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Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish)

BA (Hons)

Key Information

Course Overview

Would you love to become a highly proficient linguist, while also developing the skills and knowledge you need to become a teacher of modern languages or of English?

When you study the new BA Languages and Language Teaching, you will have the opportunity to learn up to two languages, one to near-native standard. You will study the science of how we learn languages as well as the theory and practice of how we teach languages effectively. You will also have the opportunity to practise your skills in a work placement, either in the UK or teaching English in one of the countries whose language you are learning - subject to availability.

If you decide to study two languages, chosen from French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, one can be studied from beginners’ level, and in at least one you can raise your language skills to near-native standard. If you study one language only, then you will normally have reached at least A/S- or A-level or equivalent in that language before starting this degree.

Throughout this languages course, you will increase your cultural understanding through options in literature, film, the visual arts and society. You will also be able to choose from our suite of linguistics modules, developing your understanding, for example, of how language is acquired, structured and used in social situations and contexts; or of the psychological processes involved in language production/perception.

If you opt for the Foundation Year route, this will fully prepare you for undergraduate study. It is ideal if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree.

On the four-year full-time International Experience route, you will normally spend your third year at a partner institution to allow you to develop your language skills and your knowledge of the culture.

Discover the career opportunities available by taking Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) (BA (Hons)).

Other Pathways for Linguistics and Language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) BA (Hons)

From 2023-24, we are changing the way we offer our programmes. You can now select the course route that is most suited to your skill set and interests. Apply for this course or select one of our pathways below.

Find another course:

Highlights

  • You will be taught by specialists from our Department of Languages, Cultures and Applied Linguistics, a centre of teaching and research excellence.
  • In the most recent 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.
  • The Birkbeck College 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) in the London area. Birkbeck’s Centre for Multilingual and Multicultural Research hosts visiting scholars from all over the world and runs regular research seminars given by speakers from overseas and other UK institutions.
  • If you choose the four years full-time International Experience route, you will have the opportunity to spend a year at a partner institution or undertake a work placement in the UK. 

Course Structure

Birkbeck makes all reasonable efforts to deliver educational services, modules and programmes of study as described on our website. In the event that there are material changes to our offering (for example, due to matters beyond our control), we will update applicant and student facing information as quickly as possible and offer alternatives to applicants, offer-holders and current students.

  • Entry Requirements 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. 

    UCAS tariff points

    • 3 years full-time: 96-128 points (e.g. A-levels CCC-ABB)
    • 4 years full-time with Foundation Year: 48 points

    The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence. UCAS provides a tariff calculator for you to work out what your qualification is worth within the UCAS tariff.

    Year abroad

    Please note you must make satisfactory progress during Years 1 and 2 of your degree to be eligible for a year abroad. Students may elect either to study at one of our partner institutions or to take up a work placement. Additionally, the non-UK partner institution may set its own entrance criteria, including, but not limited to, academic criteria, language requirements and visa requirements.

    In instances where a student does not meet the eligibility criteria for an approved year abroad or if it is not completed for another reason, their registration may be transferred to the corresponding BA degree pathway without the ‘with International Experience’ designation. Students electing to enter for the competitive assistantship scheme must meet the criteria set by the British Council. 

    Foundation year degrees

    Our 'with Foundation Year' route is designed to give you extra support as it provides you with an additional year (full-time) or two years (part-time) of supported study. This is an ideal route if you are returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied this subject, or if you did not achieve the grades you need for a place on this degree. 

    Once you successfully complete your Foundation Year studies, you will automatically advance onto the main degree. 

    English Language 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. We also accept other English language tests.

    If you don’t meet the minimum English language requirements,  or see our international study skills page for more details of how we can help.

    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 UK and you do not already have residency here, 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: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student 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.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and accredited prior learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university (or have an HND or Foundation Degree), 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.

  • Fees Fees

    Fees

    Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) with International Experience BA (Hons): 4 years full-time, on campus, Starting in academic year 2023–24

    Academic year 2023–24, starting October 2023

    Full-time home students, 3 years of study: £9250 per year
    Full-time international students, 3 years of study: £16020 per year
    Full-time home students, international year: £1385 per year
    Full-time international students, international year: £2400 per year

    Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) BA (Hons): 3 years full-time, on campus, Starting in academic year 2023–24

    Academic year 2023–24, starting October 2023

    Full-time home students: £ 9250 per year
    Full-time international students: £ 16020 per year

    Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) BA (Hons): 4 years part-time, on campus, Starting in academic year 2023–24

    Academic year 2023–24, starting October 2023

    Part-time home students: £ 6935 per year
    Part-time international students: £12015 per year

    Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) with Foundation Year BA (Hons): 4 years full-time, on campus, Starting in academic year 2023–24

    Academic year 2023–24, starting October 2023

    Full-time home students: £ 9250 per year
    Full-time international students: £ 16020 per year

    Languages and Language Teaching (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) with Foundation Year BA (Hons): 6 years part-time, on campus, Starting in academic year 2023–24

    Academic year 2023–24, starting October 2023

    Part-time home students, Year 1&2: £4625 per year
    Part-time international students, Year 1&2: £8010 per year
    Part-time home students, Year 3+: £6935 per year
    Part-time international students, Year 3+: £12015 per year

    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 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. The amount you receive is means-tested and depends on where you live and study and your household income.

    Funding for EU students is changing from August 2021: find out about details of these changes.

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

    Discover the financial support available to you to help with your studies at Birkbeck.

    International Scholarships

    We provide a range of scholarships for eligible international students, including our Global Future Scholarship. Discover if you are eligible for a scholarship.

  • Teaching and Assessment 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 access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Teaching methods vary and include lectures, small group work, discussion group work and tutorials. 

    Teaching hours

    Our evening hours are normally between 6pm and 9pm (6-7.30pm and 7.30-9pm). Some programmes also offer teaching during the day and this will be clearly signposted to you where it is available.

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Scheduled teaching sessions may include lectures, seminars, workshops or laboratory work. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and field trips. 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 (if applicable).

    Alongside your contact hours, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. The amount of time you need to allocate to study both for taught sessions (this might include online sessions and/or in-person sessions) and personal study will depend on how much you are studying during the year and whether you are studying full time or part time.

    Birkbeck’s courses are made up of modules and allocated ‘credit’. One credit is equivalent to ten hours of learning time. Modules are usually in 15, 30 or 60 credit units. A 15-credit module will mean around 150 hours of learning, including taught sessions and independent study or group work. This is spread out over the whole period of that module and includes the time you spend on any assessments, including in examinations, preparing and writing assessments or engaged in practical work as well as any study support sessions to help you in your learning.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students is encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies.

    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.

    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

    Assessment varies and includes coursework, essays, written test and oral and listening comprehension tests. 

  • Careers and employability Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue career paths in language teaching, as well as in education, law, the civil service and business roles. Possible professions include:

    • translator
    • English as a Foreign Language teacher
    • publishing copy editor/proofreader
    • civil service fast-streamer
    • editorial assistant.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers Service - Birkbeck Futures - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

  • How to apply How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply via UCAS for our full-time undergraduate courses or directly to Birkbeck for our part-time undergraduate courses.

    Full-time (UCAS entry)

    If you are applying for a full-time undergraduate course at Birkbeck, you have to apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). To apply, go to the UCAS website and click on ‘Sign in’. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you can start working on your application.

    15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.

    Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.

    Part-time

    If you are applying for a part-time undergraduate course (4 or 6 year), you apply directly to Birkbeck by using the Apply now button. You will need to prove your identity when you apply - read more about suitable forms of identification.

    You are strongly advised to apply now, to ensure that 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.

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

    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.

    You will also receive information about subject-specific induction sessions over the summer.

    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.

    Apply for your course

    Apply for your course using the apply now button in the key information section at the top of this page.

Other pathways for Linguistics and Language (French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish) BA (Hons)