Languages for All

Module information for incoming Erasmus and Exchange students interested in modules with Languages for All.

Languages for All is the University’s specialist language teaching centre, with extensive experience of delivering modern foreign language courses. 

Our Institution Wide Language Programme includes courses in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Ukrainian at up to 8 levels. All our courses are mapped onto the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.  Some languages are only offered at lower levels of study, but you can study most of our European languages at a level ranging from A1 to C1. Beginners’ language modules (Level 1) are only available for a Semester 1 start.

Erasmus and exchange students who are not beginners in the language of study are asked to consult the appropriate Language Co-ordinator in Languages for All before enrolling - please see contact details at our Staff page. We reserve the right to decline enrolments from students whose previous study or experience of a language is too high or unsuitable for our language modules.  In particular, please note that students with knowledge of Cantonese are not admitted to modules in Mandarin Chinese.

Languages for All courses may be taken by Erasmus and exchange students in the following ways:

1. Modules outside the Main Discipline (MOMD)

Erasmus and exchange students can take a language MOMD to earn credits.  Your entry level will depend on your current or previous study in the target language.  These modules are worth 20 credits and are studied for the full academic year (two semesters). Students are formally assessed through oral and written examinations during the summer term.  No alternative arrangements for assessment are available.  Exchange students whose period of study here is for a single semester only should contact us for advice at the e-mail address below.

Level 1 (beginners) language MOMDs are offered to all new incoming students through the online MOMD application system during Welcome week.  Enquiries for higher entry level language MOMDs can be made in advance through the Study Abroad office or by e-mail direct to Language Co-ordinators in Languages for All (see above).

Tandem modules

These modules are part of the MOMD programme and are normally taken for 20 credits over 2 semesters.  Tandem learning allows for a flexible approach to language learning and is suitable for intermediate and advanced learners. Erasmus and Exchange students will normally be paired with a British partner and devise a learning programme in English. In return they will offer tuition in their native language for their British partner. Guidance and supervision will be provided by staff in Languages for All.

Demand for tandem learning is high so we advise early application if you wish to study these modules - availability in any given year also depends on whether we find enough suitable tandem partners.  For this reason, places are not confirmed until the start of the academic year.

For further information see: Modules outside the Main Discipline (MOMD).

2. Open Access courses

If you are keen to secure a place on a language course during your study year here but it is not a requirement for your programme of study, you may wish to consider enrolling for a language module as an Open Access student.  Courses are formally assessed through oral and written examinations and a mark is awarded and recorded on your end-of-year transcript. 

Open Access language courses are offered on a commercial basis and are not covered by reciprocal tuition fee arrangements with your home university.  A course fee is payable and places are limited.  

Advance payment for a language course guarantees a place in a specific course and teaching group.  Erasmus and exchange students are eligible for the concessionary fee paid by students; please note that refunds cannot be claimed at a later date on the grounds of your student status.

For further information see: Open access courses.

3. Free Language Courses

All undergraduate students across the University who do not choose to take a language module as part of their programme of study are eligible to apply for one extracurricular free language course.  This opportunity is also open to Erasmus and exchange students whose programme of study in Birmingham extends to the full academic year.

A free language course will not earn you credits but, subject to fulfilment of the terms and conditions of acceptance, successful completion will be recorded on your end-of-year transcript.  No formal assessment or examinations are taken if your language module is taken as a ‘free’ language course and you will not be awarded a grade or mark for this type of course.

Availability is limited and where demand exceeds the number of spaces available, places are allocated on a random basis to the applications received.

Applications for free courses open online during Welcome week and places will be confirmed to students during Week 1 of the autumn term.

For further information see: Free Language Courses.

4. ‘Minor’ (intensive) Language Courses

We also run more intensive courses (20 credits in each semester) in Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Ab Initio German. These modules are designed for students who study one of these languages as a ‘Minor’ part of their degree programme. Students start at Beginners level in their first year, progress to Intermediate level in their second year, and will spend part of their third year in the country of study. 

Space in ‘Minor’ modules is always limited and we cannot guarantee places for Erasmus/Exchange students.

Students who are required to take Japanese or Chinese language as part of their placement programme, as specified by their home University, are strongly advised to contact the relevant Language Co-ordinator in Languages for All to check the likelihood of acceptance, prior to finalising their host University for their study abroad placement.

We will consider applications from Erasmus/Exchange students on an individual basis, as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. We have enough spaces on an appropriate module to accept an additional enrolment;
  2. The Language Co-ordinator deems the student’s language level suitable for the course;
  3. The student can show full commitment to attend all timetabled classes for the duration of the course (up to 6 hours per week);
  4. The student's home University can provide written confirmation that the student is required to take this language as a part of their study programme.

Enrolments on ‘Minor’ language courses are accepted on a 'first come, first served' basis until the course capacity is reached. As with IWLP courses (see above), Cantonese speakers will not be accepted onto Mandarin Chinese ‘Minor’ modules.

For further information:

Languages for All
Ashley Building
Tel:+44 (0)121 414 3324