Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

What are Modern Languages?

In today’s global environment, the study of language and culture is an invaluable asset to those wishing to pursue employment overseas or as part of an international environment.

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The study of Modern Languages used to be a subject reserved for those with ambitions of working as professional linguists (translators and interpreters) or teachers - which still remain relevant career paths for language students. But, nowadays, with global markets and international networks increasing, employers are valuing language skills more than ever and this is a great way of gaining a competitive advantage in the international market.

If you love travelling and immersing yourself in other cultures, then this is the degree for you. The study of a foreign language will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Why study Modern Languages?

Taking your languages further

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There are plenty of resources that will help you improve your language skills and better understand the diverse range of career options that are available.

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There is no shortage of opportunities for those with excellent foreign languages skills to build successful career paths either in the UK or overseas. From working with literature and the media, to being part of an international business team, you will have much more flexibility than other graduates in where you choose to work and live.

A degree in Modern Languages is an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable way to spend your time whilst at university. You can learn about different cultures, keep up with foreign news and use your skills to meet and socialise with people from different countries.

By studying Modern Languages you will:
  • become fluent in your chosen language/s
  • better understand the culture, politics and social environment of your chosen countries
  • explore the history, films, literature and art of different cultures
  • gain a global passport - opening doors to many overseas opportunities

Develop your language skills: reading, writing and speaking

Through regular small-group written and spoken languages classes with native-speakers, your proficiency in your chosen languages will improve rapidly.

All our courses at the University of Bath are taught in the target language (with the exception of ab initio languages) - including content modules (history, politics, culture and society). These languages skills will be consolidated on your year abroad during which you will have the opportunity to work or study using your chosen languages.

If you choose to study with us in Bath, then you will acquire near-native proficiency in your chosen languages.

Understand cultures and the historical context

At the University of Bath, we believe in order to speak a language proficiently you need to understand the intricacies of the history, culture, politics and society of that language-speaking community.

Through a series of compulsory courses in the first and second years and options in the final year, we will provide you with the foundations for gaining an in-depth knowledge and cultural awareness in relation to your chosen countries.

Take advantage of excellent placement and study abroad opportunities

All our language students go abroad in their third year. They take advantage of a series of amazing opportunities throughout the world which include work placements, British Council language assistantships and Erasmus university exchanges in order to build on the linguistic and cultural knowledge acquired in the first and second years at the University.

There is a diverse range of possibilities: our students have worked for Barclays in Bordeaux, studied in Santiago, Chile, and taught English in Tomsk, Russia.

Improving your ability in forming an argument

Learning analytical skills and how to engage in critical debate with ideas concerning your subject are an integral part of any arts and humanities degree. This is no different for language students. We will require you to be able to develop arguments in both written and spoken form in English but also in another language or two!

Further language opportunities

At our Foreign Languages Centre that is based on campus, you can take an additional language course alongside your main studies for your degree.

You can study Arabic, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.


Why study languages with us?

Language alumni discuss their employability since leaving Bath

Unlike most universities, all our related language and content classes, lectures, seminars and assessments, are carried out in the foreign language to ensure maximum exposure. This ensures you have total immersion in the subject and culture.

We focus on interdisciplinary and contemporary studies in politics, culture and history (20th and 21st centuries). We also help you to develop high level transferable skills which employers value. These include skills research and analysis, presentation, teamwork and leadership, and cultural adaptability.

We offer flexibility for you to follow your own particular areas of interest. For example if you study Spanish then you can focus mainly on Spain or Latin America (about half our Spanish students choose to spend their time abroad in Latin America - with our dedicated placements team providing support).

Degrees in Modern Languages