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Unit information: Foreign Language Skills for Postgraduate Students (Advanced) in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Foreign Language Skills for Postgraduate Students (Advanced)
Unit code MODLM0031
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Foster
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will provide students with the opportunity to study a foreign language, at an appropriate level, in the context of their Master’s programme. Students who choose this unit option will be a language unit from a degree programme in the School of Modern Languages, appropriate to their language level at point of entry (benchmarked against the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – CEFR). The School of Modern Languages’ portfolio includes French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Czech and Portuguese.

This unit will be open to students wishing to develop their language skills as part of their postgraduate training; it will therefore not be possible for students to take this unit in their mother tongue.

The unit will include:

  • General communication skills
  • Academic listening and note-taking skills
  • Academic and sub-technical language
  • Academic reading and writing skills
  • Subject specific language
  • Oral presentation skills
  • Cultural and social aspects of the language
  • E-learning opportunities

Intended learning outcomes

Students will:

a) improve their language skills, relative to their entry point, and be able to communicate orally and in writing with a reasonable degree of accuracy and fluency.

b) be able to work at appropriate level with material in the target language and retrieve necessary information.

c) have acquired knowledge and awareness of the general social and cultural background of the target language.

d) be able to understand and interpret written texts at an appropriate level.

e) be able to respond to written texts at an appropriate level.

Teaching details

The communicative approach will be used; learners will be involved in a variety of interactive and stimulating activities with maximum use of the target language. This will be supported by e-learning opportunities; a Blackboard site, wikis, blogs and use of self-study facilities.

Assessment Details

The four key skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are tested by examination (75%) as follows:

1 hour guided writing exam (25%)

2 hour composition exam (25%)

Oral/aural exam (25%) - 1 oral exam (70% of component) and 1 aural exam (30% of component)

Mediation skills between the foreign language and English are tested by a 1 ½ hour translation examination (25%)

Reading and References

Reading lists are specific to the language and level, and will be provided by the unit coordinator.