Modern Languages

BA (Hons)


What is the significance of learning French and Spanish in our increasingly globalised world? How might the development of linguistic and intercultural skills allow students truly to become 'global citizens'?

In today’s society, closer integration with speakers of modern European languages is becoming increasingly useful for careers and for forging links with other countries.

The University offers courses that allow for the study of two modern European languages (French and Spanish), which have a global presence, with a range of other disciplines – Management, Marketing, Politics, Film and Media, Global Cinema, Psychology and Social Policy. French and Spanish are also available as Single Honours courses.

With this course, you’ll be well qualified for careers in the arts, the media, the civil service, journalism, tourism,  in human resources management and in many other fields.

Key information

EU Applicants
The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree.

  • UCAS: Combined degree only
  • Qualification: BA (Hons)
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Course Director: Dr Cristina Johnston
  • Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
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Dr Cristina Johnston

University of Stirling

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What makes us different?

French and Spanish are studied as global languages at Stirling, with an emphasis placed on the languages’ importance within the European Union, but also on relationships between France and Spain and other parts of the globe, ranging from Africa to Latin America. As well as examining the Francophone and Hispanophone worlds from a range of different perspectives, you will also have a number of opportunities to spend time living, studying and/or working abroad. You might, for example, apply to spend a year working as an English Language Assistant anywhere from the Alps to Galicia, or further afield in Quebec, in the French Caribbean, or in Latin America. Many of the degree combinations we offer also include a semester of study abroad at one of our partner institutions in France, Switzerland, Spain, Quebec or Latin America.

We also offer a number of innovative integrated degree courses, including a integrated Masters with the Ecole de Management de Strasbourg in International Management and Intercultural Studies and degrees in International Management Studies with European Languages and Society.

Academic strengths

French and Spanish at Stirling are particularly strong in areas related to film and other visual cultures, in innovative language teaching, and in our focus on connections with other countries, regions and cultures.

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points.

BTEC (Level 3):

Other qualifications


Year one entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.

Advanced entry
Not available.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Foundation Apprenticeships:

Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

More information on our English language requirements

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Fees and costs

Fees 2018/19

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 12,140.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £9250 – with a generous package of scholarship options

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for overseas undergraduates will be held at the level upon entry.

If you plan to commence your studies at the University of Stirling in January 2018, please note you will be subject to our 2017/18 fees. Please contact us for more information.

Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Throughout Semester 1-4, you will study the language (written and spoken) alongside cultural texts (films, novels, poetry, etc). Our aim is to ensure that both languages are understood in a global context with a range of historical periods and geographical areas, and are placed at the heart of our courses. We also run courses in the early semesters for students who have never studied a language before, and who will benefit from intensive language tuition from our dedicated team of Language Coordinators and native Language Assistants in order to ensure the rapid development of University-level language skills. During Year 2, both streams merge and students can graduate at the end of four years with full language skills.

Modern Languages and Business (NT19)

This degree combines the study of French or Spanish with management. At the end of Year 2, you will continue to specialise in Business Studies, as well as continuing the study of two languages.

International Management Studies with European Languages and Society (N2R9)

All students undertaking this degree follow two pathways, namely French or Spanish and either Business or Marketing. The third strand is chosen from one of Economics, Finance, Business Law, Politics or a second language, depending on where your interest lies. You will study modules with an international or European content.

International Management and Intercultural Studies (NLR0)

This almost unique degree course leads to the award of a integrated Masters with either the Ecole de Management in Strasbourg, France (EMS), or the University of Passau in Germany (the latter for native speakers of German only). The Strasbourg version involves French, and the option of taking Spanish too, as well as Business or Marketing, while the Passau version for German native speakers involves the study of French or Spanish, Politics, History, and Business. An extra year is required to complete the integrated Masters, with students spending Semester 6 in France or Spain, and one year at the partner institution. The Strasbourg strand is open to students from across the EU, including Germany, France and Spain.

European Languages and Psychology (CR89)

This distinctive combination allows the study of French or Spanish with Psychology. Teaching is supported by the renowned research experience of Stirling’s Psychology department.

French with Spanish/French and Education (XR18, RX11, RXD1)

We offer a choice of three unique degrees in primary education, enabling you to combine the study of pedagogy (the craft and practice of teaching) with a specialism in either Early Years, the Environment, or Modern Languages.

The University offers combined honours degrees in Modern Languages and Education, which allows graduates to teach at secondary education level. Unusually, the qualifications are taught concurrently, meaning that the academic subjects are taught alongside the teaching qualification.

International Politics and Modern Languages (RL92)

This combination builds on the importance of European Politics together with either French or Spanish. Graduating students are well placed for jobs in Europe or Britain, with the added advantage of a European language.


Delivery and assessment

Teaching is by a mixture of lectures, tutorials and small group language classes. In addition, the use of information technology and native language assistants encourages rapid progress. Assessment focuses on a variety of skills gained across the modules studied and ranges from translations to essays, from grammar tests to oral exams. We use both continuous assessment and final examinations.

Combined degrees

CourseUCAS code
Modern Languages and Business NT19
International Management Studies with European Languages and Society N2R9
International Management and Intercultural Studies NLR0
European Languages and Psychology CR89
French and Education (Secondary) RX11
French with Spanish and Education (Secondary) RXD1
Education (Primary) with specialism in Modern Languages XR18
International Politics and Modern Languages RL92


Learn more about studying these subjects

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).
Part-time (one or two modules per semester).
January entry also available - see semester dates

All Modern Languages Honours degree courses include an integral period of residence and study abroad.

Find out more

Why Stirling?

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes applications from all countries.

Study abroad opportunities

On most degree courses involving languages, students must spend a period of residence abroad, usually in Semester 6, studying at one of our partner universities or business schools. For students undertaking study abroad in a French-speaking environment, we have exchange agreements with the Universities of Aix, Clermont-Ferrand, Geneva, Laval (Quebec), Limoges, Nancy, Perpignan, Rabat (Morocco) and Tours and with business schools in Cergy-Pontoise near Paris (ESSEC) and Strasbourg (EMS). For students on study abroad in a Spanish-speaking environment, our partner institutions include the Universities of Córdoba, Navarra, Granada, León, Santander and Santiago de Compostela in Spain as well as Universities in Argentina, Chile and Mexico.

All students also have the option, in addition, of spending a year abroad between Semesters 4 and 5, which you will often spend in paid employment in France or elsewhere in the Francophone world, typically as a language assistant teaching English in a school.

Our students

"The opportunities to go abroad were both highlights of the programme. Both to go on Erasmus in Spain for a semester and to work in France as part of the British Council programme."

Colm Harvey, BA (Hons) French and Spanish, Graduated 2017

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Studying Modern Languages enables you to develop good communication skills. Spending a semester abroad during the degree helps to develop cultural awareness, adapt to new and changing surroundings and to work independently and as part of a team. In a job market that is becoming increasingly global these skills are in demand in most career sectors.


A degree in modern Languages also develops many useful transferable skills including:

Expand your horizons

As part of this degree you will be able to choose a range of optional modules* which offer activities and skills to help you get the most from your degree and your future career. You will:

  • On most programmes, you will be able to choose options modules which include:
    • Undertaking a work placement to put your learning into context
    • A Career management skills module, preparing you to enter the job market
    • Business, accounting and management modules
    • Law modules
    • Business writing and digital literacy modules
    • French/Spanish language modules
  • Receive talks from visiting speakers from industry and alumni
  • Go on field trips
  • Native speakers of English can apply for a 9-month paid post teaching English in a French/Spanish-speaking country
  • You will also be encouraged to take part in clubs and societies

*modules are subject to availability

We’re here to help

We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Career and Employability Service working in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Career options

From careers in Interpreting and Translating to the Diplomatic Service and Teaching, a degree in Modern Languages opens up a broad range of career opportunities.

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict research or ambition to the jobs listed here.

Typical employers

Some modern language graduates work on a self-employed basis as interpreters or translators. However, many others choose careers not directly related to their subject but where there is the opportunity to use their language skills, for example working for companies who trade or offer services internationally or to non-English speaking customers and suppliers.

This means that language graduates work for a huge variety of employers and sectors, including:

  • business services
  • charity work
  • engineering
  • media
  • museums and libraries
  • public administration
  • teaching
  • tourism
  • transport and logistics


Work experience

The Semester of study abroad provides the ideal opportunity to develop a range of subject specific and transferable skills.

Some graduates wanting a long-term career using a language choose to take on a short-term role, such as teaching English, while living abroad and perfecting their language skills. Other temporary jobs that take you abroad may be helpful, such as those in tourism.

If you wish to move into translating or interpreting you may want to carry out some work on a voluntary basis to build up a portfolio of the experience you have. Joining an agency may be a good idea.

Experience in areas such as administration and IT will also be useful for many jobs that use language skills.

Further study

Many languages graduates continue with further study of their discipline, possibly with the intention of pursuing a career as a lecturer, but often due to a desire to develop their knowledge of the subject further to improve their career prospects. Other graduates chose to study something vocational at postgraduate level - common areas have included law, publishing and journalism. For careers such as law, lecturing and teaching, further qualifications are essential. For careers such as journalism and advertising, a postgraduate qualification may be useful, but it is relevant work experience that is essential.
Relevant further study available at Stirling includes:

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