Applied Languages (French and Spanish) BA (Hons) – 2017 entry

Studying two languages at the University of Surrey is a challenging but rewarding experience that has increased my self-confidence.

What you'll study

Our flexible Applied Languages degree programme allows you to study two languages to a high level, with the opportunity to focus more on one language in the final year, and to have a particular focus on translation in one or both languages in the second and final years.

French can be taken post A-Level, and Spanish can be taken either post A­-Level or from scratch.

Our Applied Languages programme focuses on training language experts, helping you gain near-native fluency in both of your languages and acquire an understanding of how languages work.

You will have opportunities to develop translation skills and, if you opt for translation modules, you will also gain insight into various aspects of the profession, such as subtitling and interpreting.

All students will also have the opportunity to begin learning another ab initio language, Portuguese, in the second year.

All the pathways include a Professional Training year, giving you the choice between work placements, study placements, or a combination of the two.

You will divide your Professional Training year between two linguistically relevant countries, and in all cases our placement team will work closely with you to ensure that you make the most of this valuable opportunity.

Programme overview

You will focus on becoming a language expert, improving your practical language skills and acquiring an understanding of how languages work.

In addition to this, you will learn about the cultures and societies of the countries where your chosen language(s) are spoken, in interactive modules taught in the target language.

All students will also have the opportunity to begin learning another ab initio language, Portuguese, in the second year, with the option of taking it further in the final year.

Read about the experience of Applied Languages (French and Spanish) student, Karina Puttock.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, you will study language modules, developing the full range of language skills in an academic, professional and international context.

If you have chosen ab initio Spanish, you will study the language intensively, using modern multimedia techniques.

You will also attend introductory modules covering relevant aspects of translation, culture and society, and history.

In addition to language and culture­-specific modules, all students take the module Skills for Language Specialists, taught in English. This allows a deeper understanding of essential themes in language study and of your own foreign language acquisition.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules: (choose 1 module)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

In Year 2, you will build on the language modules studied in Year 1. You can also choose from a range of options, including politics and economics of the relevant country and an introduction to sociolinguistics.

There is also an optional non-­language-­specific module, Languages in Education, which offers an insight into the teaching profession while allowing you to participate in the National Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules: (Choose 4 modules)

Professional Training placement

In your third year, you are given the opportunity to practise and develop your linguistic, intercultural and transferable skills while working and/or studying abroad. Our placement team will help you organise a placement that fits your needs.

Where you go, and how many placements you do, depends on your degree programme. Whether you do a study or work placement depends on your interests and skills.

The majority of our students spend their third year working abroad, gaining valuable international work experience. See below for more details.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3 (the fourth year of your degree), you will combine the knowledge, skills and experience you have acquired during the previous levels and whilst on placement. In your final year, you will specialise in a research topic of your choice and write a dissertation in your target language.

At this high level of linguistic competency, you will be able to choose from a range of options, covering topics such as the arts, sociolinguistics, languages in business contexts and professional communication, as well as a range of translation modules.

These modules are all designed to cover varied academic and professional interests and to prepare you for your future career.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules: (Choose 6 modules)

Professional Training placements

We believe that the acquisition of academic knowledge should be coupled with a strong and continuous professional training so that our students graduate with a wider range of skills that will make them more employable.

The Professional Training placement is one of the reasons for our very high employment rates in the School of English and Languages.

The Professional Training placement is compulsory, be it in the form of a work placement or a study period abroad.

We acknowledge its essential role in our degrees by awarding 120 credits for it, which (while not counting towards your final degree classification) appear in the final university transcript alongside your academic module marks.

During your first year

The Professional Training placement cycle begins right from your first year, when you learn about the cultures and societies related to your chosen languages and practise CV­ writing and presentation techniques.

During your second year

In the second year, students take a module called Preparation for the Professional Training Year. This includes one-­to­-one meetings with an experienced team of placement tutors (one for each language), who can advise you on a placement that suits your abilities, interests and future career plans.

The preparation also includes sessions on:

  • CV and cover ­letter writing
  • Finances while on placement
  • Health and safety in the workplace
  • Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Talks by current placement providers, employers or experts in a particular industry

In the past, guest speakers have included representatives from Microsoft UK, Hilton Spain and Vifor Pharma Switzerland.

The Professional Training placement starts when you have secured a work placement or a study exchange. Our students make excellent candidates for placements in areas such as marketing, international relations, sales, PR, translation and even finance.

Our placement partners

We have a wide range of links with internationally­ renowned companies such as:

  • EDF
  • Ernst & Young
  • Volkswagen
  • Hilton Hotels

Whether you choose to work or study abroad or a mixture you will be eligible for an Erasmus grant. If you opt for a study exchange, you can choose from a number of partner universities in Europe with which we have Erasmus bilateral agreements. These include universities in:

  • Castellón
  • Madrid
  • Lyon
  • Heidelberg
  • Freiburg

During your year abroad, you will receive at least two visits by your placement tutors. The purpose of this unique approach to placements is to support you in your transition to a new language, a new country and a new work environment.

They also serve the purpose of assessing your performance at work and mediating between you and your placement organisation, as well as preparing you for your final year back at university.

At the end of your Professional Training placement our goal is for you to be able to reflect upon and articulate your experience so that you can discuss it in a future job interview upon graduation.

To this end, we ask you to update your CV, write a placement report and give a presentation to first- and second-­ year students about your experience.


We are committed to supporting you in becoming an independent language learner and confident communicator, and place great emphasis on the teaching of study skills. The teaching style is innovative and highly engaging in both lectures and seminars.

You are taught mostly in small groups, and almost always in the target language.

Tutors encourage you to participate in discussions. Individual module tutors happily discuss academic concerns and personal tutors are always ready to advise and assist you if any issues, personal or academic, should arise.


We operate a modular system, and you are required to achieve 120 credits per year. You are normally assessed throughout and at the end of each semester, which enables you to track your progress.

Most modules are assessed through a combination of examination and coursework, which may involve essay writing, presentations, short language assignments and class tests.

Contact hours

The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 6 per cent personal tutorial/small group teaching
  • 13 per cent medium group teaching
  • 81 per cent studying and revising in your own time


Our language teaching facilities include digital language labs, a multimedia lab, state­-of-­the-­art interpreting facilities, our own virtual learning environment and an e­portfolio system that appeals to the most creative amongst you.

Between classes, you can use our Language Study Area, designed for independent language learning, in the University’s purpose­built Learning Centre, which is open 24/6 and most of Sunday during semester times.

Here you can work at your own speed and concentrate on aspects of the language that are most important to you. Practice and confidence­-building are crucial to successful language learning.

We have a computer network of 28 PCs offering the latest in language-learning technology, including specialist software to practise subtitling and audio description, and interactive programs in 18 different languages to develop your language skills.

You can read the international press and choose from a range of books and audio materials which are graded and colour­-coded for easy access to your language and level.

If you prefer film or video as a means of learning, you can access our media store of programmes and films and watch online or live satellite TV from five countries, or choose a foreign film from our world cinema collection.

Career opportunities

Our graduates do exceptionally well in the employment market as a result of their academic excellence and their experience abroad.

Our students’ proficiency in languages, combined with their significant understanding of intercultural processes and socio­political contexts, gives them a distinct advantage in an increasingly competitive international employment market.

Our emphasis on transferable skills such as presentation and research techniques, and communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries, ensures that our graduate profile fits the expectations of prospective employers.

Language graduates from the University of Surrey have gone into a wide range of careers. Some examples of companies in which our graduates have found employment in recent years include:

  • Electricité de France
  • Santander
  • Siemens
  • Mazda Motors Europe
  • BAE Systems
  • Eurotexte (translation company)
  • JP Morgan
  • Kingfisher plc
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • UBS
  • Amazon
  • Macmillan Publishing
  • Aldi
  • Capgemini
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Honda

Many students go on to further study in the UK and across Europe. Examples include:

  • MSc International and European Politics, University of Edinburgh
  • MSc Business Analytics, University of Surrey
  • MBA European Business, University of Reutlingen, Germany
  • MBA International Marketing, Sorbonne, Paris
  • MA European Studies, Cambridge/Sorbonne

Our own department offers a broad range of postgraduate degree programmes in translation studies. Graduates of our internationally recognised programmes are well prepared for the professional market, as well as for further research.

We are proud that the MA Translation programme has been selected to join the European Commission’s European Masters Network (EMT).

The Global Graduate Award in Languages

This programme gives you the opportunity to study an additional foreign language alongside your degree programme. You can start a new language, brush up a half-­forgotten one or continue a language you have learned previously.

The programme is open to all Surrey students free of charge, and students from departments across the University are brought together by their mutual interest in foreign languages and cultures.

All language modules are accredited for undergraduate students. While these credits do not count towards your degree, they are recorded on your transcript as the Global Graduate Award in Languages. You may opt for a language module in each year of your undergraduate studies.

We offer 13 languages at different levels:

  • Arabic
  • Mandarin
  • Chinese
  • English (Advanced)
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • British Sign Language

The teaching is communicative and student-­centred. Special emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills, and the programme materials are authentic and related to real­life contexts.

We have a team of about 30 dedicated and experienced tutors, all of whom are native speakers or of native­ speaker qualification.

This programme comprises one two-­hour session per week for 19 weeks over two semesters.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?



We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Access to HE Diploma

QAA recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 39 Level 3 Credits at Distinction and 6 Level 3 Credits at Merit

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

75 per cent

International Baccalaureate

35 points

Scottish Highers

Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).

French A-level and Spanish A-level (or equivalent) are required.

Please contact us for the requirements for ab initio Spanish.

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BA (Hons) 4 years RR14 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info

Language Studies


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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