you'll:

  • study 1 language from French, German or Spanish


  • study 2 languages from French, German, Spanish, Italian (beginners level only) or Mandarin (beginners level only)

To study 2 languages, you'll need to have taken French, German or Spanish at A level and continue studying your A level language.

You can also:

  • Use our professional-grade conference interpreting suite and language labs, where you can manipulate video, sound, text and Internet sources
  • Immerse yourself in the cultures of the countries where your chosen languages are spoken – in the classroom and on your work or study placement abroad in year 3
  • Test your language skills in simulations, scenario exercises, television broadcasts and debates
  • Fast-track to a teaching career with an optional Initial Teacher Training pathway, which includes a £9,000 bursary Qualified Teacher Status on completion of the final year of your degree

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

With language skills continuing to be in high demand in many industries, previous students have gone on to work in fields such as:

  • translation and interpreting
  • marketing
  • journalism and the media
  • international management
  • teaching
  • tourism
  • finance

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • bilingual consultant
  • multilingual project coordinator translator
  • teacher
  • translator/interpreter
  • diplomat
  • journalist
  • tourist guide
  • market analyst

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

I had the most fantastic experience on this course. I went to study abroad as past of the Erasmus+ scheme, which completed my course perfectly and initiated the path into my career. It was the most perfect opportunity.

Lauren Cooper , BA Hons Combined Modern Languages student

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Modern Languages degree

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Nation, Language and Identity
  • Starting Language Research
  • Studying at University (Modern Languages)

If you do the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) route, you'll complete teaching placements, a professional practice teaching unit and a language research project.

In your second year you'll continue studying the language or languages that you chose in your first year. Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Business & Markets in A Global Environment
  • China and East Asian Economies
  • Comparing Extremist and Populist Movements in the Western World
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • East Asian States and Societies
  • France in the World: Global Actor Or Global Maverick?
  • German General Language Grade 4
  • Germany in the American Century
  • Guns, Glory Hunters & Greed: French and British Colonisation in Africa
  • Intercultural Perspectives On Communication
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Introduction to Translation
  • Learning From Experience
  • Learning From Experience Teaching Placement
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Modern Foreign Language
  • Nazi Germany
  • Politics and Culture of the Hispanic World in 20th Century Literature and Film
  • Revolution and Repression: Spain
  • The French Exception: Contemporary French Politics and Society
  • World and Transnational Cinema

The optional modules you can select may depend on which languages you've chosen.

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

You'll spend your third year on this course abroad, either studying at a university or working through an arranged work placement.

Core units in this year include:

  • Dissertation

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Translation Theory and Practice
  • Interpreting
  • Workplace discourse
  • Language, Gender and Sexuality
  • Writing to Persuade
  • Digital Communication
  • LiFE: Learning from experience (work placement)
  • Introduction to Teaching (if taking the ITT pathway)

You can also take some of the optional units from year 2.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

My degree has given me the confidence to travel and work abroad. I am now in Beijing to complete a MA in European and Asian Affairs.

Jan Chodorowski, BA Hons Modern Languages student

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

If you combine your degree with teacher training, you'll do teaching placements as part of your course.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

James' story
"I love the fact that I'm doing what I loved at school the most..."

James took his love of languages and decided to a study BA (Hons) Modern Languages degree at uni. Find out what he loves about Portsmouth.

Placement year

After your second year, you’ll take a work or study year in a country where your target languages are spoken. This gives you a worldview and cultural awareness that will help you stand out from other candidates when you begin your career.

We have links with universities and employers in countries and regions such as:

  • Germany
  • Spain
  • China
  • Taiwan
  • Latin America

We also have partnerships with the British Senegalese Institute and development organisations in Dakar, which provide opportunities for work placements in Senegal on your year abroad.

We’ll help you secure a study or work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • skill development sessions
  • oral practice classes
  • work placement

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • use of software including desktop publishing, podcasts, subtitling and web design
  • case studies
  • blogging
  • examinations
  • book reviews
  • professional and business reports
  • group and individual projects
  • oral presentations
  • portfolio of achievement

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 23% by written exams, 16% by practical exams and 61% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 38% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 55% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 7% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 90% by coursework

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Students wishing to take two languages require 32 points from an A level in a Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish).

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Qualifications or experience
  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Students wishing to take two languages require 32 points from an A level in a Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish).

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £13,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Other course costs

If you do any placements outside of the EU/EEA, you’ll need to cover the travel costs. These costs are usually around £1000. You’ll also need to cover the living costs, which will vary depending on the duration and location of the placement.

You’ll also need to meet any additional tuition costs for units of study you take outside of your agreed study abroad programme. This normally costs around £200.


How to apply

To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – R902
  • our institution code – P80

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

Not quite ready to apply?

Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can register and start your application from 21 May 2019 and submit it from 5 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – R902
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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