|Discipline||Modern Languages and Cultures|
- Highly flexible programme which allows you to structure your studies around your interests or follow a specific career-orientated pathway.
- Study Latin alongside one other language: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish, which can be taken from beginners level.
- Your final degree title will reflect your choices and you will divide your time equally between the two languages. In your third year, you will spend a year abroad in the country of your Modern Language
- Enhance your understanding of language development by discovering the links between modern and ancient languages. Closely study the wonderfully flexible and expressive language of Latin alongside literary criticism
- Home to a Language Centre with modern language-learning facilities
- 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
Top 150 in world subject rankings for Modern Languages and Cultures
QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
Year abroad in a country whose language originates from Latin spent studying at a partner university or in employment
Study Latin alongside one of the other seven major languages, all top 15 in UK
The Complete University Guide 2024
Studying Modern Languages isn’t just about poring over endless grammar notes! Our course is so rich and varied that you will have the fantastic opportunity to develop not only your language skills, but a knowledge and interest in the culture of your chosen languages.
If you ask any student about the course, I very much doubt you will come away without them mentioning the Year Abroad, which for many is the highlight of the four years. I still cannot quite believe that I managed to go from working as a waitress over the summer in France, to studying in Italy, then to working as a marketing assistant in Spain all within the space of a year!
Aside from massively improving my language skills and cultural knowledge, this year definitely opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities out there for language students, and certainly made me realise how well my course and the support at the University of Exeter has prepared me for more exciting opportunities like this in the future.
BA Modern Languages (French, Italian and Spanish)
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||ABB||B in Latin and dependent on level chosen the required grade in Modern Foreign Language.|
|IB||32/655||HL5 in Latin and dependent on level chosen the required grade in Modern Foreign Language|
|BTEC||DDM||Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma are also required to achieve B in Latin and dependent on level chosen the required grade in Modern Foreign Language.|
|GCSE||C or 4||English Language|
|Access to HE||24 L3 Credits at Distinction Grade and 21 L3 credits at Merit Grade.||To include 12 L3 Credits at Merit Grade in an acceptable Latin subject area and dependent on level chosen the required L3 credits in Modern Foreign Language subject area.|
|T-Level||Distinction||Applicants studying a T-level will also require GCE AL Latin grade B and dependent on level chosen the required grade in Modern Foreign Language|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other accepted qualifications|
|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 B2. 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 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|
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.
The Modern Languages and Latin degree programme is made up of compulsory (core) and optional modules, which are worth 15 or 30 credits each, worth a total of 120 credits each year. Take up to 30 credits outside the department through modularity.
The first year gives you a foundational knowledge of language, theory and concepts of your chosen modern language and Latin. You will also gain important analytical techniques that will be useful across a range of subjects and research tasks.
Open modules on linguistics, literature, medieval history, visual arts, film and culture will offer you the chance to further customise your programme to suit your specific needs and preferences.
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 (work or study), 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 (work or study), 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 International Placement 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 (work or study) 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 (work or study) 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?
Written language is taught through weekly classes, with teams of tutors, including native speakers who contribute to a programme aimed at grammar improvement and the development of advanced writing and translating skills. You’ll also have weekly oral practice in classes of eight to 10 students with native speakers of the language(s) that you are studying.
Teaching on our culture modules is varied: a class about linguistics takes a rather different form than a class about theatre or film, for instance. Most cultural modules involve a combination of lectures and seminars, backed up by smaller group work and web-based learning, via the University’s online learning environment. Between classes you prepare material, evidence and arguments, individually or in groups. Seminars are your chance to try out ideas, present material to other members of the group, and respond to new material based on the critical skills you’ve been taught.
How will I be assessed?
Coursework and exams (essays, source commentaries, research exercises, oral presentations), online assessment (for language and culture modules).
Where will I study?
All language students have access to the language-learning facilities provided by the Foreign Language Centre.
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
Employer-valued skills this course develops
Modern Languages graduates from the University of Exeter have an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and compete very successfully in the employment market. You will develop skills that are attractive to employers and relevant for a wide range of careers. Alongside written and verbal fluency in your chosen language(s), you’ll develop skills in:
- Managing and analysing information
- Articulating ideas and arguments
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Cultural awareness and adaptability
In an increasingly globalised world, language skills are highly sought after by employers, and can help you stand out from the crowd.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service, with offices at our Streatham Campus, ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates. For further information please visit our Careers Service.
Recent Graduates now working as*:
- European Funding Officer
- Trilingual Fraud Specialist
- Insurance Broker
- Marketing and Communications Officer
- TV Researcher
Recent Graduates now working for*:
- Civil Service
- Challenges Worldwide
- Ernst & Young
- Cancer Research UK
- Hugo Boss
*This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 14/15, 15/16, and 16/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.
A Modern Languages degree is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study, and recent graduates have progressed to a range of courses, including:
- MA Translation Studies
- MA Global Literatures and Cultures
- MA European Politics
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- PGCE Secondary French
- MA International Relations
- MSc Globalisation and Latin American Development
- Professional Language Skills