Modern Languages


At a glance

  • Study one, two or three of our seven degree languages, including beginners' options. 
  • Immerse yourself in the life-changing opportunities of a year abroad, supported by our specialist team
  • 97% of our research was classed as being of international quality in terms of ‘originality, significanceand rigour’*

* Research Excellence Framework, 2014.


What is Modern Languages?

Studying a modern language involves much more than just learning to speak the language. Alongside language classes you will cover areas such as film, history, linguistics, literature, media and politics, among others. We are one of the UK’s largest modern languages units and teach a wide range of languages in different combinations reflecting our expertise in French and Francophone studies, German studies, Russian and Slavonic studies, and Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies. We were ranked 5th for research power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework and highly rated for the social and cultural impact of our research.

We offer a very wide range of degree programmes, encompassing five Modern Languages programmes: Modern Languages; Modern European Studies, Modern Languages with Business, Modern Languages with Translation, and Modern Language Studies. In addition, we offer single honours degrees, as well as joint honours programmes with English, History, Politics, Philosophy, Contemporary Chinese Studies, and International Media and Communications Studies. 


How will I study?

In all our courses, we aim to develop your practical abilities in the language studied to a very high level, whether you come to us with an A level in a language or as a complete beginner. All our languages are available to beginners, and our modern languages programmes offer the opportunity to take one of your languages from beginners' level and reach degree level at the end of the four years. We also develop your expertise in the culture and history that is bound up with the language. In the different courses, the emphasis can be on literature, history, linguistics, society or politics.

We attach great importance to contact time, and much of our language teaching takes place in classes of no more than 15 students. Language study is complemented by modules in culture, history, linguistics, literature, politics or society, which are usually taught through a combination of lectures and small-group seminars. In this way, we aim to develop your intellectual abilities and to train you in a range of transferable skills.

Language learning is supported by the Self-Access Centre which houses a range of resources for independent study, including networked PCs, digital TV, CDs, DVDs and reference books. The facility is also available to all University staff and students.


Assessment is based on a mixture of coursework and exams. In addition to writing coursework essays, you might deliver a presentation in the target language, make a poster, or a podcast, or compile a portfolio. As you move from the first to the final year of study, your assignments will become more research- and project-based, and you may opt to undertake a dissertation.

Experience some of our teaching online

See some of our language resources on our open courseware website.



Modern language graduates are well-equipped for careers in management and administration, banking and business, the civil service and the Foreign Office, public relations and journalism, international agencies, teaching, translating, postgraduate training in law and accountancy, and for further study.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers
(Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2019, High Fliers Research).


Study abroad

You will divide your time between countries where your chosen language(s) are spoken. Depending on where your placement is, you could study at one of our exchange universities, teach on the British Council assistantship programme, or undertake a work placement with a company. 

Options available to you may depend on the details of the Brexit settlement negotiated by the UK government. For more information, see our Year Abroad page and the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies statement on Brexit and our year abroad provision.


Application and interview

Offers are usually made without interview. Students with non-standard entry requirements may be invited to an interview.


Open days

UCAS visit days for students offered a place are normally held from February to late March. You are welcome to visit at other times – please contact us or for dates of our open days visit

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School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
The University of Nottingham
University Park
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+44 (0)115 951 5559
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The University of Nottingham
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