School of English and Languages

Global graduate award

The Global Graduate Award in Languages is the university-wide languages programme.  It is open to all students at the University of Surrey and it is free of charge.  You can start a new language, brush-up a half-forgotten one, or continue with a language you do not want to forget.

Why Global Graduate Award?

The Global Graduate Award is part of the University’s Internationalisation Strategy.  It aims to encourage student mobility, to support students who want to spend their professional training year abroad, and to enhance student employability on the global market.

Languages and levels

Stages 1 2 3 4 5 6
Arabic Yes  Yes        
British Sign Language Yes          
Chinese Yes Yes        
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
German Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes  
Italian Yes Yes Yes      
Japanese Yes Yes        
Korean Yes Yes        
Portuguese Yes Yes        
Russian Yes          
Spanish Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes  

Please note that classes will run subject to their viability.

Stage 1 (A1 on the Council of Europe’s proficiency scale):For students with no (or minimal) previous knowledge of the language.
Stage 2 (A1+ on the Council of Europe’s proficiency scale): For students who have had some formal tuition in the language and have achieved a modest level.
Stage 3 (A2 on the Council of Europe’s proficiency scale): For students who have at least grade A and above at GCSE or equivalent.
Stage 4 (B1 on the Council of Europe’s proficiency scale): For students who have AS level grade A or equivalent but have not reached A level standard.
Stage 5 (B2 on the Council of Europe’s proficiency scale): Post A-level, or equivalent. For students who wish to perfect the advanced skills they possess.
Stage 6 (French only) (C1 on the Council of Europe’s proficiency scale): For students with very advanced skills.


Frequently asked questions

Do I get credits for it?

All our language modules are accredited for UG students and award 15 credits per course.  While these credits do not count towards your degree, they are recorded on your transcript.

GGA is not credit-bearing for postgraduate students but  you will receive a certificate of attendance listing the grade achieved on successful completion of the course.

What if I am unsure about my level?

Please come to the GGA advice sessions in 30 LC 03 (on the third floor of the Library and Learning Centre) during Welcome Week.

Experienced language tutors will be available to help you choose the right level.

For information about GGA in Sustainability, please click here

How do I register?

Registration for the academic year 2015/16 is now closed. Please note it is not possible to apply anymore for the current academic year. The next intake will be in September 2016.

When do classes take place?

Download our course schedule:

PDF icon global-graduate-award-course-schedule.pdf

How many hours of teaching are involved?

  • One 2-hour session per week for 19 weeks over 2 semesters. 
  • GGA testing takes place in class during the last two weeks of classes.  

How are the courses assessed?

  • 40% coursework
  • 60% end-of-course tests

What is expected of me?

  • Attend classes regularly
  • Set aside independent study time outside contact hours
  • Complete all assignments
  • Pass the end-of-course tests

How many modules may I take per year?

You may take one module per year. Learning a language requires considerable time and effort.

Please note that you may enrol for additional modules on the English Language Support Programme.

What happens if I miss a class?

Regular attendance is essential. If you miss more than three classes in a semester you will be withdrawn from the course. This may result in a fail mark on your transcript unless you can provide evidence of extenuating circumstances. 

What happens if I fail a module?

If you are an undergraduate student, you will be registered for your language module on SITS (the University’s student registration system). This ensures that your results are recorded on your transcript at the end of the academic year. If you fail a module, the fail mark will be recorded on your transcript. You may re-sit the module the following academic year, please note that attendance is compulsory and you will need to register on the module again, specifying you wish to re-sit.

Who do I inform if I have special needs or require additional time to complete tests?

If you require special arrangements for examinations, please get in touch with the Additional Learning Support team. If your application with ALS is successful, please inform us at so we can make the necessary arrangements for GGA testing.

Are the language modules open to postgraduate students?

Yes. All modules are open to postgraduate students but not as credit-bearing options. You are expected to complete assignments and take the tests and will receive a certificate listing your grade on successful completion of the module.

My application is 'pending'. What does that mean?

It means that either we haven't had a chance to process applications for your class or that the class is full but we don't want to reject you as a place may become available if somebody drops out. If you do not wish to remain on the waiting list, please cancel your application.

What are the chances of getting a place on the module of my choice?

We offer a considerable number of classes throughout the week, with parallel courses available for most languages. However, it is not possible to guarantee every student a place in the module of their choice. We will inform you by email whether you have been successful in securing a place. You can only take one course per year, but can initially apply for two courses, indicating 1st and 2nd choice. (Please note that it will not always be possible to secure a place on the preferred course.) 

Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis but please note that you cannot apply until you have your URN and can log in to your university e-mail account.

Please note that classes only run if a sufficient number of students enrol.

Is English one of the Global Graduate Award languages?

No, English is not part of the Languages offered on the Global Graduate Award, but is part of the English Language Support Programme.

I applied several days ago. Why have I not heard from you?

Please be patient, we probably just have not yet been able to process applications for the class you applied for.

I've been rejected. Is there no chance of a place in a class?

If you have been rejected on your 1st choice, we will try to give you a place on your 2nd choice. Please note that some courses are very popular and we might not be able to offer you a place this year. You may want to apply for a different language altogether or apply again for your original choice next academic year.

I don't have my timetable/URN yet. Can I still apply?

Please wait for your timetable. There is usually no undergraduate teaching on Wednesdays from 12 noon but check with your School/Department whether any other activities (e.g. lab sessions) are planned.

I am no longer free for my class at the time I applied for. What should I do?

You can withdraw from your GGA module up until the end of the second GGA teaching week (please refer to terms and conditions for exact date). If you are an undergraduate student and fail to withdrawn by then, the GGA module will remain on your transcript and a fail mark will be recorded.

If you have a timetable clash in Semester 2, you will be transferred to another course where possible. (Please note that transfers will not always be possible. If there is no possibility for transfer, you will be withdrawn from the course, and no record of the course will appear on your transcript.).

How many hours of independent study should I set aside?

You should dedicate at least three hours a week to completing assignments and to independent study. Your tutor and the Language Study Area will be happy to advise you on resources available for self study.

How do I register?

Are there any language learning facilities I can use outside contact hours?

Visit the Language Study Area on the 2nd floor of the Library and Learning Centre and make use of our language learning resources:

  • Satellite TV
  • Video and audio resources
  • Language learning computer software
  • Magazines, newspapers, films

What else can I do to support my language learning?

Join the University’s tandem learning network, LACES (Language and Culture Exchange Scheme).  Through this network, you can find a partner who speaks your target language and in return you can help them learn your first language.  Find out how to join LACES.