BA (Hons)

Applied Languages

Become multi-lingual and study abroad

Q140UCAS code 4yrsfull time 1yrabroad

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

If you would like to use your languages in a multilingual professional environment, then this course is for you. You will study at least two languages from French, German, Italian*, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin)* or English as a Foreign Language. Explore how your language skills can be used in the world of work and spend time abroad to experience your languages firsthand.

* only offered at Beginner's level for new students.

What will I experience?

On this course you will join a vibrant department where students have the chance not only to enhance their language skills, but also to use language in professional settings.  You can study translation and interpreting, develop your professional communication skills and even obtain a TEFL qualification from the Trinity College London.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Language is used in a range of professional contexts including business, tourism, and finance – not just language teaching. Your transferable skills can be used in many careers across the private, public and voluntary sectors. You will have the ability to work across cultures, enhance your graduate employment opportunities through our strong partnerships with organisations across the globe. This course is great preparation for work at home or abroad.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • travel and tourism
  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • marketing
  • translation
  • the media and international organisations
  • journalism
Will Brookes-Smith, BA (Hons) Applied Languages student 2013

I really like the availability of the teaching staff - they all have set office hours where you can drop by and discuss your progress.

Will Brookes-Smith, BA (Hons) Applied Languages student 2013

Apply for September 2016

If you're still considering your options, we’re here to help you make the right decision.

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
4 years full time with language year abroad
240-300 points from 3 A levels or equivalent, to include 80 points from an A level in a Modern Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish, or English as a Foreign Language). English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5. Other qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,000 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 8299
School of Languages and Area Studies
Programme specification


Modern Languages and Area Studies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Combining language learning with the study of culture and politics, promoting a deeper understanding of a country/countries of study
  • Fantastic opportunities for spending a year abroad
  • Interactive and practical nature of studying that will prepare you for a wide range of careers

Browse all courses in Modern Languages and Area Studies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

To begin the course you will choose two languages to study through the four years. You will consolidate the knowledge you have of a first foreign language, and either continue studying a second language, or start the language from the beginning through an intensive course. You will also take units which will provide the foundations for your undergraduate learning. Furthermore, you can start a third language via the Institution-wide Language Programme (IWLP). 

Core units in this year include:

  • Two foreign languages (Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, or Spanish)
  • Language Project
  • Language, Learning & Teaching
  • Studying at University
  • Starting Language Research
  • Option to start a third foreign language via IWLP (Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Spanish)

Year two

In your second year you'll continue with the study of your languages and are introduced to communication study. You will also have the option of taking units in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and obtain a qualification from Trinity College London.

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Language for Professional Communication 1
  • Analysing Media Discourse
  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • A third foreign language via IWLP (Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Spanish)
  • Trinity Certificate Teaching Practice
  • TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication
  • Communication and Culture
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Text Analysis & Translation
  • Clinical Linguistics

Final year*

In your final year, after returning from your Year Abroad, you will write up your dissertation or Research Project, and choose from a range of units, depending on the pathway you would like to follow. You will continue developing your skills in your main languages, and you will have the option to continue or start a third language via IWLP.

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Language for Professional Communication 2
  • Translation Theory and Practice
  • Using Technology in Language Teaching
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Workplace Discourse
  • Communication Theory
  • Creative activities in the Language Classroom
  • Mass Communication
  • Interpreting
  • Writing to Persuade
  • A third foreign language via IWLP ( Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Spanish)

Please note that not all options or special subjects will be available at any given time.

*On this programme you will spend your third year in two countries where your target languages are spoken.

Teaching and Assessment

We provide a varied, creative and stimulating learning environment. Teaching is via lectures and seminars which are supported by the University’s interactive learning facilities. Classes may also take the form of hands-on skills development sessions where you learn how to access electronic resources in our Sony Virtuoso multimedia digital classrooms (they are much more than language laboratories!) or via small oral practice classes with Language Assistants.

How are you assessed?

Our assessment methods are varied, with relatively few formal examinations. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • written essays and reports
  • case studies
  • book reviews
  • group and individual projects
  • oral presentations
  • language portfolio
Carmen Pasamar Márquez

Tutor's view

Carmen Pasamar Márquez
Applied Languages

Applied Languages is an extremely successful programme in which students can learn up to three languages. The course develops students' language and communication skills, enabling them to explore a wide range of professional contexts including TEFL, translation and interpreting, business, finance and tourism, to name but a few.

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Year Abroad

On this programme you will spend your third year in a country where your target languages are spoken. You may take advantage of our well-established links with universities in France, Germany, Spain, West Africa and Latin America, should you wish to spend this period studying; alternatively, with University approval, you may be able to arrange a work placement abroad.

Learning Resources Centre

You will have access to our recently refurbished Learning Resource Centre, which provides access to texts, study rooms, software, computers and a wireless laptop area that can augment your learning outside the classroom, enhance your research and support your assignment work. 

Language Laboratories

We have four state-of-the-art Sony Virtuoso Language Laboratories, where you can manipulate video, sound, text and Internet sources in a rich, multimedia language-learning environment. Our staff are at the forefront in exploiting the potential afforded by this technology to create their own packages of materials.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Joe Bates, BA (Hons) Applied Languages student

Work placement opportunities open to students on my course are fantastic – I chose to go to Senegal and work for an international NGO.

Joe Bates, BA (Hons) Applied Languages student

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

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

Final year project:
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 to develop.

Other costs to consider

For the study abroad or overseas placement, you will be required to pay all additional costs. These will be in the region of £1000.

You will also be required to meet any extra tuition costs for units of study that are taken outside of your agreed study abroad programme. These costs will be in the region of £200. The Trinity College London Certificate in TESOL can be taken as an additional unit for £320.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Language graduates are highly sought after and the transferable skills you will possess are extremely valuable to employers. While translation and interpreting are careers that people traditionally associate with languages, this is not all you are limited to. You also can expect to find work in areas as diverse as management, banking, marketing and sales, commerce, export, tourism and the media, among others.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • bilingual consultant
  • multilingual project coordinator
  • translator
  • market analyst
  • contracts representative

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunites
Employment boosting opportunites

Your year abroad may be spent working in cities related to the language(s) you are studying, either as a teacher or (with University agreement) through an arranged work placement. This allows you to develop your transferable workplace skills as an integral part of your studies.

The course also allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option, which lets you earn credits toward your degree for work/research placements, volunteer roles or internships undertaken alongside your studies. This option gives you the opportunity to enhance your employability skills, to reflect on the ways in which you've done so, and to learn to express this to potential employers.

The University has a unique and prestigious partnership in place with the British Senegalese Institute. The Institute, along with other partners in Dakar offers different opportunities to our graduating students each year. We also have a range of partners that offer teaching and work experience opportunites with NGOs and other voluntary organisations to students on their year abroad.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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