Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

Language and Culture BA

This distinctive and highly flexible programme provides enormous scope for you to customise your degree according to your interest in linguistics, film, literature and history. To this is added the study of two languages, with the possibility of changing language after the first year.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Applications per place
5 (2016 entry)*
Total intake
216 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to European Languages, Culture and Society subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

Foreign language required to include the following if studied as the main language: French or Spanish grade A.
English Language at grade B or 6, plus Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs

IB Diploma

A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5. Higher level subjects to include the following if studied as main languages: French or Spanish at grade 6.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme

Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Foreign Language required, to include the following if studied as the main language: French, Ancient Greek, Latin or Spanish grade D3.

ABB at Advanced Highers (or AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Foreign Language preferred at Advanced Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB. Foreign language required to include the following if studied as the main language: Ancient Greek, French, Latin or Spanish grade A.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Advanced

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • Youl will be able to choose from the exceptional range of languages taught at UCL, including many of the less frequently spoken languages of Europe and beyond. 

  • You will spend a year abroad in a country where your main language is spoken.

  • Language learning takes place in small groups with research-active teachers, many of whom are native speakers. Your learning will be well supported by the excellent facilities of the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

  • You will benefit from the outstanding specialist library resources and the enormous range of cultural experiences—such as exhibitions, film festivals, and concerts—that London has to offer.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: School of European Languages, Culture and Society.

  • 74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Year one mainly comprises core language and culture modules, providing a foundation for further study. You will also choose a main and a second language. In years one, two and four you also choose optional modules from a wide range offered by both your chosen language departments and the School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS) (e.g. film, history, literature and linguistics courses).

You will spend your third year abroad in an academic placement in a country where your main language is spoken.

In your final year at UCL you will continue with your language studies either in both your languages, or concentrate on your main language only. You will select cultural modules in fields of your choice.

You will initially choose two languages (one as a 'major' language, the other as a 'minor' language) from the following wide range of languages taught at UCL:

Ancient Greek (may only be studied as a minor language); Arabic (may only be studied as a minor language); Danish; Dutch; French (beginners French may only be studied as a minor language); German; Hebrew; Icelandic; Italian; Latin (may only be studied as a minor language); Norwegian; Russian; Spanish (beginners Spanish may only be studied as a minor language); Swedish; Portuguese; a central or eastern European language (Bulgarian, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian/Croatian, Slovak, Ukrainian).

Some language courses including Arabic and beginners French and Spanish are taught in the Centre for Langagues and International Education (CLIE).

Areas of cultural study offered include:

history; film studies; linguistics; literary studies; translation.

This degree allows great flexibility especially in the final year. You can continue studying your languages and follow language-specific content modules; take content modules  within one of your departments or SELCS; drop your second language in your final year to pursue a greater number of content modules; or apply to outside options.

In the past students have been allowed to take modules in anthropology, art history and journalism in other departments and London institutions. Approval for outside options is granted on a case-by-case basis and with permission by the relevant provider. Securing a place on an outside course is the responsibility of the student.


An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.

Core or compulsory module(s)

You will study modules in both your main language and a second language. 
You will also study the Language, Culture and Representation core module.

Optional modules

You will select a cultural or linguistic module from your relevant main language department. 

You will also choose an interdepartmental module offered by SELCS. Options may include the study of linguistics, film and history.

Core or compulsory module(s)

You will study modules in both your main language and a second language (with the possibility of changing your main and second language, subject to approval).

Optional modules

You will select a cultural or linguistic module in your relevant main language department, and either: 

Three ELCS intermediate-level modules, 


European Culture and
Two ELCS intermediate-level modules,


Two ELCS intermediate-level modules and
An outside option or cultural or linguistic module in your relevant minor language department, 


European Cultures, 
One ELCS intermediate-level module and
One outside option or cultural or linguistic module in your minor language department.

Year abroad

You will spend a year at a university in a country where your main language is spoken. You will complete any assessment required by that host university. Students taking Ancient Greek or Latin as a major language normally spend their year abroad in the country of their minor languages but while overseas must study Ancient Greek or Latin.

Permission may be given to spend one semester in a British Council Assistantship (although this is subject to approval).

You can find a list of desintations for the year abroad on the SELCS year abroad website

Core or compulsory module(s)

You will study modules in your main language (and second language, where possible).

Optional modules

Modules from a selection of cultural/linguistic options from your second language or options outside of SELCS (subject to approval)
Dissertation in Language and Culture
ELCS advanced-level modules

Your learning

This programme and the first-year core module are run by the Language and Culture BA Programme Tutor. Languages are taught intensively, and you will be trained in speaking, reading, writing and translating in your target languages. Students on this programme develop their skills in both languages and interdisciplinary and cultural studies. 


Language modules are normally assessed by coursework and written and oral examinations. Other modules are normally assessed through a combination of written coursework and examinations.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Language and Culture BA.


On graduation from this programme you can expect to have excellent oral and written language skills and breadth and depth of cultural knowledge. This degree cultivates numerous transferable skills, including the ability to organise your time and work independently, think critically, and analyse and present information.

Graduates from the Language and Culture BA and related programmes have entered a wide range of professions including: journalism, the civil service, interpreting and translating, publishing, advertising, teaching, the media and the arts. A demand exists for graduates proficient in several languages, especially in the less commonly taught European languages.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:

  • Author, Self-Employed
  • International MA in Economy, State and Society, UCL
  • MA in Applied Linguistics, Institute of Education (IOE)
  • MPhil in European and Comparative Literatures and Cultures, University of Cambridge

Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£19,390 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2018 entry will be published when they are available.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In assessing your application we are looking for evidence of your interest in and aptitude for language learning, as well as your interest in literature, film, art and other cultural subjects. Please state your chosen main language, and, if decided, your second language in the 'further details' section of the UCAS form.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 15 January 2018


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation make you well-suited to our degree and you receive an offer, then we shall invite you to a post-offer open day where you can experience the sort of teaching we offer and life in SELCS.

Our admissions process aims to assess your linguistic abilities and attainments as well as cultural awareness and intellectual potential. We may interview candidates by telephone in order to establish a level of language ability.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

Page last modified on 23 February 2018 at 12:26 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.