Modern Languages BA (Hons)

4 years including year abroad, starting in September 2020

You can apply for this course from September 2019.

Prepare for an international career. Achieve fluency in your A-level language and pick up a new one. Deepen your knowledge and understanding of political and cultural issues.

This degree has a strong contemporary focus. You will have intensive language tuition in both languages throughout the course as well as exploring the evolution of politics and the current political environment within the countries of your chosen languages.

You’ll gain a deep understanding of contemporary culture in these societies. You will develop highly valuable work-related skills enabling you to conduct research and analysis with confidence. You’ll be able to communicate, debate and interact in your chosen languages at an advanced level.

Your ab initio (beginner) language allows you to quickly learn the language in your first two years at Bath in order to achieve the ability to study abroad in the third year. Your advanced language will enable you to engage with political and cultural issues in the target language and achieve high levels of fluency.

In years 1 and 2 you will explore the history and cultures of regions covered by your languages in the international context. You’ll study key areas such as modernity, industrialisation, imperialism and war, giving you a genuine international perspective. In the final year you will be able to take optional units in the culture or politics of your chosen countries, taught mostly in the target language. These units are research-led and have a contemporary focus.

Teaching

You’ll learn from academics with expertise in contemporary topics across culture, politics and modern languages. Their international collaborations and research activities feed into undergraduate teaching and contribute to your learning experience. You’ll benefit from the research expertise of our staff in areas such as:

  • cultural identity
  • conflict and security
  • populism and radicalism

Careers

Our graduate career paths are wide-ranging. Some become professional linguists, working as teachers or as translators and interpreters in the European Parliament. Most find work in public and private sector institutions, where their communication skills and cultural and social awareness are highly valued.

Recent graduates of our former Modern Languages and European Studies degree course have found work at:

  • British Council
  • University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle
  • Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
  • Hays
  • Volkswagen Group

A high number of students choose to go directly into employment, while some pursue further study.

Find out what our graduates go on to do

Course structure

This course lasts 4 years. It starts in September 2020 and ends in 2024. Induction week starts on 21 September 2020.


Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Units

At Bath, our courses are made up of units of study. Compulsory units cover core concepts that you'll need to understand as part of your degree programme. Some of our courses also offer the opportunity for you to study optional units. These allow you to specialise in particular areas of knowledge that interest you.

As an undergraduate, you will be expected to take 60 credits (ECTS) in each academic year. These are usually split into 30 credits for each semester you study. Sixty credits are the equivalent of 1200 notional hours of study; this includes contact time with staff and your own independent learning.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.

Year 1

Key areas of study

  • Written and spoken language
  • History, politics, culture and society (of chosen languages) in an international context

Year 2

Key areas of study

  • Written and spoken language
  • History, politics, culture and society (of chosen languages) in an international context

Year 3

  • Year abroad

Year 4

Key areas of study

  • Written and spoken language

Year abroad


A year abroad in your third year is an exciting part of the degree. On your year abroad you will spend time in the countries of your chosen languages, in Europe or beyond. You can choose to study at a foreign university, to work as a language assistant in a school abroad, or to undertake a work placement abroad. You also have the flexibility of a combination of any of these options.

Our students have completed a wide variety of interesting placements as part of their year abroad. Study abroad examples include:

  • Institute of Political Studies (Strasbourg and Paris)
  • University of Siena (Italy)
  • National University of General San Martin (Argentina)

Previous placements include:

  • GE Power (France)
  • European Parliament (Luxembourg)
  • IT Comunicación (Spain)
  • Di Palma Associati (Italy)
  • Fujitsu (Germany)
  • The Bubble (Argentina)

Our dedicated and experienced Placements Officer will support and guide you through the recruitment process to gain your placement.

Learning and assessment


Learning

  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Seminars

Assessment

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Oral assessment
  • Written examination
  • Other

Typical assessment breakdown

This average assessment breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Your specific unit choices will determine the actual breakdown of assessment methods that you will experience.

% written exam

% practical exam

% coursework

Year Written Exam Practical Exam Coursework
Year 1 26% 12% 62%
Year 2 34% 9% 57%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 27% 6% 67%

Typical contact time breakdown

This average contact time breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Scheduled learning and teaching may include: lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Your optional unit choices will determine your actual personal contact hours.

% time in scheduled learning and teaching

% time in independent study

% time in placement/year abroad

Year Scheduled Independent Placement
Year 1 23% 77% 0%
Year 2 23% 77% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 21% 79% 0%

This information shows typical student contact time based on information from the 2016/17 academic year.

‘We always have discussions in the language in our seminars about what’s going on at the moment. We’re very much immersed in what’s going on at the time as well as the language.’
Grace Wishart BA Modern Languages and European Studies (French and Spanish) (2017)

Entry requirements


Your application, especially your personal statement, should demonstrate your enthusiasm for modern languages, expressed through an interest and knowledge of certain social, political or cultural aspects, as well as general cultural awareness.

We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds to our language courses. Language teaching in the first year of this degree for beginner languages is typically pitched at students who have not studied that language before and who are not native speakers. Teaching in the first year of this degree for advanced languages is intended for those who have studied the language to A level (or equivalent). If you have more advanced language skills may find these aspects of first-year study less challenging.

You will need a strong performance in either French, German or Spanish as part of your entry qualifications, depending on which language you wish to study at advanced level. If you are not taking it as part of your entry qualifications, we can accept a relevant B2 level language qualification, such as DELF for French, TestDaF, Goethe-Zertifikat Deutsch or DSD for German or DELE for Spanish. If you wish to study two languages at advanced level you will need qualifications in each.

When completing your UCAS application for this course you will need to indicate the two languages and the level in each language you wish to study. You should do this in under "further details" in the "choices" section of the application form, using our listed codes separated by a space.

You must choose at least one advanced language:

  • French (advanced): FA
  • German (advanced): GA
  • Spanish (advanced): SA

Your second language can be any other advanced language or any beginner language (except your chosen advanced language):

  • French (beginner): FB
  • German (beginner): GB
  • Italian (beginner): IB
  • Mandarin (beginner): MB
  • Russian (beginner): RB
  • Spanish (beginner): SB

For example, if you wish to study advanced Spanish and beginner French you should enter "FB SA" (or "SA FB") on your UCAS choice.

We are aware that the context in which you are studying can have an impact on your ability to perform your best in exams and coursework, or limit which subjects or qualifications you are able to study at your school or college. We take this into careful consideration through our contextual admissions process.

Origin of qualifications

Select the country where your qualification comes from.

British qualifications

A level Typical offer

AAB

AAB in three A level subjects.

For an advanced language option, your A level subjects must normally include that language.

If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.

A level Alternative offer

ABB

Most of our students will join us with three A levels, but you may have study beyond this (such as a project qualification or additional study in maths) which demonstrates your individual talents that will help you with your degree. We recognise these studies through our alternative offers.

ABB in three A level subjects plus one of:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade B in a Core Mathematics qualification
  • grade B in AS level Mathematics or Statistics

For an advanced language option, your A level subjects must normally include that language.

If you receive an offer for this course and are studying one of these qualifications you will be given both the typical and alternative offer. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.

You can find out more about our alternative offers, including a complete list of qualifications we consider on our dedicated page.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Typical offer

35 points

35 points overall and 6, 6, 5 in three Higher Level subjects.

For an advanced language option, your Higher Level subjects must normally include that language.If you apply with a Standard Level in a required language and are otherwise suitable you may be asked to undertake a language assessment. Our typical offer in this case would be 35 points overall with 6, 5, 5 in three Higher Level subjects plus 7 in Standard Level in your chosen language.

BTEC RQF Typical offer

DDD

DDD in the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF) in a relevant subject area.

You will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using a language you have chosen to study at advanced level regularly and at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

BTEC QCF Typical offer

D*DD

D*DD in the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) in a relevant subject area.

You will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using a language you have chosen to study at advanced level regularly and at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Technical Typical offer

D*DD

D*DD in the Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in a relevant subject area.

You will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using a language you have chosen to study at advanced level regularly and at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Pre-U Typical offer

D3, D3, M1

D3, D3, M1 in three principal subjects.

For an advanced language option, your principal subjects must normally include that language.

Cambridge Pre-U Alternative offer

D3, M1, M1

Most of our students will join us with three principal subjects, but you may have study beyond this (such as a Global Perspectives course or additional study in maths) which demonstrates your individual talents that will help you with your degree. We recognise these studies through our alternative offers.

D3, M1, M1 in three principal subjects plus one of:

  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives
  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade B in a Core Mathematics qualification

For an advanced language option, your principal subjects must normally include that language.

If you receive an offer for this course and are studying one of these qualifications you will be given both the typical and alternative offer.

You can find out more about our alternative offers, including a complete list of qualifications we consider on our dedicated page.

Scottish Highers Typical offer

AB in Advanced Highers

AB in two Advanced Highers.

For an advanced language option, your Advanced Highers must normally include that language.

We make offers based on Advanced Highers. You will typically be expected to have completed five Scottish Highers and your grades in these will be considered as part of your application. We prefer applicants who have achieved at least AAABB in their Highers.

Access to HE Diploma Typical offer

33 credits at Distinction

A pass in the Access to HE Diploma with at least 33 credits achieved at Distinction and 6 credits achieved at Merit or above.

You will need a separate qualification demonstrating you are using a language you have chosen to study at advanced level regularly and at a high level. This could be an A level or any suitable qualification or test at B2 level in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

We are usually unable to consider you for two advanced languages if you are applying with an Access to HE Diploma.

Please contact us to discuss the content of the Access course you are studying to check that the units you are covering are suitable.

Open University credits Typical offer

Pass units worth 120 credits including a minimum of a Pass 2 with 70% in a Level 2 unit.

Typically, we would be looking for you to have studied units worth at least 120 credits. You will need to have evidence of your ability to learn languages, which may be a GCSE in a language at grade A or 7, or an OU Level 1 beginners’ or intermediate unit in a language. For an advanced language, you will typically need 60 credits at Level 2 in that language.

This information is a guide and we consider students applying with Open University Credits on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. We may be able to consider alternative units to those listed. Please contact us to discuss your profile.

Taking OU credits may be counted as degree-level study by the Student Loans Company and therefore may be counted as previous study and have an impact on your ability to access student loans/grants for the entirety of your chosen degree. We recommend that you discuss this in detail with the SLC before following this progression route to the University of Bath.

Combinations of qualifications Typical offer

Your application will be considered individually based on the particular combination of qualifications and subjects that you are taking.

We can consider combinations of accepted qualifications, of which some common examples are:

  • AB in two A level subjects plus D in the BTEC National Extended Certificate (RQF) or Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (RQF)
  • AB in two A level subjects plus D3 in a Pre-U principal subject
  • AB in two A level subjects plus 6 in an IB HL Certificate.

Your combination of qualifications must include a suitable qualification for any language you wish to study at advanced level.

We can also consider combinations that are not listed and that do not include A levels. You should read the information about essential and preferred subjects and subject combinations. We cannot consider different qualifications in the same subject area.

GCSE requirements

Any modern language GCSE grade A or 7 and GCSE English grade C or 4 (or equivalent from English language category C).

English language requirements

Category C

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 62 with no less than 59 in any element
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): 184 with no less than 175 in all elements
  • TOEFL IBT: 90 overall with a minimum 21 in all 4 components

If you studied for UK qualifications in English Language or English Literature, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

If you studied for English language qualifications from another country, make sure you have the required grades for this course.

Fees and funding


Fees

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.

Placement fees

Placement fees vary

You will normally pay a reduced tuition fee while on a placement period or studying abroad. Find out more about placement fees and study abroad fees.

How to pay

Tuition fee loans

If you are studying an undergraduate course, you may be able to take out a loan for your tuition fees and living costs.

Read more about tuition fee loans

Scholarships and bursaries

You could be considered for a bursary or scholarship to help you study at Bath. This is in addition to your student loan and you do not have to pay it back.

Read more about bursaries and scholarships

Other payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

Read more about your payment options

Budgeting

You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Application information



Selection process

We will usually assess you based on your UCAS application. If you hold a language qualification that is not covered by our typical entry requirements we may invite you to attend an interview to assess your language level. This interview will usually take place remotely.

Very exceptionally we may invite you to an interview if you have circumstances we cannot assess from an application alone.

Our interview page gives more information on what you should expect from an interview.

Course enquiries


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