Language and/with Politics (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish) (BA): 6-year, part-time

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

Six years part-time

Attendance

One to two evenings a week

Combine study of a modern language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese or Spanish) and its associated culture with the study of politics. This programme allows you to reach a high level of competence in a modern language and to acquire advanced knowledge of a range of cultural topics whilst also developing an understanding of the nature of politics and government in contemporary societies. You will compare and contrast the institutions and practices of government in different societies and analyse different theories of politics and government.

You will also have the opportunity to study a number of cross-cultural modules which will allow you to explore specific themes across a variety of language-speaking areas.

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 four years.

Highlights

  • 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 Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Italian, 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 Department of Politics is over 40 years old and has a reputation for the excellence of its teaching and its internationally significant research. Our central London location puts us at the heart of the UK's political life and at the centre of academic London.

Course structure

You complete the equivalent of 12 full (30-credit) modules, normally taking six Politics modules and six Culture and Language modules. Depending on entry level a maximum of four of these will be from one of the languages on offer, forming a language pathway.

The modules you take will be dependent both on your interests and your language level so your structure will be tailored to meet your personal requirements. 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) or equivalent competence in the language. A typical set of modules, divided by year, might look like this:

Module groups

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Indicative politics option modules

Indicative comparative culture option modules

Indicative French option modules

Indicative German option modules

Indicative Japanese option modules

Indicative Portuguese and Spanish option modules

Degree classification

You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules in the course of your study.

If you exit the degree with Language 3 (A-level+/B2) or Language 4 (post-A-level/C1) the degree awarded will reflect this (eg BA Politics with French).

If you exit the degree with Language 5 (degree level/C1/C2) the degree awarded will reflect this (eg BA French and Politics).

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    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.

    Alternative entry routes

    We welcome applications from students on Access to Higher Education Diplomas.

    Credits gained on the Certificate of Higher Education in Culture and Language (Japanese), French Studies, Iberian and Latin American Studies or Politics and Government can be counted towards the degree.

    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.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 4625 pa
    Part-time international students: £6675 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    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

    Seminars, tutorials, presentations, debates, all with strong emphasis on student participation. Other forms of teaching are used where appropriate, including field trips (politics only), the use of film, etc. Use is also made of audio-visual facilities and web-based learning tools.

    Timetables

    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.

    Academic support

    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

    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.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Language modules are assessed by coursework and in-class tests. All other modules are assessed by coursework essays and some also have a May/June examination.

    Feedback

    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

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in local and national government, policy work, research or education. This degree can also be useful in becoming a journalist, charity officer, diplomatic services operational officer or civil service fast-streamer.

    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.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link. Please note that online application will open in October 2017.

    Please state clearly on your application which language you wish to study.

    As part of the admission process you may be asked to complete a written test, or a language entry test (except for complete beginners), and you may be asked to attend an interview.

    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.