Why choose this course
We’re one of the UK’s leading universities for modern languages, with our courses ranked in the top 10 by the Guardian University Guide 2020 and in the top 5 by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 for French and Iberian languages. We also achieved 100 per cent overall satisfaction for French studies in the National Student Survey 2019.
Our flexible BA Modern Languages (French and Spanish) 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 Spanish 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 gain a strong understanding of how languages work.
You’ll have the opportunity to take translation modules each year of your course. You’ll 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’ll also have the opportunity to begin learning Portuguese from scratch in your second year.
Our language teaching facilities include digital language labs, a multimedia lab, stateof-theart interpreting facilities, our own virtual learning environment and an e-portfolio system.
Between classes, you can use our Language Study Area, in the University’s purpose-built Learning Centre, which is open 24 hours a day, six days a week, as well as most of Sunday during semester times.
Here you can work at your own pace and concentrate on aspects of the language that are most important to you. Practice and confidencebuilding are crucial to successful language learning.
We have a computer network of 28 PCs offering the latest in language-learning technology 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 even choose a foreign film from our world cinema collection.
Global Graduate Award in Languages
This course gives you the opportunity to study an extra foreign language alongside your other studies. 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 11 languages at different levels:
- British Sign Language.
The teaching is communicative and student-centred. Special emphasis is placed on listening and speaking skills, and the course materials are authentic and related to real-life contexts.
We have a team of about 30 dedicated and experienced tutors, all of who of are native speakers or of native-speaker qualification.
This programme is made up of one two-hour session per week for 19 weeks over two semesters.
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 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 have gone into a wide range of careers. Our graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Associate Finance Consultant, JDX Consulting
- Internal Account Manager, Gamma
- Market Researcher, NonStop Medical Devices
- Personal Assistant, Ministry of Defence
- Project Executive, Language Connect
- Quality Manager, Transperfect
- Sales and Marketing Executive, Palgrave Higher Education/Macmillan Education.
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 International Marketing, Sorbonne, Paris
- MA European Studies, Cambridge/Sorbonne
- Postgraduate Certificate of Education
- Certificat d’aptitude pour l’enseignement secondaire.
Our own School of Literature and Languages offers a broad range of postgraduate taught degree courses in translation studies. Graduates of our internationally recognised courses are well prepared for the professional market, as well as for further research.
We are proud that the MA Translation course has been selected to join the European Commission’s European Masters Network.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
Important: In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the 2020/21 academic year. These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach. View detailed information on the changes.
Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
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.
Research students will sometimes help to deliver your modules. These students will be researching in a similar subject to the module, and will have undertaken training prior to being invited to teach. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
As a student at Surrey, you can also sign up to our free courses in the following areas:
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Living in student accommodation is a great way to meet new people and spark friendships.
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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
We normally make offers in terms of grades.
If you are a suitable candidate you will be invited to an Applicant Day. During your visit to the University you can find out more about the course and meet staff and students.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
BA (Hons) (with professional training year)
UK and EU £9,250
Professional training £1,850
- Fees for UK students: The University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms.
- Fees for EU students: While the UK is part of the EU, the University will apply annual regulated increases in the fee rates as set by the Government each year, in order to maintain the same value in real terms. Once the UK has left the EU, the fees rules may change and the University is bound to comply with applicable legislation.
- Fees for international students: Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
- Fees for international students with an integrated foundation year: The programme fee for Year 0 will match the lowest Year 1 overseas fee rate from across the substantive programmes for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Year 1 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Year 1 for the same programme in that year. Annual fees after Year 1 will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
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.
- Students in receipt of a Tuition Fee Loan: will have their fees paid by the Student Loans Company in line with their schedule.
- International students, or UK/EU students who have not taken out a Tuition Fee Loan: are required to pay their fees either in full at the beginning of the programme or in two instalments as follows:
- 50% payable 10 days after the invoice date (expected to be early October of each academic year)
- 50% in January of the same academic year.
The exact date(s) will be detailed on invoices. Students on certain part-time programmes, where fees are paid on a modular or stage basis, are not eligible to pay their fees by instalment.
If you are sponsored: you will provide us with valid sponsorship information that covers the period of your study.
Professional Training placement fees
If you are studying on a programme which contains a Professional Training placement year there will be a reduced fee for the academic year in which you undertake your placement. This is normally confirmed 12 to 18 months in advance, or once Government policy is determined.
See the information about 2019/20 academic year Professional Training placement fee.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Application Deadline: 30.09.20
Find out more
Asylum Seeker Bursary
Application Deadline: 30.06.21
Find out more
You have the option to complete a Professional Training placement as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, helping to prepare you for your future career.
A significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Modern languages (French and Spanish) 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 away in 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 onetoone 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 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 course. 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
Some examples of organisations that participate in this scheme include:
- 1Global Translators (Barcelona)
- British Council
- EDF France
- Havas Group
- Macmillan Iberia
- Office du Tourisme, Paris
- RTE International.
If you choose to work for all or part of your year abroad (rather than study), you'll receive at least one visit from your placement tutors. The purpose of this unique approach to work placements is to support you in your transition to a new language, a new country and a new work environment.
Your visiting tutors will also assess your performance at work, mediate between you and your placement organisation, and help prepare 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’ll usually 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
You can apply for numerous opportunities via an open and free-to-all process. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however we offer support and guidance throughout the process alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. We also provide support if you wish to source your own placement.
Find out about more about the application process.
Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their studies by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad.
Want to study at an overseas institution as part of your degree or work abroad during your Professional Training year? Perhaps you would like to volunteer in India or learn about Brazilian business and culture in São Paulo during your summer holidays? With more than 200 partnerships, from 50 different countries worldwide, there is something for everyone.
Not only is the opportunity to go abroad a hugely enjoyable experience, you will develop key skills and knowledge that will strengthen your CV and increase your employability.
View our study and work abroad exchange information to find out more and see where you can go.
Please note: the status of the Erasmus+ scheme is dependent on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.
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:
- Universidad Jaume I, Castellon, Spain
- Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, Spain
- Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France.
Whether you choose to work or study abroad or a mixture you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.
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 (PDF) 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 guide 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.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.