Additional flexibility for those joining in 2021

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BA Modern Languages (English as a Modern Foreign Language)

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
R901
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours, Study abroad year
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee.
Fees for 2021/22:
£9,250 (UK)
£19,740 (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.

At Birmingham, undergraduate language is taught through the lens of the target culture's literature, history, politics and society, and through total immersion on the Year Abroad. English as a Modern Foreign Language is restricted to non-native speakers of English and is a pathway within our full Modern Languages BA programme.

English can only be combined with Beginners or Advanced French,  German, Spanish,  Russian or Beginners Japanese or  Chinese.  You will also complement your studies with a vocational understanding of the working world, in areas which can include translation, language teaching, legal cultures, business and enterprise.

If you study two languages for your undergraduate degree, you have the option to vary the amount of time you spend on each language from year to year. If you study three languages, your time will be equally split.  Our BA Modern Languages degree course also offers a dedicated Translation Studies minor that can be taken alongside one or two modern languages. This minor will occupy one third of your undergraduate studies and has a vocational focus which will strengthen your theoretical and practical translation skills. You can find out more about your chosen combination here

COVID-19

Please rest assured that we will make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Information for future students and applicants

The degree course understands how being digitally aware is essential for the workplace in today’s society. They do this by moving away from essays and exams, instead creating assessments such as writing blog posts, creating comic strips or creating a radio interview – all in different languages.

Zara

Why Study this Course?

  • Competitive contact hours - We pride ourselves on competitive contact hours of 6 hours per week for advanced language study and 8 hours per week for beginner language study for the first half of your undergraduate studies in Birmingham. This intensive teaching usually takes place within groups of no more than 15, encouraging active language-learning through engagement with cultural material (beginners will receive more support in English, as appropriate).
  • Latest language-learning technology - We use technology in teaching and assessment to develop digital skills within our Modern Languages students. Digital projects include blog work, producing interactive timelines and creating digital comic strips. Furthermore, our state-of-the-art Interpreting Suite boasts similar technology to those used by the United Nations. Our award-winning Televic interpreter desk and sound-proof booths emulate a professional context, ideal for Modern Languages students hoping to pursue careers in translation and interpreting. 
  • Outstanding employability - Our outstanding undergraduate teaching equips our students for a huge range of international careers, with 93% of our students entering work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017). Our Modern Languages Professionals Week in the first year of the degree course features workshops and talks from former Modern Languages students who are using their languages for a 21st century global workplace in sectors such as business, the arts, translation, interpreting, and education.
  • Travel opportunities - You will spend your degree's third year abroad studying, teaching and/or working. Depending upon your chosen language(s), you may also have the opportunity to participate in a vacation course.
  • Excellent student experience - 91% of our undergraduate Modern Languages students gave the degree course an overall satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2018. Outside of your studies, there are several extra-curricular language societies to join, including our multi-lingual Univeristy magazine, the UoB Linguist.

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

Visit our FAQs

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 2020. 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.

English as a Modern Foreign Language can only be taken to a maximum of 80 credits in year 1 (40 credits of compulsory language modules and 40 credits of departmental optional modules). EMFL is restricted to non-native speakers of English. Students studying EMFL may not follow modules in their native language. 

During your years of study you will take compulsory modules depending on your language proficiency (beginner or advanced). Depending upon the number of languages you are taking, you will choose amongst a wide range of optional modules to make up your remaining credits.

There are also a number of optional departmental-wide modules available throughout your degree. This collaborative approach within Modern Languages currently includes modules such as; ‘Cross-cultural Cinema’, ‘Language Learning in the Classroom: Pedagogy and Practice’, ‘Global Enterprise Project’, ‘Songs Without Borders’ and ‘Legal Cultures Compared’.

Fees

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2021, 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 2021/22 are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250
  • International: £19,740

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

Important information: When completing your UCAS application, please indicate your proposed language(s) / pathway selections under ‘Further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application by using the following codes, separated by a space.

Standard offer

International Requirements



Number of A levels required:
3
Typical offer:
ABB
Required subjects and grades:
A level grade B is required for each advanced language you wish to study. It is also possible to study two beginner (including post-GCSE) languages without taking an advanced language, as long as one of your beginner languages is French or Spanish.
General Studies:
Accepted.

IB Diploma:
6,5,5 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. 

BTEC qualifications:

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

Other qualifications are considered - learn more about entry requirements.

Independent language diplomas:

If you would like to study advanced French, Spanish, German, Italian 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), DILI-B2 (Italian) 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.

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.

Contact hours

Depending on the amount of languages you take and the modules you select, each week you will have between 12-20 hours of lectures and classes, with lecturers on hand to answer additional questions outside this timeframe.

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.

 

Assessment throughout Modern Languages also prepares you for subsequent parts of your degree and for the working world beyond it. This includes; digital projects, practicing everyday interactions in preparation for the Year Abroad, and producing a mini-research project to build skills for writing the final-year dissertation. 

The Year Abroad will make up 6.25% of your degree. In terms of assessment, students going to a university or summer school will be assessed by their assessment marks abroad, and those undertaking a teaching or work placement will be required to submit a piece of work related to their experience, in order to progress into final year.

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

Your third year will be spent abroad.

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

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. 

Global workplace skills are developed throughout the lifespan of our Modern Languages programmes, which enable our graduates to thrive in a number of professional environments. Birmingham’s Modern Languages graduates have a consistently high employability rate, as 93% of our BA Modern Languages graduates enter work or further study within six months of graduation (DLHE 2017).

Modern Languages graduates have a wide range of skills that are valued by employers, such as:

  • Strong communication and presentation skills in English and one or more other languages
  • A deep understanding and appreciation of other cultures
  • Critical thinking skills, alongside the ability to research, analyse and interpret information
  • Independence and experience of living abroad
  • Expressing thoughts, feelings and opinions in different registers
  • Leadership, negotiation, debating and teamwork
  • Handling complex information
  • The ability to form concise and articulate arguments
  • Time-management, alongisde the ability to prioritise workload

Example employers:

  • 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

Example roles:

  • Editorial Project Leader
  • English Teacher
  • International Sales Coordinator
  • Investigation Specialist
  • Operations Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Marketing Officer
  • Account Executive
  • Account Planner

Examples of further study include:

  • PgDip Education
  • MA Social Work
  • PGCE Modern Foreign Language
  • PGCE Primary
  • Graduate Diploma in Law
  • MA Hispanic Studies
  • MA Translation Studies
  • MSc Strategy and International Business
  • PGCE Primary languages specialism

Modern Languages graduates enter the wide range of careers similar to other arts and humanities graduates but with much greater scope in international settings. 

You will benefit from organised events in the Department whereby our graduates return to campus to talk to current students about their careers, how to find opportunities and the variety of roles available to linguists. The curriculum also has an increased focus on professional development in areas such as; presenting, CV-building, debating, and developing digital projects in the target language.

Developing your career

The University of Birmingham is the second most targeted university by the Largest Number of Top Employers in The Graduate Market 2020 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.

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