Modern Languages - BA (Hons)

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Develop advanced skills in one or more languages and learn about the societies they're rooted in. Begin at a level that matches your ability in your chosen languages, in order to make rapid progress and prepare you to live and work in a globalised world.

Overview

Guided by expert staff, you'll build advanced language skills. You'll study one or two languages of your choice - French, German, Italian or Spanish - working with staff who are native speakers. Find out more about our language options.

Tailor your degree to areas that interest you, with the option to spend a year living and working abroad, building your fluency and developing essential skills to get you career-ready. You can also take an extracurricular module in a language at any stage or you can take a full year in a language.

Why study Modern Languages at Kent

  • Choice: Follow a career-orientated route with one or two languages of your choice - choose from French, German, Italian, and Spanish - or combine one language with Management in our BA Modern Languages and Management
  • Get career-ready: Our optional Year Abroad provides you with the practical skills and intercultural awareness that are highly sought after by employers
  • Mix language with culture: Develop your language skills alongside options including linguistics, history, politics, literature, philosophy, religion, visual culture and film
  • Expert teaching: Our Language Centre has modern language-learning facilities, expert native teachers, and leading researchers
  • Get involved: join our language societies, catch a foreign-language film in the on-campus cinema, or become a mentor in a local school
  • Be supported: receive individually focused support through your dedicated academic advisor.

What our students say

“I’ve loved all my modules. Sociolinguistics has been my favourite – we study the sociological aspects of the French language, such as regional variations and slang. I really enjoy the oral seminars too – I have a native French teacher, who is really enthusiastic, really fun!”

Gaby Emson, Modern Languages student

What you'll study

In your first year you will take introductory modules in one or two languages of your choice, corresponding to your level. You’ll study culture, heritage and business and might also explore European cinema, politics, and literature.

In your second and final years, you’ll study your chosen language/s at intermediate and advanced levels, and then delve into a range of modules from languages in the classroom to culture and heritage.

Optional choices cover a wide range of topics, from European business to history, travel writing to the analysis of European music. You can also choose to work on a project or dissertation on a topic of your choice, under the supervision of one of our academics, experts in their field.

See the modules you'll study

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    Studying one language:

    • BBB or equivalent at A level.

    Studying two languages:

    • BBB or equivalent at A level.
  • medal-empty GCSE

    Applicants wishing to study two languages should have grade B or equivalent at GCSE, ideally in one of your target languages. This is not required of applicants wishing to study one language only.

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If we make you an offer you will need to obtain/pass the Access to Higher Education Diploma including 21 points at Distinction, 20 points at Merit and 4 points at Pass.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR).

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    30 points overall or 15 points at HL.

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

When applying you will need to indicate, under 'further details' in the 'choices' section of your application, the language or languages that you wish to study using the codes below. For further information on completing your UCAS form, please visit the UCAS website.

UCAS language codes

  • French - Fre
  • German - Ger
  • Italian - Ital
  • Spanish - Spa

It may be possible to study further languages to a lower level of proficiency than degree level in our Language Centre, subject to demand. This is arranged once you register as a student.  

You could choose to add a Year in a Language to your degree to create a four-year programme with a third language option. 

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. 

Modules

If you are studying one language, you must choose modules with a total of 120 credits at each stage:

  • 30 credits from the language modules (corresponding to your language of study)
  • 30 credits from two route-defining modules
  • 30 credits from free choice modules (corresponding to your language of study)
  • 30 credits from the wild modules

If you are studying two languages, you must choose modules with a total of 120 credits at each stage:

  • 60 credits from two language modules (corresponding to your languages of study)
  • 30 credits from two route-defining modules
  • 30 credits from free choice modules (corresponding to your languages of study)

Stage 1

Language modules

Route-defining

Free choice modules

Stage 2

Language modules

Route-defining modules

  • Branding the Nation: National Identity in the Global Marketplace
  • Culture & Heritage: History
  • What makes a nation? Sovereignty, Power and Identity
  • Languages in the Classroom

Free choice modules

Year abroad (optional)

It is possible to study the BA in Modern Languages as a three-year programme, or to take the four-year BA in Modern Languages with a Year Abroad.

Going abroad as part of your degree is an amazing experience and a chance to develop personally, academically and professionally.  You experience a different culture, gain a new academic perspective, establish international contacts and enhance your employability.

The Year Abroad is assessed on a pass/fail basis and will not count towards your final degree classification. You spend the year working as an English language assistant or in approved employment, or studying at one of our partner universities.

Stage 3 

Language modules

Route-defining modules

  • Global commodities
  • Culture & Heritage: The Contemporary
  • Crisis, aftermath and memory
  • Language Teachers at Work

Free choice modules

Fees

The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £13500
  • International full-time £18000
  • Home part-time £4625
  • EU part-time £6750
  • International part-time £9000

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

Teaching and assessment

Compulsory language modules typically involve three to four hours of classes per week, including one hour of small group work with a native speaker. We also make extensive use of computer-assisted language learning packages and audio and video materials. 

Culture and literature modules typically involve a weekly two-hour seminar plus essay supervision. We employ language lectors, who are all native speakers, to help students improve their fluency and make rapid progress.

At all stages, assessment is based 100% on coursework (essays, oral presentations) in the first half of the year, and a combination of coursework and examination in the second half of the year. Credits from your year abroad count towards your final degree.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

  • Provide a sound grounding in the target language(s) in all its aspects, through extensive reading in the target language(s) and through the use of the target language(s) as a spoken and written medium, including translation.
  • Prime students for the job market through training in intercultural communication, language mediation, cultural production, teaching, translation in the target language(s) and in the culture(s) of the target language(s)
  • Offer an integrated and multi-disciplinary curriculum related to the study of contemporary Europe and Latin America in the areas of language, culture, cultural production (e.g. literature, cinema, media, etc.), social and political history.
  • Develop a critical awareness of the cultures and societies of the countries/regions in which the target languages(s) are used from the 17th century to the 21st century.
  • Provide teaching which is informed by current research and scholarship and which requires students to engage with aspects of work at the frontiers of knowledge.
  • Contribute to widening participation in higher education by offering a wide variety of entry routes.
  • Meet the educational needs of a diversity of students.
  • Provide opportunities for the development of personal, communication, research, intercultural awareness, and other key skills appropriate for graduate employment both in industry and in the public sector.
  • Develop general critical, analytical, and problem-solving skills that can be applied in a wide range of situations.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to improve their language communication skills in educational, professional, and social contexts.
  • Enable students to acquire or increase first-hand knowledge of the cultures of the target languages.
  • Produce graduates of value to the region, nationally and internationally, in possession of key knowledge and skills.
  • Prepare students for employment or further study
  • Provide learning opportunities that are enjoyable experiences, involve realistic workloads, are based within a research-led framework, and offer appropriate support for students from a diverse range of backgrounds.
  • Provide high quality teaching in supportive environments with appropriately qualified and trained staff.

For students on BA (Hons) in Modern Languages with a Year Abroad the course additionally aims to: Provide students with the opportunity to spend half an academic year for each chosen language in the countries or regions in which the target languages are used. They may attend one of the partner universities, work as a language assistant in a school through the British Council, or arrange suitable employment (which must be verified by the University of Kent).

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • The target language(s)
  • Cultural products (e.g. literature, film, media) of the countries in which target language(s) are used 
  • Histories, societies, and politics of the countries in which target language(s) are used 
  • Critical theories of the countries in which target language(s) are used
  • Cultural theories of the countries in which target language(s) are used 

Intellectual skills

  • Apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry 
  • Evaluate information critically 
  • Synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of the subject 
  • Utilise communication skills (e.g. reading, writing, listening and speaking) for the coherent expression and transfer of knowledge 
  • Analyse, evaluate and interpret a variety of texts and other cultural products in a critical manner 

Subject-specific skills

  • Communicate effectively in the target language(s) for a range of purposes and audiences, deploying effectively the appropriate structures and registers of the target language(s) 
  • Develop language skills in reception (e.g. listening and reading); production (e.g. speaking and writing); mediation between two languages (e.g. translation and intercultural communication) 
  • Analyse critically a variety of texts be they journalistic, historical, visual or literary 
  • Gain intercultural awareness and competence, and an appreciation of cultural diversity 
  • Ability to mediate and to display qualities of empathy in an intercultural context 
  • Acquire intercultural awareness through everyday experience of and interaction with target language(s)-speaking communities.

Transferable skills

  • Communicate effectively with a wide range of individuals using a variety of means
  • Problem-solving: identifying problems; assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different solutions; defending the preferred solutions with cogent arguments 
  • Improving individual learning: identifying individual strengths and weaknesses; assessing the quality of one’s own work; managing one’s time and meeting deadlines; learning to work independently 
  • Working with others: participating in seminar discussions, responding to the views of others and to criticisms of one’s own views without giving or taking offence; engaging in independent group work, including the preparation of group presentations 
  • Using information technology, for example: word-processing essays; using on-line information sources; using e-mail and social networks for work; curating a blog; searching databases; recording video presentations.

Independent rankings

French scored 90% overall, German scored 91% overall, Iberian Languages scored 85% overall and Italian scored 91% overall in The Complete University Guide 2023.

French was ranked 4th, German was ranked 7th, Iberian languages was ranked 7th and Italian was ranked 3rd for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2023.

Careers

The ability to speak a language other than English is a key asset in the global employment market, and many employers view a graduate with an additional language as more employable.

Through your studies, you also acquire many of the transferable skills considered essential by graduate employers. These include the ability to work independently and as part of a team, the confidence to offer creative solutions when faced with challenges, and the ability to express your ideas with clarity and passion. 

Our graduates go into areas such as: international banking, diplomacy, publishing, journalism, interpreting and translating, European media, and language teaching. Some also go on to postgraduate study in fields as varied as international journalism, visual studies and translation.

Help finding a job

The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Work experience

We offer a number of modules with direct relevance to the world of work, including options that focus on teaching and on writing in the media.

Career-enhancing skills

Alongside specialist skills, you also develop the transferable skills graduate employers look for, including the ability to:

  • think critically
  • communicate your ideas and opinions
  • work independently and as part of a team.

You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as volunteering.

Apply for Modern Languages - BA (Hons)

If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.

Find out more about how to apply

All applicants

International applicants

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T: +44 (0)1227 768896

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Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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