BA Modern Languages and Music

Start date
September
Duration
4 Years
UCAS code
R752
Course Type
Undergraduate, Joint Honours combined
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2022/23:
£9,250 (UK)
£20,760 (International)
More detail.

Birmingham’s fusion of language and culture places employability at its heart, preparing you to live and work as an engaged citizen of the world.

Studying an undergraduate modern language from beginner or advanced level (French, German, Spanish or Russian) alongside Music is highly complementary and an exciting opportunity to contextualise your knowledge in each discipline. At the Univeristy of Birmingham, language is studied through the lens of the target culture's literature, history, politics and society, and through total immersion on the Year Abroad. Find out more about your chosen combination. Some combinations we are unable to offer due to timetabling restrictions and German alongside Music is only offered at Advanced level. 

Our Music department is over 100 years old, and is housed in our state-of-the-art Bramall Music Building. Your undergraduate Music studies will encompass musicology, composition and performance - including one-to-one instrumental/vocal tuition. Many students receive their practical tuition from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, with whom we enjoy close links.

On-campus open days 24/25 June - Book your place!

Studying Modern Languages and Music has been an incredible experience so far. Studying in two departments opens up a huge range of opportunities, including a variety of Music ensembles that have helped me meet amazing people that share the same passions as me. The course's flexibility is also very useful, allowing you to choose which areas of your subjects you'd like to focus on.

Monty

Why study this course?

  • More than Fluent –Choose vocational modules in areas such as Translation, Language Teaching, Legal Culture, Business and more! Talk the talk into a long list of career prospects with the help of our Careers and Employability team.
  • Practice as a Professional – Develop your skills with our state-of-the-art translation suite, Televic interpreting suite and sound proof booths to the same professional standard at the United Nations.
  • Explore your niche – The Department of Music houses a Balinese Gamelan and a large collection of Early Instruments, upon which it is possible to receive tuition. We are also home to the Centre for Early Music Performance and Research (CEMPR); the Centre for Composition and Associated Studies (COMPASS); and Birmingham Electroacoustic Music Studios (BEAST). 
  • Your Spotlight Awaits – You will have access to a wide variety of choirs, orchestras, ensembles, music groups and musical theatre organised by the Department of Music, University Music Society and the Guild of Students.
  • Birmingham: The City of Music – Get involved in running and promoting our ensembles as a member of the Music Society Committee and receive professional mentoring. At University of Birmingham you’ll work exciting performance and festivals - both on the stage and behind the scenes.

Open day talks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest updates and FAQs for future students and offer-holders

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Modules

Please note: You will take 120 credits of modules in each year of study. The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

 

Joint Honours flexibility

Every degree programme at the University is divided into 120 credits of study for each year of the programme. In the first year of a Joint Honours programme, you will study 60 credits in each subject as you learn the core elements of the disciplines. We recognise that students on Joint Honours programmes might come to favour one subject slightly more than another. To account for this, we have added more flexibility into the second and final years of our programmes. In the second year, you can stick with the 60-60 split between the two subjects or shift to a 80-40 credit weighting, effectively a major/ minor combination. You can either go back to 60-60 in the final year, maintain the same 80-40 split or reverse the major and the minor and go to a 40-80 weighting.

 

Modern Languages

During your years of study you will take compulsory language modules depending on your language proficiency. You will then choose amongst a wide range of optional modules depending on the number of credits you are taking in the language. We advise that you take a look at our prohibited combinations webpage before submitting your application.

You can find out more about the available modules dependent on your credit weighting for your chosen language(s) via the My Choices website.

Music

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

  • Music and its Cultures I (20 credits) and II (20 credits)
  • Tonal Harmony and Counterpoint I (10 credits) and II (10 credits)

Detailed descriptions of Year 1 Music compulsory modules

Optional unassessed Instrumental or Vocal Performance (10 hours) is also available. 

Year 2

Compulsory Modules

You must take a minimum of 40 credits in both Music and Modern Languages. You will use your remaining credits in optional modules.

  • 80 credits - Critical Musicology (20 credits); Analysis of Music (20 credits); optional modules
  • 60 credits - Critical Musicology (20 credits) or Analysis of Music (20 credits); optional modules
  • 40 credits - Critical Musicology (20 credits) or Analysis of Music (20 credits); optional module

Year 3

The degree programme is four years in length, and you will spend your third year abroad studying, teaching or working before returning to Birmingham for your final year. 

Final year

Compulsory Modules

  • 80 credits - Independent Study Module (20 or 40 credits)
  • 60 credits - Independent Study Module (20 or 40 credits - if not taken in Modern Languages)
  • 40 credits - Independent Study Module (20 or 40 credits - if not taken in Modern Languages)

You will spend your remaining Music credits on optional modules

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2022, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £20,760

Eligibility for fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

For further information on tuition fees, living costs and available financial support, please see our pages on undergraduate fees and funding.


Tuition fees when studying abroad

For those spending a whole academic year abroad (where available):

  • Students who are classed as UK for fees purposes are required to pay 15% of their normal annual tuition fee
  • Students who are classed as International for fee purposes are required to pay 50% of their normal annual tuition fee

For those studying abroad for just one semester (where available), normal annual tuition fees apply.

Note - Study abroad opportunities vary between courses; please see the course description for details of study abroad options offered.

How To Apply

When completing your UCAS form, please indicate the languages you wish to study as part of BA Modern Languages and Music under further details within the choices section of the application form.

Modern Language and
Level selection
Code to be entered on
the UCAS application
French (BEG) FrB
French (ADV) FrA
German (ADV) GeA
Spanish (BEG) SpB
Spanish (ADV) SpA
Russian (BEG) RuB
Russian (ADV) RuA

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
AAB
Required subjects and grades:
AAB. A level Music grade A. Where applicants are not taking Music at A level then ABRSM grade 7-8 theory is acceptable in addition to the three A levels at AAB. Applicants with equivalent Trinity or LCM music theory qualifications will also be considered. A level grade B or equivalent in your chosen Modern Language is required if you plan to take it at Advanced level. To study a language at Beginners level you will need to have studied a modern foreign language at GCSE with grade 6/B or above.
General Studies:
Not accepted.

IB Diploma:

6,6,5 in Higher level subjects plus 32 points overall. You also require a Higher Level or equivalent in each modern language that you plan to study at Advanced level, plus HL 6 in Music.

BTEC qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM, plus AB at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Diploma: DD, plus AB at A-level in the required subject/s mentioned above.
  • BTEC Subsidiary Diploma: D, plus AB at A-level in the required A-level subject/s mentioned above.

Independent language diplomas:

If you would like to study advanced French, Spanish, German or Russian as part of your programme but are not currently studying the required language at A level, we are happy to consider applications from those offering an independent language diploma at B2 level as demonstration of advanced language skills.

The independent language diplomas we would consider are as follows; DELF-B2 (French), DELE-B2 (Spanish), Goethe-Zertifikat-B2 (German) and TRKI 2nd Certificate (Russian). These diplomas are assessed against the criteria set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and can be studied for in your own time or through a language centre.  These diplomas will be considered when taken in addition to three A levels or equivalent qualifications as outlined above.

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Pathways to Birmingham

The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. We are proud to offer prospective applicants at one of our partner institutions the support of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes to access a degree at the University.

We have a range of initiatives for Year 12 students to help make informed decisions about higher education. Our Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme, for Year 13 students, allows participants to experience university study and prepare for the transition to university.

Successful completion of one of our Pathways to Birmingham programmes means students may be eligible for extensive financial support and an alternative offer, typically up to 2 grades below the standard offer, along with other benefits.

To find out more, please visit the Pathways to Birmingham webpage.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students and invite you to join our vibrant community of over 4500 international students who represent 150 different countries. We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

In linguistics, we’re all about looking at what can different aspects of the world around us tell us. How can we define Spanish? Historically, where does Spanish come from? Geographically, where is Spanish spoken? Linguistically, what does it mean to speak Spanish?

Dr Alice Corr

Support

You will have access to a comprehensive support system to help you make the transition to higher education when you start at Birmingham. 

Personal tutors – You will be assigned your own personal tutor who will get to know you as you progress through your studies. They will provide academic support and advice to enable you to make the most of your time here at Birmingham.

Wellbeing Officers –You will also have access to dedicated wellbeing officers who provide professional support, advice and guidance to students across a range of issues. They can meet with you to discuss extensions, disabilities, reasonable adjustments, extenuating circumstances, or to talk through any problems you might be experiencing, and help you access wider support on campus and beyond if you need it.

Our Academic Skills Centre helps you to become a more effective and independent learner through a range of high-quality support services. The centre offers workshops on a range of topics, such as note-taking, reading, academic writing and presentation skills.

The Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) provides guidance on writing essays and dissertations if you need it. You can receive individual support from an academic writing advisor and meet with postgraduate tutors who specialise in particular subjects too.

Our Student Experience Team will help you get the most out of your academic experience. They offer research opportunities, study skills support, and help you prepare for your post-university career. They also organise social events, including trips.

Teaching staff

Students at the University of Birmingham are taught by a mixture of professors, senior lecturers, lecturers and doctoral researchers, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

You can find out more about the members of staff (including their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest) in their academic profiles linked below.

Language laboratory sessions allow you to practise your listening and spoken skills and are an essential part of all our language programmes.

Seminars, workshops and studio work are interactive sessions that develop subject-specific skills such as harmony, counterpoint, composition, analysis and historical understanding, as well as generic skills such as communication and essay writing.

Instrumental and vocal lessons are one-to-one and usually take place at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Contact hours

On the Modern Languages side of your degree, depending on the modules you select, each week you will have between 6-12 hours of lectures and classes.

On the Music side of your degree, although the contact hours vary by year of study in Music, over the course of your degree you can expect an average of 6 contact hours per week. This will comprise of a mixture of lectures, seminars and one-to-one tutorials, plus a further average of 6 hours per week spent in ensemble rehearsals.

Assessment Methods

Assessments - you will be assessed in a variety of ways to help you transition to a new style of learning. At the beginning of each module, you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed. Assessments methods will vary with each module and could include:

  • coursework, such as essays
  • group and individual presentations
  • and formal exams

Feedback - you will receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so you can learn from each assignment. You will also be given feedback on any exams that you take. If you should fail an exam, we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is provided to help you prepare for future exams.

To test your knowledge and develop your core skills we use a range of different assessment methods, including essays, compositions (on paper and in electronic files), teacher reports, instrumental/vocal recitals, end-of-year examinations, listening tests, critical reports on concerts and programme notes

Year one

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year two

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year three

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Year four

Year 3 will be spent overseas in a country of your target language.

The above data provides an indication of the type of activity a student is likely to undertake during a typical pathway on their chosen programme of study. The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. 

Over 93% of our Modern Languages and Music graduates enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

During your degree, you will acquire skills and knowledge that are highly prized by employers in many sectors, including:

  • Strong communication skills in English and one or more other languages
  • A deep understanding of other cultures
  • Critical thinking skills, alongside the ability to research, analyse and interpret information
  • Independence and experience of living abroad
  • Leadership and teamwork
  • Handling complex information
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments
  • Managing your time and prioritising your workload

Examples of employers:

  • City of London Sinfonia
  • CBSO
  • the BBC
  • Purcell School
  • KPMG
  • Island Records UK
  • Cartwright Communications
  • Royal Opera House
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Government
  • Educational institutions
  • Amazon.fr
  • Capita
  • Eurocity Group
  • Harper Collins
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • IQD Frequency Products
  • Aura Financial
  • JC Decaux
  • Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham
  • British Airways
  • Deloitte
  • HSBC
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers
  • The British Council
  • French Connection
  • NATO
  • BP
  • Local and central government

Examples of roles:

  • Accompanist Composer
  • International Events Manager
  • Lecturer Music Teacher
  • Orchestra Administrator
  • Trainee Orchestra Manager
  • Performance Music Assistant
  • Film Composer
  • Marketing Assistant
  • Teacher
  • Editorial Project Leader
  • International Sales Coordinator
  • Investigation Specialist
  • Operations Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Marketing Officer
  • Account Executive
  • Account Planner

Graduates from both areas return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the wide variety of roles available. For instance, the Department’s ‘Modern Languages Professionals Week’ in the first year features workshops and talks from former students who are using their languages for a 21st century global workplace in business, the not-for-profit sector, the arts, translation and interpreting, and education. Read more about why studying languages is great for your career.

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the most targeted university by the country’s top graduate employers according to The Graduate Market 2021 report. Our Careers Network are here to offer you tailored, expert advice on your career plans and support you with finding and applying for jobs, internships and further study. There are hundreds of events to help you meet potential employers and learn more about the breadth of opportunities and career sectors available to you.

Support will be offered to you covering the whole job application process, including CVs, LinkedIn, application forms, interviews and assessment centres.  You can also email our experienced Careers Advisers and College Teams to review your applications or answer any careers related question, alongside our on campus and online 1:1 appointments.

We have a number of exclusive Internship Programmes such as our Cultural Internships, which will give you paid, professional experience to set you apart in the graduate market. We also offer work experience bursaries, which allow you to apply for funding to support you during any unpaid internships. 

First years can take part in the The Birmingham Project, with themes including celebrating arts and culture and shaping a global society. There’s also a successful Mentoring Programme, where you can gain access to experienced Mentors who can empower, inspire and inform you about their experiences.  As a University of Birmingham student you will also be given access to LinkedIn Learning giving free access to real world training courses to kick start your careers.

If you want to earn money WorkLink advertises convenient part-time job opportunities on campus to fit round your studies.  

Extra-curricular activities

To enhance your career prospects even further, you may want to engage in extra-curricular activities to broaden your skills and your network of contacts. Our employer-endorsed, award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme.

There are more than 500 student groups and volunteering opportunities offered by the Guild of Students (our Students’ Union) so you’re bound to find activities that you want to be involved in whilst meeting friends who share your interests.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities