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Intercultural Communication (BA): 4-year, part-time

This course allows you to study intercultural communication while also familiarising yourself with communication in different cultural contexts: French, German, Italian, Japanese or Spanish. You can choose to study the language itself or focus on the cultural context in which the language is spoken, choosing from a range of modules covering literature, film, history, visual culture and philosophy, among other cultural fields. 

For the intercultural communication component, you will learn how communication practices differ across cultures and you will be introduced to communication practices in various international and work-related contexts. You can choose to focus on professional communication or on the mechanics of language structure and use. 

As well as introducing you to the field of intercultural communication, this course will improve your awareness and understanding of communication norms in different cultures. It will also help you develop professional communication and employability skills for working in international contexts.

Highlights

  • Arts and humanities at Birkbeck are ranked fifth best in London, 18th in the UK and 87th globally in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject.
  • Our Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication is the oldest applied linguistics department in the country, celebrating its 54th anniversary in 2019. We remain on the cutting edge of the field.
  • Our Applied Linguistics Society, an official University of London society, was formed to bring together students interested in applied linguistics and related fields (for example, multilingualism, intercultural communication, TESOL etc) in the London area. You will also benefit from intercollegiate seminars and lectures offered by various departments located in Bloomsbury.
  • Our Department of Cultures and Languages brings together research and teaching in French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, and institutionalises long-standing links between these disciplines.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Course structure

The programme comprises 360 module credits, of which 180 are normally taken in language/culture and 180 in linguistics and communication.

The language and culture modules tend to specialise in contexts relating to French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. If you choose to take language modules, you can start at beginner or near-beginner level and attain a language level equivalent to at least one year’s study beyond A-level. Many of the modules relating to the culture of the language studied are primarily in that language, while the cross-cultural modules are taught in English.

In Year 1, you take two core modules (Approaches to Language and Approaches to Study) and one option module relating to culture (eg Understanding Culture: Language and Texts) or language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish).

In Year 2, you take two core modules (Language and Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Communication in Business Contexts) and the remaining 60 credits consist of option modules relating to culture (eg Understanding Culture: Language and Texts), language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) or linguistics.

In Year 3, you take one core module (Professional Communication Skills or Investigating Language) and the remaining 60 credits consist of option modules relating to culture, language or linguistics.

In Year 4, you choose one core module (Intercultural Communication Portfolio or Final Year Project) and the remaining 60 credits consist of option modules relating to culture, language or linguistics.

Module groups

Years 1 and 2 core modules

Year 3 core modules (choose one)

Year 4 core modules (choose one)

Culture option modules

Linguistics option modules

You will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of modules in the course of your study. Please note that the list of option modules is only indicative and not all modules are available every year. Please check with the programme administrator which option modules are available in each academic year.

  • 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.

    This programme is suitable for beginner or near-beginner language entry levels.

    Foundation Year Degrees

    You can progress onto this degree if you successfully complete the foundation year of our BA Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year course. This is an ideal route onto an undergraduate degree if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree.

    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 (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) 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.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    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: £ 6935 pa
    Part-time international students: £10275 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.

    TUITION FEE AND MAINTENANCE LOANS

    Eligible full-time and part-time students from the UK and the EU don’t have to pay any tuition fees upfront, as government loans are available to cover them.

    Maintenance loans are also available for eligible full-time and part-time UK students, to assist with covering living costs, such as accommodation, food, travel, books and study materials. From 2018, maintenance loans are available to part-time students for the first time. The amount you receive is means-tested and depends on where you live and study and your household income.

    Find out more about tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time and part-time students at Birkbeck.

  • 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.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    A combination of lectures, seminars, discussions and presentations.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    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 larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional 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, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

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

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Coursework essays and, if language modules are chosen, oral and written work and examinations.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in international organisations and businesses, education, research or editing. This degree may also be useful in becoming a journalist, editorial assistant or primary/secondary school teacher.

    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.

    Graduate Destinations

    Average salary six months after the course: £48000

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 85%
    Doing further study: 0%
    Studying and working: 0%
    Unemployed: 0%
    Other: 15%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • 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 September 2018.

    You will need to prove your identity when you apply - read more about suitable forms of identification.

    When to apply

    You are strongly advised to apply now, to ensure there are still places on your chosen course and to give you enough time to complete the admissions process, to arrange funding and to enrol.

    You don't need to complete your current programme of study before you apply - Birkbeck can offer you a place that is conditional on your results.

    Birkbeck Orientation is on Saturday 28 September 2019 and is a great way to start your studies - find out more about what's happening during Orientation. You will also receive information about subject-specific induction sessions over the summer.

    Course specific deadlines and information

    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.

    Help and advice with your application

    Get all the information you need about the application, admission and enrolment process at Birkbeck.

    Our online personal statement tool will guide you through every step of writing the personal statement part of your application.