- Engage in literary study while developing your language skills in a cultural context and explore innovations in literature in their historical and national context
- Learn important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks
- Spend your third year studying/ working abroad in a country where you can develop your chosen language
- Get involved in activities outside class: language societies, tandem partnerships, liaison work in schools and the community such as our Translation! Festival – the only public festival dedicated to translation in the UK
- Excellent facilities on campus include our Special Collections relating to world-renowned writers, The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum which is a unique film and popular culture resource and our Digital Humanities Lab. Exeter has also recently been awarded UNESCO City of Literature status.
Top 150 in world subject rankings for Modern Languages and Cultures
QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
Year abroad spent studying at a partner university or in employment
Top 15 for English in all major UK university league tables
11th in the Guardian University Guide 2023, 12th in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023, 12th in the Complete University Guide 2024
Unique on-site resources: Exeter’s Special Collections archive and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Studying at Exeter has been a brilliant experience, it felt like the right choice from the first open day I visited.
Exeter has provided me with access to work experience in the local arts centres and museums, and has given me the opportunity to travel and visit the art we study in class. In my experience lecturers go above and beyond to provide academic support for students, as do the Wellbeing and Accessibility Services. I have also been able to join a range of academic and social societies, in which I have made friends for life.
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||AAB-ABB||A in English Literature or English Literature & Language and dependent on level chosen the required Modern Foreign Language.|
|IB||34/665-32/655||HL6 in English Literature or English Literature & Language and dependent on level chosen the required Modern Foreign Language.|
|BTEC||DDD-DDM||A in English Literature or English Literature & Language and dependent on level chosen the required Modern Foreign Language.|
|GCSE||C or 4||English Language|
|Access to HE||30 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade - 24 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 21 L3 credits at Merit Grade.||To include 15 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade in an acceptable English subject area and dependent on level chosen the required L3 credits in Modern Foreign Language subject area.|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other UK, EU and International equivalences|
|English language requirements||
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply
- No previous language qualifications are required.
- You may only choose one language.
- 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.
Languages and levels available for Combined Honours courses
I want to study a new language at beginner level alongside my other subject (excluding programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||No previous language qualifications required. We strongly recommend that students who want to start a languages degree with no previous linguistic experience should contact us.|
|Advanced level languages available||n/a|
|Beginners level languages available||Chinese (Mandarin); French; German; Italian; Portuguese; Russian; Spanish|
I want to study my A level (or equivalent) language at advanced level alongside my other subject (including programmes with Arabic)
|Modern Languages requirements||A level grade B or IB HL 5 (or equivalent) in the language chosen at advanced level|
|Advanced level languages available||French; German; Italian; Russian; Spanish|
|Beginners level languages available||n/a
Completing your UCAS form
In the section named ‘further details’ on your UCAS application form please indicate in the ‘choices’ field the language and route you wish to study using the abbreviations below, separated by a space:
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.
International Placement (work or study)
Study/Work Abroad in Year 3
A pivotal part of all Modern Language programmes is the International Placement, either studying at one of our prestigious partner universities, teaching on a British Council placement, or working in other employment. By immersing yourself in the culture you study, you will not only enhance your language skills, but cultivate:
- strong intercultural understanding
- improved communication skills
- the ability to think and study in different ways
- resilience and confidence
- analytical skills and the ability to make cross-cultural comparisons
- adaptability, independence and valuable life experience
During your International Placement, you will still be registered as an Exeter student and therefore supported in several ways. You will retain your personal tutor and be expected to keep in contact with them. You will also have the support of the Exeter Global Opportunities team for advice on any matter.
You will need to decide how to spend your International Placement during the first half of the second year. We will help you in the process. During your first year you will be invited to an introductory presentation about your Year Abroad options. In your second year, there is an extensive orientation programme to help you prepare for your Year Abroad.
Ways to spend the International Placement (work or study)
- You must spend 7-15 months abroad, maximising the opportunities available to you
- You can work, study, or split the year on two or more placements
- Students going to China or Russia can currently only study (work abroad is not available)
- If you study Portuguese, the only options available are study or work abroad (not a British Council assistantship)
Studying abroad offers a range of possibilities, with over 40 different partner universities worldwide available to Modern Languages students. This can provide you with the opportunity to experience a different academic environment with local and other international students broadening your knowledge of the language and culture you study.
Internships are very rewarding in that they can offer you valuable workplace experience. Placements can be sourced via our Global Opportunities webpages, but you can also source your own internship externally, though it must be approved by the Global Opportunities team. Some of our students have spent their Year Abroad working in translation, tourism, marketing, fashion, commerce, journalism, heritage and many other sectors.
British Council English Language Assistantship
Becoming an English Language Assistant with the British Council is a brilliant opportunity to explore both the world of working and, more specifically, the idea of working as a teacher. An academic year is spent supporting teachers in a primary or secondary school in the country of the language you are studying.
Does it count towards my degree?
The International Placement is an assessed year and the marks obtained count towards your final degree classification. If you begin a language in your first year at Exeter and intend to take that language in your final year, we strongly recommend you spend the majority of your Year Abroad in a country where that language is spoken. If you would like to arrange the year differently, you should first speak with the Programme Director for your language and/or the Study Abroad Officer.
How does it affect my tuition fee and funding?
For your International Placement you will pay a significantly reduced tuition fee to Exeter – for more information visit our fees pages. You will also continue to receive any Student Finance support for which you are eligible. Other financial support may also be available for certain students.
Tuition fees for 2024 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £23,700 per year
The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
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.
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.
How will I be assessed?
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.
We provide an exciting range of special lectures and seminars 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.
Optional modules outside of this course
Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.
Proficiency in a second subject
If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.
- A Foreign Language
- Social Data Science
We are exceptionally lucky to have some fantastic facilities and resources on the Streatham Campus.
We have Special Collections relating to writers such as Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and William Golding, and we integrate these into our teaching so students can share the excitement we have when discovering new insights from manuscripts, letters, and business papers.
The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum
Our unique film and popular culture resource, contains items going back hundreds of years. We regularly take students into its archives and think about the study of literature in relation to visual texts.
Digital Humanities Lab
Digital Humanities is increasingly important in all areas of humanities research, including history, archaeology, literatures and languages. This research space enables the examination, preservation and analysis of historical, literary and visual material. Facilities in the lab include:
- a flagship seminar room equipped with a 4.2-metre video wall, encouraging interactive engagement in a shared display space
- two state-of-the-art photography labs, including provision for the 2D digitisation of heritage material and primary sources
- an audio-visual lab with a recording studio and sound editing suite
- a MakerSpace equipped with 3D scanning and printing equipment
With practical modules on offer and opportunity to undertake professional placements, a degree in English will give you plenty of opportunity to develop your professional portfolio which will give you the skills and experience needed to be successful in your chosen career.
Employer-valued skills this course develops
An English degree puts you in a great position to succeed in a range of careers. Oral and written communication is at the heart of our programme and you will learn to present your ideas in a variety 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:
Recent Graduates are now working as*:
- Assistant Brand Manager
- Assistant Director
- Data Analyst
- Policy Adviser
- Product Manager
- Radio Producer
- Youth Worker
Recent Graduates are now working for*:
- European Parliament
- Rolls Royce
- Oxford University Press
- Warp Films
- Estee Lauder
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
* This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 14/15, 15/16, 16/17 and 17/18. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.