• Start date: September 2016

Language and Culture BA

This distinctive programme provides enormous flexibility for you to customise your degree according to your linguistic and cultural interests. You will combine the study of two languages, with the possibility of changing language after the first year. You will select a focus in a chosen area of cultural studies: cultural history; film studies; history of art; linguistics or literary studies.

Key Information

Degree Programme
Language and Culture BA
UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2016
Subject area
European Languages, Culture and Society
Total intake
194 (2016 entry)
Applications per place
5 (2014 entry)
Research Excellence Framework
74% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Entry requirements

A Levels

Foreign language required to include the following if studied as the main language: Ancient Greek, French, Latin or Spanish grade A.
AS Levels
For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
English Language at grade B, plus Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C 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, Greek, Latin 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 Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AA. Foreign language required, to include the following if studied as the main language: French, Ancient Greek, Latin or Spanish.

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

UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.

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

For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.

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

  • Choose from the exceptional range of languages taught at UCL, including many of the less-spoken languages spoken in 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. The learning is well supported through the excellent facilities of the UCL Centre for Languages and International Education.
  • You will benefit from the outstanding specialist library resources and the enormous range of cultural experiences - such as exhibitions, film festivals, concerts - that London has to offer.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses 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).

In your first year, you will take two languages, one of which is nominated as your main language (as specified in your application and offer letter). You also take the Language and Culture Core Course (Language, Culture and Representation) and select further cultural and linguistic courses.

The degree offers a unique flexibility, whereby in your second year you may confirm your initial choice of main language, and either keep your other language as your second language, or drop this and replace it with a further language. Alternatively, you may be able to nominate your second language as your main language for the remainder of your degree (subject to approval and availability).

Your third year is spent in a country where your main language is spoken. In your final year at UCL you continue with your language studies in both your main and second languages, or concentrate on your main language only, and select specialist courses in your chosen cultural field.

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

Areas of cultural study offered include:
Cultural Studies; Film Studies; History of Art; Linguistics; Literary Studies; Translation.

You will also choose School of European Languages, Culture and Society (ELCS) courses, which may be from outside your subject area(s). ELCS courses draw on the full range and diversity of expertise and specialisms within the school.

Year One

Compulsory courses

Courses in both your main language and a second language
Courses from a selection of cultural/linguistic options related to your main language
ELCS Intermediate Level course
Language, Culture and Representation (Core Course)

Year Two

Compulsory courses

Courses in both your main language and a second language (and the possibility of changing your main/second language, subject to approval)
Courses from a selection of cultural/linguistic options related to your main language
Courses from a selection of cultural/linguistic options related to your second language
ELCS Intermediate Level courses or options outside SELCS (subject to approval)

Year Three

Year abroad in the country where your main language is spoken

You will complete a 4,000-word Year Abroad Project in your major language (except those studying Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Latin or an East European language as a major, where assessment methods may vary by department), and any assessment required by a host university. You have the option of spending one semester in a British Council Assistantship or in a work placement.

Final Year

Compulsory courses

Courses in your main language (and second language, where possible)
Courses from a selection of cultural/linguistic options

Optional courses

Courses 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 courses

Your learning

The programme and the first-year core course are run by the Language and Culture BA Programme Tutor. Languages are taught intensively, and you will be trained in speaking, reading, writingand translating in your target languages. Students on this programme develop the interest and ability of learning interdisciplinarity and cultural-based study.


Language courses are normally assessed by coursework, written and oral examinations, and other courses through a combination of written coursework and examinations. During your year abroad, you will prepare a project on a topic of your choice.

Further Information

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


On graduation from this BA you can expect to have excellent oral and written language skills and breadth and depth in cultural knowledge. The degree cultivates numerous transferable skills, such as the ability to organise your time and work independently, to think critically and to 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. There is a demand for graduates proficient in several languages, especially the less commonly-taught European languages.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of this programme include:

  • Audit Associate, Deloitte (2013)
  • HR Support Advicer, Aviva (2013)
  • Translator, Self-employed (2012)
  • Research Associate, Adamson and Partners (2011)
  • Accounts Executive, DLKW Low (2011)

*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 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.

UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.

Fees and funding


UK & EU fee
£9,000 (2015/16)
Overseas fee
£15,660 (2015/16)


Details about financial support are available at: Fees and funding


Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.

Modern European Languages Scholarship

Based on academic merit

Virtus UG Bursary


The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.

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 interest in literature, film, art and other cultural subjects. Your application must state your chosen main language, and, if decided, your second language.

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 2016


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 which 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