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Modern Languages

Entry Year: 2019

Key information

BA (Hons)
4 years
September 2019
UCAS code
Institution code
Clearing offer
If you have just missed the advertised entry requirements, please contact us.
UK/EU fees
International fees
Funding information
Paying your fees
Modern Languages


Do you love learning languages and studying other cultures? Put together your ideal combination with our flexible degree.

Our Modern Languages BA lets you choose one or two from French, German, Russian, Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese, with the option of taking a further language as a minor subject – including, Chinese (Mandarin), Modern Arabic or Japanese.

No prior knowledge of any languages is required, unless you want to study French - in which case you’ll need at least a GCSE. We stream many of our language classes, from beginner to native speaker, so you’ll be taught at the right level.

You’ll combine practical classes in written and spoken language with understanding the wider context – the history and society of the nations that speak your chosen languages, their literatures and their roles around the world.

You’ll expand your horizons with modules that go beyond the obvious: students of French can study Mauritian creole, or the quirks of Belgian culture; students of Portuguese can learn about Brazilian cinema; students of Russian may perform a play in the language even in their first year; options in Spanish range from modern Cuban poetry to colonialism; and students of German are immersed in Austrian and Swiss cultures, too.

You’ll spend your third year studying or working overseas, an exceptional opportunity to put your languages to the test and develop your intercultural competence.

Undergraduate Open Days

Saturday 5 October 2019

Find out what life at Queen Mary is really like.

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Study one, two or three languages with our highly flexible Modern Languages BA. Once we’ve received your UCAS application, we’ll get in touch to ask you for your language choices.

Single language

Study one language subject that will appear in your degree title, eg, Modern Languages (German) BA.

Choose from French, German, Russian and Spanish.

Double language

Study two language subjects combined and they will both appear in your degree title, eg, Modern Languages (French and Russian) BA.

Choose from Catalan, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You cannot study two languages at beginner level.

Catalan and Portuguese cannot be taken together - all other language combinations are possible, depending on your level of prior knowledge.

Language as a minor subject

Add a further language as a minor subject from Year 2, alongside your main language(s). The minor subject will not appear in your degree title.

Choose from Catalan, Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Modern Arabic, and Portuguese.

Some language combinations may be restricted for timetabling reasons. Taking a further language as a minor subject depends on a satisfactory result in your main language(s) in Year 1.


Levels: post-GCSE, post A-level, native/heritage speaker

You’ll take a French language module every year, streamed according to entry level. In your first year you’ll also take modules introducing you to French Studies and critical thinking and writing. In later years, you’ll choose from a wide range of modules.

Year 1 options include

  • Paris in Art
  • Translation into French

Year 2 options include

  • 20th century French Thought: Violence and Values
  • Art in France: Manet to Early Picasso
  • Out of Place: Literature and Dislocation
  • The Sounds of French
  • The Story of my Life? French Autobiography and Autofiction
  • Why Belgium? Identities, Cultures, Narratives

Year 4 options include

  • Advanced Oral Competence in French
  • French Feminist Writing
  • Language and Society in the French-speaking World
  • Languages in the Classroom: Teaching French
  • Lovers and Libertines: 18th century French Fiction
  • Modern Languages Research Project
  • Narrative in Theory and Practice Proust Surrealism

Please note that all modules are subject to change.


Levels: beginner, post-GCSE, post A-level, native/heritage speaker

You’ll take a German language module every year, streamed according to entry level. You’ll also take a module introducing you to German Studies in Years 1 and 2, alongside your choice of optional modules.

Year 1 options include

  • Austria Today
  • German Film I
  • Germany Today
  • Heinrich von Kleist
  • Introduction to the Structures and Varieties of Modern German

Year 2 options include

  • Brecht and the Drama
  • German Narrative Fiction: Text and Film
  • German Play
  • German Romanticism in its European Context
  • German for Business
  • The (Re-)Birth of Tragedy: Schiller, Nietzsche and other Legacies

Year 4 options include

  • Advanced German for Business
  • Anglo-German Cultural Relations Past and Present
  • German Poetry in the 20th century
  • German Sociolinguistics
  • German Swiss Literature and Culture
  • History of the German Language
  • Languages in the Classroom: Teaching German
  • Modern Languages Research Project

Please note that all modules are subject to change.


Levels: beginner, post-GCSE, post A-level, native/heritage speaker

You’ll take a Russian language module every year, streamed according to entry level. You’ll also take modules introducing you to Russian Studies and Russian culture in Year 1. You’ll have a range of modules to choose from in other years.

Year 1 options include

  • History of Russian
  • Reading Contemporary Russia 

Years 2 and 4 options include

  • Contemporary Russian Film
  • Russian Film: Gender and Society
  • Russian Novel: Countryside and Nation
  • Russian Short Stories: The 20th century
  • Russian Syntax

Options for year 4 only

  • Styles of Russian
  • Russian Novel: Crimes and Punishment
  • Modern Languages Research Project

Please note that all modules are subject to change.


Levels: beginner/post-GCSE, post A-level, native/heritage speaker

You’ll take a Spanish language module every year, streamed according to entry level. You’ll also take a module introducing you to Hispanic Studies in Year 1, alongside your choice of optional modules.

Year 1 options include

  • Introductory Catalan
  • Introductory Portuguese
  • Re-viewing the Spanish Civil War

Year 2 options include

  • Colonialism and Culture in Latin America
  • Cuban Poetry and Fiction: Post 1980
  • Literature, Dictatorship and Cultural Memory in the Hispanic World

Year 4 options include

  • Advanced Oral Competence in Spanish
  • Cervantes and the Nature of Fiction
  • Modern Languages Research Project
  • Spanish Translation: Theory and Practice
  • Subversive Humour in Modern Spanish and Latin American Literature and Film
  • The Mexican Revolution and its Aftermath
  • War, Humour and Love in Medieval Spanish Literature

Please note that all modules are subject to change.


Level: beginner

You’ll take a Catalan language module every year, as well as choosing modules on Catalan culture and society.

Options include:

  • Catalan Culture: Art, Literature and Football
  • Desire and Society in 20th century Catalan Literature
  • Narrating the Catalan Nation

Please note that all modules are subject to change.


Level: beginner, post A-level/heritage speaker

You’ll take a Portuguese language module every year, as well as choosing modules on the culture and politics of the Portuguese-speaking world.

Options include:

  • Brazilian Cinema: The Social Tradition
  • Brazilian Cultural Studies
  • From Dictatorship to Revolution in Portugal’s Cinema
  • Manoel de Oliveira: Image and Utopia in Portugal's Cinema

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Other languages

You can also take language modules in Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese or Modern Arabic.

Year abroad

You’ll spend your year abroad in a country where your main language is spoken. If you’re taking two main languages, you’ll divide your time equally between two countries.

How you spend your year abroad is up to you. You can choose from:

  • studying at a university
  • teaching English as a foreign language assistant
  • on a work placement (with our support, or independently with our approval).

We give you extensive support and advice on arranging placements, and stay in touch while you’re abroad.

We have a large number of partner institutions across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Russian-speaking Latvia, Switzerland and Spain, as well as destinations outside Europe such as Columbia, Mexico and La Réunion.


I love everything here. I enjoy studying more than one language and culture. I enjoy the books that I get to read. I love the flexibility and the open atmosphere in the department. It is a great place to study, and living in London is a major advantage with an opportunity to meet people from all over the world.


Teaching and learning

You'll receive approximately 10 to 16 hours of weekly contact time, comprising lectures, seminars and language classes.

Language classes will take up the majority of this time and are taught in small groups of no more than 20 for classroom or language lab teaching, and no more than 10 for oral and aural work.

For every hour spent in class, you'll complete a further two to three hours of independent study.


Assessment typically includes a combination of written exams and coursework, final-year dissertations, independent projects and creative journals.

Resources and facilities

The School offers excellent on-campus resources to aid your studies, including extensive audio-visual materials and equipment, and state-of-the-art language learning labs and resource rooms.

Entry requirements

A-LevelGrades BBB at A-Level. This must include at least one essay based A-Level subject. This must include GCSE French if that language is selected in any combination. All other subjects offered as major languages may be studied from beginners' level, in either single or dual language combinations. In any dual language combination, applicants may not study more than one language ab initio.
IBInternational Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 30 points overall, including 5,5,5 from three Higher Level subjects. This must also include at least one essay based subject at Higher Level. This must include a minimum of 5 in SL French if that language is selected in any combination.
BTECSee our detailed subject and grade requirements
Access HEWe consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 15 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. For programmes with French, applicants must have studied French to at least GCSE level. For all other single and joint honours language programmes, experience of learning a language other than your mother tongue, and a demonstrable aptitude for language study are required. Applications are considered on a case by case basis, and we may request an interview. Due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers of study purely on the basis of meeting grade requirements.
GCSEMinimum five GCSE passes including English at grade C or 4.
EPQAlternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.
Contextualised admissionsWe consider every application on its individual merits and will take into consideration your individual educational experiences and context. More information on how academic schools and programmes use this information as part of the admissions process, can be found on our contextualised admissions pages.

Non-UK students

We accept a wide range of European and international qualifications in addition to A-levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please visit International Admissions for full details.

If your qualifications are not accepted for direct entry onto this degree, consider applying for a foundation programme.

English language

Find out more about our English language entry requirements, including the types of test we accept and the scores needed for entry to the programme.

You may also be able to meet the English language requirement for your programme by joining a summer pre-sessional programme before starting your degree.

Further information

See our general undergraduate entry requirements.


Loans and grants

UK students accepted onto this course are eligible to apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance England or other government bodies.

Scholarships and bursaries

Queen Mary offers a generous package of scholarships and bursaries, which currently benefits around 50 per cent of our undergraduates.

Scholarships are available for home, EU and international students. Specific funding is also available for students from the local area. International students may be eligible for a fee reduction. We offer means-tested funding, as well as subject-specific funding for many degrees.

Find out what scholarships and bursaries are available to you.

Support from Queen Mary

We offer specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Take a look at our Student Advice Guides which cover ways to finance your degree, including:

  • additional sources of funding
  • planning your budget and cutting costs
  • part-time and vacation work
  • money for lone parents.


High-level skills in one or more languages will give you international mobility and an advantage in the job market in the UK, Europe or beyond. Your year abroad will also build your confidence and boost your employability.

Some of our students apply their degree knowledge directly, entering careers such as journalism, interpreting and teaching. Others transfer their communication, research and analytical skills into the arts, publishing, finance, business or IT.

Recent graduates of modern languages at Queen Mary have been hired by:

  • Buenos Aires College
  • Condé Nast
  • Kea Consultants
  • League Managers Association
  • Transport for London (TfL).

Career support

The School runs regular careers events, including workshops on how to harness the year abroad experience for the job market and opportunities for current students to meet alumni.

The Queen Mary careers team can also offer:

  • specialist advice on choosing a career path
  • support with finding work experience, internships and graduate jobs
  • feedback on CVs, cover letters and application forms
  • interview coaching.

Learn more about career support and development at Queen Mary.

About the School

The School of Languages, Linguistics and Film is friendly and collaborative, bringing a vibrant range of disciplines together. We teach and research on subjects from practical filmmaking to postmodern literature, and from experimental neurolinguistics to Brazilian Portuguese.

This year, Russian and French students have produced plays in their language, linguistics students have presented their research at conferences and film students have directed, shot and edited many short films.

Our work engages the local community through workshops, research projects and public events. We are visited by poets, novelists and outside experts, and we make the most of our location, forging strong links with London’s cultural institutions.

In the 2017 National Student Survey, French and Hispanic Studies received overall satisfaction ratings of 100 per cent – top in the UK. Satisfaction among linguistics students was at 92 per cent. German was ranked first in London and Hispanic Studies and Russian in the top five by the Complete University Guide 2018.

This course is now in Clearing

Please call us on our Clearing Hotline 0800 376 1800 or +44 (0)207 882 5511

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