95,965 students were studying this subject in 2014/15.
- 87% UK
- 13% international
- 80% full-time
- 20% part-time
Top five graduate destinations:
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Professional, scientific, and technical
- Accommodation and food service
What courses are available?
Universities and colleges in the UK are offering courses in the following subject areas:
- Comparative literary studies
- English studies
- Ancient language studies
- Celtic studies
- Latin studies
- Classical Greek studies
- Classical studies
- French studies
- German studies
- Italian studies
- Spanish studies
- Portuguese studies
- Scandinavian studies
- Russian and East European studies
- European studies
- Chinese studies
- Japanese studies
- South Asian studies
- Asian studies
- African studies
- Modern Middle Eastern studies
- American studies
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.
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.
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
Key areas of employment
Where can I find out more?
Visit the websites of the following professional bodies to find out more about courses and careers in languages.