China has an economy that puts it in a strong position on the global stage, and it is a key trading partner with the UK and Europe. Business leaders are therefore looking for graduates who can not only speak Chinese, but can operate successfully in the country’s cultural context too.
What we teach
We are one of the few universities in the UK that allow you to study Mandarin Chinese to degree level. The study of this language will give you a distinctive profile which is bound to catch the eye of prospective employers.
Our intensive beginners course is taught by highly qualified and experienced native-speaker staff. This guarantees a firm grounding in all aspects of the language and ensures a high level of cultural competence. As a result, this prepares our Modern Languages undergraduate students well for part of their year abroad studying at a university in China.
How we teach
The aim of the department is to put students at the centre of the learning process, with an engaging approach to small-group teaching.
Our sector-leading blended approach to teaching means that our students develop linguistic fluency alongside cultural fluency. As a result, our programmes create graduates who will be able to connect with people and employers who speak their target language on the same cultural wavelength. By extension, our programmes will help make our graduates subject experts, using their languages well to establish relationships and careers in their target language.
For more information about studying French, German, Hispanic/ Spanish, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Catalan, English as a Modern Foreign Language and/ or Translation at Birmingham, please visit
Outside of your studies
Birmingham is one of the most culturally mixed cities in the UK. For centuries, people have travelled across the country and the world to build their lives here.
The city hosts around 50 annual festivals - so there is always something happening in the city celebrating diversity, community and innovative intercultural exchanges. Birmingham’s restaurant scene also offers around 30 different nationalities and styles of cooking. The city is also home to Birmingham International Airport, the third largest airport in the UK, for fantastic access to destinations of your target language.
The University of Birmingham’s Guild of Students run active language societies and produce an on-campus magazine – The UoB Linguist – for students interested in culture and languages.