BA (Hons)

Languages and European Studies

Spend a year studying in a city of your chosen language

R900UCAS code 4yrsfull time 1yrabroad

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Are you interested in learning about how the European institutions work? How European policies are developed and how they impact on all aspects of daily life?

Explore and debate such issues and study a European language of your choice. You may choose to study a language from French, German, Italian* or Spanish.

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

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Hop across the Channel to gain experience of the cultures you are studying
  • 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 futher language in your final year, chosen from those mentioned above, British Sign Language, Arabic, or Portuguese

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 and 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
Jennifer Aougah, BA (Hons) Languages and European Studies student

I love the broadness and freshness of my course. I also like the fact that it's very flexible.

Jennifer Aougah, BA (Hons) Languages and European Studies student

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. 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 a language to study through the three years. You also cover topics in linguistics and contemporary society which provide the foundations for your learning.

Core units in this year include:

  • General Language Grade 1 and 2 OR General Language Grade 3 and Language Project
  • The Making of Modern Europe: 1550–1990
  • Introduction to European Studies
  • Studying at University
  • Developing Research Skills

Year two

Continue to study units in your chosen language with the choice to start a beginner’s course in a third language if you wish. Preparation for your year abroad and preliminary work on your dissertation is also incorporated into this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • General Language Grade 3 and 4 OR General Language Grade 4 and Language For Professional Communication 1
  • Governing the European Union

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Comparing Extremism in European Liberal Democracies
  • Business and Markets in a Global Environment
  • Culture and Ideas in Twentieth Century Europe
  • Nation, Language and Identity
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Governing the EU: Institutions and Policies
  • Foundations of the European Union
  • France from the Colonial Exhibition to the Liberation 1931-1945
  • Politics in Post-War Germany 1949-1990
  • Golden Age Spain 1469-1700
  • Representations of Italian National Identity

Final year*

Complete your dissertation in your final year and specialise in the topics that intrigue you the most.

Core units in this year include:

  • General Language Grade 6
  • Language for Professional Communication 2

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • 20th Century Spain in Literature and Film
  • Applying EU Policy
  • Colonialism and End of Empire: French and West Africa
  • Dissertation/Major Project
  • France in the World: Global Actor or Global Maverick?
  • Italy in the Movies
  • Nazi Germany
  • Negotiation and Lobbying in the EU: A Simulation Game
  • Political and Economic Development in 20th Century Spain
  • Research Project

*On this programme you will spend your third year in a country 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 MELISSI 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

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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.

Sorina Alexandra Toltica, BA (Hons) Languages and European Studies student 2013

As a SLAS student, apart from the library facilities, such as online books, journal articles and articles, I also have access to language labs and the Learning Resource Centre, where you can find movies, songs, papers in any language which is taught at the University.

Sorina Alexandra Toltica, BA (Hons) Languages and European Studies student 2013

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 placements abroad that are taken in countries outside the Eu/EAA, you will be required to meet travel costs. These costs will be in the region of £1000.

You will also be required to meet any extra tuition costs for units of study taken outside of your agreed study abroad programme. These costs will be in the region of £200.

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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.

Graduates from this course have been successful in finding work in the following areas:

  • as global business managers
  • working in the European Commission
  • in local government as EU liaison advisors
  • work in international organisations
  • in health administration
  • working in banking
  • as language assistants and teachers

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

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.

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.

Finola Kilgallen, BA (Hons) Languages and European Studies student 2013

My year abroad was without doubt the most valuable part of the course. I improved both my language skills and being able to cope on my own in a new foreign country. After graduation I will start a masters in corporate Governance and Law and hope to find a job where I am able to use my language on a regular basis.

Finola Kilgallen, BA (Hons) Languages and European Studies student 2013

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