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BA (Hons) Languages and Cultures (French and Spanish) (with a year abroad)

Immerse yourself in languages through the study of society and cultures.

Year of entry: 2024/25

UCAS code


Institution code



4 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2024 (semester dates)

UK (home) fees

£9,250 per year

International and EU fees

£23,700 per year

Undergraduate Open Days

Book your place for our Open Days on 22 and 23 June and 6 and 7 September.

Book your place

in the UK for French

Times 2024

in the UK for French

Complete University Guide 2025

in the Russell Group for 'Learning resources'

of institutions included in the National Student Survey 2023 for linguistics.

in the UK for Iberian languages (Spanish)

Complete University Guide 2025

in the UK for the study of Iberian languages

Times 2024

Learn French and Spanish languages, uncover the science behind communication, and spend a year abroad immersing yourself into the rich cultures and heritage of French-speaking or Spanish-speaking countries.

At York, we have a unique approach to studying languages. From the start, you'll be taught and assessed in French and Spanish by expert staff, many of whom are native-speakers, so you'll develop your fluency and communication skills rapidly. 

Combine an in-depth study of languages with analysis of cultural and social phenomena. Learn key skills in intercultural communication, such as observing, discovering, comparing, planning and creating across many different cultural contexts. Our transcultural and decolonised approach to language learning allows for deeper reflection on the values, attitudes, and practices of different cultures. York is one of the highest-ranked centres for research in linguistics in the UK, and the strength and diversity of our research is reflected in our teaching.

Spending a year abroad will give you confidence in your French and Spanish, and allow you to have valuable first hand experiences of transcultural encounters.

Get a head start in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at York

At York, you'll benefit from being able to take TEFL modules in-house, as part of your degree. You can count the work you complete in your TEFL modules towards a CertTESOL qualification. This teacher training programme (also offered in-house) can qualify you to teach English to non-native speakers, including on your year abroad.

At York we have an amazing choice of societies that you can get involved in. In my second year, I joined the Latin American Society and attended their end of term party. We learned some bachata and salsa moves and it was a real laugh!
Caitlin, BA French and Spanish (with a year abroad)

Course content

During your degree, you'll study modules in French, Spanish, and Linguistics.

Your language modules will explore the society and culture of French- and Spanish-speaking societies and you'll be taught almost exclusively in French and Spanish. These modules will help you to develop the cultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator in each language.

Your linguistics modules will help you understand the nature of language itself: how it is structured, how it has evolved, and how we use and understand it within our society. These modules will enable you to think critically and approach your studies from an analytical point of view.

Throughout your programme, you can tailor your degree to your interests. You can:

  • study French, Spanish, and linguistics modules equally throughout your degree.
  • focus on studying French and Spanish in equal terms in Years 2 and 3.
  • choose to study either French or Spanish predominantly in Years 2 and/or 3.

Study French or Spanish from scratch

You can choose to study either French or Spanish ab initio, meaning you don't need to have any knowledge of the language before you arrive. You'll study with other ab initio students during your first year, and will focus on improving your language skills, before joining the post-A level students during your second year.


There are opportunities to spend time in industry as part of this course.

Year 1

  • If you have studied French and Spanish to A level, you'll take the post-A level route.
  • If you are taking either French or Spanish (from scratch), you'll take the ab initio route.

Core modules

Post-A level core modules:

Ab initio core modules:

Option modules

You will also study one option module.

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

Core modules

You'll study language modules in French and Spanish. Examples may include:

Option modules

You will also study four option modules, including at least one option in French and one option in Spanish. Examples may include:

Your studies will focus on issues of cultures and society in the French- and Spanish-speaking worlds. You will develop skills in critical analysis of sources and communicate your findings using Italian and Spanish in different registers. You'll tackle questions such as:

  • What is the relationship between the French language and national identity in Québec?
  • Why is there such controversy surrounding the wearing of burkinis on French beaches?
  • Why is the Spanish Civil War still a difficult topic in Spain?
  • What is the relationship between the human rights movement and democratisation in Latin America?

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 3

You can divide the year abroad between two locations (a French-speaking country and a Spanish-speaking country), or you can choose to spend the whole year in one location. We assist you in setting up overseas university study, teaching or work placements, and offer guidance on all aspects of the year. You can even get a CertTESOL qualification to teach English to non-native speakers before you go. See our current year abroad pages for more information.

You'll complete two assignments while on your year abroad. These are assessed on a pass/fail basis and do not contribute to your final degree grade. 

Elective modules

You may be able to replace one option module with an elective module, studying a complementary subject, a language or an interdisciplinary topic.

Year 4

Core modules

You'll study core language modules in your final year. These are designed to consolidate your critical skills through in-depth research and analysis. By this stage in your degree, you'll be able to demonstrate oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural contexts.

Option modules

You will also study four option modules, including at least one option in French and one option in Spanish. Examples may include:

Language modules:

Linguistics modules:

The options available to you will be confirmed later in the year. For further information please get in touch.

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Understand key aspects of the societies and cultures of the studied languages based on effective research and critical evaluation of key positions, viewpoints and perspectives. (Knowledgeable researcher)
  • Apply creatively and critically your understanding of languages and cultures in their transnational context in order to help negotiate and solve problems arising from social, cultural and linguistic diversity. (Creative problem solver
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing in your language(s) of study to provide evidenced, structured and well-supported information, arguments and advice to mono- as well as multilingual audiences. (Multilingual communicator)
  • Mediate concepts and texts in a range of settings using your full repertoire of languages to facilitate the achievement of collective aims in trans- and intercultural contexts. (Effective mediator)
  • Design, manage, and contribute efficiently and effectively to individual and collaborative projects using your knowledge and expertise, as well as leadership and negotiation skills. (Resourceful team worker)
  • Develop your expertise in the languages, cultures and societies as well as your language repertoire by recording, reflecting upon and evaluating your practices and identifying appropriate resources for your personal and professional learning needs. (Reflective practitioner)
  • Engage with confidence in multilingual and transcultural encounters based on your acquired awareness of, and sensitivity to, the relativity of social, cultural and linguistic norms. (Transcultural agent)

Learn directly in your language of study

At York, we are unique in teaching all of our core language modules in their language of study. Our students develop fluency and confidence quickly, benefiting wholly from this approach.

Study abroad

Observe different transcultural practices and values first-hand, and gain valuable experience speaking in your language of study.

Teach English abroad

Take our in-house CertTESOL teaching qualification before you go abroad.

In French this year we have around 40 students. It creates a real sense of community and everyone knows everyone else, making group work much more enjoyable.
Rebecca, BA French and Linguistics

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK (home) International and EU
£9,250 £23,700

UK (home) or international fees?

The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK (home) fees may increase within the government fee cap in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International fees are subject to increase in subsequent years in line with the prevailing Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate (up to a maximum of 10%).

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.

Additional costs

Set texts are available from the Library or online, but you may wish to buy your own copy for some modules. These typically cost between £10 and £30. For ab-initio languages you may need to buy books with a total cost of £50 to £60. Second hand books are often available more cheaply.


We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2024/25 throughout the year.

Departmental funding

Find out more about funding specific to .

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Doing two languages can keep you quite busy but there is still plenty of time to explore other hobbies of yours. Here at York, we have societies for many different languages. Some of the exciting socials you can look forward to include movie nights, cooking classes and quizzes!
Lucy, BA Italian and Spanish (with a year abroad)

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

Gold-standard education

Our teaching, learning and student experience is outstanding, recognised by a Gold rating from the Office for Students in the 2023 national assessment (Teaching Excellence Framework).

Why we’re gold-rated

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

We offer you extra study support in several ways. Our Peer Assisted Learning programme gives you the opportunity to work with other students.

French and Spanish

Our focus at York is on effective communication in French and Spanish. That is why:

  • we are unique in teaching our core modules in their language of study
  • we teach mainly in small seminars
  • classroom interactions and assessments are in French and Spanish
  • we emphasise issues of cultures and society, allowing you to develop a high level of transcultural awareness to underpin your language skills
  • many of our staff are native-speakers of the languages we teach

Contact hours

In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 1-2 hours per week in the lecturers, 10-11 hours per week in seminars, and 2 hours in workshops.

Contact hours in the final year vary depending on individual module choices.

In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during semesters. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.


We have our own e-Lab for teaching. Here, you'll have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software and online language-learning materials.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Language and Linguistic Science buildings on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can use the fast and frequent bus service. Take a campus tour.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, including essays, projects, written, oral and listening exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practice or develop skills, but will not count towards your final degree mark. 

Instructors provide you with feedback in a variety of forms, for example: written feedback, in-class discussion of common problems, model answers, one-on-one discussion of research projects, or online responses to questions posted on the module discussion board.

Your year abroad is assessed. All students must complete two assessments in their language of study. If you are studying at a university, you must attend courses and sit the exams. If you are on a work or teaching placement, you must satisfactorily complete the duties set out in the placement agreement. However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.

Disability information

We can make reasonable adjustments to assessment procedures for students with disabilities. However, if you have dyslexia please note that it is not possible to make adjustments in the marking of work written in a closed language exam. This is because accurate spelling is one of the assessment objectives for language exams. Closed exams make up only a proportion of the assessment types used for languages. There are other assessment types such as coursework and oral presentations which are also used. As a student with dyslexia you could apply for extra time in closed exams, if this would be of assistance. See the University's disability support pages for further details.

Seminar on syntax
Language seminar

Careers and skills

  • The study of language and linguistics at York equips you with effective communication, critical thinking, and project management skills, which translate readily into any work context.
  • The combination of the analytic, transcultural, and communicative competencies you'll learn during your degree ensures that you are a highly sought-after graduate. You'll become proficient in all aspects of managing small-scale linguistic analysis projects, from identifying the research questions, to communicating the findings. This skill set will open the door to many different careers.
  • Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation. Learn more about graduate career destinations.

Career opportunities

  • Marketing and communications
  • Publishing
  • Broadcasting and journalism
  • Local government and public service
  • Business, finance and accountancy
  • Teaching
  • Translation and interpreting
  • IT and software development

Transferable skills

  • Effective communication skills
  • Intercultural awareness
  • Critical thinking
  • Project management
  • Independent learning
  • Data analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Entry requirements

Typical offer
A levels

AAB including at least one of French or Spanish

Access to Higher Education Diploma Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher. An A Level or equivalent qualification in either French or Spanish will be required.
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD. An A Level or equivalent qualification in either French or Spanish will be required.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including at least one of French or Spanish
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average including 80% in at least one of French or Spanish.
International Baccalaureate 35 points including 6 in at least one of French or Spanish, at Higher Level.
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in either French or Spanish has been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Advanced Highers - B in French or Spanish plus Scottish Highers - BBBB

We may also be able to consider three Advanced Highers or a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers, where an applicant does not meet the grade requirement through Highers alone. Please contact us to discuss your qualifications.
International foundation programme Foundation Certificate from our International Pathway College or an appropriate alternative.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

Ab initio and/or post-A level routes

You can study both of your languages on the post-A level route. Alternatively, you can study one of your languages ab initio (from scratch, or with a qualification at AS level or below).

To study one language ab initio, you must have an A level (or equivalent) in your other language. If you don't have a formal qualification but do have additional language experience (for example, if you took a GCSE or AS level and then spent considerable time in a country where the language is spoken), we may conduct an informal interview to assess whether you can join the post-A level route.

Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers who wish to study their own language.

Alternative offers

Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.

Criteria Adjustment
Widening participation If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to three A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Black Access Programme, Next Step York, Realising Opportunities, YESS, YorWay to York. More about widening participation.
Contextual offers If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to two A level grades (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.
EPQ If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
Core Maths If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.
MOOCs If you successfully complete our online course Accents, attitudes and identity do let us know, as you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic) 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component
Cambridge CEFR 176, with a minimum of 169 in each component
Oxford ELLT 7, with a minimum of 6 in each component
Duolingo 120, minimum 105 in each component
GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language) Grade C / Grade 4
LanguageCert SELT B2 with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic B2 Communicator with a minimum score of 33/50 in each component
KITE 459 Main Flight score with 426 in each component
Skills for English B2: Merit overall, with Pass with Merit in each component
PTE Academic 61, with a minimum of 55 in each component
TOEFL 87 overall, with a minimum of 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you haven't met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Dr Dominic Watt, Dr Angela O'Flaherty, Dr Ellie Rye, James Chantry

Learn more

Department of Language and Linguistic Science

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