BA Politics and Modern Languages
|Typical offer||AAB–ABB; IB: 36–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM|
This degree gives you the opportunity of combining Politics and a modern language. Your third year will be spent studying abroad in a country where you can develop your chosen language.
In studying Politics you’ll gain a sound knowledge of the four principal areas of study: political thought, international relations, comparative government, and public policy. You’ll also gain a wider understanding of the world by focusing on both the theoretical and practical problems of politics through a combination of core compulsory modules and specialised optional ones. The programme combines an academic grounding in the study of political science with access to current issues and practical experience.
For your study of a modern language, 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.
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.
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 BA Politics 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.
You will take half your credits in Politics and the remaining credits in Modern Languages.
Please note that modules offered are subject to change, depending on staff availability, timetabling, and demand.
The first year will improve your language skills and introduce you to key methodological and theoretical debates within the study of politics and provide foundational knowledge in British and European politics, the history of political thought, international politics and the study of political behaviour and civil society.
Entry requirements 2020
AAB–ABB; IB: 36–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM
Dependent on your chosen language; see table below.
Languages and levels for Combined Honours programmes with Modern Languages
Study a new language at Beginners level (excluding programmes with Arabic)
|Available languages||Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish|
|Language requirements||GCSE grade B/grade 5 (or equivalent) in any modern foreign language|
Study your A level language at Advanced level (including programmes with Arabic)
|Available languages||French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish|
|Language requirements||A level grade B or IB HL 5 (or equivalent) in the language chosen at advanced level|
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:
- 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.
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 programmes and English Language programmes offered by the INTO University of Exeter centre.
At the University of Exeter we are committed to the idea that all students who have the potential to benefit from higher education have the opportunity to do so. We believe that fair access to higher education is a fundamental enabler for social mobility, improving life opportunities and outcomes for individual students, while benefiting the economy and society as a whole.
Educational context can affect your grades, and we take this into account in order to recognise your potential. If you meet certain criteria, we may make you a lower offer than our typical entry requirements. Find out more about contextual offers.
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 Modern Languages 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 Modern Languages 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 Politics we also place considerable emphasis on teaching in small groups, which gives you ample opportunity to participate, as well as providing close contact between you and members of staff. In the final year much of your learning occurs in seminar groups led by a member of faculty on a specialised area of their research.
You'll have a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies.
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.
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 Politics will develop your understanding of complex political and cultural issues, often in continually changing environments, which can be relevant to both business and public sector appointments.
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.
Find out more about the destinations of Politics and International Relations graduates and destinations of Modern Languages graduateson our Employability site.
College of Social Sciences and International Studies
Applicants and offer holders
Streatham Campus, Exeter
Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1392 723192
Penryn Campus, Cornwall
Web: Enquire online
Phone: +44 (0)1326 371801
Streatham Campus, Exeter
Phone: 01392 723301
Penryn Campus, Cornwall
Phone: 01326 371800