Postgraduate Shoot

UCAS code


Mode of Study



3 years full-time

Start date

September 2023


On this BA (Hons) Language Studies degree course, you'll develop the skills to communicate professionally in one or two languages. Immerse yourself in intercultural communication and awareness, and graduate with the confidence to pursue a career in the international community.

Begin your studies as a complete novice, or with some knowledge of the language, and successfully complete your studies to a professional level – C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) – without being required to spend a whole year abroad.

You'll have the choice to study either:

  • One language in-depth: French, German or Spanish at an advanced or beginner level, or Mandarin Chinese at a beginner level
  • Two languages at advanced level: chosen from French, German, Spanish and/or English as a foreign language
  • Two languages at different levels: one language at advanced level (chosen from French, German, Spanish or English as a foreign language) and one language at beginner level (chosen from French, German, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish)

When you complete this course, you'll be well prepared to begin work that showcases your intercultural awareness and language skills – such as an international English language teacher, a translator for a multinational corporation in any sector, a tour guide for an international travel agent, or a bilingual language editor or publisher.


Course highlights

  • Put your language skills into practice in simulations, scenario exercises, television broadcasts and debates, so you’re ready to thrive in the wide world of work
  • Develop multilingual IT skills including the use of desktop publishing and podcast recording software
  • Immerse yourself in learning a language (or two) to fluency without needing to spend a year abroad
  • Choose to mix and match optional modules, or tailor your course by selecting modules specifically within one of four specialisms:
  • Teaching and education
  • Translation and interpreting
  • Culture and linguistics
  • Business and industry

Customise your degree

If you're interested in a career in teaching, you can choose to enhance your degree with additional, widely recognised qualifications.

Qualification options

Take steps to become a teacher while developing your passion for languages.

You can combine your language studies with teacher training and school teaching placements by taking the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) pathway.

If successful, you'll save an extra year of study, get a £9,000 bursary in your final year of study and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which will enable you to teach languages in secondary schools in England and Wales after you graduate.

If you’re interested in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) you can upgrade your qualifications with the Trinity College London Certificate – an internationally recognised TESOL qualification.

You’ll need to pass an additional entry test and interview to add the Trinity Certificate to your studies.

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) Language Studies degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T levels – Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – 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.

Alternative language courses

Explore all our language undergraduate courses, so you can compare your options and apply for the best course for you.

  BA (Hons) Applied Languages BA (Hons) Modern Languages BA (Hons) Language Studies
Languages you'll study 2 (both at advanced level, or 1 at advanced and 1 as a beginner) 1 (at either advanced or beginner level) 1 or 2 (both at advanced level, or 1 at advanced and 1 as a beginner)
Duration 4 years 4 years 3 years
Year abroad  
Language A Level required    
Find out more Go to course page Go to course page  

Facilities and specialist equipment

Digital Language Laboratories

Perfect your listening and comprehension skills in a rich, multi-media language learning environment. Find out how to integrate and manipulate video, sound, text and internet sources in different languages.

Explore the laboratories

Interpreter Training Suite

Develop the skills needed as an interpreter or translator in our Conference Interpreter Suite – equipped with the same technology used in the European Parliament. Get experience of diverse simulated environments – from meetings and conferences to courtrooms.

Learn more

Read more
This course will allow you to develop high language proficiency in your chosen language(s), alongside expert intercultural awareness and competence. It's ideally suited to those who do not wish to spend a period abroad, but do want to develop the practical and professional skills to progress into a rewarding career.
Marjorie Huet-Martin, Course Leader - BA (Hons) Language Studies

Careers and opportunities

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, in the UK and internationally.

The additional skills that knowing a language brings can also make you more employable in an increasingly global workforce. The growing use of tools such as video conferencing means you're more likely to work with colleagues in other countries, regardless of whether your own role is mobile or not. In fact, 16% of companies worldwide are completely remote, and 85% of managers believe their future teams will include remote workers (Findstack).

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 including:

  • teacher – modern foreign languages or English as a foreign language
  • international journalist or editor
  • translator/interpreter
  • tourist guide
  • bilingual consultant
  • publishing assistant
  • market analyst

What areas can you work in with a language studies degree?

This degree broadens your options so you can pursue almost any career. Learning a second language is useful in all sectors, including:

  • international management
  • translation and interpreting
  • marketing
  • journalism and the media
  • teaching
  • tourism
  • finance

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.

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 for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Futureproof your career

Study abroad (optional)

You can successfully complete this degree course without studying abroad.

If you do choose to take a short-term study abroad experience, you'll build on your language skills in a country where your chosen language(s) is spoken. You can take advantage of our links with universities and employers worldwide, including Germany, Spain, China, Taiwan, Latin America and Senegal.

Placement year (optional)

If you choose to take a work placement year, you'll develop professional skills that can help you stand out to employers after you graduate. Previous language students have done work placements with translation agencies, international charities, museums, schools and councils.

Our Careers and Employability service can also help you find relevant work experience during your course, including short-term placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities.

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.


Core modules – post-A level route

  • 1 or 2 modern foreign language(s) (from Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, or English as a Foreign Language) – 20/40 credits
  • French/German/Spanish Language Project – 20 credits
  • Investigating Language Practices  – 40 credits
  • Language, Learning and Teaching – 20 credits

Core modules – post-A level route (if only 1 modern foreign language is studied)

  • Nation, Language and Identity  – 20 credits

Core modules – beginner route

  • 1 or 2 modern foreign language(s) (from Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, or English as a Foreign Language) – 20/40 credits
  • Investigating Language Practices  – 40 credits
  • Language, Learning and Teaching – 20 credits

Core modules – beginner route (if only 1 modern foreign language is studied)

  • Nation, Language and Identity  – 20 credits

Core modules – post-A level route

  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 4 – 20 credits
  • Language for Professional Communication 1 (French/German/Spanish) – 20 credits

Core modules – ab initio route

  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 3 and 4 – part 1 – 20 credits
  • French/German/Spanish General Language Grade 3 and 4 – part 2 – 20 credits
  • French/German/Spanish Language Project – 20 credits

QTS pathway

If you do the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) pathway, these modules are also core in year 2:

  • Learning from Experience Teaching Placement
  • Modern Foreign Language via the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) – 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Analysing Media Discourse – 20 credits
  • Intercultural Perspectives on Communication – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Translation – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE) – 20 credits
  • Managing Across Cultures – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language via the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) – 20 credits
  • Second Language Acquisition – 20 credits
  • TESOL (Teaching English To Speakers Of Other Languages) – 20 credits
  • The Language of Literature – 20 credits
  • Trinity Certificate Teaching Practice – 20 credits

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

  • Dissertation, Major Project, or Professional Practice in MFL Teaching & Research Project – 40 credits
  • 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 – 20 credits
  • Creative Activities in the Language Classroom – 20 credits
  • English in the World – 20 credits
  • Exploring Language and Culture 1 – 20 credits
  • Gender, Language and Sexuality – 20 credits
  • Introduction to Teaching – 20 credits
  • Language and Social Media – 20 credits
  • Learning from Experience (LiFE) – 20 credits
  • Modern Foreign Language – 20 credits
  • Professional Development: Recruiters and Candidates – 20 credits
  • Research Project – 20 credits
  • Researching English Vocabulary – 20 credits
  • Study Abroad – 40 credits
  • Workplace Discourse – 20 credits
  • Writing to Persuade – 20 credits

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.


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.

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 dates

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

See term dates

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 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 postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

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.

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.

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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2023 start)

  • UK/EU/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 – £17,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

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.

Additional costs accordian

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.

Enhance your degree with an internationally recognised qualification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages: the Trinity College London Cert TESOL. This opportunity is conditional on a successful performance in an entry test and interview in order to fulfil professional requirements.

There's no cost if you take the Trinity College London Teaching Practice module as one of your options.

If you choose to take this module outside your planned curriculum, there's a fee of £355.

If you opt-out of the QTS 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 2023, 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.

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.

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.

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.