Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2017

Modern Languages BA

The four-year Modern Languages BA offers enormous choice and flexibility, with over 250 modern language combinations possible. You may choose from more traditional combinations, such as Italian and German, or explore more unusual choices such as Dutch and Hungarian, and spend a year abroad in two different countries.

Key information

UCAS code
4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2017
Applications per place
5 (2015 entry)*
Total intake
216 (2017 entry)*
* Figures relate to European Languages, Culture and Society subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

AAA-ABB depending on the language combination (see www.ucl.ac.uk/r000-entry)
The following is required if part of the combination: French grade A; Spanish grade A. For all other combinations an A level or equivalent in one of your chosen languages 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

34-38 points depending on the language combination (see www.ucl.ac.uk/r000-entry).
A score of 16-18 points in three higher level subjects, to include the following if part of degree combination: French at grade 6; Spanish at grade 6. For all other combinations a higher level in one of your chosen languages is required. No score below 5.

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 between 28 credits awarded with Merit and a minimum of 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.

D3,D3,D3 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. The following is required if part of the combination: French grade D3; German grade M1; Spanish grade D3. For all other combinations an A Level or equivalent in one of your chosen languages is required.

AAA-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher - AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). The following is required if part of the combination: French grade A; Spanish grade A. For all other combinations an A Level or equivalent in one of your chosen languages is required.

Depending on the particular language programme between Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA OR Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades ABB. Please see A Levels for subject requirements.

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

  • UCL provides an ideal environment for language study; we offer an enormous range of languages and state-of-the-art facilities, including a well-equipped language learning suite.
  • The Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning - Languages of the Wider World, run by UCL and SOAS, brings together the expertise of a wide range of language specialists.
  • UCL has a large international population, and you will have countless opportunities to practise and speak your chosen languages with native speakers and learn about the associated culture and society.
  • Our location in a cosmopolitan city provides access to frequent and varied cultural events, a huge range of museums, galleries, specialist libraries and bookshops, theatres, cinemas, cuisines and cultural societies.

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).

In your first, second and final years you will take language modules in your chosen subjects, as well as modules in the literature, culture, history and linguistics related to them. You may also take modules offered by the School of European Languages, Culture & Society (SELCS), which allow students to study literature, film, art and culture from an interdisciplinary perspective focusing on broad cultural movements, issues and approaches and drawing on the full range of specialisms within the school.

You may choose two languages that you have studied previously, or take a language at beginner's level alongside one you already know. It is not possible to study two languages from scratch at the same time. Please refer to the SELCS website for information about which languages have specific entry requirements and what language levels UCL offers.

Your third year is spent abroad, studying at a university normally with which UCL has an Erasmus or other exchange agreement, or doing a work placement. This will be split between two countries where your chosen languages are spoken. We expect graduates to achieve the same linguistic competence regardless of whether they started a language from scratch or had previous knowledge of it.

Any two of the following languages may be combined (subject to entry requirements and availability):
Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Scandinavian (one of: Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish), Spanish, East European (one of: Bulgarian, Czech, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian/Croatian, Slovak, Ukrainian), Yiddish.

Importantly, you should note that the final degree awarded on completion will reflect whichever combination you choose, for example French and Italian BA, Dutch and German BA, Russian and Yiddish BA.


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

Compulsory modules

Modules in your chosen languages
Literature, culture, history and linguistics modules related to your chosen languages

You will also choose an interdepartmental module offered by the School of European Language, Culture and Society. Options may include, for example, the study of Linguistics, Film or History.

Compulsory modules

Modules in your chosen languages
Literature, culture, history and linguistics modules related to your chosen languages

You will also choose an interdepartmental module offered by the School of European Language, Culture and Society. Options may include, for example, the study of Linguistics, Film or History.

Year abroad

Year abroad, split between two countries where your chosen languages are spoken
Students currently complete any assessment required by a host university (if participating in a university exchange); or a British Council Assistantship or work placement abroad.

Please note that British Council Assistantships are not normally available to students undertaking a split year abroad.

Whether they undertake an internship or a university placement, students on their Year Abroad will engage in guided academic work and critical reflections so as to make the most of their cultural and linguistic immersion.

Compulsory modules

Advanced language and other modules in your chosen fields.

Your learning

Your language classes focus on developing active skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading through a variety of methods and media. You will be taught through lectures and seminars, as well as undertaking web-based study and group work.


Modules are assessed by a mixture of written and oral examinations, essays and other forms of coursework.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Modern Languages BA.


There are many career opportunities for UCL's modern language graduates, and we embed in our teaching the acquisition of transferable skills as well as linguistic and cultural knowledge.

Popular career paths for modern language graduates include the financial sector, the civil service, journalism, accountancy, publishing, education, advertising, the media and law. Some graduates pursue careers that make special use of their language skills, including translating, interpreting and teaching, while others continue with graduate training and research.


First career destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of this programme include:

  • Immigration Liaison Assistant, British Embassy in Paris
  • Income Analyst, Bloomberg
  • Research Assistant, 2020health (thinktank)
  • Consultant, Deloitte
  • Architectural Assistant, Nick Wilson Architecture

*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 2012-2014 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.

Student view

What I love most about my degree programme is the huge range of opportunity students are given. Within the programme we are offered modules on history, literature, film and so many other things! This structure makes me feel like I'm expanding my knowledge on a range of different subjects, not just the core language. Polly Harrold - Modern Languages (Italian and Spanish) BA (Second Year)

Student view

The excellent teaching staff to student ratio of 1:10 is, in my opinion, a particularly important factor for practising languages. Aoife Sandy Boyle - Modern Languages (French and Finnish) BA (Third Year)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme only.

UK/EU students
£TBC (2017/18 - see below)
Overseas students
£17,710 (2017/18)

UK/EU undergraduate fees are currently (August 2016) capped at 9,000 and UCL charges fees at the level of that cap. This cap on UK/EU undergraduate fees is currently under review by the UK Government and may be subject to increase for the year commencing 2017 and for each year of study thereafter. Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.

Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current 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 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 your application, you should demonstrate an interest in the literature, culture and history of the language you are proposing to study. Involvement in cultural activities in the language (i.e. reading newspapers and magazines, watching television and films or engaging with relevant communities) is regarded favourably, as is travel to the country in question.

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 2017


If your application demonstrates that your academic ability and motivation makes you well-suited to our degree and you receive and 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.

When applying for a place on this programme, all applicants must indicate in the space provided on their application the combination of languages that they wish to be considered for. Please note that French and Spanish are not taught brom beginner's level so and A level or equivalent is essential.

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

Page last modified on 14 October 2016 at 12:46 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.