University of Birmingham and The Open University launch new modern languages course

The University of Birmingham and The Open University are pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new collaboration to develop an innovative modern languages programme for undergraduate students.

The new BA Modern Languages (University of Birmingham with the Open University pathway) programme offers a flexible route to a degree in modern languages for those without the traditional entry requirements.

Students will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, blending the flexible study patterns offered by The Open University with the chance to experience campus life at the University of Birmingham, as well as the opportunity to spend time working or studying abroad.

The programme is open from 2014, with enquiries now being taken for 2015/16 entry.

Professor Matthew Rampley, Head of School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music at the University of Birmingham, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with The Open University on this exciting and innovative project. The programme will offer students the chance to experience campus life at the University of Birmingham while enjoying the flexibility of provided by The Open University’s methods of study. We are looking forward to welcoming students onto this new programme.’

Mr Steve Hill, Commercial Director at The Open University, said: ‘We’re delighted to have had the chance to develop and offer this innovative programme with the University of Birmingham. We feel this is an exciting proposition that offers students without traditional entry requirements the opportunity to study on a pioneering modern languages programme. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the first students onto this programme next year.’

The BA Modern Languages (University of Birmingham with The Open University pathway) is a five-year programme. The first two years of study will be taken part-time with The Open University and will accommodate a range of levels, including beginner. After the successful completion of 120 credits of study through The Open University, students will join the second year of the BA Modern Languages course at the University of Birmingham. Students will spend a year in Birmingham experiencing campus life, followed by a year abroad, before returning to complete their studies at Birmingham.

Media contacts:

Stuart Gillespie, University of Birmingham press office, +44 (0)121 414 9041

Ben Clifton, The Open University press office, +44 (0)1908 655056

Notes to editors 

  • The University of Birmingham has been named The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year 2013/14.  
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 4,000 international students from nearly 150 countries. 
  • The University of Birmingham is one of the biggest and most prestigious centres for the study of modern languages in the country, achieving a rating of 91% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014. 
  • The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has more than 200,000 current students, including more than 15,000 overseas. 
  • The OU is rated in the top 10 UK universities for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, since the survey began in 2005. In 2013/14 it had a 91% satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses. 
  • In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) The Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading. 
  • The OU has a 41-year partnership with the BBC and has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to co-producing prime-time series such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, Britain’s Great War, I Bought a Rainforest and Business Boomers. Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which received 5.2 million unique visitors in 2012/13, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded more than 66 million downloads. 
  • For further information please visit The Open University website.