large group of students attending the University of Portsmouth Festival of Cultures
Mode of Study
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2021


Would you like a qualification that gives you proficiency in a language while immersing you in its related cultures?

This BA (Hons) Language Studies degree course immerses you in the study of a foreign language and its related cultures, giving you the expertise and skill to work and communicate effectively in the international community.

You can tailor the course to your needs, ambitions and current level of proficiency. You'll study 1 language in depth, from a choice including Spanish, French or German, and have the option to study a second language through our Institution-wide Language Programme (IWLP). And you'll immerse yourself in the culture surrounding these languages, from literature and TV to broader cultural ideas.

Your linguistic competence will grow alongside your intercultural awareness. When you complete this course, you'll be well prepared for work in teaching, media, tourism, business and finance. 

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Language Studies degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 104–120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See full entry requirements and 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

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.

All our courses go through a rigorous approval process to make sure they’re of the highest quality. This includes a review by a panel of experts, made up of academic staff and an external academic or professional with specialist knowledge.

This course is in the final stages of this process and is open for applications. If any details of the course or its approval status change after you apply, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and will be here to discuss your options with you.

What you'll experience

On this BA (Hons) Language Studies degree course you'll:

  • Study French, German or Spanish to a proficient level – C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) – either as a beginner or from prior knowledge
  • Use the language laboratories to manipulate sound, video and text for subtitling and publishing
  • Develop the IT skills you can use in related careers, including using desktop publishing, subtitling and podcast recording software
  • Customise the content of the course to better suit your ambitions – you can focus on English language, literature and film or communication and discourse
  • Improve your transferable skills, such as interpersonal communication skills, presentation skills, organisational skills, and independent and critical thinking skills

You'll also have the opportunity to:

  • Study a second language through the Institution Wide Language Programme – choose from Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese and Spanish
  • Enhance your degree with an internationally recognised qualification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages)
  • Study or work abroad during 1 semester, improving your linguistic knowledge while boosting your confidence and experiencing another culture
  • Do Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in Modern Foreign Languages, which entitles you to a bursary of £9,000 in the final year of your degree

Careers and opportunities

What can you do with a Language Studies degree?

Having the ability to communicate effectively with people from different cultures in different contexts can lead to a rewarding career in areas such as tourism, teaching, journalism and marketing.

The language skills, intercultural awareness and proficiency in communication you gain from studying this course are especially sought after by businesses and organisations that operate across national borders and cultures.

What jobs can you do with a Language Studies degree?

You'll graduate with the skills and understanding to take up roles in many fields, related and unrelated to linguistics, including:

  • Teacher – modern foreign languages or English as a foreign language
  • Journalist
  • Editor
  • Publishing assistant
  • Tourist guide
  • Bilingual consultant
  • Market analyst

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level with a Master's in a subject such as Translation Studies or Applied Linguistics and TESOL.

Whatever comes next after your studies, our Careers and Employability service will give you support and advice for up to 5 years after you graduate.

​What you'll study

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.

The core modules you study will differ depending on whether you studied your chosen language at A level (post-A level route) or you're a beginner (ab initio route).


Core modules – post-A level route

  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 3
  • French/German/Spanish Language Project
  • Language, Learning and Teaching
  • Language, Society and Mind
  • Researching Language and Professional Practice

Core modules – ab initio route

  • French/German/Spanish Grade 1 & 2 – General Language
  • French/German/Spanish Grade 1 & 2 – Language in Use
  • Language, Learning and Teaching
  • Language, Society and Mind
  • Researching Language and Professional Practice

Core modules – post-A level route

  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 4
  • Language for Professional Communication 1 (French/German/Spanish)

Core modules – ab initio route

  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 3 and 4 – part 1
  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 3 and 4 – part 2
  • French/German/Spanish Language Project

ITT pathway

If you do the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) pathway, these modules are also core in year 2:

  • Learning from Experience Teaching Placement
  • Modern Foreign Language via the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP)

Optional modules

  • Analysing Media Discourse
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Introduction to Translation
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Modern Foreign Language via the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP)
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • TESOL (Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages)
  • The Language of Literature
  • Trinity Certificate Teaching Practice
  • World and Transnational Cinema 

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry. Possible placement destinations include:

  • Translation agencies
  • Local schools
  • Charities/NGOs (such as Red Cross and Friends Without Borders)
  • Museums (such as Museum of the Royal Navy)
  • Royal Navy
  • Portsmouth City Council

You'll also have the option to work as a research assistant, copy editor or teaching assistant or start your own business in your placement year.

We’ll help you secure a placement that fits your career goals. You'll get support from our Placements Office with applications, interviews and assessment days. You’ll also get mentoring and support to make the most out of your placement year, including visits from lecturers. 

Core modules

  • Exploring Language and Culture 1 (French/German/Spanish) – you won't take this module if you spend a semester abroad
  • Exploring Language and Culture 2 (French/German/Spanish)
  • Professional Practice in MFL Teaching and Research Project (ITT pathway only)

Optional modules

  • Communication Theory
  • Creative Activities in the Language Classroom
  • Digital Communication
  • Dissertation/Major Project
  • Gender, Language and Sexuality
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE)
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates
  • Research Project
  • Study Abroad
  • Workplace Discourse
  • Writing to Persuade

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 modules 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 freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your CV.

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.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • one-to-one tutorials
  • group tutorials

You'll also have skill development sessions and workshops with learning development tutors.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • oral presentations
  • essays
  • written work, including reports, articles, case studies, book or film reviews
  • group and individual projects
  • translations and commentaries
  • interviews
  • examinations
  • use of software (desktop publishing, podcasts, vlogs)

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.

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.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Language Studies 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.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's 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

Extra learning support

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 face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

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

Language corner

The language corner service is optional weekly drop-in sessions to further develop your language skills. You'll be able to speak to a tutor, get help and practice your choice of language.

You can also get your CV or cover letters checked if you've written them in a foreign language, to improve your chances when you're applying for jobs.

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
  • Referencing
  • 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 support

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 English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs

Tuition fees

These fees are based on courses starting in 2020. We'll confirm 2021 fees here in autumn 2020.

  • 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.

If you study abroad, you’ll need to fund the costs of travel, transport and accommodation. The exact costs will depend on the destination. If you're studying 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 choose to work abroad, can help you find an internship, which may be paid or unpaid.

You’ll have the option to take the Trinity College London Certificate in TESOL, which costs £335.

If you opt-out of the ITT pathway, you'll need to carry out a summer school placement in June–July, in both the second and final years of your degree. You'll need to budget for accommodation, travel and subsistence during this period.


How to apply

To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – R903
  • 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

You can apply for this course from May 2020. If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly (see the 'How to apply' section above) or 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.

What skills and qualities do I need for this BA (Hons) Language Studies degree course?

As well as meeting the entry requirements, you'll need an interest in language learning and a desire to learn about other languages and cultures.

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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