Frequently asked questions on optional language modules

Options

I want to study a language while I’m at University even though it’s not my main subject – can I get credits from a language course?

Yes - the Institution Wide Language Programme provides the opportunity for students to study a language for credits.  Many degree programmes allow students to take a language course as a Widening Horizons module or a Module Outside the Main Discipline, although there are exceptions, notably degrees in the Medical School, and Joint Honours programmes.

Can I take a language course if I don’t need credits from language study?

If you already have your full 120 credits allocated to other modules in your degree programme, you can study a language as an Open Access course or you can apply for a Free Language Course place.

I only have 10 credits to use for MOMD study.  Can I take a language MOMD for one semester only?

All language modules are worth 20 credits and must be taken for 2 semesters, starting in the autumn term.  Credits cannot be awarded for a single semester’s study and students who are at the University for the full academic year must take the full course.  We make exceptions only for ERASMUS and Exchange students whose placement at this University is for a single semester.

What languages can I study?

Currently, the Institution Wide Language Programme offers French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

What levels are these languages available at?

  • French, German and Spanish are available at Level 1 (Beginners) to Level 8 (good proficiency).
  • All other languages are available at Level 1 (Beginner) and some are also available at level 2 (Near Beginner) , Level 3 (Lower Intermediate) and Level 4 (Higher Intermediate).

Where can I find more detailed information about the options available to me?

Handbooks for Widening Horizons and Modules Outside the Main Discipline contain descriptions of these modules and can be found online.

Can postgraduate students earn credits from language modules?

Our optional language modules are set up at undergraduate level and the credits do not normally contribute towards a postgraduate qualification. The only exception is for campus-based students enrolled on the MA in Translation Studies.

Other postgraduate students who wish to study a language should enrol for an Open Access course, but this will be on an extracurricular study basis.

Timetable

What is the timetable for language these modules?

Classes are for 2 hours a week and are mainly timetabled in the University MOMD timetable slots, on Wednesday afternoons or in evening timeslots so that the times are compatible with degree programmes across the University.

I can’t attend the timetabled hours for my language module. What should I do?

First of all, approach your home department. If you are eligible for optional study (WHM or MOMD), you should be available in the relevant timeslots. Your department can often move you to a different seminar/lab group if this is causing a clash with your chosen language module. If you have core lecture teaching at the same time as your language course, please let us know in case we can suggest an alternative group.

Enrolment

How do I enrol for a language module?

New first year students enrol for their Widening Horizons module during Welcome week (details will be supplied by your Department if you are eligible to study a WHM) or, subject to availability of places, you can also enquire about places in week 1 of the autumn term in the Modern Languages office (Ashley Building, Room G13).

Continuing students must complete an online enrolment form before the end of the previous academic year to secure a place on a language module for the following year.

Can I join a language module once the course has started?

Subject to places being available, you can join in the first 3 weeks of the course, but you will need to put in extra work to catch up on what you have missed. We do not accept any new enrolments for level 1 courses after Week 2.

What qualifications do I need to enrol for a language MOMD?

See information on entry levels at this webpage.

Year 2 Students:

I didn’t take a language module in my first year, but want to start in the second year of my degree.  Can I do this?

You can join a Year 2 course as a direct entrant as long as you have some previous knowledge of the language you wish to study. Students who wish to apply for direct entry into a Year 2 language MOMD should contact the relevant Language Co-ordinator in LfA, who will decide on the most appropriate course for you, based on your current competence and your year of study. If you wish to pursue this option, contact the Languages for All administrators (details below) in the first instance.

Can I join a beginner’s language module in Year 2 of my degree?

This is sometimes possible, but you need to be aware that you will be awarded credits at Level C (Certificate level) not Level I (Intermediate level), and will therefore need to pass all your other Year 2 modules in order to progress to your third year. Students who are considering this option should consult the appropriate member of staff in their home department for advice and approval to take a lower level module.

Erasmus Students

I am an Erasmus student - can I take a language module for credits?

Yes, Erasmus and Exchange students can take a language module as long as the course times fit the timetable of their compulsory modules.  Erasmus students with absolutely no previous knowledge of the language of study should apply for a Level 1 module in Welcome week in the same way as other new students to the University.  Students who have learned the language previously should consult the appropriate Language Co-ordinator in LfA to identify the most suitable level of study for them.

General

I would like to talk to someone about language MOMDs. 
Who can I contact?

In the first instance, contact the Undergraduate Administrator at lfa@contacts.bham.ac.uk