Studying languages not only unlocks global cultures but also transforms you into a versatile communicator, making you a valuable asset for many industries.

When you choose languages, you’re opening a world of opportunities for career growth because knowing multiple languages makes you a valuable asset in our interconnected global landscape.

Being multilingual puts you in high demand across various industries, from international business and diplomacy to translation, journalism, and tourism. Your ability to bridge communication gaps opens conversation for cross-cultural understanding, making you indispensable in an increasingly interconnected and multicultural world. 

The impact you could make
  • Enhance the impact of international aid and development initiatives.
  • Inspire a more interconnected world where diverse perspectives are valued, celebrated and understood,
  • Contribute to more accurate storytelling, promoting a global exchange of information.
What you could study
  • Linguistics
  • Translation and interpreting
  • Written and oral grammar
  • Science of language and communication
  • History of language
  • Literature and culture
  • History
  • Politics

Study options

Options to study in this field include:

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Example module
“I absolutely love the vast range of culture modules offered in Hispanic studies; they had some environment focused ones that I absolutely loved. Aquatic Latin America and Climate Fictions in the Hispanic World were undoubtedly my favourites.”
Second year modern languages student (French and Spanish), University of Warwick
Example assignment
“I enjoyed writing my feminist essay on exploring linguistic oppression. I also enjoyed doing my weekly Italian oral presentations on different topics, like climate change.”
Second year Italian and English literature student, Royal Holloway University

Subjects it's useful to have studied first

Some languages courses or apprenticeships will have requirements for previous qualifications in certain subjects. Entry requirements vary, so always check with the provider.

Your chosen language
74% of students
studying languages would recommend the subject to others
(UCAS subejct guide survey 2023)
Hard skills you'll develop
  • Fluency in another language
  • Ability to translate and interpret
  • Understanding of different grammatical structures
  • Knowledge of cultural traditions and customs
Soft skills you'll develop
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Communication skills
  • Curiosity
  • Tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty

Careers: Where it can take you

Find out more about your career prospects from studying languages. The following information is based on a typical teacher of English as a foreign language role.

Available jobs
17,843 vacancies in the past year
3.56% growth over next eight years
Average salary
Up to £55,636

What is an… intelligence analyst?

Imagine working for a government agency analysing foreign language sources to extract critical insights on geopolitical developments, security threats, and economic trends… That’s exactly what an intelligence analyst does! By decrypting coded messages, monitoring international communications, and collaborating with counterparts globally, they piece together a comprehensive understanding of emerging challenges. 

Getting in: Entry requirements

Find out more about what you'll need to study languages at university or as an apprenticeship.

Average requirements for undergraduate degrees

Entry requirements differ between university and course, but this should give you a guide to what is usually expected from languages applicants.

A levels
Scottish Highers
Other Level 3/Level 6 qualifications (e.g. Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma or SQCF Level 6) may be accepted as an alternative

Explore further

Go deeper into topics around languages with the following:
  1. Watch foreign films

    Immersing yourself in films spoken in the language of your choice will make you more familiar with that language. Platforms like MUBI host lots of foreign films. 
  2. TED Talks

    Watch talks that will keep you inspired to learn a new language.
  3. MI5 website

    Take a look at where languages could take you in MI5 if you're intrigued about the career options available to you. 

Application advice

Whether it's personal statement tips or what to write in a cover letter for an apprenticeship application, our advice will help you get ahead in your languages journey.
Skills, experiences, and interests to mention
  • Are you curious about different cultures? How does learning languages align with your desire to explore and understand different global perspectives?
  • Mention any previous language learning experiences, whether through formal classes or self-study.
  • Did you achieve high grades in a particular language? That will showcase your ability to learn.
  • Share any experiences of traveling to regions where the languages you want to study are spoken, emphasising how these experiences have fuelled your passion for languages.
  • If you have specific interests in linguistic or cultural research mention them to show your intellectual curiosity.

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