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Modern Languages and LinguisticsPart of HumanitiesUndergraduate study

Flexible study

Our programmes allow a wide choice of modules and the chance to study across different disciplines. There is also the chance to study languages on a part-time basis.

Flexible learning at Southampton
Flexible learning at Southampton

Languages offered and degree combinations

A characteristic feature of our programmes is the emphasis on choice: with guidance from your academic advisor, you can decide whether to specialise in one area or to go for a more general coverage of different subjects. We offer over 50 degree programmes in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American, Linguistics, Contemporary Europe and Film Studies.

A single honours course allows you to focus on a single discipline and you will have the advantage of coherence. Combined honours courses allow you to work across disciplines by studying two of more subjects in varying proportions. Your range of degree options are:

Languages can be combined with: English, film studies, history, archaeology, music, philosophy, accounting, mathematics, management science, politics, economics, engineering and marine science.

You can also study more than one language by taking our BA (Hons) Modern Languages degree which allows you to study three languages, one of which can be studied from beginners level.

Study abroad

All Modern Languages and Linguistics students, except those taking English as their first foreign language, spend their third year abroad in a country where one of the languages they are studying is spoken. Find out more on our study abroad pages.

Part time degrees

At Humanities all our degree programmes can be studied part-time.

For some of our students, full-time study isn't a practical possibility for professional, financial or personal reasons. Others have made a deliberate choice to take the less pressurised part-time route to a degree - for example embarking on a course after retirement or returning to academic study after a lengthy time away from education.

Full-time undergraduate degrees are usually completed in three years (or four, for language degrees involving a year abroad). Part-time students cover the same content, but over a longer time-scale, between four (or five for language degrees) and eight years.

The most common arrangement is to take half the number of modules per semester taken by full-time students. However, you can complete the degree course more quickly by changing to full-time after a minimum period of study (usually two years) on a part-time basis; this path can be particularly suitable for parents of young children.


All Humanities students have the option to study a minor subject alongside their main course, so you graduate with, for example, BA Modern Languages with American Studies. Minor subject areas include Creative Writing, Music, Philosophy, Politics and many other. Click here for more information.

Curriculum Innovation Programme

Interdisciplinary modules provide you with the opportunity to broaden your learning. Each module explores key contemporary subjects, such as sustainability or intercultural communication, from the perspective of different disciplines. You work with students from other subjects, learn through innovative methods, such as group work and social media, and are assessed in new ways, such as student-led teaching and presentations. See our Curriculum Innovation webpage for more information. 

Language learning

Because people tend to learn language at different rates and in different ways, our language learning programme is based on your level of proficiency, not on your year of study (see the seven stages of language learning for more information). The Centre of Language Study offers a wide range of credit-bearing degree modules in languages from beginners to final-year degree level. The following languages are available: Chinese, English (for International students), French, German, Italian, Latin, Portuguese and Spanish. We also offer lunchtime taster language courses and part-time evening courses as part of our Lifelong Learning programme of study.

Lifelong Learning

Modern Languages has a popular and established schedule of part-time language learning courses, which form part of the Humanities Lifelong Learning programme of part-time study and cultural events. Courses and events are also available in the following subject areas: archaeology, English literature, film, history, Jewish studies and philosophy. Visit the Humanities Lifelong Learning website to find out more.

Unique to Southampton

We offer a language learning programme based on your level of ability, not on your year of study. Read more about our seven stages of proficiency.

What I enjoy most about my degree programme is the flexibility and choice on offer. The majority of modules on offer are optional and this freedom of choice means you can study the areas you want to.

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