Faculty of Arts

Global skills

Language and
inter-cultural learning

Learning a language is a social activity which brings together two elements which are vital in today’s world - globalisation and employability.

In order to maximize communication in a global setting, it is important to understand the need to learn languages other than English. Learning a language alongside your main degree programme, by choosing a language as a subsidiary module, is becoming increasingly popular in many universities across the UK.


Language skills

Learning another language is a skill used to communicate with others. But it is much, much more than that.

It will:

  • enhance your career prospects in many different fields
  • equip you to compete within a global economy
  • allow you to interact confidently – on a personal and professional level - with people from other countries
  • give you a vision of the world through the eyes of someone from a different culture
  • enable you to learn about the history, culture and society of the countries where the language you are learning is spoken
  • open up new possibilities for your future
  • add variety to your studies

Having language skills may also give you the opportunity to become involved in other intercultural initiatives offered by the university, such as study abroad and international work experience.

“75% of the world’s population do not speak or understand English at all... there is also significant evidence that UK businesses lose out on business because of a lack of language skills.”

Review of Modern Foreign Languages provision in higher education in England,  Professor Michael Worton 2009 


The Language Centre

The Language Centre offers opportunities to help you acquire the knowledge, skills and attributes to become global graduates.

The Language Centre at the University of Nottingham (part of the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies) offers the chance to incorporate the study of a language into most degree programmes, with more than 1,200 students per semester now enrolling on a language module. 

The very nature of most teaching groups creates an international dimension. The participants include students from a wide range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds from most schools and departments in the University. By working together they are able to demonstrate a critical awareness of their own culture and that of others.

The curriculum covers up to six stages. You enter at the point which corresponds to your current level of the target language and cover one stage per year. The aim of all stages is to develop skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. The subject matter for this includes ways of communicating as a world citizen and aspects of global and social responsibility.

The Language Centre currently offers thirteen languages, and modules consist of three hours of class contact time per week, plus a recommended minimum of three hours of self-study.

More detailed information about the languages offered, modules, staff and facilities can be found on the Language Centre web site:

The Language Centre


“Over two thirds of employers (71%) are not satisfied with the language skills of young people and over half (51%) perceive shortfalls in their international cultural awareness.”

British Academy: ‘Language Matters More and More’ January 2011






Faculty of Arts

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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