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International Development and Languages BA (Hons)

Examine the role and purpose of international development and develop fluency in your chosen languages on this International Development and Languages degree.

Key information

UCAS code:

LR90

Typical offer:

96-112 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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Overview

Work towards fluency in a foreign language (or two) while exploring solutions to global social challenges such as poverty and hunger, environmental sustainability, universal education and health care.

On this BA (Hons) International Development and Languages degree course, you'll study one language from beginner's level (French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese) or post-A level (French, Spanish). As of 2021, these three languages are spoken as first or second languages by 1,930 billion people worldwide. You'll also get the chance to learn a second language: French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, German or British Sign Language (BSL). 

You'll get full support to build your language skills to fluency alongside opportunities to apply your learning to work with not-for-profit organisations in developing countries on placement. You'll graduate prepared for a career in organisations around the globe, in roles such as in government, teaching and working with non-government organisations (NGOs).

Course highlights

  • Explore fields of economics, human geography, politics and international relations to engage in processes of policy change at international and local levels, campaign on issues of social justice and inequality, and contribute toward the achievement of sustainable development
  • Use our professional-grade conference interpreting suite and language labs, where you can work with video, sound, text and internet sources
  • Immerse yourself in the cultures of the countries where your chosen languages are spoken – in the classroom, in our Global Café and on your work or study placement abroad
  • Gain on-the-ground experience of community development and protected area management on an optional field trip to Uganda
  • Be taught by staff who are committed to their research in the field, such as Professor Tamsin Bradley whose research is informing schemes to help support women across South Asia in their search for equality
  • Learn from professionals working in the sector – recent academic enrichment events include a guest lecture from the Senior Strategic Advisor to Oxfam, a visit from an NGO based in Peru, a series of training events with RedR UK and sessions led by our colleagues and graduates working in the sector
  • Be a diplomat for a day at our Model United Nations event, in collaboration with fellow students from International Development and International Relations
  • Choose to learn an additional foreign language for free as part of your degree, from a selection of Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish

Why study international development at Portsmouth?

Hear from our students and staff about our courses in international development, on which you can explore topics such as global health, gender inequality, cultural diversity, indigeneity, and development economics. As well as learning about societies and cultures around the world, you can also combine your studies with learning a language.

Isabelle Cockel: This is a course where we can know the world better.

Ben Garner: International Development at the University of Portsmouth, it's a very interdisciplinary programme that reflects the real area studies expertise of the staff here.

Isabelle Cockel: My colleagues and I have our own regional expertise. Some colleagues specialise in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, Central Asia and Europe.

Lana Chikhungu: I think the course at Portsmouth is special. Most of the students that actually come to do the course do have that caring aspect of wanting to serve the world.

Isabelle Cockel: Each part of the region has their own particular issues.

Ben Garner: Things like global health, gender inequality, cultural diversity, indigeneity, indigenous rights, racial inequality, development economics. It's an opportunity as well to learn about societies and cultures from different parts of the world and perhaps to combine that with a study of a language too.

Isabelle Cockel: The languages that students could take together with a degree are Chinese, French and Spanish.

Ben Garner: Having those extra languages means that students are more employable. It opens doors for them in the future in terms of travel, it enriches their time at university and potentially enriches their life in the future.

Millie Rose: I saw the course and I really liked the themes that were in each module and the different variety of modules. I also really like the fact that you had the option to do a year abroad.

Giulia: I went to my placement for my language in Taiwan. One of the things that I actually learned from this experience was living and getting adapted to new, different cultures.

Lana Chikhungu: With a placement year, obviously you have the skills of learning the language even further, but also having some work experience.

Giulia: It was a different opportunity that you can’t experience day by day.

Ben Garner: Students have gone on to work in a real range of roles after graduation.

Isabelle Cockel: They could become a journalist.

Ben Garner: Working for international non-governmental organisations.

Isabelle Cockel: They can become a diplomat.

Ben Garner: Students have gone on to postgraduate study.

Millie Rose: I am currently working as a support worker for a youth transition programme based in southern Mexico. 

Isabelle Cockel: They can find work in their home country or they can go and work in other countries because this kind of knowledge is vitally needed now.

Jo De Serrano OBE: University of Portsmouth has always got a place in my heart. I had a great time there. The skills I learnt totally stood me in good stead for a future career. The course had great teachers and I'm in contact with them still. They really brought it to life for me.

Millie Rose: I really like the forward thinking nature of the university.

Giulia: Not many universities have this course and it was amazing.

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

Ellie Bromley, BA (Hons) International Development and Languages student

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) International Development and Languages degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-CCC
  • UCAS points - 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM-MMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find 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.

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBC-CCC
  • UCAS points - 96-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DMM-MMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs - 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.

Worried about your grades?

If you're not sure you meet the entry requirements, or need some help to get uni-ready, then we offer this course with a foundation year to bring you up to speed. When you successfully finish, you'll get a guaranteed place on this course.

Explore BA (Hons) International Development and Languages with Foundation Year

Careers and opportunities

The British Council has stated that "an understanding of other cultures and languages will continue to be important for successful international relationships at all levels" (Languages for the Future, 2017). Along with the language skills you develop on this course, you'll graduate with a confidence in analysis, criticism and argument, communication and problem-solving – skills you can use in your future role advocating for and creating pathways to positive change.

"We must improve language abilities worldwide if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015 by 193 countries to "end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all."

The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World (2017)

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level with a Master’s, or take the next step into research that could inform policy with a PhD. Discover the areas you could make a difference in by exploring the research taking place at Portsmouth around Global Governance and Languages and Applied Linguistics.

No matter what route you take, the skills and knowledge you develop on this course will prepare you for a rewarding role making a difference in the lives of others.

What can you do with an international development and languages degree?

This course gives you the skills for careers in areas such as:

  • international community development
  • civil service
  • fundraising, campaigning and advocacy
  • policy development
  • social enterprise
  • corporate social responsibility
  • public affairs
  • project management

What jobs can you do with an international development and languages degree?

Our graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • programme management, support and evaluation roles for international agencies and non-governmental organisations
  • fundraising development coordinator
  • human rights advocacy
  • media and digital content lead
  • social researcher
  • community development practitioner
  • sustainable sourcing specialist for multinational corporations
  • teacher

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government departments and companies such as:

  • Save the Children
  • Street Doctors
  • CAFOD
  • the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • the Department or International Development
  • Shelterbox
  • British Chamber of Commerce
  • Universal Music Group

Ongoing career support - up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work experience. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role.
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Futureproof your career

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

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 work experience in international development.

We'll give you all the support you need to find a work or study abroad placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.

Previous students have completed a variety of activities on their year abroad including:

  • Work placement with Ashinaga Africa Initiative (Senegal)
  • Work placement with Otra Cosa Network (Peru)
  • Study at Wuhan University (China)

Internship opportunities

As part of your core course programme, you’ll take part in a 'mini' internship connected to an ongoing research project at the University. You’ll choose from a number of internships that have been carefully selected by your lecturers to further develop your skills in areas critical to a career in international development, such as communication and project management.

A previous student interned in a communications role for Gender Focus, a research team involved in areas such as gender-based violence and cultural practices that harm women and girls. Their responsibilities included social media management of the Instagram account and organising research webinars.

Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering for local, national and international charities is a great way to build up work experience before graduating into the world of international development. Taking on a role with a local charity, or interning over the summer for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) shows future employers you have a passion for making a difference and an independent drive to develop your skills in the industry.

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities to match your ambitions.

Our Volunteering Team in the Careers and Employability Service supports around 100 local and national charities and not-for-profit organisations. Each year, our students volunteer more than 60,000 hours at organisations including Motiv8, the Mary Rose Museum, Citizens Advice Havant, Portsmouth Football Club and Portsmouth Mediation Service. In 2019/20 student volunteers alone contributed £493,700 to the local economy.

14/05/2021.University of Portsmouth - B Roll - Day Two..All Rights Reserved - Helen Yates- T: +44 (0)7790805960.Local copyright law applies to all print & online usage. Fees charged will comply with standard space rates and usage for that country, region or state.

Get credit towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements

You have the option to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) module – getting credit from paid/unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work related learning, including self-employment. You'll have the freedom to arrange your own activities, and we'll support your achievements through workshops, events and tutorials.

Modules

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.

What you'll study

Foundation year

If you're not sure you meet the entry requirements, or need some help to get uni-ready, then we offer this course with a foundation year to bring you up to speed.

  • You'll study on the University of Portsmouth campus with access to all facilities, support and societies
  • When you finish your foundation year successfully, you get a guaranteed place on BA (Hons) International Development and Languages
  • Get used to how lectures, seminars and tutorials work, so you can move on to your degree ready for success
  • Learn how to meet the demands of taking on a bachelor's degree at university

Explore BA (Hons) International Development and Languages with Foundation Year

Core modules

You'll hone your abilities in writing, analytical thinking, research, public speaking and networking alongside your fellow students and supported by your personal tutor, alumni and experts in your field.

You'll develop an awareness of conceptual frameworks and methodologies, and learn how to find and analyse sources and data to support your ideas.

You'll study the changing relationships between the different organisations involved in international aid and development, including multilateral and bilateral development organisations and nongovernmental actors.

You'll also look at trends in development thinking and place development within the wider context of global capitalism.

On this module, you'll discover how this 'Global South' came to be, building on different disciplinary approaches.

You'll look issues that affect a range of regions and countries including Africa, South East and South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well development related challenges making an impact in the Global North, such as social movements, political violence and terrorism, social cohesion, discrimination and racism.

Optional modules

You’ll focus on speaking and writing for tourism, travel and business, and learn through films, songs, conversations and cultural tips.

You’ll build language accuracy and confidence by presenting information and ideas, helping you become an independent and collaborative language learner.

You’ll focus on speaking and writing for tourism, travel and business, and learn through films, songs, conversations and cultural tips.

You’ll build language accuracy and confidence by presenting information and ideas, helping you become an independent and collaborative language learner.

You’ll focus on speaking and writing for tourism, travel and business, and learn through films, songs, conversations and cultural tips.

You’ll build language accuracy and confidence by presenting information and ideas, helping you become an independent and collaborative language learner.

You’ll focus on grammar, writing, reading and listening. Through listening, you'll obtain information on familiar and unfamiliar topics from audio sources. You'll learn to use formal and informal French with accuracy and cultural competence in conversations.

You’ll also produce writing that describes and comments upon present, past and future events.

You’ll focus on grammar, writing, reading and listening. Through listening, you'll obtain information on familiar and unfamiliar topics from audio sources. You'll learn to use formal and informal Mandarin with accuracy and cultural competence in conversations.

You’ll also produce writing that describes and comments upon present, past and future events.

You’ll focus on grammar, writing, reading and listening. Through listening, you'll obtain information on familiar and unfamiliar topics from audio sources. You'll learn to use formal and informal Spanish with accuracy and cultural competence in conversations.

You’ll also produce writing that describes and comments upon present, past and future events.

Supported by independent study and a series of language seminars, you'll develop a journalist article in French.

You’ll use diverse French source material for your project, from written to audio-visual, and take part in individual and group presentations on French cultural, social or current affairs.

Supported by independent study and a series of language seminars, you'll develop a journalist article in Spanish. You’ll use diverse Spanish source material for your project, from written to audio-visual, and take part in individual and group presentations on Spanish cultural, social or current affairs.

Through seminars on authentic texts, you'll develop skills for comprehending written and spoken French on diverse topics. Building grammar, vocabulary, and fluency, you'll discuss current events, share opinions, and present ideas - all in French.

Engaging with specialist academic texts boosts your academic literacy, and by reading complex materials, writing accurately, and expressing yourself orally with nuance, you'll gain practical French abilities.

Through seminars on authentic texts, you'll develop skills for comprehending written and spoken Spanish on diverse topics. Building grammar, vocabulary, and fluency, you'll discuss current events, share opinions, and present ideas - all in Spanish.

Engaging with specialist academic texts boosts your academic literacy, and by reading complex materials, writing accurately, and expressing yourself orally with nuance, you'll gain practical Spanish abilities.
 

Core modules

Through a social justice lens, you'll learn how climate change impacts communities unequally and how activists are campaigning for climate justice.

Gain insight into indigenous perspectives and voices from the Global South to understand how climate discourse has traditionally-centered western worldviews.

Equip yourself with the knowledge and tools to create positive change, from policy recommendations to grassroots campaigns.

You'll assess the strategic control of space and resources alongside economic competition, and examine Africa's rich potential alongside its enduring struggles, from human security to gender equity and beyond.

You'll develop a nuanced understanding of the continent as a crucial nexus of cooperation and conflict between foreign interests.

Optional modules

Through films, news reports and texts from across the Francophone world, discuss engaging topics from travel adventures to current affairs.

You’ll learn to communicate naturally in academic, professional and social situations while appreciating linguistic nuances. You’ll also deepen your understanding of diverse French-speaking societies through lively classes and seminars.

Through films, news reports and texts from across the Mandarin-speaking world, discuss engaging topics from travel adventures to current affairs.

You’ll learn to communicate naturally in academic, professional and social situations while appreciating linguistic nuances. You’ll also deepen your understanding of diverse Mandarin-speaking societies through lively classes and seminars.

Through films, news reports and texts from across the Spanish-speaking world, discuss engaging topics from travel adventures to current affairs.

You’ll learn to communicate naturally in academic, professional and social situations while appreciating linguistic nuances. You’ll also deepen your understanding of diverse Spanish-speaking societies through lively classes and seminars.

You’ll hone your French speaking through debates, presentations and interviews, and refine your formal and informal writing across diverse genres.

You’ll also deepen your cultural understanding through exposure to sociolinguistic nuances and conventions, ready to communicate effectively in French-speaking communities worldwide.

You’ll hone your Mandarin speaking through debates, presentations and interviews, and refine your formal and informal writing across diverse genres.

You’ll also deepen your cultural understanding through exposure to sociolinguistic nuances and conventions, ready to communicate effectively in Mandarin-speaking communities worldwide.

You’ll hone your Spanish speaking through debates, presentations and interviews, and refine your formal and informal writing across diverse genres.

You’ll also deepen your cultural understanding through exposure to sociolinguistic nuances and conventions, ready to communicate effectively in Spanish-speaking communities worldwide.

Moving beyond everyday French, you'll analyse complex texts from media, literature, and academia and with class discussions in French on specialist topics related to living abroad you’ll hone your verbal fluency.

Building on your existing abilities, you'll communicate confidently, express opinions, and present ideas. This module provides the advanced language abilities, critical thinking, and intercultural competence to thrive in diverse French-speaking contexts.

You'll learn how to discuss specialist topics in a variety of subject areas by analysing a range of authentic written, audio and visual media and expand your verbal fluency.

By learning to write confidently in formal and informal styles, you'll build your understanding of complex Spanish across diverse contexts and sharpen your ability to express yourself confidently.

Seminars on grammar, reading, writing, listening and speaking provide a toolkit to thrive in Spanish-speaking communities.

You’ll deepen your understanding of workplace culture and practices in French-speaking countries, boosting your communication and intercultural competence through activities like job interviews, team reports, and presentations.

Gain insights into French job opportunities, company structures, products and services through research, and produce a multimedia report on a company using specialised vocabulary and software.

You’ll deepen your understanding of workplace culture and practices in Spanish-speaking countries, boosting your communication and intercultural competence through activities like job interviews, team reports, and presentations.

Gain insights into Spanish job opportunities, company structures, products and services through research, and produce a multimedia report on a company using specialised vocabulary and software.

You'll learn diverse perspectives on formulating and presenting policy, taking into account key variables like leadership, security, and global dynamics.

You'll deploy theories to critically analyse major decisions and their outcomes, strengthening your understanding through case studies of milestone events.

You'll also debate and discuss how policy intersects with national interests and global security, and build skills to explain and evaluate policies coherently.

You’ll begin by exploring how countries like Argentina, Chile and Brazil transitioned from military dictatorships to democracies towards the end of the 20th century.

You’ll also learn about the dramatic public protests and negotiations that eventually toppled these dictatorships in the late 20th century as part of the "Third Wave" of democratisation.

However, installing democratic systems has not been easy - you’ll also analyse the political, economic and social challenges that societies across the region are grappling with in the 21st century. To what extent have the region's new democracies been able to challenge deep seated inequalities in class, gender and race/ethnicity? And what do ordinary people think about development and democracy across the region?

You’ll explore ideas around modernisation, colonialism and nationalism and how they shape education, gender roles, ethnicity, class, sexuality and everyday life in this part of the world.

By comparing the experiences of different countries when it comes to industrialisation, democratisation and conflict, you’ll learn how to appreciate complex regional dynamics.

You’ll get familiar with the big issues and contemporary debates in education studies as well as the role and expectations of a teacher.

You’ll develops fundamental knowledge and skills that teachers require, as well as your capability to structure and critique a lesson plan.

On this module, you’ll get an introduction to translation skills to open new worlds.

You’ll learn practical techniques while translating authentic texts, explore different genres and languages and discuss real-world translation challenges. You’ll develop professional skills for potential careers in this field.

In this module, you’ll explore European colonisation of Africa, asking questions like - how did they justify colonial rule, and how did African peoples respond to these colonisers?

You’ll learn how, after World War II, colonial rule was increasingly challenged from both within the empire, by growing African demands for political rights, and in the international arena, with the global trend towards trusteeship, development and self-determination.

You’ll also explore European relations with Africa in the post-colonial era, looking at themes which may include ideas about civilisation, universalism and race, modern attempts to 'rehabilitate' empire in the media, and the legacies of colonialism in Britain, Europe and Africa.

You’ll collaborate with students on other courses to explore and address societal and environmental challenges faced by local and global communities. You’ll choose projects from a range of topic areas aligned with the university's Civic Strategy.

With input from local organisations, you’ll think about your topic from multiple perspectives, developing your interdisciplinary thinking and ability to work with others.

You’ll analyse the essence of security, exploring how security needs are addressed around the world and on a national level, down to a community and even an individual basis.

You’ll explore different forms of societal risk and insecurity, and approaches to dealing with security threats, taking into account the nature and impact of economic and political developments.

You'll learn how to think critically about the key concepts that link language, culture and communication, considering the benefits and limitations of these ideas.

You'll explore the different ways in which communication intersects with culture across themes such as identity, education, gender, and the media.

Alongside what you learn, you'll improve your skills in analysis, research and intercultural awareness.

You'll learn about consumer behaviour and brand strategy, and spend time examining real-world marketing campaigns. You'll also think about how social, political and technological forces can affect the way businesses approach marketing their products and services.

Skills you'll develop include carrying out market research and learning how to use what you learn, crafting targeted messaging across different marketing channels, and presenting your ideas verbally and in writing.

You'll learn about major economic, political and cultural changes in Western Europe over the nineteenth century, and how these affected the rest of the world as time went on.

You'll explore the big ideas that have shaped the modern world, and weigh up the benefits and perils of globalisation. Skills you'll develop on this module include independent research, critical thinking and effective communication.

You'll also learn to understand the opportunities and challenges of today's world from an informed, global perspective.

You’ll look critically ideas of nationalism historically and today with a focus on the everyday, intimate and embodied boundaries of nation-states and how these shape our lives, including those of us living in the most privileged parts of the world.

You’ll explore real-world cases to understand the individual and societal impacts on human lives, developing your analytical skills and imagining more compassionate alternatives.

You’ll unpack the language of tabloids, broadsheets and online news, analysing how journalists shape public understanding of current events.

Develop your critical thinking by confronting moral panics and polarised politics in reporting.

Create your own news stories and gain real insight into mass communication in a rapidly changing landscape.

You'll analyse major cases of economic crime and weigh up their wider societal implications.

You'll also learn how to recognise disciplinary perspectives, become familiar with the key investigating organisations, identify investigative techniques, and gather and analyse real case information.

You’ll analyse American texts against the backdrop of intellectual, social and political change, evaluating how writers grappled with emerging ideas around national identity, race, gender and more.

By honing skills for contextual analysis and independent thought, you’ll form your own interpretations of iconic works that reflect the American experience.

You’ll analyse diverse transitional justice approaches balancing community healing and judicial accountability after mass atrocities.

Comparing mechanisms like war crimes tribunals, truth commissions and reparations programmes, you’ll evaluate effectiveness in restoring dignity and preventing recurrence.

With case studies from Europe to Africa, from Latin America to Asia, you'll examine tensions between western models and local cultural perspectives, assessing what ‘justice’ means to vulnerable peoples.

Throughout, you'll trace incremental human rights legislation advances, assessing global institutions’ roles protecting civilians from authoritarian regimes and wartime abuses.

Through interactive lectures with academics, speakers and professionals, you'll discuss, debate and complete practical exercises exploring wildlife crime alongside your classmates.

You'll spend time examining wildlife crimes and the factors behind them, as well as environmental justice and sustainability.

You'll investigate how specific gender ideologies have shaped global and national policies in relation to a range of key areas including reproductive rights, violence against women, the environment and sustainable livelihoods.

Apply cultural theories in real business scenarios through group projects and develop your communication skills with a global mindset via vibrant discussions.

This module will equip you with cultural awareness, analytical abilities and presentation skills to thrive.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You’ll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

Through real-world case studies and hands-on placements, you'll apply the principles of community empowerment and social justice to support vulnerable groups. Working directly with organisations, you'll develop tangible skills in research, enterprise planning and sustainability strategies to create positive community impact. With support, you'll even devise your own social enterprise plan - learning what it takes to transform innovative ideas into reality.

You’ll explore the professional aspects of these services, learning about opportunities, challenges and training requirements. You’ll also try the core skills for yourself, from post-editing translations to voiceover work.

Core modules

Living and learning in your chosen country where your language of study is spoken, you'll improve your language skills and develop your cross-cultural understanding.

With international experience, you'll develop your subject knowledge, analytical abilities and self-confidence.

Fresh perspectives and a global outlook will mean you'll return home prepared for the next steps in your degree and your career.

Optional modules

By understanding authentic texts and media in diverse tones and registers, you'll gain broad exposure to regional variations.

Through dynamic discussions and academic presentations in advanced French, you'll build your verbal fluency on current issues and hone your writing skills across formal and informal styles, as your express nuanced ideas with accuracy.

Graduate with the advanced French proficiency, analytical abilities, and cross-cultural competence to communicate effectively across your degree and career.

By understanding authentic texts and media in diverse tones and registers, you'll gain broad exposure to regional variations.

Through dynamic discussions and academic presentations in advanced Mandarin, you'll build your verbal fluency on current issues and hone your writing skills across formal and informal styles, as your express nuanced ideas with accuracy.

Graduate with the advanced Mandarin proficiency, analytical abilities, and cross-cultural competence to communicate effectively across your degree and career.

 

By understanding authentic texts and media in diverse tones and registers, you'll gain broad exposure to regional variations.

Through dynamic discussions and academic presentations in advanced Spanish, you'll build your verbal fluency on current issues and hone your writing skills across formal and informal styles, as your express nuanced ideas with accuracy.

Graduate with the advanced Spanish proficiency, analytical abilities, and cross-cultural competence to communicate effectively across your degree and career.

You'll learn how to analyse various genres of source texts, apply translation techniques and translation theory in a way that helps you to achieve clear meaning, and produce commercially acceptable translations.

Working with your fellow students, you’ll simulate real-world translation agency environments and learn how to produce translations as a team.

You'll also work on your skills in written and verbal communication, critical analysis and intercultural awareness, all of which are essential for a career in the language services sector.

Through a series of engaging translation exercises, you'll gain hands-on experience translating texts commonly used in global business.

Sharpen your analytical skills by examining source texts communicative purpose, language style and structure.

Learn to apply appropriate translation strategies to tackle specific challenges. This module will give you a strong foundation in translation principles and strategies.

Working in groups with other taking your language combination (French/English, German/English, Mandarin/English or Spanish/English), you’ll complete exercises and tasks aimed at developing and improving your skills in public speaking, speech analysis and synthesis, memory and note-taking techniques, vocabulary reactivation, speech reformulation and communication.

You’ll also create and maintain a blog to review your own practice, your peers' practice and how theory underpins practice.

You’ll work again in groups separated by language combination to undertake interpreting training supported by speech analysis and delivery, memory and note-taking, vocabulary, reformulation and communication exercises.

Specifically, you'll demonstrate actively listening to general and specialised speech and show well-developed, real-life communication skills.

You’ll demonstrate intellectual and transferable skills appropriate for your field, and do independent research. You’ll design a viable project proposal using existing studies in your field, and critically discuss assumptions, arguments and data to make judgements, pose questions and identify solutions.

Finally, you'll write up your project tailored to a specified academic or workplace audience.

You'll tackle questions such as, what is capitalism and in whose interests does it work? Do some models of capitalism work better than others? Can we reconcile capitalist modes of production and consumption with protecting our environment?

Examine relevant political economy theory and open up debates about power, multinational capital, gender, identity and climate crisis.

You'll investigate grassroots campaigners alongside major international NGOs - evaluating their tactics, contributions and accountability.

By probing the relationships between volunteer networks, businesses and government, you'll develop new ideas on what can and cannot be achieved by public advocacy. Do civil society organisations challenge or reinforce the prevailing world order?

You'll learn about the job application process from the perspective of both candidates and recruiters, thinking about what employers look for in graduates and how you can optimise your own professional profile.

Through mock interviews and assessments, you'll hone your skills and learn how to communicate your achievements and career goals, ready to take the next step after you graduate.

You'll critically examine the concepts of ethnicity, race and culture historically and theoretically, using regional case studies from Latin America, Africa and those of indigenous peoples.

You'll consider these regional case studies alongside recent developments at the international level regarding cultural and indigenous rights and struggles around racial inequality and violence.

You'll complete the module with a major project on a region of the world of your choice.

You'll evaluate if the aid and development business is a continuation of a colonial relationship between the Global North and the Global South, and whether the aid and development system, as it exists today, is involved in the continuation of poverty and dependency.

You'll explore alternative approaches to economic development and the associated challenges through topics on trade in the developing world, social enterprise, and Buen Vivir, reflecting on humanitarianism and critical race theories for aid and development.

You’ll design a website for a company, charity or NGO in your chosen language, giving you real-world experience in web design, marketing and using your language skills in an international workplace.

You’ll also design a viable project proposal, research the latest information in your field, analyse data to reach conclusions, reflect on your learning, and communicate your findings to a professional audience.

It's up to you what your project is about - this will be your chance to showcase your passion for international development by choosing a subject area or topic that most interests you.

You'll draw on everything you've learned so far to investigate, analyse, craft and refine your project, using existing texts, sources and artefacts to support your arguments and give them context.

You'll have the support of a dedicated tutor to guide you throughout this module.

You'll gain critical insight into the colonial foundations shaping today's world politics, from notions of human rights to capitalism itself.

Explore how legacies of colonisation manifest in different ways, across development to democracy.

Equip yourself to rethink Eurocentric perspectives and address systemic inequities in international relations.

You'll analyse how history, geography, culture, economics and politics converge to impact wellbeing in specific countries and worldwide.

You'll weigh up interventions on issues from malnutrition to maternal mortality, and consider how ethical, evidence-based recommendations can advance health equity, drawing on statistics and on-the-ground experiences.

With a minimum 80-hour commitment, you'll apply what you've learned so far on your degree to real-world professional settings within our community of local businesses, social enterprises, and third-sector organisations.

You'll have support from interactive workshops, tutorials, and guest speaker events, encouraging you to set achievable professional goals and evolve your professional identity.

You'll evaluate diverse cases of religion intertwining with critical issues like nationalism, peacebuilding, violence and more.

Discussing the perspectives of policymakers to extremists, you'll tackle intriguing questions head on.

How do religious ideas still drive political agendas worldwide? How does faith unite communities yet fuel divisions? And could rediscovering religion's role in human life hold keys to solving global problems?

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Optional pathways

Not quite sure this course is right for you? Take a look at our other international development courses to compare your options.

How you're assessed

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 30% by exams and 70% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 10% by exams and 90% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 4 students: 10% by exams and 90% by coursework

Your coursework may include:

  • 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.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

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

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

 

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.

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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.
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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.
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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. His research is primarily in the arena of fisheries, in particular the policy-making processes and reduction of poverty in the small-scale artisanal sector.

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Dr Ottis Mubaiwa Teaching Fellow

Ottis is a Social Anthropologist who researches violence against women and girls, gender inclusion, social justice and the intersections of culture and development. Ottis has particular interest in harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage and bride price. He teaches the following modules: Gender and Development, International Community Development and Global Health.
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Dr Lana Chikhungu Senior Lecturer

Lana leads on MSc International Development and teaches on the modules Theory and Practice of Development, Applied Research Methods for Development and Population Health and Development. Lana has experience working with the Malawi Ministry of Finance and brings expertise in areas relating to child, maternal and reproductive health as well as socio-economic development policy issues related to poverty alleviation in developing countries.
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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 use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

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 to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

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 meeting.

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

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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

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.

Student group discussion

Global Café

You can meet students from all over the world at the Global Café on Wednesday afternoons. Learn about other's cultures and practise speaking in each other's languages while making new friends and getting to share your own culture.

Student writing

Language Corner

Meet with a language tutor, get help with specific challenges and practise your skills with proficient speakers of your chosen language in this optional weekly drop-in session.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – LR90
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

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.

Looking for this course with a foundation year?

Take a look at BA (Hons) International Development and Languages with Foundation Year

To start this course in 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – LR90
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS

 

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.

Looking for this course with a foundation year?

Take a look at BA (Hons) International Development and Languages with Foundation Year

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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.