Free courses

The University offers all its full-time undergraduate students the opportunity to apply for a free place on one of our popular language courses.

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Whether you are a beginner or wish to brush up and build on your existing knowledge, learning a language can be fun, rewarding and enhances your career prospects.

Undergraduate students are invited to apply for a course in the next academic year, subject to the terms outlined in the Eligibility section of our Terms and Conditions (see below for full details.)

The College of Arts and Law currently extends this opportunity to its campus-based postgraduate students, where availability permits.

A free language course can also be used to earn credits towards the Personal Skills Award (PSA).

How and when to apply

Unfortunately, given the context with COVID-19, we are running a significantly reduced number of courses and timeslots.  We plan to expand these again next year (2021/22 academic year). 

Students should apply by completing the application form which will be available at this location until 7 September 2020.

Places will be randomly allocated and successful applicants will be notified during the week commencing 14 September 2020.

Applications are now closed.

Course dates and duration

These courses continue through Semesters 1 and 2 until the end of the teaching year. Students cannot take a Free Language Course for one semester only.

When you make an application, you are expressing your interest in joining one of our language courses. Free places are limited and we regret we cannot guarantee a place to all applicants. These places are funded by the University’s Colleges and, for this reason, we ask that you are committed to learning a language and the work involved for the full duration of the course before taking up a place which may be of greater benefit to another applicant.

Students who engage with their Free Language Course for the full teaching year will be awarded a Pass notation for this course on their end-of-year transcript (see Completion section of the Terms and Conditions below).

Please also read carefully the Terms and Conditions below.

Which languages can I learn?

Course Title

Scheduled Day

Scheduled Start Time

Duration

Suitable for students who have . . .
(see online placement tests* for further help on entry levels)

CEFR Exit Level

Arabic Level 1

Tuesday

17:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Arabic Level 1

Wednesday

14:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Arabic Level 1

Wednesday

16:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Chinese (Mandarin) Level 1

Wednesday

13:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Chinese (Mandarin) Level 2

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

Chinese (Mandarin) Level 3

Thursday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 2; 100 hours tuition/GCSE/completed A1 level

A2.1

French Level 1

Monday

18:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

French Level 1

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

French Level 2

Monday

16:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

French Level 2

Wednesday

13:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

French Level 3

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

Previous Level 2; 100 hours tuition/GCSE/completed A1 level

A2.1

French Level 4

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

French Level 4

Thursday

16:00

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

French Level 5

Wednesday

13:00

2 hours

Previous Level 4; GCSE plus 1 year/completed A2 level

B1.1

French Level 6

Tuesday

14:00

2 hours

Previous Level 5; Recent A level/lower B1 level study

B1.2

French Level 6

Thursday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 5; Recent A level/lower B1 level study

B1.2

French Level 7

Thursday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 6; post A-level study/completed B1 level

B2.1

 French Level 7

Thursday

13:00

2 hours

Previous Level 6; post A-level study/completed B1 level

B2.1

French Level 8

Friday

10:00

2 hours

Previous Level 7; HE level study/lower B2 to C1 study

B2.2/C1

German Level 1

Wednesday

13:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

German Level 1

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

German Level 2

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

German Level 3

Monday

16:00

2 hours

Previous Level 2; 100 hours tuition/GCSE/completed A1 level

A2.1

German Level 4

Wednesday

13:00

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

German Level 5

Monday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 4; GCSE plus 1 year/completed A2 level

B1.1

German Level 6

Tuesday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 5; Recent A level/lower B1 level study

B1.2

German Level 7

Tuesday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 6; post A-level study/completed B1 level

B2.1

Italian Level 1

Tuesday

16:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Japanese Level 1

Wednesday

09:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Japanese Level 2

Wednesday

14:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

Japanese Level 3

Wednesday

12:00

2 hours

Previous Level 2; 100 hours tuition/GCSE/completed A1 level

A2.1

Portuguese Level 1

Wednesday

16:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Portuguese Level 2

Thursday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

Russian Level 1

Wednesday

16:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Spanish Level 1

Wednesday

13:00

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Spanish Level 2

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

Previous Level 1; 50 hours tuition/rusty GCSE/lower A1 study

A1.2

Spanish Level 4

Wednesday

16:00

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

Spanish Level 5

Tuesday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 4; GCSE plus 1 year/completed A2 level

B1.1

Spanish Level 6

Thursday

18:00

2 hours

Previous Level 5; Recent A level/lower B1 level study

B1.2

Spanish Level 7

Wednesday

15:00

2 hours

Previous Level 6; post A-level study/completed B1 level

B2.1

           
       

*Languages for All placement tests can be found here

Terms and Conditions

1.  Eligibility

1.1      All students registered for an undergraduate programme of study at this University are eligible to apply for a Free Language Course.

1.2    Students must be based on campus and available to attend classes for the full academic year in order to participate in these courses.

1.3    ‘Free’ places are funded by your home School/College. The number of places in each course is limited and unfortunately not all applicants can be accommodated. 

1.4    Places are not available to students already undertaking a language course as an accredited optional module in their programme of study.

1.5    The College of Arts and Law may at its discretion extend this opportunity to students registered for postgraduate study in this College.  However, the scheme is set up primarily to extend the learning opportunities available to undergraduate students, who are given priority for places.

1.6    We reserve the right to decline enrolments which are not appropriate to students’ previous knowledge or experience of the language at the levels of study offered.

2     Application procedure and Allocation of places

2.1   Information and application is available to current students of the University during the summer for the next academic year.

2.2    New incoming students apply for places after full enrolment at UoB.

2.3    One application only per student will be accepted.  Duplicate applications will be removed and the latest application only will be counted.

2.4    Applications made after the published deadline will not be accepted.

2.5    If demand for a language course exceeds the number of spaces available, ‘Free’ places are allocated on a random basis to the applications received. We do not operate a ‘first come, first served’ allocation process.

2.6    A student can take only one free language course (or accredited Languages for All module) in an academic year.

2.7    Students who have made an unsuccessful application in a previous year will be given priority for a place.

2.8    Where space permits, a degree of priority will also be given to students who have already completed a language course with Languages for All.

2.9    Successful applicants are notified at the email address given in their application.  Unless you notify us that you wish to cancel your application, you will be expected to join the course you have been offered and you will be registered for the module in the normal way.

2.10  Cancellations must be made at the earliest opportunity in writing to lfa@contacts.bham.ac.uk .  This will avoid potential conflicts in your timetable and will allow us to offer your place to another applicant.

2.11  Unsuccessful applicants are informed as soon as possible after the applications deadline and a waiting list will be kept until week1/week 2 of teaching. Places which become available through cancellations will be offered to unsuccessful applicants at the email address given in their application.

3.      Module Registration

3.1      Free Language Course places are allocated to students for the full academic year and students will be registered for the appropriate module as part of the enrolment process.

3.2      Free Language modules are zero-credit rated and will not impact in any way on other modules or the calculation of end-of-year marks or degree classifications.

3.3      Students with a Free Language Course place will also be registered to the corresponding Canvas course, where they can access course material.

3.4      When multiple teaching timeslots are available, you will be asked to confirm your preferred time. Further details will be issued to the students concerned in due course.

4.      Workload and Commitment

4.1          We ask that you are committed to attending weekly classes in the autumn and spring terms, and the work involved before taking up a place which might be of greater benefit to another applicant.

4.2          Students taking a Languages for All course are expected to have the use of the prescribed course textbook for the duration of the course.

4.3          Do not make an application if you are off campus on placement for part of the year (e.g. in Semester 2) and therefore cannot commit to classes for the full duration of the courses.

4.4          Any student who does not attend the first class without prior notification to Languages for All will forfeit their place on the course with immediate effect.  Their registration will be cancelled and the vacant place will be offered to another applicant.

4.5          Free Language Courses equate to taking an additional 20-credit module, but without formal assessment. Before accepting a place, students should be aware of the commitment required and take this into account when considering their workload over the full academic year.

4.6          Most Languages for All classes include students taking a language module as a credited module, as well as Free Language course students.

4.7         The deadline for transfer requests (to a different language course/level) and withdrawals from the scheme is on the Friday of Week 1 of teaching. 

4.8         Please note that non-attendance of the module or withdrawal from the module may have an impact on the Personal Skills Awards (PSA) points being awarded.

5.      Completion

5.1          In line with University policy, a minimum of 70% attendance is required.

5.2          Students must achieve a pass standard in at least six pieces of formative assessment, three of which must be completed in Semester 2. These are informal assessments, to be taken as part of normal coursework, and their format will vary by language and level. ‘Pass standard’ means that it would be awarded a mark of at least 40% if graded;

5.3 Your Free Language Course will appear on your end-of-year transcript with a Pass or Fail result.  Numeric marks are not awarded for these courses.

Key dates and deadlines - 2020

  • Application available for all students: 10 August 2020 to 7 September 2020
  • Notification to successful applicants: week commencing 14 September 2020
  • Enrolment to Canvas courses: week commencing 14 September 2020
  • Courses start: week commencing 28 September 2020