International Development and Languages BA (Hons)
BA Hons International Development and Languages
On this BA (Hons) International Development and Languages degree course, you’ll learn 1 or 2 languages and combine this with the skills, knowledge and experience to make a difference to societies across the globe. You can pick up a language from beginner's level (French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese) or post-A level (French, Spanish).
You’ll explore the role and purpose of international development, build your understanding of world affairs, and work towards fluency in your chosen languages. You’ll also have opportunities to put your knowledge to work with not-for-profit organisations in developing countries.
This course is ideal for a career working in organisations around the globe in roles such as in government, teaching and working with non-government organisations (NGOs).
BA (Hons) International Development and Languages degree entry requirements
- A levels – BBB–BCC
- UCAS points – 104–120 points (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 25
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this International Development and Languages degree course, you’ll:
- Study multiple disciplines including economics, human geography, politics and international relations
- Choose a main language from French, Spanish or Chinese (Mandarin) and study it to degree level
- Be able to explore a second language from those listed above or Arabic, Japanese, German and British Sign Language (BSL)
- Be taught by staff who are currently doing research in the field, keeping you abreast of latest theories and knowledge
- Get experience with an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) during your studies or as part of an optional work placement year
- Learn from professionals working in the sector – recent events include a guest lecture from the Senior Strategic Advisor to Oxfam, a study day examining the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and a visit from an NGO based in Peru
- Develop skills in analysis, criticism and argument, communication and problem-solving
To make sure your training is of the highest professional standard, we've developed this course with the England Standards Board for Community Development.
I love how I was able to study a language from beginner alongside International Development. Also the range of options meant that I have been able to grow and develop in areas that I am particularly interested in
Careers and opportunities
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the field.
What can you do with an International Development and Languages degree?
This course gives you the skills for careers in areas such as:
- local, national or international government
- teaching, lecturing or research
- voluntary organisations and NGOs
- advertising, marketing and PR
- banking and financial services
What jobs can you do with an International Development and Languages degree?
Our graduates have gone on to roles such as:
- politician’s assistant
- project manager
- public affairs consultant
- social researcher
- information officer
- conference producer
- local government administrator
You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level.
I have learnt about the impact a language can have in development and how important it is to be able to communicate locally, especially with community development projects.
Work experience and career planning
To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course. We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies and match your ambitions.
We'll also be available to help, advise and support you for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.
After your second year, you'll do a year abroad based in one or more countries where your chosen language is spoken. This enables you to build linguistic and cultural fluency, and also provides an opportunity to study abroad and/or gain valuable longer-term experience in international development.
On their year abroad, students have completed a variety of activities, including:
- Work placement with Ashinaga Africa Initiative (Senegal)
- Work placement with Otra Cosa Network (Peru)
- Study at Wuhan University (China)
We'll help you organise and secure your year abroad activities. You'll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
What you'll study on this BA (Hons) International Development and Languages degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.
Core modules in this year include:
- Either General Language 1 & 2 (Beginner) OR General Language 3 (Intermediate) + Language Project
- International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme
- Introduction To Development Studies: Policy & Practice
- Performing Like A Pro: Skills For Academic And Professional Success
- The Making Of The Global South
There are no optional modules on this year.
Core modules in this year currently include:
- Either General Language 3 & 4 or General Language 4 & Language for Professional Communication
- Economics and Politics of Development
- Global Environmental Issues and Concerns
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Analysing Foreign and Security Policy
- Development and Democracy in Latin America
- Development Economics
- East Asian States and Societies
- Empire and its Afterlives
- Gender in the Developing World
- International Community Development
- Introduction to Teaching
- Introduction to Translation
- Learning From Experience
- Modern Foreign Language
- Managing Across Cultures
- Russian & Eurasian Politics
In your third year, you'll spend a year in a country where the main language you're studying is spoken.
On your year abroad, you can study at a university or organise a work placement, depending on your chosen language. In some cases, you may be able to do a combination of study and work.
We'll help you secure a study or work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You'll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year currently include:
- International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme
- General Language 6
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Africa Revisited: Nation Building and 'State Fragility' in Post-Colonial Africa
- China & East Asian Economies
- Ethnicity Class & Culture in the Developing World
- Global Capitalism: Past, Present and Future
- Global Health
- Independent project
- Learning From Experience
- NGOs and Social Movements
- Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
- Rethinking Aid and Development
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional module may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- case studies
- book reviews
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- one-on-one tutorials
You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.
For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.
Dr Ben Garner, Course Leader
Ben is the Course Leader for BA International Development and BA International Development and Languages. His research interests are in exploring the role of culture within the political economy of development, leading to work on subjects including the relationship between culture and trade liberalisation, the work of international organisations such as UNESCO, the World Bank and WTO, and the political economy of knowledge and creativity.
He teaches on the following modules: Introduction to Development Studies: Policy & Practice; Economics and Politics of Development; Democratisation in Latin America; Democracy and Democratisation; Ethnicity, Class & Culture in the Developing World.
Professor Tamsin Bradley, Professor of International Development Studies
Tamsin is a social anthropologist who for nearly 20 years has conducted research into violence against women and girls in Asia and Africa. Her projects have explored intergenerational change and the practice of female genital mutilation in Sudan; art heritage and resilience in South Sudan; rape in India; violence and displacement in Nepal and Myanmar; and the link between women's economic engagement and violence in Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.
She teaches the following modules: Gender and Development; Anthropology of Development, and International Community Development.
Hear Tamsin speak about her research on our podcast Life Solved: Voices against violence
Dr Isabelle Cheng, Senior Lecturer
Isabelle is a specialist in East Asian development and international relations. Her research focuses on labour and marriage migration in East Asia with reference to migrant spouses' political participation and workers' rights under the 'gest worker' system. She is also conducting research on the Cold War in East Asia, to understand how the impact of the Cold War trickled down to people's everyday lives, including through culture and heritage.
She currently serves on the Executive Board of the European Association of Taiwan Studies as Secretary-General. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Taiwan Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London.
Professor Andy Thorpe, Associate Dean
Andy is Professor of Development Economics, and Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Business and Law. He has worked on national development strategies and poverty reduction programmes for the Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations. His publications include three books on the political economy of Central American agriculture and a widely-reported 2009 paper on enteric fermentation (‘cow burps’), which highlighted the extent of methane production of cattle.
He is interested in research that has a meaningful and positive impact on people’s lives. My research is primarily in the arena of fisheries, in particular the policy-making processes and reduction of poverty in the small-scale artisanal sector.
How you'll spend your time
One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.
We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.
A typical week
We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your BA Hons International Development and Languages degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
Supporting your learning
The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.
As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.
Learning development tutors
You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.
They can help with:
- Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
- Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
- Understanding and using assignment feedback
- Managing your time and workload
- Revision and exam techniques
Academic skills support
As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.
The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2022 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £16,200 per year (subject to annual increase)
Funding your studies
Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
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.
In your third year, you’ll need to fund the costs of travel, transport and accommodation for your study or work placement abroad. The exact costs will depend on the destination.
If you study at one of our partner universities, you won’t need to pay fees at your host institution, but there may be other costs, such as visa, insurance or extra tuition.
If you work abroad, our Placement and Internship Centre will help you source an internship, which may be paid or unpaid.
You’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your University of Portsmouth fees. Currently, this discount is 90% of the year’s fees.
The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.
How to apply
To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – LR90
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
How to apply from outside the UK
See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.