BA Sociology and Modern Languages

UCAS codeLR03
Duration4 Years
Typical offerAAA-ABB; IB: 36-32
  • Sociology
  • Modern Languages
LocationTaught in Exeter Streatham (Exeter)


This degree gives you the opportunity to combine the challenge of exploring Sociology with one of a number of modern languages. It is a four year programme, with the third year spent studying abroad developing your language skills.

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.

By the end of your degree you will have developed strong skills in spoken and written language and analytical thought, a deeper understanding of another culture and people, and have proven to yourself and others that you can meet a challenge head on. As our graduates testify, studying a modern language will equip you with the skills employers seek across a wide range of professions.

In studying Sociology you’ll develop an understanding of the contemporary world, human behaviour and the forces shaping society. You’ll examine social, political, historical, cultural and economic issues and study topics as diverse as class and social inequality, health and disability, globalisation, crime, countercultures, family life, gender and the development of cities.

Our Sociology modules are specially designed to help you develop an understanding of how societies, institutions and practices came into being, how they work and might change in the future. This highly relevant discipline is particularly concerned with social transformation and in developing an insight into the major challenges facing contemporary society.

Programme structure

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 Sociology 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. However this is not normally available for Combined Honours programmes which feature a language.

The third year is spent abroad.

Year 1

The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of sociological theory and concepts, plus essential language training in your chosen language. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.

Compulsory modules

SOC1037Introduction to Social Analysis: Classical Social Theory 15
SOC1038Introduction to Social Analysis: Contemporary Social Theory 15
SOC1019Contemporary Society – Themes and Perspectives 15
SOC1020Contemporary Society – Fields and Case Studies 15
MLF1001French Language30
MLG1001German Language30
MLI1001Italian Language30
MLR1001Contemporary Russian, Written and Oral30
MLS1001Spanish Language30
MLM1052Beginners Chinese30
MLP1052Portuguese Language for Beginners30

Optional modules

Select 30 credits of Language Level 1 optional modules.

MLM1010China of the Senses: Approaching Chinese Culture and Environments15
MLF1014Love and Death in French Culture15
MLF1015War and Conflict in French Literature15
MLF1103The French Language, Present and Past15
MLF1105An Introduction to French Thought15
MLF1119French Cinema from the New Wave to the Present Day15
MLF1121French Visual History15
MLG1014A Nation Remembers: Issues in German Cultural Memory15
MLG1015Representations of Education in German Literature and Film: Satire, Trauma, Melodrama15
MLG1016War, Passion and Possibly Love: Approaches to Genre in German Literature15
MLG1017Turning Points in German History 1200 - 200015
MLG1018Nature and the City in German Literature, Visual Arts and Film15
MLI1054Contemporary Italian Cinema: an Introduction to Reading Popular Film15
MLI1055Introduction to Italian Linguistics15
MLI1121A Thousand Faces: Cultures and History in 19th-Century Italy15
MLP1002Introduction to the Lusophone World15
MLR1005Chekhov's Major Plays15
MLR1023Russia Empire and Identity15
MLR1024Russian Heroes and Heroines15
MLS1012Contemporary Latin America: Culture, Society and Institutions15
MLS1016Gender Perspectives15
MLS1021The Generation of 1898: Imagining Spain15
MLS1022The Outsider in Hispanic Texts15
MLS1023Spain since the Transition: Society, Politics and Culture15
MLS1062Introduction to the History of the Spanish Language15
MLS1064An Introduction to the Hispanic World: Texts in Context15

Year 2

In the second year you will advance your grasp of sociological knowledge and methods through a set of compulsory modules, and continue the development of your language skills. Optional modules enable you to develop specialist knowledge on a range of topics.

Compulsory modules

MLF2001French Language, Written and Oral30
SOC2004Into the Field 15
SOC2005Theoretical Sociology 30

Optional modules

Select 15 credits of Sociology Level 2 optional modules.

Select 30 credits of Modern Languages Level 2 optional modules.

SOC2050Knowing the Social: Perception, Memory and Representation15
MLF2001French Language, Written and Oral30
MLG2001German Language, Written and Oral30
MLI2001Italian Language, Written and Oral30
MLR2001Contemporary Russian, Written and Oral I30
MLS2001Spanish Language, Written and Oral30
MLM2052Intermediate Chinese30

Year 3

The third year is spent abroad, either on a work placement, studying at a university, or in a school working as a language assistant.

Compulsory module choice

SML3010Work and Study Abroad120
SML3020Study Abroad at a Partner University120
SML3025Internship Abroad Combined with Study at a Partner University120

Year 4

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 can take a dissertation in either Sociology or Modern Languages.

Compulsory modules

SOC3040Sociology Dissertation30
MLF3111French Language30
MLG3111German Language30
MLI3111Italian Language30
MLR3111Russian Language30
MLS3111Spanish Language30

Optional modules

If you choose the Sociology dissertation select 30 credits of Sociology and 60 credits of Modern Language level 3 optional modules.

If you choose the Modern Languages dissertation select 60 credits of Sociology and 30 credits of Modern Language level 3 optional modules.

SOC3016Gender and Society30
SOC3028Media in Society15
SOC3029Sociology and Philosophy of Globalisation15
SOC3030Sociology of Art and Culture15
SOC3040Dissertation 30
SOC3046AThe Holocaust, Genocide and Society30
SOC3085Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society Part 1: Medicine and Social Control15
SOC3086Addiction 30
SOC3087Disability and Society15
SOC3088Health, Illness and Bodies in Contemporary Society: Part 2: Bodies in Society15
MLM3010Ritual and Power: Text and Image of Chinese Landscapes15
MLF3034Sociolinguistics of French15
MLF3046Dialectology in France15
MLF3050Music, Poetry, and Society at the Late Medieval French Court15
MLF3053Looking Awry: Exploring the Unorthodox in Early Modern France15
MLF3069Writing Women and Strange Monsters15
MLF3070Diasporic Cinemas15
MLF3072Sex and the Text: Gender and Authority in Late Medieval France15
MLF3073Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu15
MLG3022The Foundation of Modern Germany 1860-190015
MLG3026Pamphlets and Propaganda in German and Austrian History15
MLG3028Violence, Gender and Nationhood in the Work of Heinrich von Kleist15
MLG3035Violence and Vanitas: The German Baroque15
MLG3036Dictatorships on Display: History Exhibitions in Germany and Austria15
MLG3037Coping with Catastrophe: German Culture, Literature and Politics in the Interwar Years15
MLI3028Italian Varieties and Dialects15
MLI3052Representing Immigration in Contemporary Italian Cinema15
MLI3053Liaison Interpreting and Report Writing between English and Italian15
MLI3199Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend15
MLP3002Afro-Brazil: Ideas of Africa in Brazilian Fiction15
MLR3017St Petersburg30
MLR3025Apocalypse/Utopia: The Russian Roots of Revolution15
MLS3027Commercial Spanish15
MLS3031The Varieties of Modern Spanish15
MLS3037Women and Feminism in 20th Century Spain15
MLS3045Spanish Romantic Drama15
MLS3048Memory and Autobiographical Writing in 20th Century Spain15
MLS3054Advanced Portuguese30
MLS3057Cross Currents: Memory, Myth and Modernity in Latin America15
MLS3060The Amorous Lyric of the Spanish Golden Age15
MLS3061Religion, Revolution and Counterrevolution15
MLS3062Spain and the fin de siecle: from Disaster to Modernity15
Modern Languages
SML3012Law in Fiction15
SML3017Language Contact15
SML3030Extended Dissertation30
SML3031Advanced Translation Skills15
SML3035The Fantastic in 19th and 20th Century Literature15
SML3036Beyond Sex and the City: Becoming a Woman in Contemporary Western Cinema15
SML3037Longing for an Audience: Medieval Troubadour Lyric15

Entry requirements 2018

Typical offer

AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32

Required subjects

Dependent on your chosen language; see table below.

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 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.

CodeSubjectRequired subjects
Fren French GCE AL French grade B; IB French HL5
Chin Chinese GCE AL in a modern foreign language (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish)  grade B; IB modern foreign language (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish)  HL5
Germ German
Ital Italian
Port Portuguese
Russ Russian
Span Spanish

Language requirements

  • 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

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

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

In French our teaching aims not just to improve your production and comprehension of the language but also to help you develop your language-learning skills. These will enable you to take responsibility for your language learning, to continue learning the language after graduation and to pick up new languages in the future.

Written language is taught through weekly classes of about 18 students with teams of tutors who contribute to a programme aimed at grammar improvement and the development of advanced writing skills. You’ll also have weekly oral practice in classes of about eight with native speakers of the language(s) that you are studying. You’ll be expected to prepare written work or presentations for seminars, in which you’ll have the opportunity to express your own point of view and to discuss other people’s ideas.

All language students have access to the language-learning facilities provided by the Foreign Language Centre, which include satellite television channels in each of our languages and audio, computer and multi-media language-learning packages.

Non-language modules in French are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and/or tutorials. Our teaching methods are chosen to encourage you to become an increasingly independent learner as you progress through the years.

In Sociology you’ll learn through lectures, seminars and practical exercises, with an increasing emphasis on seminar discussion and project work in the second and third years. Regular tutorials will give you the opportunity to discuss oral and written assignments with your tutor, together with a small group of other students. These personal contacts are very important in developing staff-student relations and for getting to know your fellow students.

We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You will be able to access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.

You’ll have the opportunity to work closely with academic staff who are at the cutting edge of research and academic debate and you’ll benefit from an innovative curriculum inspired by leading research.


You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. For three-year programmes, the assessments in the second and third years contribute to your final degree classification. For four-year programmes the assessments in the second, third and fourth years all contribute to your final degree classification.

Assessment includes formal exams and assessed coursework, including essays and projects as well as practical assignments, oral language tasks, field work notebooks. 

Study abroad

For programmes with Modern Languages, your third year will normally be spent studying abroad, developing your language skills.

Your year abroad could be spent abroad 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.


A degree from the University of Exeter will provide you with a range of professional, academic and personal skills that will prepare you for future employment. 

Our programmes not only give you an understanding of your subjects but also give you an excellent all round education. You will learn to understand other people's points of view, communicate your own position clearly and argue effectively. You will also learn to collect, assess and present evidence and to work independently and in groups.

Language skills are particularly valued in a wide range of employment such as finance, law, the media and the teaching profession. Studying Sociology is good preparation for a number of careers such as social research, marketing, media and culture, human resources management, teaching, management, development work, social work, and working for the military and emergency services.

Developing your skills and career prospects

We provide a range of support to help you develop skills attractive to employers. You will be able to access a range of specific activities such as careers skills sessions and employer-led events, or seek bespoke advice and support from Employability Officers based within Colleges.

The University of Exeter's Employability and Graduate Development Service also organises a busy schedule of activities including careers fairs, skills workshops, and training events, and can advise on graduate opportunities and volunteering. 

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192

Website: Visit the Sociology website