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Modern language courses

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Modern Languages and Linguistics (MLL) at the University of Southampton is one of the leading centres in the country for the study of foreign languages and cultures, with an excellent track record in delivering high quality language courses to members of the public.

Explore our courses to find the right one for you. Personalise your learning with one of our evening or intensive language courses.


Bookings for courses in the next academic year (2018/19) are now open. Click here to book.


Language courses: choose your language and level

We offer a wide range of evening classes to suit all abilities - from complete beginner to advanced conversationalist.

Most courses take place in the evening and are normally two hours per week over 30 weeks. Our courses are designed to develop all four language skills - speaking, understanding, reading and writing - with an emphasis on speaking and understanding in the class sessions. Most language classes take place at the University's Avenue Campus which has excellent language-learning facilities and extensive resources. Once you have enrolled on one of our Modern Language courses and have your student card you will be able to use these facilities to develop your learning. This includes access to learning materials on our virtual learning environment and full borrowing rights (for the full academic year) for our library resources.

Range of languages offered

We try to offer as wide a range of languages as possible but courses offered are subject to change each year as we can only run courses where there are a sufficient number of bookings. Languages usually on offer are:

French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Greek, English


Language courses are organised in stages according to level. These are described below:

LevelSuitable forPrior learning required
Stage 1 (Beginners) Anyone who is new to the language or who need to revise very ‘rusty’ skills. Students will have no or minimal skills in the language but may have some prior study in a formal context (e.g. school) or very basic skills acquired through more informal means e.g. living or working abroad
Stage 2 (Improvers) Anyone who has done some language study but are still in the early stages of their language learning. Students at this stage will have acquired the basics of the language including everyday vocabulary and essential functional grammar
Stage 3 (Lower intermediate) Anyone who has completed at least two years of language study Students will have a good working vocabulary and familiarity with the grammatical system of the language
Stage 4 (Intermediate - Upper Intermediate) Anyone who has a reasonable level of fluency in the language. Students studying at this level will have sufficient vocabulary and grammar to be able to use the language to express more complex and abstract concepts and ideas.
Clubs (Advanced) Anyone who is a fluent and confident oral communicator or who is seeking to use and improve these skills in small group discussions. Students studying at this level will have acquired sufficient skills in the language to be able to express thoughts and opinions on a range of topics relating to society and culture.

Each stage is divided into three parts (a, b and c) which correspond to the three terms of the academic year (Autumn, Spring and Summer). Part a teaching runs from October –December, with part b running January - March and part c from April - June.

The levels on offer will vary from year to year, and are subject to demand.

To check which language and levels are available for 2018/19 please look at the information for individual languages


There are no specific pre-requisites for our courses but as a general rule students should complete all parts of a Stage (a, b and c) before moving to the next Stage (level). Students who have prior learning or qualifications are advised to contact lifelong learning before booking. Please note that there is no formal assessment for our courses.

Language Clubs (advanced)

For the more experienced language learner our French, German and Spanish Language Clubs offer a chance to keep up and improve spoken communication skills. Clubs are designed for people who have a reasonable level of fluency (at least upper-intermediate level learners) who are looking for a more informal way of learning a language than a regular class. Language clubs are facilitated by a native speaker but sessions are led by students’ interests and may cover topics such as culture, media, politics, the Arts, travel. Clubs for 2018 will be offered in French, Spanish, German and Japanese. These will usually run fortnightly and each session is 2 hours. Sessions are bookable on a termly basis (in blocks of 5 sessions). Club arrangements may vary between languages so please check the details for each language before booking.

Please note Language Clubs are not formal lessons and are not suitable for students with a low level in the language. If you are not sure if a Language Club is the right thing for you please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.

Evening courses

Evening courses

We offer a wide range of evening classes to suit all abilities - from complete beginner to advanced conversationalist. Book soon as the deadline is a week before course start.


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