Languages and Intercultural Studies MA


Fact file

MA Languages and Intercultural Studies
1 year full-time, 2-3 years part-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (Upper 2nd Class Honours degree or international equivalent)
Other requirements
A sample of recently completed academic writing will also be requested where appropriate. The minimum entrance requirements for the course will normally be a first or upper second class degree or international equivalent, however the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies will also take account of a candidate`s other qualifications and relevant experience.

In the case of students whose first language is not English, the English language test should be taken no longer than two years before a student is due to commence a course.
7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


The programme combines a focus on intercultural studies with a cross-disciplinary approach to Modern Languages.
Read full overview

This unique MA offers graduates the opportunity to study Modern Languages at postgraduate level in order to prepare either for a career as a language professional in intercultural fields (such as translation, language administration, or teaching languages), or for postgraduate research in modern languages, MFL linguistics, or translation studies. The programme combines a focus on intercultural studies with a cross-disciplinary approach to Modern Languages. ‘Intercultural' is understood broadly, as sharing knowledge across different cultures in a world characterised by globalization and internationalization. The MA revolves around the core module ‘Research Skills in Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies’, from which students branch out according to their interests. Students may choose to extend their language competence by studying a European language at advanced level or taking up a new European or non-European language. Alternatively, or in addition, students may choose to extend their intercultural understanding by studying comparative linguistics, comparative literature or translation theory. In their dissertation students may wish to specialize in the history, the visual arts, or the literature of relevant countries from the pre-modern period to the present day, or they may choose to focus on advanced linguistics or an aspect of translation studies. 


Course details

The MA in Languages and Intercultural Studies is a full-time course of twelve months or a part-time course normally of two years (but up to thirty-six months). It is designed for modern language graduates who wish to broaden their understanding of intercultural relations in preparation for professional or academic careers.

Students are required to complete four 20-credit modules and submit a 60-credit dissertation (15,000 words) to be submitted on 30 September. All students take the compulsory year-long 20-credit module, 'Research Skills in Languages and Intercultural Studies’, the year-long 20-credits ‘Tradition of Critique’ and the year-long 20-credits ‘Research Methods: the laboratory of the Arts’ offered by the Graduate School.  All students must also take either 20 credits of ‘Research Methods in Linguistics: Language, History and Society’ or 20 credits of ‘Translation Theory’ or 20 credits of ‘World Literatures – Texts and Contexts: Introduction to Comparative Literature’. Full-time students will, in addition, choose 40 credits of optional modules which might include Directed Study on any topic for which supervision is available; language study at advanced and/or beginners’ level; a subsidiary module such as those offered by the Department of Culture, Film and Media, the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, or at Faculty level.




Subject specific Modules

Directed Study for Cultures, Languages and Area Studies - 1 and 2

These two 20 credit modules consist of a programme of reading to be agreed with the module director in a field of study within the area of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies.

Research Methods in Linguistics: Language, History and Society

This module provides an introduction to current theoretical approaches and research methods in linguistics, with particular emphasis on the study of language in its historical and social contexts. In the first part of the module, students are introduced to current topics and methods in sociolinguistics, including language variation, language standardization and de-standardizations, and language status, and to methods including data collection (questionnaire design, interview techniques, ethical considerations) and discourse analysis. The second part of the module deals with historical sociolinguistics: how social factors have interacted with language choices and language change in the past. In the final part of the module, students will be introduced to corpus linguistic approaches of investigating language use in the past, but also in the present (e.g. web as corpus, social media). The module is practical in orientation, and students will be required to try out techniques in research design and data collection in the course of the module.

Research Skills in Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies

Starting with the experience of engaging with foreign languages and cultures in a world marked by international relations and transnational exchange and by the legacies of colonialism and imperialism, this module introduces students to the ways cultures interact, exchange ideas, arts and commodities. Considering relevant theories along with case studies that range from the early modern period to the present day, it takes a cross-disciplinary approach to postgraduate study and research in Modern Languages in the areas of linguistics, history, politics, critical theory, literature, film, the visual arts, and culture and media studies. The module programme covers key areas of intercultural studies in Modern Languages: languages and transcultural experience, empires and the (post) colonial world, nation and immigration, cosmopolitanism, multiculturalism and globalisation, and gender and ethnicity. It also provides Modern Languages students with practical research skills which complement research skills training by the Graduate School and the Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts Graduate Centre, e.g. presentational skills, academic writing skills, and career planning.

World Literatures - Texts and Contexts: Introduction to Comparative Literature

The module introduces the discipline of Comparative Literature (theory and practice). This includes introducing relevant theories of world literature, cultural transfer and translation, and the application of such theories to selected literary material from a range of cultural and literary contexts (case studies). By looking at what is considered a key 'classical' text in different literary traditions the module investigates relations between different literary and cultural contexts, including the difficulties of translation between them. The module is taught in English and text will be read in translation, but students with additional linguistic competencies will be given the opportunity to access the texts in their original language. The case studies come from the following contexts: Western literature (which may be any one of the following: French, German, English or Hispanic), Russian literature, Chinese literature and Arabic literature.

Non-subject specific modules

All students will take one of the following two modules:

Research Methods: The Laboratory of the Arts

This module enhances students’ research skills, to support engagement in high-level research on a disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary basis. An array of research techniques and methodologies will be critically reviewed and students will develop skills in gathering research insights from a range of sources drawn from across the Faculty.

Arts in Society

This module is designed to encourage students to think about the broader context of the Arts: to appreciate, evaluate and communicate the value of the Arts beyond the academy. Students will engage with the practices and techniques required to produce advanced research and develop the skills to communicate this research to a variety of audiences.

Professional development modules

Depending on your course you will also have the option to select from a range of professional development modules.


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



If you choose to study with us, there are various sources of funding to which you can apply. Some are administered by the school, others by research bodies to which the school has links, and others by the University and central government sources. These opportunities are often specific to particular degree programmes, or to the fee-status of a student, so it is important to read all related information very carefully.

More information about funding can be found on the following web pages.

School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies funding pages

University of Nottingham Graduate School funding pages

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans of up to £10,609 for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Many of our postgraduates have taken up academic posts in higher education institutions in the UK and abroad. Others have embarked upon careers in curriculum design, interpreting and translation, publishing and research.

A head-start in your career

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.  

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

Average starting salary and career progression

Owing to our reputation for excellence, over 95% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Arts entered employment, voluntary work or further study during the first six months after graduation in 2015. The average starting salary was £20,250 with the highest being £33,000.** 

**Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK. 

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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