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BA (Hons) Languages and Cultures (German and Italian) (with a year abroad)

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

Year of entry: 2025/26
Show year of entry: 2024

UCAS code


Institution code



4 years full-time

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2025 (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.

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in the Russell Group for 'Academic support'

in linguistics (National Student Survey 2024)

in the UK for linguistics

Complete University Guide 2025

in the UK for linguistics

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Learn German and Italian and explore the history, politics and culture that have shaped German and Italian-speaking countries around the world. You’ll develop the critical skills needed to prepare you for an international career.

At York, we have a unique approach to studying languages. From the start, you'll be taught and assessed in by expert staff, many of whom are first language speakers, so you'll develop your fluency and communication skills rapidly. You'll study Italian ab initio (from scratch) and can choose to study German post-A level, if you have studied it before. You’ll be very well-supported whatever your level and you’ll be amazed how much you can achieve.

You’ll go abroad in your third year. You can choose a work placement, internship or studying at one of our partner universities. Our internship students have been to a wide range of organisations including in schools, the heritage sector, the media, translation, marketing and finance sectors around the world. Your plans will be supported by our departmental Year abroad coordinators. 

You’ll join a vibrant modern languages community. We’re a highly international department, and have regular language and community events and talks. 

If you want to extend your language learning even further, you can choose elective modules from a wide range of languages or take extracurricular classes as part of our Languages for All programme.

Get a head start in Teaching English as a Foreign Language 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 qualification. This teacher training programme, also offered in-house, can qualify you to teach English to non-native speakers.

The thing that really sets Languages at York apart from other universities is that they teach the languages in the language. Of course, if you really just can’t wrap your head around something, they will explain it in English if need be.
Hannah, BA French and German (with a year abroad)

Course content

During your degree, you will study mainly modules in German and Italian languages and cultures. You can add modules in linguistics, choose from a range of elective modules across the university, including a third language.

In the languages and cultures modules, you will expand your knowledge of Italian- and German-speaking societies and cultures and you'll be taught almost exclusively in Italian and German. You will develop the transcultural and linguistic knowledge you'll need to become a high-level communicator in your languages.

If chosen, 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.

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

  • focus on studying German and Italian in equal terms in Years 2 and 3.
  • choose to study either German or Italian predominantly in Years 2 and/or 3.
  • choose to add linguistics modules throughout your degree.

Study Italian from scratch

You will study Italian ab initio, meaning you don't need to have any knowledge of the language before you arrive. In your first year, you will make rapid progress in your language skills. You will also develop your understanding of Italian society and culture in order to be prepared for more advanced studies from your second year onward.


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

Year 1

Core modules

Option modules

You will study one option module. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

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 German and Italian. Examples may include:

  • German Language and Cultures: Advanced
  • Italian Language and Cultures: Advanced

Option modules

You will also study four option modules, including at least one option in German and one option in Italian. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

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

  • How do Germans view their role in a democratic society and what is their relationship with 'Vater Staat'?
  • How did historical events shape the Germany we know today?
  • Why does regional cultural diversity play such an important role in modern Italian society?
  • Why is there still a broad economic divide between Northern and Southern Italy?

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 German-speaking country and an Italian-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 German and one option in Italian. Examples can be found below. Some option module combinations may not be possible. The options available to you will be confirmed after you begin your course.

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)
Studying languages at York will give you a deep understanding of current culture and language. You’ll get a taste for the real, everyday, current culture of your country of study, as well as, of course, learning to speak the language.
Rebecca, BA French and Linguistics (with a year abroad)
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.

German and Italian

Our focus at York is on effective communication in German and Italian, as we integrate the teaching and learning of content and language. 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 German and Italian
  • 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 the first year of the degree, you will typically have 11 hours of contact time per week per semester, most of which is organised as seminars or workshops.

Contact hours in the second and final year can 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, presentations, and written and oral exams. Assessments include formative work which will help you practise 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 including annotations of your work, in-class discussion of common problems, model answers, one-on-one discussion of projects, or responses and comments to work submitted online.

Your year abroad is assessed. If you are studying at a university, you must satisfactorily attend courses and complete two assessments in the language of study which will be submitted to York during the year. If you are on a teaching assistantship, you must satisfactorily carry out your teaching duties. 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.

A group of students working and talking around a table
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 German

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 German will be required.
BTEC National Extended Diploma DDD. An A level or equivalent qualification in German will be required.
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2 including German
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average including 80% in German.
International Baccalaureate 35 points including 6 in German at Higher Level.
T levels We are currently not accepting T Levels for this course unless an additional A Level (or equivalent qualification) in German has been taken.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers Advanced Highers - B in German 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

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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