Modern Languages (French and German) BA (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
We’re one of the UK's leading universities for modern languages, with our courses ranked 3rd by the Guardian University Guide 2019. We are also ranked in the top ten by the Complete University Guide 2019 and The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 for French.
Our flexible BA Modern Languages (French and German) programme focuses on training world-class language experts. You will need an A-level or equivalent in at least one of the languages, but you can take one of them ab initio. You will study both French and German to a high level, be taught in and gain near-native fluency in both languages and develop your understanding of how languages work, with the opportunity to focus more on one language in the final year.
What you will study
This course will improve your practical language skills and allow you to acquire a strong understanding of how languages work.
You will have the opportunity to study translation modules, gaining an insight into various aspects of the translation profession, including subtitling and interpreting. You will also learn about the cultures and societies of the countries where your chosen languages are spoken in interactive modules taught in the target language.
The course includes a Professional Training placement abroad, giving you the choice between work, study, or a combination of the two.
You will also have the opportunity to begin learning Portuguese from scratch in your second year.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||RR12||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
The Professional Training placement is one of the reasons for our very high employment rates in the School of Literature and Languages. Professional Training 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
First and second-year students attend two intensive preparation weeks, Employability Week in the autumn and Professional Training week in February, which include sessions on preparing for your placement.
Second year students will also have 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
- 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.
During your third year
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.
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, which currently include:
- British Council
- EDF France
- Fork Unstable Media
- InterNations GmbH
- Lionshome GmbH
- Office du Tourisme
- RTE International.
During your year abroad, you will receive at least one visit 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.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
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
- Mazda Motors Europe
- Europe BAE Systems
- Eurotexte (translation company)
- JP Morgan
- Kingfisher plc
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Macmillan Publishing
- Mercedes Benz
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).
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
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:
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.
Our language teaching facilities include digital language labs, a multimedia lab, state-of-the-art interpreting facilities, our own virtual learning environment and an e-portfolio 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 purpose-built Learning Centre, which is open 24 hours a day, six days week, as well as 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.
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:
- English (Advanced)
- 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 real-life contexts.
We have a team of about 30 dedicated and experienced tutors, of whom all are native speakers or of native-speaker qualification.
This programme comprises one two-hour session per week for 19 weeks over two semesters.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may 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 a course with us. Read more.