Published: 12 January 2018

Five reasons to study languages at Surrey

Dr Dawn Marley, Subject Leader for Languages, reveals what makes our modern languages degrees different and the secret behind our graduates’ success.

Our modern languages programmes combine academic rigour with a strong professional orientation and provide a university experience that will take you places. Here are five reasons why should you choose the University of Surrey for your language degree.

Language and translation class

1. Teaching in your target language from day one

At Surrey, we teach in the target language from the very first day of the course, not only in language classes, but also in other modules. This means you’ll be learning to speak and write about Spanish, French and/or German society, culture, politics and arts in the relevant language. 

2. Practical modules

In addition to more traditional language modules, we offer options which will give you valuable insight into career opportunities. For example, Languages in Education is a practical module in which you gain insight into teaching by assisting a language teacher in a local school. Introduction to TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), will equip you with the knowledge, skills and confidence to plan and deliver English language lessons in a variety of contexts.

Translation modules in every year of our programmes are taught in an interactive and practical way that increases your understanding of the translation process and prepares you to use translation during the placement year and beyond.

3. Professional training opportunities

Surrey’s Professional Training placement offers students the opportunity to work in one or two different companies during the third year of their degree. You can either tap into our department’s existing network of employers, or use or find your own contacts. We also have partner universities in several countries, and some students spend the year, or one semester, on a study placement. For many of our students, this year is the highlight of their degree, and for many it gives them an edge when looking for graduate employment.

To help you make the most of this opportunity, we have two separate weeks during the second year where we focus on employability and Professional Training placements, and students have one-to-one sessions with our placement tutors throughout the year.

Read about Zoe Hardman's placement in Germany.

4. Develop transferable skills

Our programmes have been developed to include a range of valuable transferable skills, including organisation and research skills, problem-solving, intercultural communication, interpersonal skills and resilience. Our language modules include training in writing CV and cover letters in your target language and, in final year, honing professional skills in your target language, equipping you with skills which relate to the world of work.

5. Excellent graduate employability

The applied nature of our language degrees is perhaps the main reason why our students are so employable. Recent languages graduates have secured roles with companies including Electricité de France, Santander and Siemens, and graduate schemes including Kingfisher, Tesco and Hilton International.

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