BA English and Modern Languages
|Typical offer||AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32; BTEC DDD-DDM|
This four-year degree enables you to combine a solid foundation in English with the study of one from a choice of languages and cultures, namely Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.
You will engage in literary study while developing your language skills and explore innovations in literature in their historical and national context. This programme enables you to experience a new culture and learning environment through a third year at one of our international partner universities, or in approved paid or voluntary employment.
The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of English literary studies plus essential language training. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks. In the second year you will advance your grasp of literary knowledge and methods through a choice of optional modules and continue your language training. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics. The third year is spent abroad, either on a work placement, studying at a university, or in a school working as a language assistant. The focal-point of your final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree. You will also take three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.
German, Italian, Russian and Spanish can be studied from A level or beginner’s level, with students reaching degree level in the final year. Chinese and Portuguese can normally only be studied from beginner’s level. French can only be studied from A level, not beginner’s level, to degree level, though it is possible to study French from beginner’s level to a lesser level of proficiency than degree level in the Foreign Language Centre, subject to demand.
For full details on degree structure and module selection and details, please refer to the section on modules.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The English and Modern Languages degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each. Full-time undergraduate students need to complete modules worth a total of 120 credits each year.
Depending on your programme you can take up to 30 credits each year in another subject, for instance a language or business module, to develop career-related skills or just widen your intellectual horizons.
Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.
The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of English theory and concepts, plus essential language training. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.
In the second year you will advance your grasp of English knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules and continue your language training. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.
The full list of English optional modules can be accessed on our College intranet.
The third year is spent abroad, either on a work placement, studying at a university, or in a school working as a language assistant.
The centre-point of the final year is the dissertation. This provides you with the opportunity to explore an area of interest and to demonstrate what you have learned over the previous years of your degree.You will also take up to three other specialist modules to create a programme of work fully reflecting your interests.
Full module descriptions
Entry requirements 2019
AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
GCE AL English Literature grade A and the required Modern Language grade B; IB English HL6 and MFL HL5.
Modern Language requirements are dependent on your chosen language; see table below.
Candidates may offer either GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature. Candidates taking the IB should offer English syllabus A.
Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE AL English Literature or English Language and Literature.
Selecting your chosen language when applying
When applying to a Combined Honours degree with Modern Languages you will need to indicate under ‘further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application the language and route you wish to study using the codes below. Please note you may choose only one language. For further information on completing your UCAS form, please visit the UCAS website.
For the Beginners' route: GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language grade B
- Grade B at A level is required in any language you intend to study from A level.
- You may only choose one language.
- Students wishing to pursue language study on the basis of a GCSE are normally classed as beginners.
- French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish can be studied either from A level or beginner’s level, with both cohorts reaching degree level in the final year. Portuguese and Chinese can normally only be studied from beginner’s level, not from A Level; students of these two languages reach degree level in final year.
Additional selection criteria
We are looking for well-qualified students with a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for the subject.
We receive a large number of applications from well-qualified applicants and may not be able to make offers to all those applicants who have achieved or are predicted to achieve grades in line with the typical offer shown above.
In addition to the specific requirements listed above, we look for excellent A level* results/predictions and we may also take into account results up to and including GCSEs* and AS Levels* as part of our holistic assessment of an application.
*Equivalent qualifications will be considered. For more information about our equivalencies for specific qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.
International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programme for Humanities, Law and Social Science.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
The nature of learning at university involves considerable self-guided study and research. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and small group tutorials, led by internationally respected academics at the forefront of research. You will be encouraged to take the initiative by organising your own study groups, taking advantage of online and traditional learning resources, and managing your personal workload and time.
Most of your work will be done in group and self-directed study: reading or viewing module material, writing essays or preparing for your seminar presentations. We encourage you to present your work because it involves you actively in the teaching and learning process, and develops important transferable skills such as good verbal and visual communication and effective interaction with other people. You will also develop a range of professional skills, such as time management and team working, plus valuable critical, analytical and communication skills.
In your first year, you will receive a minimum of 10 hours of contact with academic staff per week. You will also be expected to attend other activities such as study groups, workshop activities and film screenings. Your total workload should average about 40 hours per week during term time.
We are actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including the increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where you can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as discussion forums.
You will also have access to online subscription databases and websites, such as Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), MLA FirstSearch and JSTOR. Technical skills will include accurate notetaking from presentations, research and IT skills. You’ll also learn subject-specific skills, such as constructive self-criticism.
Film, audio and other mediaWe use a range of film, video, audio and other media to aid study of printed texts and other forms of cultural production. The Streatham Campus is home to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, which contains an enormous collection relating to the history of film and visual media and an online virtual exhibition. Our libraries have extensive audio visual collections as well as the Chris Brooks collection, which contains over 10,000 works of primary and secondary source Victorian material.
We provide an exciting range of special lectures and seminars on both campuses by visiting academics and renowned writers, actors and film directors. In addition to your academic work, the student-run English Society organises book and poetry readings, film screenings and social events, providing an opportunity to meet students who share a love of literature, culture and the arts. Students from the English department are always active on the University student newspapers, radio and TV station and in the University’s drama groups.
We believe that every student benefits from being part of a culture that is inspired by research and where modules are taught by experts who contribute to the latest developments in their field. This is particularly important in the final year of your studies, where modules will give you the most up-to-date research ideas and debates in the discipline. The work of our academic staff is of the highest quality with English ranked 4th in the UK for research power in English*.
You will have access to a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
You will be assessed in a variety of ways but primarily through exams and coursework. Coursework includes essays, a dissertation and presentation work. The ratio of formal exam to coursework is on average 40 : 60. Your first year doesn’t count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress.
For programmes with French, your third year will normally be spent studying abroad, developing your language skills.
Your year abroad could be spent in a French-speaking country either:
- On a work placement
- Studying at a university
- In a school working as a language assistant
You can find out more at our Study Abroad web pages.
English graduates from the University of Exeter benefit from a degree which is internationally recognised and compete very successfully in the employment market. 6 months after graduation 97.2%* of our English graduates are in work and / or further study.
Graduating with a degree in English will put you in a great position to succeed in a range of different careers. Oral and written communication is at the heart of our programme and you will learn to present your ideas in a range of formats. You will also develop strong research and analytical skills and the ability to problem solve and make informed decisions. Through a balance of independent study and teamwork you will learn to manage your time and workload effectively.
Our students have progressed to a broad range of work sectors including education, arts management, publishing, journalism, marketing, finance and events management, working for companies such as:
- Palgrave Macmillan
- English Heritage
- Haymarket Media
- Amnesty International
Other recent graduates have progressed to postgraduate courses in:
- MA Cultural Heritage Management
- MA English Literary Studies
- PGCE English primary
- MA Magazine Journalism
- Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills
The services offered by the Humanities careers and employability team are complementary to the services offered by our central Career Zone where you can participate in practical sessions to develop your skills; access paid internships and volunteering opportunities; explore postgraduate study options; meet prospective employers; get one-to-one advice and learn how to secure the right job for you.
*First–degree University of Exeter graduates of English. HESA Performance Indicator sourced from the DLHE survey 2013/14.