4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)
AAB (full entry requirements)
September 2020 (term dates)
£9,250 per year (2020/21)
£17,890 per year (2020/21)
Combine the study of German and Spanish with investigations into the nature of language itself. Spend a year abroad studying, working or teaching in Spanish and German-speaking countries, consolidating your language skills.
You'll be taught in German and Spanish, so you'll become confident using your languages as a means of communication, and for critical thinking. You'll gain an understanding of German and Spanish 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. The course has flexibility in terms of how much German, Spanish 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.
We have the second highest proportion of world-leading linguistics research in the UK (REF 2014). We are in the world top 100 for Linguistics (QS World Rankings by Subject 2020).
You can take either German or Spanish ab initio (from scratch, or with a qualification below A-level), or you can study both languages on a route designed for those who have A-levels in both languages.
We have 90% overall satisfaction for Spanish. We have 98% satisfaction for learning opportunities for German and 92% for learning community for Spanish from our student responses to the National Student Survey (NSS 2019).
During your degree, you'll study modules in German, Spanish and Linguistics.
Your language modules will explore the society and culture of German and Spanish-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:
Study Spanish or German from scratch
You can choose to study Spanish or 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.
You can take either German or Spanish ab initio (not both).
If you are taking Spanish ab initio, you will follow an intensive, fast-track programme with more Spanish and less linguistics.
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 or Spanish 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 German 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 German and Spanish-speaking worlds. You will develop skills in critical analysis of sources and communicate your findings using German and Spanish 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.
You can divide the year abroad between two locations, a German-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. 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 belows 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.
The staff at York are inspiring, approachable and most of all, great at teaching languages.Jacob, Spanish and Italian student
Read more on Jacob's blog.
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.
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'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.
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.
“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 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.
In your first year we offer you extra study support in several ways. You can work with other students with our Peer Assisted Learning programme, add an optional contact hour with one of our staff each week as well as receive designated support with easing into university life.
German and Spanish
Our focus at York is on effective communication in German and Spanish. 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 or Spanish. 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.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||1-2 hours per week|
|Seminars||10-11 hours per week|
|Workshops||2 hours per week|
These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.
Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
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 term time. 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.
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 for the teaching and study time of our students. Here you will have access to a variety of resources, including specialist linguistics software 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 (German or Spanish). 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.
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.
Effective communication, critical thinking and project management skills are central to most careers. The study of language and linguistics 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 degree, after additional postgraduate training, including: clinical linguistics (speech and language therapy), forensic linguistics (forensic speech science), teaching (primary and secondary) teaching English as a foreign language, academic research and higher/further education.
AAB including at least one of German or Spanish
You can take either the German or Spanish part of this course ab initio (ie from scratch, or with a qualification below A level). For ab initio German, we require A level Spanish. For ab initio Spanish, we require A level German.
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Obtain Access to HE Diploma with 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher plus an A level or equivalent qualification in either German or Spanish.|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDD plus an A level or equivalent qualification in either German or Spanish.|
|Cambridge Pre-U||D3, D3, M2 including at least one of German or Spanish|
|European Baccalaureate||80% overall average including 80% in at least one of German or Spanish|
|International Baccalaureate||35 points incliding 6 at Higher Level in at least one of German or Spanish|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
If you successfully complete our Accents, Attitudes and Identity online course, you may be eligible for a reduced offer.
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). In these cases 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.
Ab initio Spanish or German
GCSE or AS level Spanish or German may be appropriate qualifications for entry onto the programme. However, even if you do not have one of these qualifications, but you can demonstrate an aptitude for languages through other experience (eg, successful study of a different foreign language), you may be eligible for this programme.
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. 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, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about MOOCs.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||61, with a minimum of 55 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||176, with a minimum of 169 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.
We recognise the difficulties in taking English language tests due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have taken the decision to relax the English language requirements published above by 0.5 IELTS (or equivalent).
We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves and are considering further options to support offer-holders in meeting their English language conditions. Further information about our responses to COVID-19.
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 IELTS 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).
Get in touch if you have any questions
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