BA Modern Languages with Business Management

This flexible course has been designed for those who want to combine the study of one or two modern languages with Business Studies as a Minor subject comprising approximately one-third of the programme.

This programme draws on the expertise of staff in both Modern Languages and Business Management. The University of Birmingham is one of the biggest and most prestigious centres for the study of modern languages in the country. We offer an exceptionally broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. There is a wide variety of languages available and you can study these languages together with the cultures associated with them.

Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that’s highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and creative industries. This programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Course fact file

UCAS code: R9N1

Duration: 4 years

Places Available: 22

Applications in 2013: 86

Typical Offer: AAB (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September

Details

This flexible course has been designed for those who want to combine the study of one or two modern languages with Business Studies as a Minor subject comprising approximately one-third of the programme.

First year

All students will study two languages together (40 credits each) alongside the study of business management skills (40 credits). We offer French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. You may take one of these languages from scratch, but in that case, an A level (or equivalent) is required in your other language. Where a language is taken as a beginner, the first year will focus entirely on practical language work. Languages taken post-A level will combine one language module with an optional module in the politics, literature, culture or history of the country chosen. Business modules include Introduction to Financial Analysis and Introduction to Economics. 

Second year

You will continue to study business management skills, taking modules such as Global Marketing and Human Resource management. You can continue to study two modern languages or, if you want to specialise, you can concentrate on just one (which you would then take as the equivalent of a Major – 80 credits – in that language). Please note, however, that it is only possible to study 80 credits in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Russian. 

Year abroad

All students will spend their third year abroad. Students spending the full year in one country will normally attend a university in that country, although students spending the whole year in France or a German-speaking country also have the opportunity to spend a year as a language assistant teaching English in a school or college there. Students splitting the year between two countries will normally spend a period of time as a university student in each country.  Closely supervised work placements, subject to approval, can occasionally be substituted for university placements.

Fourth year

If you continued with two languages throughout third year, you can either maintain this pattern in final year, or drop down to one. Otherwise, you will continue with the one language that you studied in third year. If you study one language, practical language work will be combined with three optional modules centred on the areas of research expertise of the staff in the relevant language department. If you take two languages, practical language work will be combined with one such specialist option in each of your two departments. For the Business Management part of the programme, you will follow modules in Supply Change Management, Corporate Finance and Strategic Management.

Modern Languages Graduates 2013

Why study this course

At Birmingham, you will benefit from an intellectually challenging and stimulating environment for your undergraduate studies, focused on ensuring you are a fully supported and active learner. The course is also very flexible, allowing you to specialise more and more as you progress, culminating in a final-year dissertation that allows you to carry out in-depth, individually supervised research into topics of your choice.

This programme draws on the expertise of staff in both Modern Languages and Business Management. The University of Birmingham is one of the biggest and most prestigious centres for the study of modern languages in the country. We offer an exceptionally broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. There is a wide variety of languages available and you can study these languages together with the cultures associated with them. You will be part of a vibrant community with a strong reputation for teaching.

Read our ten reasons to study Modern Languages at Birmingham.

Birmingham Business School is dynamic and internationally focused. We were the country’s first dedicated business school. Birmingham Business School has strong links with local, national and global businesses such as Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and Ernst & Young. As a result, this degree programme retains a strong practical focus as well as exploring theoretical aspects.

Our unique degrees are designed to provide both academic excellence and vocational development; a balance that’s highly sought after by employers in today's intellectual and creative industries. This programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Year abroad

Open day talk

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding
 
Scholarships
Learn more about our scholarships and awards

Entry requirements

Number of A levels required: 3

Typical offer: AAB

Required subjects and grades: A level (or equivalent) in at least one modern language

General Studies: accepted

Additional information:

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 36 points including a modern language at HL

Other qualifications are considered – see entry requirements

Important information: Please see "How to apply" for UCAS language codes.

Please note that for reasons of timetabling it is not possible to combine Spanish with Russian, Italian with Portuguese, Italian with Mandarin Chinese, nor Portuguese with Mandarin Chinese. All languages except French can be studied from beginner’s level.

International students:

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply

Important information: When completing your UCAS application, please indicate your proposed languages under 'Further Details' in the 'Choices' section of the application by using the following codes, separated by a space. 

Apply through UCAS at www.ucas.com

Learn more about applying

Key Information Set (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS) are comparable sets of information about full- or part-time undergraduate courses and are designed to meet the information needs of prospective students.

All KIS information has been published on the Unistats website and can also be accessed via the small advert, or ‘widget’, below. On the Unistats website you are able to compare all the KIS data for each course with data for other courses.

The development of Key Information Sets (KIS) formed part of HEFCE’s work to enhance the information that is available about higher education. They give you access to reliable and comparable information in order to help you make informed decisions about what and where to study.

The KIS contains information which prospective students have identified as useful, such as student satisfaction, graduate outcomes, learning and teaching activities, assessment methods, tuition fees and student finance, accommodation and professional accreditation.

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. At Birmingham we advocate an enquiry based learning approach, from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates).

Support

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that we will enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues, and a formal transition review during your first year to check on your progress and offer you help for any particular areas where you need support.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre's aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions to workshops on a range of topics including note taking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

From the outset, you will be assigned your own Personal Tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies, providing academic and welfare advice, encouraging you and offering assistance in any areas you may feel you need extra support to make the most of your potential and your time here at Birmingham.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) will provide you with individual support from an academic writing advisor and postgraduate subject-specialist writing tutors. You will receive guidance on writing essays and dissertations at University-level which can be quite different from your previous experiences of writing. Support is given in a variety of ways, such as small-group workshops, online activities, feedback through email and tutorials.

Student experience

Supporting you throughout your transition to University, offering research opportunities and study skills support and helping you develop and prepare for your post-University careers - our Arts and Law Student Experience Team strive to help you get the most out of your academic experience.

Language laboratory sessions allow you to practise your listening and spoken skills and are an essential part of all our language programmes.

Assessment methods

Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams (depending on your chosen degree).

During your first year you will undergo a formal 'transition' review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular programme of study. You will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You will be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future. 

Employability

[Video above - Dr Emma Tyler discusses careers and employability during the Modern Languages open day presentation]

Modern Languages graduates have a range of skills that are highly prized by graduate employers: oral and written communication in one or more foreign languages, critical thinking,  intercultural awareness and understanding. You will also develop leadership, teamwork and organisational skills through activities such as group projects and your year abroad.

87% of our Modern Language graduates go into work or study within six months of graduation. 50% of vacancies advertised for new and recent graduates don’t specify a degree subject, and our graduates enter a wide range of careers similar to other arts and humanities graduates but with much greater scope in international settings. This includes business, government, journalism, the creative arts, teaching and law. Some go abroad to develop their language skills while working as TEFL teachers and university language tutors.

Modern Languages graduates from the University of Birmingham have excellent prospects after graduation. An impressive 85% of our graduates go into professional or managerial jobs within six months of graduation. Our graduates have started careers with employers including British Airways, Deloitte, HSBC, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the British Council, NATO, BP, central and local government, and universities in the UK and abroad.

Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal. This is a unique careers guidance service tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team who can give you expert advice. This includes individual careers advice and talks and events, including ‘Careers with Languages’, to provide insight into careers of interest to our students. Many languages students will also find our events about careers such as teaching, law, marketing, journalism and advertising of interest.

We work hard to help students identify how the year abroad may help their future career. We also encourage all our students to apply their skills in the workplace by undertaking internships in the summer; the work experience bursary scheme enables students to apply for funding for those career areas where placements are often unpaid. You can even apply for our ‘Global Challenge’ to work overseas on an expenses paid placement during your summer vacation.

Modern Languages alumni profiles

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you will need to think about engaging in some extra-curricular activities while you're at university to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. This can include the many societies at the Guild of Students and also the many voluntary opportunities offered with local arts organisations. Our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Our College of Arts and Law undergraduate research scholarship scheme enables interested students to work on a current academic research project being run by one of the College's academic researchers. Undergraduate research scholars gain work experience over the summer after their first or second year and have the chance to develop skills in both collaborative and independent research.

Cultural Internships

Our innovative Cultural Internships offer graduates the opportunity for a six month paid internship at a leading cultural institution in the West Midlands. These internships are a unique opportunity to learn fundamental, transferable business and interpersonal skills, through experience of real work in an established cultural institution. Our current partners include Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, Birmingham REP, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust and the Library of Birmingham. We have plans to expand the scheme to include our own major cultural assets, such as Winterbourne House, the Lapworth Museum, and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. This scheme will give you professional experience to set you apart in a competitive graduate market.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.