This area covers degrees in individual modern languages (often including the history, literature, culture, and politics), translation and interpreting, and linguistics (the science behind language and communication).
Relevant to

BA Modern Languages and European Studies

BA (Hons) Modern Languages and European Studies | University of Bath
Dr Nicholas Startin, Dr Sandrine Alegre, and fourth year students talk about the Modern Languages and European Studies courses. Video provided by the University of Bath.

European Languages and Cultures at Lancaster University

European Languages and Cultures | Lancaster University
Find out more about the European Languages and Cultures programmes at Lancaster University. Video provided by Lancaster University.
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Key stats

95,965 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.

  • 87% UK
  • 13% international
  • 80% full-time
  • 20% part-time
67% of graduates went directly into employment.

Top five graduate destinations:

  1. Education
  2. Wholesale and retail trade
  3. Professional, scientific, and technical
  4. IT
  5. Accommodation and food service

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in the UK are offering courses in the following subject areas:

Subject combinations and available course options include:

  • single, joint, and multiple subject combinations
  • full-time, part-time, and flexible study options as well as courses with a placement (sandwich courses)
  • mainly BA (Hons) qualifications, with a few BSc (Hons) degrees

Many universities offer four year programmes and the opportunity to study abroad for a year as part of the degree.

Entry requirements

A levels – To get on to a languages related degree, you will usually require at least two A levels or equivalent. If applying for English or a modern foreign language such as French, Spanish or German you will normally require an A level in the target subject, with some universities specifying a minimum of grade B. For other language degrees you will need a least one A level in a foreign language to demonstrate your capability to take on a new language. History or English A level are required by some universities offering American Studies.

In addition to the different A level requirements above you will also need at least five GCSEs (A-C) including science, English, and maths.

Vocational courses – Other relevant Level 3 qualifications such as BTEC Diploma may be accepted by some universities.


If applying for a modern foreign language, you may be asked to demonstrate your fluency by completing a written test in the target language.

Personal statement

Universities are looking for:

  • evidence that you are well informed about the language/culture and have strong interest/motivation, which could be demonstrated by:
    • relevant work experience and or travel in countries where your target language is spoken e.g. participation in an exchange program
    • additional reading and research i.e. looking at newspapers/ books, listening to the radio, watching films from different countries
    • membership of language societies/clubs
  • a range of interests outside of academic study
  • a well written statement that demonstrates your ability to write persuasive statements
  • the ability to work individually and in teams
  • the personal qualities required for successful study

How to write your personal statement

Where can I find out more?

Visit the websites of the following professional bodies to find out more about courses and careers in languages.

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