Modern Languages

Study one, two, or three of the languages offered by the School of Modern Languages to degree level, including a year abroad. You can study one language from a beginner's level.

Year abroad

Study at one of our 35+ prestigious partner universities or get a head start in your career by working abroad during your international placement year.

First-class facilities

Benefit from a state-of-the-art multimedia centre with access to over 2,000 films, a mini-cinema, a magazine library and a recording studio.

Career prospects

Students who spend time overseas are more likely to be employed six months after graduation and earn higher starting salaries (‘Gone International: Rising Aspirations’, Universities UK, 2019).

Modern Languages courses for 2022

Single Honours

To study a modern language as a joint honours degree with another subject, see French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.

Modern Languages at Bristol

Whether you choose to master one, two or three languages, Bristol’s School of Modern Languages provides a supportive and vibrant community in which your passion for languages can flourish.

Beyond language learning, you'll also engage with aspects of the culture, social history and literature of the countries where your language(s) of study are spoken, and have the opportunity to study linguistics.

Your year abroad will allow you to fully immerse yourself in your chosen language(s) and gain valuable cultural awareness and an international outlook that will be an asset to future employers. Visit Global Opportunities to find out more.

You will have access to a broad range of stimulating modules and, in Bristol, you'll be part of a social community within a creative city, with opportunities to join a society, write for a language-specific newspaper or perform in a foreign-language play.

The friendly lecturers in the department really establish a sense of community early on, making learning fun and intimate. The course offers a wide variety of culture units, from literature to art to cinema to history, and the language side is engaging and rewarding.

ANNABEL, BA ITALIAN

Career prospects

The maturity and skills breadth gained from a modern languages degree will make you attractive to a variety of employers, including international organisations and businesses where fluency in a modern language and a good knowledge of foreign institutions and customs are extremely useful.

Recent graduates have entered careers in translation, academia, finance, publishing, the media, law, travel, and British and international civil services. Many of these careers are directly related to the language skills and cultural understanding you will gain during your studies.

What our students do after graduating

Course structure

Our BA Modern Languages course lets you choose to master one, two, or three languages and focus deeply on the technical aspects of language and linguistics without neglecting the challenge of studying cultural and political history, literature and society.

You can study any of the following languages, including one from beginner's level:

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

You can also study Portuguese from beginners level in combination with another language. You can add non-European languages from the second year.

The course will involve practical language classes, lectures on historical, cultural or literary topics, and discussion-based seminars. In language classes you will develop speaking, listening, reading, writing and translation skills using a range of resources. In historical and cultural units in each language you will learn about the important approaches and concepts for linguistic, literary, cultural and historical analysis.

You will divide your third year between countries that are relevant to your chosen languages, exploring the culture and society of your host country while studying at a partner institution, teaching English or undertaking a work placement. Students have travelled as far afield as Haiti, Argentina, Mexico, French Guiana and Kazakhstan.

Pursue your passions

There is a great deal of flexibility in our courses, with dozens of options including one or more modern languages.

If you want to specialise in one modern language, or to study it alongside up to 2 other modern languages, you can apply to the BA Modern Languages course.

You can study French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish alongside other disciplines such as history, politics, or philosophy by applying for one of our joint honours degrees.

Modern Languages

Modern Languages courses for 2022

Single Honours

Clearing 2021

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Register your interest.

The BA Modern Languages provides the opportunity to study one, two, or three of the languages offered by the School of Modern Languages to degree level, including a year abroad. One language can be studied from a beginner's level. French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish can also be studied as joint honours degrees with a variety of other subjects.

Why study Modern Languages at Bristol?

The School of Modern Languages has an international reputation for research and scholarship which informs our courses at all levels. Bristol was ranked in the top ten in the UK for modern languages in the Guardian University Guide 2020. Professional language teaching is provided by experts in both beginner and advanced-level language acquisition. Our optional units allow you to study many aspects of the culture, politics, and society of the countries where your chosen languages are spoken.

Our BA Modern Languages course enables you to master one, two, or three languages and focus deeply on the technical aspects of language and linguistics without neglecting the challenge of studying cultural and political history, literature and society. You will have the opportunity to study any of the following languages: French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. You can also study Portuguese from beginners level in combination with another language. Non-European languages may be added from the second year.

One of the highlights of studying modern languages at Bristol is the year abroad, where you can immerse yourself in your chosen languages and cultures. Students have travelled as far afield as Haiti, Argentina, Mexico, French Guiana and Kazakhstan.

Bristol is a very exciting place to study arts and humanities, with a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Modern languages students at Bristol benefit from a state-of-the-art multimedia centre with access to over 2,000 films, a mini-cinema, foreign satellite channels, a magazine library and a recording studio.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Bristol's modern languages courses will suit you if you have a fascination for languages and linguistics and a desire to study the broader cultural contexts in which those languages are used.

Our students have wide-ranging intellectual curiosity and a desire to open their minds to cultures of different periods and geopolitical contexts.

How is this course taught and assessed?

The course will involve practical language classes, lectures on historical, cultural or literary topics, and discussion-based seminars.

In language classes you will develop speaking, listening, reading, writing and translation skills using a range of textbooks, media and internet resources.

In historical and cultural units in each language you will gain knowledge of the key approaches and concepts for linguistic, literary, cultural and historical analysis.

You will divide your third year between countries that are relevant to your chosen languages, exploring the culture and society of your host country while studying at a partner institution, teaching English or undertaking a work placement.

Assessment involves a mixture of examination, guided writing, podcasts, or video essays on specific historical or cultural topics, and more independently researched essays and dissertations.

What are my career prospects?

The maturity and skills breadth gained from a modern languages degree will make you attractive to a variety of employers, including international organisations and businesses where fluency in a modern language and a good knowledge of foreign institutions and customs are extremely useful.

Recent graduates have entered careers in teaching, translation, academia, finance, industry, publishing, the media, law, travel, and British and international civil services. Many of these careers are directly related to the language skills and cultural understanding you will gain during your studies.

Find out more about what our students do after graduating.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our courses.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra (LLB Law)

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