International Development and Languages BA (Hons)

Chinese calligraphy
UCAS Code
LR90
Mode of Study
Full-time with language year abroad
Duration
4 years full-time with language year abroad
Start Date
September 2020

Overview

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).

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 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.

Alexander Sykes, BA Hons International Development student

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
  • media
  • 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.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

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.

Modules

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:

  • International Development: Academic Enrichment Programme
  • Analysing Foreign and Security Policy
  • Democratisation in Latin America
  • Development Economics L5
  • East Asian States and Societies
  • Gender in the Developing World
  • Guns, Glory Hunters & Greed: French and British Colonisation in Africa
  • International Community Development
  • International Politics of the Middle East
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning From Experience
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • People on the Move: Migration and Borders in Europe
  • 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
  • Dissertation / Project
  • 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
  • Interpreting
  • Learning From Experience
  • NGOs and Social Movements
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Rethinking Aid and Development
  • The Anthropology of Development
  • Transitional Justice & Human Rights
  • Translation Theory & Practice

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.

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.

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.

Placement year

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. 

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching 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
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

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 English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • examinations
  • case studies
  • projects
  • presentations
  • book reviews
  • assignments

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.

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) International Development and Languages degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

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.

Additional Costs

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.

 

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2020, 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

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). 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. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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