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The admissions process...
This page now incorporates changes for the 2014 UCAS cycle.
- Dutch BA (UCAS code R911) ABB, a foreign language preferred.
- French BA (UCAS code R100) AAA including French.
- French and an African/Asian Language BA (UCAS code RT19) AAA including French.
- German BA (UCAS code R200) AAB, a foreign language preferred.
- German and History BA (UCAS code RV21) AAB including History, a foreign language preferred.
- Italian BA (UCAS code R300) AAB, a foreign language preferred.
- Scandinavian Studies BA (UCAS code R600) ABB, a foreign language preferred.
- Icelandic BA (UCAS code R690) ABB, a foreign language preferred.
- Viking Studies BA (UCAS code R691) ABB, English Literature or History preferred.
- Scandinavian Studies and History BA (UCAS code RV6C) ABB, a foreign language and History preferred.
- Spanish and Latin American Studies BA (UCAS code R4T7) AAB including an A in Spanish.
- Language and Culture BA (UCAS code R991) AAB including an A level language. An A grade is required for Ancient Greek, French, Latin or Spanish when it is your main language.
Click here for the entrance requirements for Modern Languages combinations (eg, BA French and Spanish).
Click here for the entrance requirements for Modern Languages Plus Combinations (eg, BA French and English).
In additional to the entry requirements above, UCL SELCS also expects all A Level students to have a further, fourth subject pass at AS level.
The School receives many more applications that meet the entry requirements than it has places. Therefore, being predicted, or having achieved, the necessary grades for the degree programme you are looking to pursue will not guarantee you an offer.
- Are there open days that prospective students can attend?
Yes. SELCS is represented by the Admissions Officer and Admissions Tutors at both the UCL Open Day, which takes place in June or July every year, and the University of London Open Days in early September. Alternatively, if you are unable to attend either of these events then you may visit UCL and take either a guided or self-guided tour. For more information about these please follow this link. Finally, you may email Joe Taylor, the Admissions Officer, or call +44 (0)20 7679 3096 to make an appointment to visit SELCS.
- How do I make an application to SELCS?
All applicants interested in pursuing a SELCS degree
on a full-time basis should submit a UCAS application by 15th January.
Any applications made to UCAS after the 15th January will only be
considered if there is still availability on the particular degree
programme you have applied for. More information about making an
application can be found on the UCAS website. Applicants should let us know their language combination in section 2f of the form, in the Further Details field.
- Can I apply for more than one SELCS degree programme?
Yes, that's absolutely fine. If you do decide to do this then ensure that your UCAS personal statement caters to both degree programmes you have applied for.
- Does SELCS accept deferred entry applications?
is happy to receive applications from prospective students who would
like to take a gap year. If your decision to take a year out before
starting university is related to your studies you may want to mention
this in your UCAS form personal statement.
- How difficult is it to secure a place in SELCS?
ratio of applicants to place across SELCS is approximately 9
applications for every place available. The rate differs across the
School's degree programmes, and can also fluctuate from year-to-year.
Although this statistic can seem very daunting, as long as you are
predicted, or have achieved, the relevant entry requirements then you
are eligible to be considered for a place and should not be put off
making an application.
- What subjects does SELCS prefer?
doesn't ask that students study a particular combination of subjects
other than the subjects necessary for the degree that you wish to pursue
(see the "entry requirements" tab for further information). Please
refer to this link for a list of UCL preferred subjects.
- How important is the personal statement of my UCAS form?
personal statement is a very important at helping the Admissions Tutors
to make informed decisions about whether an application should be
considered further, and ultimately be the recipient of an offer. The
Admissions Tutors look at the quality of writing in English, critical
perceptiveness, depth of reading in the target language, intellectual
acuity and curiosity. Evidence of interest in and understanding of the
literature, culture and society you have chosen to study, as well as an
awareness of what studying foreign language(s) at university entails are
also important. Finally, we look to see that you have understood the
nature of the degree programme within SELCS to which you have applied
and any extramural experiences relevant to your potential studies, such
as volunteering and creative activities.
- Can I study any languages ab initio?
the exception of Language & Culture BA, the SELCS languages
which can be studied ab initio are Dutch, German, Italian and the languages of
Language & Culture BA is a degree programme that has specifically been designed to increase the flexibility of language choices to SELCS students. With this in mind, students are able to study any minor (rather than major) language on offer ab initio through either the specific language department or the UCL Language Centre.
- Are mature students welcome to apply to a SELCS degree?
Yes. SELCS tries to be more flexible when it comes to mature students (people who are 21 years old at their entry to university). With the study of languages it is obviously important that you can demonstrate your aptitude for languages, therefore, you may find it worthwhile to contact the SELCS Admissions Officer, Gemma Barber, on +44 (0)20 7679 3096 to discuss your eligibility.
- What is the SELCS stance upon resits and/or taking three years to pass my A Levels?
The Admissions Tutors are happy for prospective SELCS students to resit elements of their study to improve upon their original mark. If this means that your A Level studies (or equivalent) take longer than the usual period of time, this is absolutely fine. If you do resit any elements of your exams it is very helpful for this to be - briefly - mentioned in your UCAS form as it helps to explain any information that may seem unusual.
- Does SELCS admit students via Clearing?
The SELCS Admissions Tutors make more offers than the School has places available which means that SELCS doesn't participate in either UCAS Adjustment or Clearing.
- Does UCL offer Halls of Residence accommodation?
Yes. UCL guarantees Hall of Residence accommodation to all prospective students that choose UCL as their firm choice institution and have made an on-time application for accommodation to Student Residences (by 31st May of your year of entry).
- What careers can I go on to have as a graduate of SELCS?
Languages equip you for a wide range of careers including everything from business, finance, the media, journalism, law and hospitality to public relations, the police, advertising, translation and interpreting, and teaching. As well as a very full programme of recruitment and other events, the UCL Careers Service run specific events advertising international and overseas career opportunities every year, targeting our undergraduates.
Studying in SELCS FAQs:
- How can I find out more about the academics across SELCS?
Yes. A full SELCS staff A-Z can be found here.
- What are ELCS courses?
European Languages, Culture and Society (ELCS) courses are the courses run by SELCS (as opposed to the individual departments of the School). These courses are taught by academics from across the School which allows SELCS students to tape into the expertise of academics that are from outside of their home department. Further information about ELCS courses can be found here.
- How does the year abroad work?
SELCS offers a full range of possible options for the year abroad, which is a compulsory part of all our programmes. We have educational exchanges with universities from Buenos Aires to Berlin, from Paris to Rome. It is also possible to teach English through the British Council Assistantship scheme in a school, or undertake a work placement or internship. Further details of what is on offer can be found at the SELCS year abroad webpages.
**If you forgot to include your language combination in section 2f of your UCAS application, please can you ensure that you email the SELCS Admissions Officer, Joe Taylor, entitling your email "language choices".**
As SELCS offers such a large variety of degree programmes - a number of which are in conjunction with other Schools and Departments of UCL - there are different ways in which your application could be assessed:
1) Those applications for Modern Language Plus BA (UCAS code RY00): English & a language combinations are processed by the English Department's admissions procedures. This means that if you have submitted an application which the Admissions Tutors would like to pursue will be asked to attend an interview at UCL. Applicants will be informed of their application outcome as quickly as possible after their interview.
2) The administration of applications for Modern Languages BA (UCAS code R000) or Modern Language Plus BA (UCAS code RY00) that include either Russian or an Eastern European language are processed by the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES). Applications for these degrees who receive an offer will be invited to a SSEES offer-holder Open Day.
3) All other applications are administered by SELCS, whereby if the Admissions Tutors want to pursue your application you will either:
a) be the recipient of an offer and be asked to attend a SELCS Open Day where you will have the chance to hear mini lectures from a range of SELCS academics, meet current SELCS students, have a tour of campus and the SELCS language departments, and either have a chance for a Q&A session, mini seminar or interview-style chat (dependent upon the preference of the particular SELCS department(s) you have applied to).
b) be asked to complete a questionnaire in order to give the Admissions Tutors further information to make an informed decision about your application. After your questionnaire has been returned, and considered alongside your UCAS form, if you are to receive an offer you will be asked to attend a SELCS Open Day where you will have the chance to hear mini lectures from a range of SELCS academics, meet current SELCS students, have a tour of campus and the SELCS language departments, and either have a chance for a Q&A session, mini seminar or interview-style chat (dependent upon the preference of the particular SELCS department(s) you have applied to).
The only exceptions to the processes outlined above are mature students. If you are a mature student, you may be asked to submit a copy of a recent piece of academic work and/or attend an interview so that the SELCS Admissions Tutors can assess you in person.
Regrettably, unsuccessful applicants will only be notified via their online UCAS Tracker.
"I chose UCL because of its excellent academic reputation. I love my Dutch programme. The department is small, in a cosy way, and friendly. The teaching methods are extremely effective and the student/teacher ratio affords the student a tremendous advantage. I hope to do an MA in Dutch Translation, together with a DELF certificate in French language student and something in Spanish. I would like to work perhaps for one of the EU institutions working in the field of translation." Michael Barnett, Dutch BA
"I felt that the most important part of a degree for me would be that I enjoyed it, and I can honestly say that the programme has not disappointed me. It has introduced me to things I had never considered before, it has changed my ideas on political and philosophical issues, and has helped me realise exactly what I like doing, and what I picture myself doing. With regards to academic staff, I have never met people who are so interested and so enthusiastic about their fields of study. It's really encouraging." Katy Highet, French BA
"I chose German mostly for the variety of areas of study that it encapsulates. It offers a bit of everything; literature, culture, linguistics, film, history, politics, etc. I feel that it is giving me a good grounding for later life and the fact that I'm becoming proficient in a second language is almost like an added bonus! Living in London is an experience not to be missed. The opportunities for absorbing culture here are second to none with the free art galleries, museums, and reasonably priced student tickets for theatre and opera!" Alice Bunker, German BA
"I chose UCL for its diverse international community, its global reputation, and because it is a fantastic place to build a career in a city full of opportunities. I was inspired by a cultural and linguistic interest in languages, especially Italian. I love that through languages it is possible to really engage with different cultures, improve communication and 'people skills'. After completing my degree I am hoping to go into the diplomatic service in my native Brazil, or follow a career in a prestigious international company." Tiago Luduvig, Italian BA
"The location of UCL played a massive role in my decision [to make an application] - to have the chance to live in the heart of a global capital really helped. UCL's history as a centre of progressive education also encouraged me as I wanted to study at an institution with a global standing, but also one always looking to the future. The diversity of UCL is amazing - you meet people from all over the world and find out that you have friends in common! I chose my degree programme as I wanted to study something unique, and also to have a large say over my own academic direction. After completing my degree I hope to continue in education in some way. If not, I would also strongly consider careers in either translation or journalism. One of the great things about my degree is that I feel my career options aren't limited, and that I am learning skills useful for many different future paths." David Thompson, Scandinavian Studies BA
"I chose UCL because of its prestige and its location in central London. It is such an exciting and vibrant place to be a student. During my visit to UCL's Open Day, it just felt right! I chose to study Spanish because I had always enjoyed it at A level and I also liked the balance of standard rote learning (i.e. the grammar and vocabulary) and cultural studies like film and literature. London is amazing - there is always something to do and there are so many resources for students; the British Library and the British Museum are within walking distance. Also it's just an exciting place to live." Lucy Doyle, Hispanic Studies BA
"I chose UCL because of its excellent location, its reputation and its size. The diversity of students seemed to me unrivalled in all other universities in the country. As a language student this diversity took on another dimension, as there are more languages taught at UCL and more languages spoken in London than anywhere else. The Dutch Library has the biggest range of Low Countries resources outside of the Netherlands and Belgium, so I have never felt hindered by not being in the country when researching." Luke Halls, Language and Culture BA
"I love learning languages and enjoy studying translation theory as it makes you think more about cultural differences and similarities and how texts can effectively be rendered in another language. I spent my year abroad in Helsinki and Paris and it was probably the best time of my degree. I have many interests so no set plans as yet about what I'm going to do after graduation. I am looking into translating for the EU or doing a Master's programme in Finland. Alternatively I would like to get involved in the fashion industry and perhaps get internships in London, Paris or Helsinki." Francesca Turner, Modern Languages: French & Finnish BA