4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB (full entry requirements)
September 2019 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2018/19)
£17,120 per year (2019/20)
Combine the study of French and German with investigations into the nature of language itself. Spend a year abroad studying, working or teaching in German and French-speaking countries, consolidating your language skills.
You'll be taught in French and German, so you'll become confident using your languages as a means of communication, and for critical thinking. You'll gain an understanding of French and German culture and societies which will underpin your abilities as a high-level communicator in both languages.
Your communication skills will be complemented by investigations into the science and structure of language through a range of linguistics modules. Our department 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.
The course has flexibility in terms of how much French, German and linguistics content you study over the four years. By the end of your studies, you will be equipped for a range of professional roles that call for expertise in language, linguistics and culture.
Our department is 2nd in the UK REF for world leading linguistics research, REF 2014.
The main reason I chose to study French and German at York is the focus on political discourse, culture issues and linguistics rather than literature. I thought a deeper understanding of important cultural issues would serve me better in the long run. York has a focus on linguistics. I really wanted to be able to study the science of language as well as improving my foreign language skills.Hannah, BA French and German with a year abroad
During your degree, you'll study modules in French, German and Linguistics.
Your language modules will explore the society and culture of French and German-speaking societies and you'll be taught almost exclusively in the target language. 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.
In your second and final years, you can tailor your degree to your interests. You can:
Read more about current modules.
Study German from scratch
You can choose to study German ab-initio, meaning you don't need to have 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. You'll study fewer linguistics modules, to allow more time for language learning.
You'll take two core modules in each language. These modules focus on developing your fluency, accuracy and communication expertise.
If you are taking German ab initio, you will follow an intensive, fast-track programme with more German and less linguistics.
You will take two core linguistics modules, or one if you are taking German ab initio (you can choose which to take; you'll take the other during your second year).
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
You'll study two compulsory language modules in French and Spanish.
You will choose one more module in each language from the following options:
Your studies will focus on issues of culture and society in the French and German-speaking worlds. You will develop skills in critical analysis of sources and communicate your findings using French and German in different registers. You'll tackle questions such as:
You'll study one core linguistics module (if you're ab initio, you'll study the first year core module that you didn't take in your first year).
You can elect to study one further module in languages or linguistics. We can offer you unparalleled coverage of the field, with modules taught by world-leading academics in the core areas of syntax, phonetics and phonology, semantics, and sociolinguistics, and in sub-fields including second language acquisition, child bilingualism, and historical-comparative linguistics. See all module options.
You can divide the year abroad between two locations, a French-speaking country and a German-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. See our current year abroad pages for more information.
You'll complete two essays while on your year abroad. These are assessed on a pass/fail basis and do not contribute to your final degree grade.
You'll study two core language modules in your final year (if you only studied in one country during your year abroad, you'll just take one core module). 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. In each of these modules, you will write a research essay of around 3000 words.
You'll choose four option modules from languages or linguistics in addition to the core modules. Most linguistics modules require you to have taken certain modules in your first and second year. In some of these, you can choose to focus on a language of your choice. You can also elect to write a dissertation that is linked to a subject area that you are studying - this is counted as an option module by itself.
The list below demonstrates some of the modules that are running this year:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
I really love the wide range of modules you can choose from, some of which are really different and quite specific for York. For example, I took a module in Old English last year which was probably one of the most interesting things I've ever studied. Only at York in a French and German degree would you get to do something as individual but also brilliantly interesting as this.Adam, BA French and German with a year abroad
The fees and funding figures below are based on data from 2018 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.
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.
We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.
Find out more about funding specific to Languages and Linguistics.
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.
In our French, German, Italian and Spanish programmes, we emphasise oral and written fluency, as well as accurate language use in its social and cultural context. All our core language modules are taught in your target languages, in small groups. We teach a range of content modules, with topics on current issues, media, film, social trends and politics, and with an introduction to translation in the final year. Our focus is on your competence in the culture and language, providing you with the means to function in the language at a professional level.
I'd thoroughly recommend studying German ab initio because it's very different to learning a language at school - you acquire language skills and grammar through studying the culture and history of Germany (and Austria), rather than through repetitive exercises. The teaching is brilliant! The tutors provide the guidance you need and their enthusiasm for teaching their language is passed on.Sarah, BA French and German with a year abroad
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. 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.
French and German
Our focus at York is on effective communication in French and German. That is why:
Core linguistics modules are taught through lectures (some with over 100 students), accompanied by sessions in smaller groups (15–20 students). With more advanced linguistics modules, you'll typically have more interactive classroom activities, such as group presentations or practical sessions, in addition to lectures. In final-year linguistics modules, most teaching is in smaller groups. Depending on the module, your work may focus on library-based study using primary research papers, lab-based analysis of linguistic corpora, or lectures and seminars in one the advanced areas of specialism of our staff.
In first and second year of the degree, you will typically spend 11 hours per teaching week in the classroom (including both languages and linguistics), or 12 hours per week if you are taking ab initio German. Contact hours in the final year will vary depending on individual module choices.
In addition to your classroom time, you should expect to devote at least 30 additional hours a week to independent study. This will include completing exercises, reading and digesting assigned papers, researching projects, writing and revising coursework, and preparing for assessments. Twice a year, in the middle of the autumn and spring terms, we have a reading week, which is devoted to independent study. You will receive guidance on your goals for each reading week.
As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
|Lectures and seminars||228 hours||228 hours||0 hours||180 hours|
|Placement||0 hours||0 hours||1200 hours||0 hours|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.
All of our modules have Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) websites where all crucial materials—reading lists, handouts, discussion boards—are always accessible. Most first-year modules provide additional self-study practice exercises on the VLE.
We have our own departmental e-Lab, accessible 24-hours a day, for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software, corpora of different varieties, and online language-learning materials. Several undergraduate modules are taught in this laboratory and you'll receive training in using these resources.
You will be based in the Department of Language and Linguistic Science on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in Vanbrugh College, with some additional teaching on Campus West.
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 campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
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 eg written feedback on work that you have handed in, in-class discussion of common problems on an assignment, 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, you must satisfactorily complete certain criteria in order to graduate with a degree that has 'with a year abroad' in the title.
However, your marks on the year abroad assessments do not contribute towards your overall degree mark.
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 (French or German). 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.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3||Year 4|
The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.
The opportunities are endless with a languages degree. It demonstrates transferable skills that can be applied to every industry imaginable. The chance to go on a year abroad and become immersed in the culture of your language is an invaluable opportunity- both personally and professionally.Matthew, BA French and German with a year abroad
Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of languages at York equips you with these skills and others, which translate readily into any work context.
Our graduates have an excellent record of pursuing fulfilling paths after graduation.
Apart from your knowledge of linguistics, you will leave with the confidence and skills that come from successfully completing a demanding course and participating fully in university life.
There are specialist careers that lead directly from your languages degree, after additional postgraduate training, including: translation and interpreting, teaching (primary and secondary), clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), academic research and higher/further education, forensic linguistics (forensic speech science).
Our typical offer is AAB including French and German. If you don't have an A Level in German, you can take our ab initio route (see below).
We include all subjects in our standard offer. ABB offers may be made in certain cases (see our typical offers page).
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher.|
|BTEC||BTEC National Diploma or QCF BTEC Extended Diploma with DDD.|
|European Baccalaureate||80% overall average|
|International Baccalaureate||35/34 points|
|Irish leaving Certificate||H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3|
|Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers||AAAAB|
Other qualifications are accepted by the University, please contact Undergraduate Admissions
Our language programmes are designed to develop fluency. For this reason we do not normally offer places to native or near-native speakers of who wish to study their own language.
Some students who do not have an A level in one of the languages they wish to study may nonetheless already have A-level-standard knowledge of the language (eg, a student who took GCSE and then spent time in a country where the target language is spoken, before university). At the time of application, we will conduct an interview and task, to determine which route would be most appropriate for students who do not have an A level in a language they wish to study.
You can take the German part of this course ab initio (ie, from scratch, or with a qualification below A level).
GCSE or AS level German may be appropriate qualifications for entry onto the ab initio German course. You may be eligible for this course if you're not taking GCSE or AS level German, but you can demonstrate an aptitude for languages through other experience (eg, successful study of a different foreign language).
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
Get in touch if you have any questions
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Three year programmes that do not include a year abroad:
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