Free Language 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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We are currently extending this opportunity to all campus-based postgraduate students and UoB staff where availability permits. However, the scheme is set up primarily to extend the learning opportunities available to undergraduate students, who are given priority for places.

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.

You 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.)

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

How and when to apply

Applications have now closed for 2021/2022.

The application form was available from Monday 09 August 2021 until Monday 13 September 2021.

If you applied for a Free Language Course, places will be randomly allocated and successful applicants will be notified by email during the week commencing 20 September 2021.

Course dates and duration

These courses continue through Semesters 1 and 2 until the end of the teaching year. You 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.

If you engage with your Free Language Course for the full teaching year, you will be awarded a Pass notation for this course on your end-of-year transcript (see Completion section of the Terms and Conditions below). Please note: you are required to complete coursework and have 70% attendance.

Please also read carefully the Terms and Conditions below.

Which languages can I learn?

We are working hard to deliver a new and exciting learning framework for Level 1 (Beginner) Arabic and Portuguese. We will inform students with places as soon as details become available.

Which languages can I learn?
Course Title  DurationSuitable for students who have . . .
(see online placement tests* for further help on entry levels)
CEFR Exit Level

Arabic Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Chinese (Mandarin) Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Chinese (Mandarin) Level 2

   

2 hours

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

A1.2

Chinese (Mandarin) Level 3

   

2 hours

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

A2.1

French Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

French Level 2

   

2 hours

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

A1.2

French Level 3

   

2 hours

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

A2.1

French Level 4

   

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

French Level 5

   

2 hours

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

B1.1

French Level 6

   

2 hours

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

B1.2

French Level 7

   

2 hours

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

B2.1

French Level 8

   

2 hours

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

B2.2/C1

German Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

German Level 2

   

2 hours

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

A1.2

German Level 3

   

2 hours

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

A2.1

German Level 4

   

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

German Level 5

   

2 hours

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

B1.1

German Level 6

   

2 hours

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

B1.2

German Level 7

   

2 hours

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

B2.1

German Level 8

 

 

2 hours

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

B2.2/C1

Italian Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Japanese Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Japanese Level 2

   

2 hours

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

A1.2

Japanese Level 3

   

2 hours

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

A2.1

Portuguese Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Portuguese Level 2

   

2 hours

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

A1.2

Russian Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Spanish Level 1

   

2 hours

No previous knowledge (Beginners)

A1.1

Spanish Level 2

   

2 hours

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

A1.2

Spanish Level 3

   

2 hours

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

A2.1

Spanish Level 4

   

2 hours

Previous Level 3; good GCSE/lower A2 study

A2.2

Spanish Level 5

   

2 hours

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

B1.1

Spanish Level 6

   

2 hours

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

B1.2

Spanish Level 7

   

2 hours

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

B2.1

Spanish Level 8

   

2 hours

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

B2.2/C1

 

   

 

*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 optional module for credit in their programme of study.

1.5  We are currently extending this opportunity to all campus-based postgraduate students and UoB staff where availability permits. 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 your 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 and staff of the University during the summer for the next academic year.

2.2 New incoming students can apply for language classes. However, we can only confirm a place once you have  fully completed the University registration process.

2.3 One application only per student/staff 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 You can take only one free language course (or accredited Languages for All module) in an academic year.

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 their University email address. 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  for the full academic year and you 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 You will also be registered to the corresponding Canvas course, where you can access course material.

3.4 When multiple teaching timeslots are available, you will be asked to confirm your preferred time.  

3.5 For some of our language classes, we only offer one group so please be mindful that it will not be possible to assign you to alternative classes if there are timetable clashes.

4. Workload and Commitment

4.1 We ask that you are committed to attending weekly classes in Semester 1 and Semester 2, and the work involved before taking up a place which might be of greater benefit to another applicant.

4.2 You are expected to have access to prescribed course textbook for the duration of the course. Copies may be available in the Main library.

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 in Semester 1.

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 You 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 - 2021/22

  • Application Form available: 09 August 2021 to 13 September 2021
  • Notification to successful applicants: week commencing 20 September 2021
  • Enrolment to Canvas courses: week commencing 20 September 2021
  • Courses start: week commencing 27 September 2021