Combined Modern Languages
Opt to take a total of three languages
Why take this course?
The world has changed dramatically in our lifetime. If you’re looking to understand these changes while immersing yourself in other languages, societies and cultures, then this is the course for you.
You will study at least two languages from French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin or English as a Foreign Language. You will learn to listen, read, write and speak your chosen languages accurately and fluently, and spend time abroad to experience your languages firsthand.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Study Mandarin and spend a year in China
- Choose to study Spanish abroad in Latin America or choose to study French and do a work placement in Senegal, West Africa
- Take on a third language in your final year, options include a European language from those mentioned above, or British Sign Language, Arabic, Mandarin, Portuguese or Japanese
What opportunities might it lead to?
Perhaps the most obvious job is teaching languages, but in fact this represents only a small proportion of the career pathways that will be open to you. Language graduates are amongst the most successful in finding jobs after graduation.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- travel and tourism
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- the media and international organisations
I’ve always had a keen interest in languages and Portsmouth came highly recommended. The course content was suited to what I like to study - History, Politics, etc.
Danielle Hayter, BA (Hons) Combined Modern Languages student 2013
- 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.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man full-time students: £8,750 p/a*
International full-time students: £10,500 p/a*
*Please note that all fees are subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 8299
- School of Languages and Area Studies
Structure & Teaching
In the first year, you will consolidate the knowledge you have of your existing foreign language and begin an intensive learning programme for the other. You will also build a firm foundation of the ‘area studies’ for each of the languages you choose.
You will specifically focus on the following areas for the countries you are interested in:
In your second year you'll continue with area studies options that relate to the languages you are studying.
Options to choose from in this year include:
- Language for Professional Communication
- Business and Markets in Global Environment
- Nation, Language and Identity
- Managing Across Cultures
- France from the Colonial Exhibition to the Liberation 1931-1945
- Politics in Post War Germany 1949-90
- Golden Age Spain 1469-1700
- Representation of Italian National Identity
- France, 1945-1995: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity?
- German Unity and its Consequences
- Revolution, Repression and Resistance in Contemporary Spain
- 20th and 21st Century Chinese History, Politics and Society
- Text Analysis and Translation
Begin your final year after time abroad, spending a term in each of the countries of your chosen languages. You’ll write up your dissertation and choose from a range of units.
Options to choose from in this year include:
- France Contemporaine
- Nazi Germany
- The Spanish Civil War and the Franco Regime
- Italian Cinema in the Movies
- Colonialism and the End of Empire in Black Africa: France and West Africa
- City and Nation: the Latin American Urban Experience
- Translation: Theory and Practice
- France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
- Coming to Terms with the Nazi Past: 1945-today
- Political and Economic Development in 20th Century Spain
- China and East Asian Economies
- Colonialism and End Empire in North Africa: France and Algeria
- Transitional Justice and Human Rights in Latin America
Please note that not all options or special subjects will be available at any given time.
**This course is also available as a 4 year sandwich (+ work placement)
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 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
Professor Tony Chafer
Combined Modern Languages
The course is different from most other combined modern language degrees in that it offers a multidisciplinary programme that develops both your language skills and your understanding of the society, history, politics and culture of the countries you are studying to an advanced level. This is what we call area studies. So you get a real understanding of why and how the countries you are studying have become what they are today.
Facilities & Features
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.
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.
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.
Personally, the year abroad was a highlight for me. Being able to meet students from all over the world and learn/study/work in another language at the same time was a great opportunity. What you learn from your year abroad is far more than what you learn in a class atmosphere.
Olivia Cook, BA (Hons) Combined Modern Languages student, 2013
Careers & Opportunities
During your course, you will have the opportunity to develop a range of capabilities that are valued by prospective employers. You will be flexible, adaptable, good at setting and meeting targets, and above all, a good communicator. Your study experience abroad will give you a unique worldview and an intercultural awareness, which most other graduates will not possess.
You’ll be able to apply your language skills in careers across the private, public and voluntary sectors. You 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
- market analyst
- contracts representative
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.
Finding a job is a competitive business, but the statistics show that 89 per cent of our 2011graduates went into employment, further study or training within six months of finishing their degrees.
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.
Our next open day is Wed 10 July
VISIT US! Have a look around and get a feel for what it’s like to live and study here. We’ll be on hand to talk to you about your course interests and show you all of our amazing facilities. You’ll also get to meet tutors and other students…
Application, Fees and Funding — find out more