Modern Languages

Modern Languages courses for 2018

Single Honours

This degree provides the opportunity to study three languages offered by the School of Modern Languages in certain combinations. One language will be studied to degree level from scratch.

You will benefit from intensive language tuition and our state-of-the art multimedia centre, which houses a screening room and recording studio.

Why study Modern Languages at Bristol?

All Bristol language departments have an international reputation for research and scholarship which informs our teaching at all levels. This is supported by professional language teaching provided by experts in both beginners’ and advanced level language acquisition. Our optional units allow you to study a broad range of aspects of the culture, politics and society of the countries in which your chosen languages are spoken.

Bristol is a very exciting place to study arts and humanities, with a thriving cultural life, several art cinemas, concert halls and theatres and a lively cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The three-language programme enables you to concentrate more deeply on the technical aspects of language and linguistics without neglecting the challenge of studying cultural and political history, literature and society.

What kind of student would this course suit?

Bristol's modern languages courses will suit you if you have a fascination for languages and linguistics and a desire to study within the broader cultural contexts in which those languages are used.

Our students have wide-ranging intellectual curiosity and a desire to open their minds to cultures of different periods and geopolitical contexts.

Every day my inbox is flooded with opportunities – internships, research projects, extra-curricular activities – all of which are the University getting students involved. The University is constantly updating its facilities, which reinforces its friendly and inclusive environment.

Alexandra, Second year, LLB Law

How is this course taught and assessed?

The following combinations are available:

  • French, Spanish and Portuguese
  • French, Spanish and Italian
  • French, Spanish and German
  • French, German and Italian
  • French, German and Russian
  • German, Russian and Czech.

For each combination applicants will need A-level or equivalent in the first two named languages, while the third can be studied from beginner level.

All these courses involve practical language classes, lectures on historical, cultural or literary topics and discussion-based seminars.

In language classes you will develop speaking, listening, reading, writing and translation skills using a range of textbooks, media and internet resources.

In historical and cultural units in each language you will gain knowledge of the key approaches and concepts for linguistic, literary, cultural and historical analysis.

You will divide your third year between countries that are relevant to your chosen languages, exploring the culture and society of your host country while studying at a partner institution, teaching English, or undertaking a work placement.

Assessment involves a mixture of examination, guided writing on specific historical or cultural topics, and more independently-researched essays and dissertations.

What are my career prospects?

The maturity gained from a modern languages degree will make you attractive to a variety of employers, including international organisations where fluency in a modern language and a good knowledge of foreign institutions and customs are extremely useful.

Recent graduates have entered careers in teaching, translating, academia, finance, industry, publishing, the media, law, travel, and British and international civil services. Many of these careers draw directly on competency in languages and understanding of different cultures.

Read more about what students from Modern Languages go on to do after graduation.

Did you know?

  • Students from more than 180 countries study with us, and we share more than 150 exchange links with institutions worldwide.
  • Our Students' Union has over 200 student-run societies, and the Richmond Building, home to the Students' Union, is undergoing a £30-million renovation.
  • 11 Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel prizes.

Subject leaflet

Download the Modern Languages leaflet 2017 (PDF, 298kB)

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