Year of entry2017
Start dateOctober 2017
Four years part-time
Two to three evenings a week
Other entry years for this course2018
This programme combines the study of a modern language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese or Spanish) with development of journalistic skills relevant to a wide range of professional contexts.
Not only will you become highly competent in your chosen language but you will also gain advanced knowledge of the cultures and societies of the countries in which the language is spoken. The journalism modules are taught by industry professionals with experience not only in how to write for different media and audiences, but also in how the industry works. By the end of the programme you will have developed high-level journalistic skills, and an understanding of the cultural, political and industrial contexts of journalism.
The programme is also available for full-time evening study over three years or over four years, including a year of study abroad, and for part-time evening study over six years.
- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016-17 World University Subject Rankings.
- Our School of Arts is in the top five in the country. Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, making it an outstanding multidisciplinary department.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
- Ours is a community of scholars with shared interests in interdisciplinary topics and cross-cultural research. Our affiliated research centres, Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC) and the Centre for Iberian and Latin American Visual Studies (CILAVS), provide an important platform for this exchange.
- Our Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice organises a dynamic programme of seminars, events and guest lecturers.
- Watch a video about studying cultures and languages at Birkbeck.
You complete the equivalent of 12 full (30-credit) modules, normally taking six Journalism modules and six Culture and Language modules. Depending on entry level, a maximum of three of these will be from one of the languages on offer, forming a language pathway.
Your programme will be designed to suit your interests and your language capability. You can begin this programme with any level of language for French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish: from beginner to native speaker proficiency. However, if your chosen language is Portuguese you will require at least A-level/B2 (CEFR) competence in the language. A typical set of modules, divided by year, might look like this:
- Introduction to Journalism Practice
- Spanish 2
- Studying the Hispanic, Luso-Brazilian and Native American Worlds
- Journalism: Interview Skills and Feature Writing
- Power and Control in Spanish Golden Age Art
- Spanish 3
Indicative journalism option modules
- Alternative and Activist Media
- Fast-track Practical Journalistic Skills
- Government and Ethics for Journalists
- Journalism and Politics
- Journalism at war
- Journalism in British Life
- Journalism Specialisations
- Journalism: The Freelance Life
- Mapping the Beeb: Journalistic and Industrial Structures of the BBC
- News Around the World
- News on the Net
- Principles of Digital Video and Editing
Indicative comparative culture option modules
- Beating Nature: Artificiality, Imitation and Simulation
- Film and Politics
- Representations of Love, Desire and Sexuality
- Stories of the Self (Level 5)
- The Twentieth Century: Key Themes in Comparative European History (Level 5)
- Understanding Culture: Theories and Texts
Indicative French option modules
- French Cinema: History, Practice, Analysis
- French Political Culture: Traditions and Change
- French Thought: from the Renaissance to Postmodernity
- Imagining France: An Introduction to French Studies
- Memoire en francais
- Translation from and into French
Indicative German option modules
- A Topic in German Thought: The Idea of Enlightenment
- Das Dritte Reich
- Die Deutschsprachige Presse
- Post-War German Film
- The Politics of Gender and Modern German Culture
Indicative Japanese option modules
- Advanced Seminar in Japanese Culture and Society
- Manga and Anime
- Popular Culture in Japan and East Asia
- Rethinking Japan: Introduction to Modern Japanese Society and Culture (Level 4)
- Theorising Japanese Cinema
Indicative Portuguese and Spanish option modules
- Art and Empire in the Iberian World
- Iberian Political Cultures: The Spanish Case
- Iberian Political Cultures: The Portuguese Case
- Literature and the Nation in Latin America (Mexico)
- Picturing the African Presence in Early Modern Spain
- Scenes of Portuguese History: Cultural approaches to modern politics
- The Latin American Novel
- The Problem of National Identity in Modern Spain
- The Urban Experience in Brazil
Please note that not all modules are available every year; the list above is indicative.
You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules in the course of your study.
If you enter the language pathway at complete beginner or lower intermediate level, the degree awarded will reflect this (e.g. BA Journalism and Spanish).
For entry levels from upper intermediate to proficiency, the degree awarded will reflect this (e.g. BA Spanish and Journalism).
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.
If you wish to study French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish, this programme is suitable for all language entry levels, from beginners' to proficiency, including native speaker level. If you wish to study Portuguese, you must have at least A-level/B2 (CEFR) competence.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don’t meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
FeesPart-time home/EU students: £ 6935 pa
Part-time overseas students: £ 9750 pa
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
A combination of lectures, seminars, small-group work, tutorials and discussion groups as well as practical creative workshops, media-related tours and guest lectures.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
Language modules are usually assessed by coursework, examinations and sometimes in-class tests and/or presentations. Journalism modules are assessed by demonstration of practical skills such as layout and design, as well as essays, and occasionally writing exercises, audio-visual presentations, mind maps, conceptual representations and digital media diaries.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in media and cultural institutions, journalism, public relations or professional communications. This degree may also be useful in becoming a magazine/newspaper journalist, public relations officer or press sub-editor.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Go on to work and/or study:
Data from 20 students.
60% of those surveyed responded
Source: Destinations of leavers from HE record
- Go on to work and/or study
- Now working: 50%
- Doing further study: 15%
- Studying and working: 10%
- Unemployed: 5%
- Other: 20%
Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link.
Please state clearly on your application which language you wish to study.
Admission is based on a written test, a language entry test (except for complete beginners) and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
Interviews are arranged throughout the year.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Discover more about our comprehensive range of student services, which offer all the support and assistance you need.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
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